Lauren Zwanziger is a Southern gal with quite a following online, as her keen eye for style is well admired. With more than 4.6 million followers on Pinterest and a gorgeous blog, The Transatlantic, this O’More College of Design graduate is one to continue to watch … and follow, and pin and like! We’re thrilled to have her as our FACE of the South for September.
How would you describe your job?
I have a couple things that I do, which is great and never boring! I suppose what I consider myself first and foremost is a blogger. I have a blog called The Transatlantic, where I discuss everything from travel to fashion to general lifestyle topics. I’m the most active on my blog’s social media accounts, such as Pinterest and Instagram. I also work as a social media consultant. I help companies figure out how to use social media in a way that works best for their brand. It’s a fun challenge and something I’m hoping to expand into more this year.
What is a common misconception about your career?
Well, I don’t think it’s so much one specific misconception, but most people don’t understand what my job is or how I make a living. I don’t really have one job title, and every project I work on is different from the last. So it can be a difficult thing to explain!
Did you think you would be a Pinterest “It” girl? How did that happen? Slow and steady or overnight?
Certainly not! I was really active on Pinterest when I first started using it three years ago, but never did I think it was going to impact my career the way that it did. I was in my sophomore year at O’More College of Design, completing a degree in Fashion Design, when I noticed it starting to take off. I logged on one afternoon to find that I had 27,000 new followers and it kind of went viral after that.
If you could give pinners, instagrammers, etc. one tip, what would it be?
The best advice I can give is to make sure your account, on whichever platform you’re using, is accurately reflective of you. You never know who will see it, so it’s important that it’s something you’re proud to show to anyone. Your visual social media accounts, such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, are the easiest way to communicate your aesthetic, so make sure they’re saying what you want them to say about you.
With all of your travels, what distinguishes Southern style from the rest of the country?
We’re usually wearing something comfortable, like jeans or boots, but it’s always put together in a sharp way. We value classic pieces. I think we all tend to gravitate toward pieces we can wear again and again. I would describe our style as pretty timeless.
Speaking of travels, you traveled through Europe recently. Were there any trends that we Americans should be on the lookout for that are about to jump the pond?
I was lucky enough to spend the past six weeks in England, where I always see some kind of trend I want to bring back. I always notice that girls over there wear a lot of menswear-inspired pieces, which is something I hope to incorporate more of into my wardrobe.
Tell us one thing that people might be surprised to learn about you.
I have a major pet peeve about people being on their phones when I’m hanging out with them – I can’t stand it! I think that might be surprising since I have to be on my phone so much for work, but if I’m hanging out with a friend, I really try not to be on it. Social media, texting, all of that is great, but it can be ridiculous at times, too.
If you could expand your career in another direction, what would it be?
I would love to focus more on the travel side of my blog as I move forward. The plan is to eventually create city guides for different places around the world.
Is there a quote or piece of advice that you have relied on that you can share with our readers today?
“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” -Hilaire Belloc
I like to feature this quote on my blog and social media accounts. This quote has a lot of meanings for me, but overall, it’s a reminder to go explore with the intention of changing myself for the better.
Is there someone who you consider a mentor?
I’ve been lucky to have had a few. I think at the end of the day, my Dad’s my go-to source for when I hit a wall or run into a problem. I usually call him at least once a week for advice regarding something, but sometimes it’s frustrating because he tends to be right about everything.
Do you have any fears?
Yes, absolutely! I would think failure is probably my biggest fear. I think lose-everything, hit-rock-bottom failure is a common fear of people that are self-employed. On a less serious note, I have a healthy fear of snakes!
Where was your last best meal?
Epice, which is a Lebanese restaurant [in Nashville’s 12th South neighborhood], is easily my favorite place right now. If you go, order their sea bass and hummus. I can’t seem to ever order anything else – it’s so good!
What is one piece that is a must-have for your fall wardrobe?
I really, really want a leather pant this fall. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a pair for the last few seasons now, and this year I’ve decided I have to commit and invest in them.
Can you name a favorite indulgence?
I have a few vices, but I think I indulge on going out to eat entirely too often! I can justify going out for a meal with a friend so easily; it’s my favorite way to catch up with someone.
What books are currently found on your nightstand or e-reader?
I’m reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants at the moment, which is always great for a laugh. I wish I could say I have something more profound on my nightstand, but I usually keep all three books from the The Hunger Games close at hand. I’ve never been so obsessed with a book series, so I’ll pick them up and read them over again quite often.
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding God, family and friends!)
- My beagle, I bring him with me everywhere. He’s just the best thing, I’m pretty crazy about him.
- I’m obsessed with this one lip balm, there’s no other product that I’ve ever loved more. It’s from Fresh, it’s their sugar lip treatment in rosé. I always make sure I have it in my bag before going anywhere.
- My leather jacket, which I always take with me, even in the summer. I’m always cold!
Special thanks to Ashley for today’s gorgeous photos! Ashleyhylbert.com
Want to find out more about Lauren? The interview continues in the September issue of Nashville Lifestyles (with the fabulous Chip Esten on the cover!). Pick it up or read more online: Nashville Lifestyles.