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8th Story creative director Karly Shoemaker found her calling in fine art during her junior year in high school, but her passion for style and working with people led her to pursue a career in fashion. After earning her degree in fine art and graphic design with a business marketing minor at USC, the San Diego native got her foot in the door as a sales assistant at fashion PR agency Agent Icon, which repped Aussie brands like Mink Pink and Evil Twin. "I thought I wanted to be a sales rep," Shoemaker tells us. "I thought, 'I'm good with people and I love clothes.'"
As a sales rep, Shoemaker's creative email blasts quickly caught the eye of higher-ups. "[They asked me,] 'What are you doing in sales?'," she says, and she was swiftly brought on as a marketing manager thanks to her knack for design and branding. After becoming the brand ambassador for Mink Pink and taking charge of the Oz label's social media, Shoemaker soon parlayed into PR. All her talents and expertise led to her current position as creative director for blogger-faved e-shop 8th Story, which stocks a host of cult fave brands like StyleStalker, Cameo, Finders Keepers and more. All the while, the super-friendly (and funny!) blonde manages to update her Insta and Tumblr with non-stop style inspo, a mix of her effortlessly cool-meets-grunge aesthetic.
We got to know the PR and marketing powerhouse over sips from Sustain Juicery, not far from 8th Story's DTLA HQ.
What are you drinking today?
"Lemonade with coconut water and ginger from Sustain Juicery."
What was your last vacation?
"[About a year ago] I went on a cruise—listen to this—with my mom and my 80-year-old grandma around the Mediterranean. It was super amazing, it was my grandma's 80th birthday, we went to Istanbul and all over Greece and Rome. It was a hoot traveling with those to ladies. [My grandma] is like a movie character [...she] has a boyfriend, goes to Pilates every morning, but she doesn't look like a fake grandma. She's a full-on grandma. She's got spunk!"
What's your go-to outfit?
"For every day casual wear I'm always in high tops, shorts and a tee. I love leather skirts if I'm going out; I love mixing it with the grunge, like leather tennies. I'll never wear the full-on heels with the body-con dress."
Favorite TV show character?
"[Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope] on Parks and Recreation's. She's so funny, her humor is hilarious. I'm a big fan of good humor, I'm always a jokester so she's my girl."
Decaf or caffeinated?
"Caffeinated, for sure."
Shaken or stirred?
"I guess shaken. Let's shake it up!"
"People call me or if I get a phone call and I go, 'Hello?' and they go, 'Yeah yeah, hold on one second.' I'm like, 'You called me!' That really messes with me."
What's the first thing you think of when you wake up?
"What am I going to wear today? No, just kidding! The first thing I think of when I wake up is 'Snooze.'"
"I'm a really good speller."
First tape or album?
"Oh man, a Spice Girls tape. I wanna say it was 'Wannabe' [...] But I would jam in the minivan with my mom to Tina Turner."
We love everything on your Tumblr! What are your plans for the future?
"I've got a certain aesthetic, I want to do something with that name [Pretty Raw], but I don't know what yet. I'm not clothing designer, but maybe I'll start a brand one day!"
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