Interview with Alley Girl
Betül K. Yıldız is the founder of a new fashion-tech blog: "Alley Girl." After months of communicating through Instagram, I finally met Yildiz at a networking event I was hosting (produced by The Cross Over) at the Haven Rooftop of the Sanctuary Hotel back in September. (pictured below). A few weeks later, we had coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops in Williamsburg: Baked by Woops on Driggs Avenue and there, we were able to pick each other's brains about blogging and business. She is such a bad-ass!! She is so inspiring to me because she is intelligent and that shines through with confidence. She is a great role model for young girls and adults all around the world.
Q: Where does the name for your blog "ALLEY GIRL" derive from?
A: So I've always been working in internet business since I graduated from college. My first job was in a small start up company back in Istanbul. My whole career has been on brand management, marketing but mostly on digital marketing. I was inspired by New York when I decide to start my new blog. They call Silicon Alley to New York's tech hub (Flatiron district mostly). That was the perfect name for me, Alley girl, a girl from silicon alley.
Q: Was "Alley Girl" your first venture?
A: I've been blogging since 2005, I had a personal blog, blog about marketing, just a photo blog on tumblr etc. I never had a focus on my blogging or my writings. I write about everything that I am interested in life. I feel like I have so many things to tell to people. This was until 2011.
I founded Istanbul-based lifestyle website called Kadinimmutluyum.com (means I am the happy woman) in 2011. I and a couple of friends of mine were writing about everything a woman have interest like art, travel fashion, cooking, interior etc. I've been editor in chief at KM (shortage for kadinimmutluyum). While I was collecting all the articles about woman I recognized my passion was on fashion mostly. I always tried to be stylish but for the first time I get fashion as the way I express myself. For the first time I get fashion as art not just clothes. At that time was my first year in New York, I feel like New York also helps me to understand fashion even more. This city is fascinating if you look at it with different eyes.
Q: What is your business back home in Turkey and how did that start and when/why did you move to NYC?
A: I graduated from one of the top business schools in Istanbul. I've always been more focussed on marketing than finance. I started my career on a start up company as sales development expert. (company is basically what onekingslane.com is in here).
Then I started to work in digital media buying agency. I closely worked with Ford Turkey and Fiat Turkey. after I worked with these companies for a year then I decided to move to New York. Living in a foreign country is nothing strange thing to me. I live in Germany for 6 months when I was in college so I always admire to be in different cultures.
Q: How do you balance working between your business in the US with Alley Girl and your business in Turkey?
A: It is hard to keep up with both countries. Because there is 7 hours difference between Istanbul and New York. I have couple of interns who help me with our writing schedules for KM. I have to admit that my main focused on alley girl lately.
Q: Your last article was about fashion technology. Do you think there is an opportunity to speak more on this subject?
A: When people talks about fashion&technology, the first thing in mind obviously goes to wearable technologies. I took fashion technology is little differently. To me a website which is designed just for shopping also a technology that we should talk about and expect different approaches to make our lives much more easy.
I believe speaking of different topic gives you an advantage but that also makes you very niche. Being niche sounds cool but It makes your audience so limited. This is why my blog is talking about fashion and technology but not limited to only this subject.
Q: If you could give young girls as well as up and coming bloggers some advice, what would it be?
A: If they want to be a blogger just for free stuff, I don't recommend. It is really hard to keep up with trends. And Being blogger is not easy job like everybody things. It is, in fact, 24-hour job at some points. If you are a determined person, you will be successful in any business but being determined in the blogosphere (It is such a web2.0 of me to use this word, lol) even more important.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I don't define my style anymore but I used to be more business savvy looking girl. I think that is because of my business degree. I used to love to wear business woman looks all the time ( I still do, though). Moving New York changed my style a lot. I'd like to wear the clothes that tell a story about my mood on that day. I wanna say I am more and more into masculine looks than I used to be.
Q: What is your favorite trend of this season?
A: Stripe suits, exaggerated sleeves, anything in patent leather, statement gloves, sheer shirts
Q: What are your 3 favorite things about Autumn on the East Coast?
A: Incredibly beautiful colors of the trees in central park, Halloween spirit, Pumpkin spice latte (not kidding, at all)
Q: What is your favorite online website?
A: Ebay nowadays, I found incredible designer piece deals. I like to check whowhatwear.com for style pieces), and BOF.com is definitely my newspaper for the fashion business.
Q: Do you prefer to shop online or in-store? Or both?
A: Both but I prefer for online shopping for getting deals.
Q: You host networking events every month. Can explain how this started and why?
A: I started to host fashionMIND last year to meet new people from the fashion industry. It is hard to make friends in fashion business. When you find really nice friends who help you to grow with them, It is incredible but until then It is hard. I start to host this coffee talk group to find people like myself who needs to meet new people from industry. I made a lot of friends because of this event.
Q: Sign me up! Where can people RSVP?
A: Here! :)