Why I decided to Bring Back Corporate Catwalk

This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a long time.

It’s now time to share.

When I first launched my blog in 2012, it was called Neon Polkadots. I was determined to move to New York City and become a fashion blogger. After thinking about the “brand” I wanted something that went along with my own identity. After some brainstorming, I finally landed on Corporate Catwalk. The name was perfect. At the time I didn’t have a clue that I would be where I am now 6 years later. With countless hours of work and the changing landscape of digital marketing and social media, here I am today. Lately, the need for accounts like Corporate Catwalk has reemerged.

Who am I?

In 2016, I decided to leave my corporate job at Salesforce and start blogging full-time. A few weeks later I discovered I was pregnant with Sebastian. It’s interesting how life always works out for the best. I was making a small income from my blog and Instagram.

After leaving the corporate world, I struggled a bit with my own identity. I was Corporate Catwalk. That was me. The 9-5 girl that dressed up and went to the office. Now I was working from home and expecting my first baby. There were days I wanted to turn off my computer and run back to Salesforce. I missed the Monday morning meetings, learning from my colleagues, and the overall rush I received when I was in the office. (There are still things I miss.) But now I had none of that. I had to start over. It was time to find Olivia.

It was scary.

A Little Help From Sebastian

At one point, I even decided to interview for a new role at Salesforce. At the time I was a month away from having Sebastian. I figured I would enjoy a few months as a new mom and go back to work. On paper, everything looked great. Accept the job. Have a baby. Enjoy my 4 months. Go back to work with a promotion. Things looked good. Really good. You can see a bit of it here.

Sebastian arrived and it was the singular most life-changing event I’ve ever experienced. All of my preconceived notions and plans went right out the window. I wanted to spend every waking moment with him. As I counted down the days until I started my new job, the business started to grow. I knew I had to make a tough call and I declined the position.

They understood, but I didn’t. It almost felt like a piece of me would be back. Somewhere inside of me I was convinced I would be working in a corporate role again at some point. This internal struggle was such an identity crisis for me. In my mind, I had all of these ideas of a “blogger” and I didn’t fit any of those molds.

Finding Olivia

Around the time Sebastian turned six months old, Instagram became a huge driver for my business. However, workwear looks weren’t gaining traction anymore. People seemed to be escaping through Instagram with bloggers as their guide. Lifestyle and travel content were performing better. The market had changed. My workwear content started to dwindle along with my desire to post it. I wasn’t her anymore. I no longer worked in an office, I worked from home, and I managed my own business. At the time Matt and one other employee were working full time on the business. Since then, we’ve expanded further.

Some of you might remember, several bloggers at the time changed their Instagram handle to reflect their full name. I did the same. The decision to change my blog and Instagram handle was a huge turning point for my business. For years I was known for corporate fashion. I had evolved and changed. I wanted this reflected in my brand too. It took several months for me to fully embrace the change, but I knew I had the opportunity to reach a much larger audience.  It opened the door to do more fashion, beauty, family and travel content, all things I’m passionate about.

That was a little over a year ago and looking back now it was one of the best decisions of my blogging career.

What’s Happening Now

While embracing my new blog name, I always kept the brand Corporate Catwalk alive. When being introduced to others, I’d always say the founder of Corporate Catwalk. In my mind, I always knew I’d find my way back to the site, but I wasn’t sure how I’d get there.

For years the goal was to change Corporate Catwalk into a workwear website. This is something that could still happen but I’m not sure what the demand is in the market. As for Instagram, I’ve had a few ideas on how to start posting to the channel. As of right now, we’re slowly working on creating additional content for Corporate Catwalk for you ladies to find new pieces for your closet. It’s interesting to see the responses from each and every one of you. You’ve all been incredibly supportive throughout the entire process. For that, I am forever grateful.

What’s Next

Right now, I think we’re going to create unique content for the page to share with everyone. In the short term, I want to start pitching collaborations with workwear brands. I would love to partner with someone on a Corporate Catwalk skirt collection. For the longest time I wanted to create a clothing line, but I’m not sure that’s what I want long term. As much as I love the idea, I just don’t know if that’s what I’m truly passionate about at the end of the day.

I’m currently working on offering consulting services to women in the workplace, especially entrepreneurs. Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests about how we run our blog as a business, so I thought this would be the perfect time to launch Corporate Catwalk Consulting. It’s just the beginning. There will be more details to come! I’m excited to share more of this journey with you!

