Meet Elle Florence: a successful lawyer as well as a Youtuber, blogger, and soon to be jewelry designer.
Since October 2011 Elle has been filming Youtube videos showcasing her love of fashion and beauty, while intertwining them with her life as a lawyer.
Through “Outfit of the Week” videos, where we can see her fashionable and work appropriate outfits, to daily vlogs where Elle gives her viewers an in-depth look at her life as a “young professional by day, youtuber and blogger by night.”
I had the opportunity to ask Elle a few questions about how she was able to blend her life as a lawyer and a Youtuber together. In this series of interviews we hope to speak to people who have started small businesses, taken their interests and turned them into careers, or as in Elle’s case has been able to pursue a professional career as well as flourishing in other professional and creative aspects of their lives. Elle proves that you can embrace both creativity and professionalism while staying organized; It’s the best of both worlds. Move over Elle Woods… Here comes Elle Florence!!!
Why did you become a lawyer?
From your videos we see your passion for clothing, hand bags, makeup, etc. Did you ever consider a career in the fashion industry or did you see all these interests as more of a hobby?
When I was in my early teens my dream was to be a jewelry designer, but as I moved towards university, I became really interested in the legal process and reading cases, so I decided to pursue that. During law school, I saw my interest in style as more of a hobby, but now I don’t believe in that restriction. I think the way to achieve a balanced and interesting career is to make your own dream job a reality, even if that means combining several careers.
In today’s marketplace, the traditional job/hobby formula can actually be very limiting.
Why did you start making YouTube videos?
I became so interested in Youtube as a medium for self-expression, because it offers so much flexibility and accessibility for someone creative. I watched a lot of videos from different creators and really enjoyed them, but didn’t really relate to much of the content i was seeing as I progressed in my legal career. That was why I decided I wanted to add my voice to the arena.
Do you consider YouTube a hobby or another job?
Neither! I have a career as a securities lawyer, and my legal education informs how I think, problem solve and create effectively and intelligently. I approach Youtube with that mindset, but I don’t take it too seriously simply because that would rob it of the joy, informality and realness that viewers, including myself, love about it.
How open are you about your YouTube channel at your job as a lawyer?
I used to be very quiet about it, because I believed keeping my two passions separate would protect each and maintain the highest level of professionalism, which is very important to me. I still believe that, but with experience comes greater comfort in being myself in my work environment. If someone knows about my channel, which is happening more as it grows quickly, it’s actually delightful to have my channel be a catalyst for interesting dialogue about style with my peers.
Has YouTube ever interfered with your work or have they been able the coexist?
They have coexisted really well so far. Making time for both is a challenge but something I am very proud of achieving.
With so many YouTubers now making money off of their channels would you ever consider leaving your job as a lawyer to become a “full time Youtuber”?
No, for two reasons. Firstly, I love my work, and always want legal practice to be a part of my life in some way. Secondly, abandoning my career would rob my channel of the unique perspective that makes it different! I don’t just guess or read about what to wear to work, I wear it every day. My viewers relate to that, and that perspective and authenticity is the underpinning for all of my content.
Your channel seems to always have been a beauty/ lifestyle channel; how do you think it has changed since you first started doing videos about four years ago?
I used to focus more on products and beauty but I now focus on style for real life as an umbrella, with a special focus on fashion.
As someone who wear so many hats, both figuratively and (according to your YouTube profile picture) literally, how do you stay organized and on top of everything?
I really do wear a lot of hats. I practice securities law, teach contract law and run my Youtube platform. I plan everything ahead and complete tasks for all off my ‘hats’ as soon as possible. I love making lists and try to stay adaptable to roll with the punches when things come up.
You have spoken a few times about starting a new business designing and making Jewelry. What inspired you to try this and is there a possibility that soon your viewers will be able to purchase their own “Elle Florence Original” pieces?
I’m so excited to finally move forward with this, since jewelry design was my first passion and I actually apprenticed with a jeweler a long time ago. In the next few months, I will launch a line of convertible pearl necklaces that are designed with an eye for modern, classic style. Each piece will be hand made by me, and be crafted from real freshwater pearls at an affordable price point.
Elle’s jewelry line is now available for purchase at Nouvelle Pearl.
If you could give just one piece of advice to any lawyers (or anyone in the business world) who want to have a creative outlet like your’s; what would it be?
Don’t give up on it! Over the years, it may form a bigger part of your life, as it has for me, but regardless, I think it is so important not to give up on the different facets of your personality and interests. Those aspects will enrich your success in your career and keep your juices flowing so you don’t become bored or complacent.