What would you like to see from Corporate Catwalk? I’ve had a few people throw out some ideas, but nothing that intrigued me. I don’t say this enough but thank you. Your support means so much to me.

xo, Olivia

Joie Lian Blazer | Similar Styles Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3
Joie Jun Pant | Similar Styles Option 1 | Option 2  | Option 3
Ribbed V-Neck Top | Similar Styles Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3
Pigalle Follies Pumps | Similar Styles Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3
Madewell Coin Necklace | Similar Styles Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3

 

Shop My Style

18 Comments

  1. Lei wrote:

    So incredibly proud of you! It’s was a dream to have met you in Menlo Park Mall NJ when you were working along side Pandora. Although I’m working on getting my Nursing degree and will most likely be in scrubs, I live for corporate fashion. In my curren position, which is Admin Healthcare I wear mostly business clothes and I gain so much inspiration from you. Xoxo
    -Lei

    Posted 8.29.18 · Reply
  2. Joanna wrote:

    Wow! Refreshing 🙌🏼

    I’ve been following you since before you got married and I gotta say this is everything! So nice to read more about you and your process! I think you rock and have always been an inspiration 😁
    You can start offering photo presets, how about as a speaker to the college women about he corporate world , maybe talks about blogging.
    Also website help for women owned small businesses.
    Also love the idea of a workwear line created by you.

    Posted 8.29.18 · Reply
  3. Jyothi wrote:

    Hi Olivia,

    I must be honest I really miss Corporate Catwalk 😏. Currently in instagram I feel most of the bloggers carry same brands and has similar style so going back to corporate style will give us a needed break. I was inspired by you to start my own blog and you were the only blogger who reviewed my blog 😊. I work as an Information Security Consultant so it’s been challenging to keep up with blogging trends so consulting services are very good idea.

    Am really interested to meet you if you planning to organize a meetup for Corporate Catwalk “Fans” and share some of my ideas .

    All the very best for Corporate Catwalk 2.0 and am looking forward for more inspiration 😘

    Posted 8.29.18 · Reply
  4. Mika wrote:

    I’m late to the party so didn’t follow corporate catwalk. However I love your blog and would love to see more corporate looks with your unique style. I’ve gotten a number of pieces you’ve worn…especially on your trips and gotten sooooo many compliments. And I agree with the comments above so much of what’s on other blogs is the exact same. Also love how you’ve got a real style…that’s cute but sexy at the same time. That’s how real women dress. Appreciate it!!!

    Posted 8.29.18 · Reply
  5. Donnell wrote:

    I loved corporate catwalk and I feel like you are very knowledgeable about working in a male dominated industry, tips for negotiating pay, etc. – these are all very relevant to me and helpful! Also love workwear suggestions.

    Posted 8.29.18 · Reply
    • Rachel wrote:

      Completely second this. There is so little fashion advice and inspiration for women working in very corporate, male dominated environments. I miss corporate catwalk, it’s how I found you. I’m about to start work at HQ in the US and would love inspiration. I find m’y European look is much more formal than my colleagues but I still want to project a very polished image as someone moving into her first management role. Advice on commuting shoes that aren’t ugly and unprofessional would be great too because Louboutins are amazing but my back does not appreciate me standing in them all day! I think there are a lot of professional women from different sectors you could interview for their career advice and approach to fashion in the workplace.
      For what it’s worth, I see CC as your ‘professional’ persona and ‘Olivia’ as your hyphenated career (entrepreneur/influencer/mum/vacation), both are inspirational, just for different aspects.

      Posted 8.30.18 · Reply
  6. Lesly wrote:

    Maybe you can create e-courses for female entrepreneurs or host webinars to give us business tips and tricks. I still love the stylish work wear posts!! Keep them coming.

    Posted 8.29.18 · Reply
  7. Hi! I think I started following you around the time you were still doing Corporate Catwalk but shortly before you transitioned to non corporate looks. I would love to see more practical (but yet stylish) business casual outfits – I work for an IT company so our office is business casual (mostly) and I work with all men (ugh). I love following fashion bloggers but I find most show outfits that are just not practical for work in any type of office – so many super high heels and ripped jeans. Can you do some content around outfits with flats (and low heels) – you know, practical stuff. Like cool accessories (bags that can actually fit a laptop!) that go with office appropriate staples like black slacks. I often wear black slacks with a colorful top and colorful or black flats or low heels and always a tote that holds a laptop. When I first started my current job a year ago I was criticized for being too intimidating to the guys in my office (gag right!!!??) so I stopped wearing dresses and high heels and started wearing pants and flats so they wouldn’t be so “intimidated” – seems to have worked – ugh. Another idea would be outfits that can transition from the office to a night on the town. I’m going to a dressy business evening event in a few weeks and trying to figure out what to wear that isn’t a plain black shift dress but also appropriate for a dressy evening business event that will be with mostly men in suits. Anywho, those are some ideas! Thanks! And wish you the best with what’s new to come! (I work near Grand Central so always fun seeing your pics and stories shot in that area!)

    Posted 8.30.18 · Reply
    • Karin wrote:

      Same here, I found you shortly before transitioning and even sent my favourite pics from your site to an online stylist, which was a great success. While the other looks since then are always beautiful, what I need is business dress code.
      Unfortunately, no blog is left. Would love for you to “serve” us corporate gals again.

      Posted 9.8.18 · Reply
  8. Shandi wrote:

    I love this post and I’m so excited to hear what you’re doing with Corporate Catwalk! Corporate Catwalk was a huge inspiration for me when I started my outside sales career. When putting more emphasis on work fashion, I actually enjoy getting ready for work and feel more confident! I’ve searched and searched for other blogs that focus on business wear and there is not much out there! So excited to see more content from Corporate Catwalk!

    Posted 8.30.18 · Reply
  9. Sarah wrote:

    Thanks for sharing some of the evolution of the blog and how/why you’ve made decisions to get to where you are today. I understand that the blogger journey is challenging and includes a lot of transitions. But I’ll be honest and say that while I still enjoy reading the blog, I came here originally for Corporate Catwalk and workwear inspiration.
    Maybe I’m an old person, but I don’t enjoy interacting with bloggers on Instagram that much. I like to visit traditional blogs still. So while I really appreciate the return to form on the Corporate Catwalk account, I definitely miss the content here on the blog.

    I personally started following Corporate Catwalk originally because I work in a business formal environment but wanted to stay fashionable and dress creatively. I was thrilled when I discovered the blog because I felt that your looks were translatable, approachable, but still fun, feminine, and creative. I also liked ideas for wearing pieces multiple ways (you’ve done a few of these recently, which I’ve enjoyed) because we can’t always buy a new outfit every week. I also would love to see how to incorporate each season’s new trends with existing staple pieces and how to wear them for the office (and maybe which trends don’t work for the office period–I’m looking at you OTS tops). Looking forward to seeing where you take things in this next stage of the Corporate Catwalk journey!

    Posted 8.30.18 · Reply
  10. Keira wrote:

    I loved this post! I left my corporate job to pursue blogging as well, and I was so shocked by how my identity was completely uprooted. I’m still grappling with whether to go back to a corporate career or not. I LOVE the idea of Corporate Catwalk consulting, and maybe even doing a video series on success in the workplace, as well as how to translate that success to becoming a full-time blogger (time management, being your own boss, etc…)
    Thanks a bunch!
    Keira

    Posted 8.30.18 · Reply
  11. Lorena wrote:

    Wow, congrats Olivia ! I think you are taking a step in the right direction.

    Posted 8.30.18 · Reply
  12. Bronwyn wrote:

    Thanks for sharing how you have and are evolving, I found it really interesting.
    I like how your insta has changed organically as your life has. It’s very human. 🙋‍♀️
    I think there is a need for both lifestyle (love all your holiday snaps and fashion choices!) but also liked the corporate stuff, although more of the bolder edgier looks.
    No profound words of wisedom just my thoughts from Sydney, Australia 🐨

    Posted 8.30.18 · Reply
  13. Ann wrote:

    Hi Olivia!
    Thank you for posting this important post! I think so many creative women today are searching for their identity between work and passion, and your path is very inspiring!

    I also discovered you while still as CC and would love to see more practical workwear. It maybe less glam than vacay wear, but much more helpful 😉

    Talks, webinars and consulting services could be great avenues and I’m sure well received.

    Whatever you choose – Good luck.

    P.S.: I personally would love more posts such as this one. The meta-post. It is so intriguing!

    Posted 9.3.18 · Reply
  14. Sydney wrote:

    Love this and welcome back! I’m in the corporate world and our blog solely focuses on what to wear to the office especially for younger women who are starting their careers. It’s great that you were able to find balance too in between two things you loved, Sebastian and CC! Can’t wait to see where yo go with everything!

    Sydney
    http://www.classiccitychic.com

    Posted 9.4.18 · Reply
  15. Emer wrote:

    Love Corporate Catwalk… Its different to everything else out there at the moment, I love oliviajeanette.com too don’t get me wrong but it feels like everyone is doing the same thing at the moment and CC is like a breath of fresh air. Can’t wait to see what’s coming…best of luck

    Posted 9.8.18 · Reply
  16. Grace wrote:

    Wow. Really enjoyed reading. Just stumbled upon your blog through Brooklyn Blonde and will be following now. As another mom who works in (casual) corporate America I have to say getting dressed in the morning always seems to be a struggle! Also, kudos to you on your decision to break out again with your blogging business. It’s much needed. I’d love to see profiles or a regular Q+A on your blog of women who do maintain a work/life balance while working in corporate, and looking amazing while doing so!

    Posted 9.9.18 · Reply

Leave a Comment

Are you in the know?

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly behind the scenes content, special sale alerts, and more.