Today’s Blogger Profile post is on the incredibly lovely Cheryl Lin Rodsted from Business Chic, who I had the pleasure of meeting recently at Problogger. I have to say Cheryl is one of the friendliest and most inspiring people I have had the pleasure of meeting in recent times, and I am so happy to have her featured on the blog today.
Cheryl is a business fashion stylist, street style photographer and commentator and the founder and creative director of Business Chic, which was established in 2010.
Business Chic is one of my favourite blogs, and as the title suggests, specialises in all things business wear. Cheryl not only features outfit suggestions and examples but also frequents the streets of Melbourne to capture interesting and inspiring business outfits of everyday people. And does a weekly “Shoesday” post on Tuesday’s which always showcases some dreamy footwear!
Cheryl has also written and styled the “Little Black Dress Project“ book, which shows 52 different ways busy women can style their own LBD in office friendly ways. And as if that isn’t enough, this super busy woman also runs the “Melbourne in Fashion” podcast with fellow fashion stylist Meagan Harding.
A very talented and inspiring lady that you should definitely check out, see my interview with Cheryl below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start Business Chic
In terms of personality tests, I am a Myers-Briggs INFP and Enneagram 4 which essentially means that I can’t help but put my own stamp on things. In the corporate world, this meant that I was always experimenting with my workwear – one of the only ways I could express my creativity as an IT professional.
I once wrote a list about what I liked about my day job and one of the items was “I like getting dressed for work.” It struck me as being really odd but I started noticing how much my colleagues would complement and appreciate each other’s style – new shoes, a great top, someone who could rock a suit in an unexpected way. It occurred to me that I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed workwear!
At the same time, I enjoyed street style blogs like The Sartorialist and Garance Dore and was saving the pics that gave me ideas on what to wear to work; I thought it would be nice to work on my own photography so that I could create my own original images. So I borrowed a friend’s camera and started chasing down friends and strangers to photograph for my blog and the rest is history!
What’s involved in a typical day of blogging for you?
This is something that I both love and struggle with – there is no typical day!
Some days I’m writing, while other days are full of meetings and others again could see me styling and photographing people for their head shots!
Generally I try and wake up when my husband (who is an early bird!) leaves the house, check my email and social media. I either set up my laptop in my home office or head into a co-working space (I’m a member of The Village run by nab).
Most of my meetings are in the city so I’ll take those and have my camera handy to scout people for the blog. Then it’s back to The Village to nut out some work (I like having Chet Faker or Kanye West on in the background) before heading home. I think it’s important to work the body as well as the mind so I’ve been doing Xtend Barre classes – a mix of ballet and Pilates that helps me feel strong and tire me out so that I can quieten my mind and sleep well after a busy day!
What catches your eye when you’re out on the streets?
Good hair, posture and personal flair. Someone who shows some personality within the confines of their workplace dress code.
What are some of the most interesting reactions you’ve had when taking photos of people on the streets?
The genuine shock on people’s faces when they realize that I’m not trying to sell them something!
One of the nicest things is when people comment how nice it is to receive a compliment on “what they’re just wearing to work.”
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m currently shaking up my own style by challenging myself to wear as little black as possible which means lots of colour, print and texture. I also like mixing up pieces, one of my favourite work-meetings-coffee outfits at the moment is a made up of a traditional strand of pearls paired with linen T-shirts, pinstripe pants, a great heel and lightweight jacket. It’s structured and polished but also comfortable to nut-out-work in!
What are your top 5 wardrobe essentials?
1.Trench coat, great to throw over just about anything for instant-chic. I’ve also got my eye on a few alternatives like the “duster coat” which also add structure to an outfit.
2. A great pair of pants, I favour cropped styles which pair well with shirts and knits alike.
3. Basic tops that allow statement bottoms to shine. My favourite include Breton tops by Amor Lux (stocked at The Standard Store in Gertrude Street – I’m so glad this Sydney-based store are now in Melbourne!), knitwear by Gorman for something colourful and lightweight merino wool layers by Uniqlo or Portmans.
4. Something utterly over-the-top that is fun to par back with basics – like the tulle skirt I bought in Japan. Or the more toned-down of my wedding dresses (I wore three on the day!) which looks great layered with a shirt and jacket.
5. Comfortable but stylish shoes. I love accessories for their ability to show some personality. Even if you have to wear a uniform to work, I believe you can inject your own style by the shoes that you wear. That’s why Tuesdays on the blog are “Shoesday”- dedicated to featuring interesting work-appropriate shoes!
Who are some of the people that inspire you and why?
Marina Go, ex-CEO of Private Media. She writes a sort of career-advice column over at Women’s Agenda on how she pursued a MBA while starting a family and climbing the corporate ladder. Such a great role model for men and women alike.
Elizabeth Broderick who is stepping down this month in her role as the Sex Discrimination Commissioner. I’ve heard her speak on a few occasions and admire her professionalism. She has a great way of articulating issues around discrimination in a compassionate, insightful and rational manner.
I’m really inspired by food. I love cooking with what’s in season and having as many [natural] colours on my plate. Some chefs who particularly inspire me with their creative and remarkably delicious use of seasonal goods are Andrew McConnell, Phillipa Sibley, Pierrick Boyer. There’s nothing like feeling blue and then having a dish from one of these talents to re-inspire!
What is the best place to shop in Melbourne?
I believe in the beauty of a great suit and find it sad that the offering for women has shrunk in recent times (due to closure of Satch and Country Road stopped offering classic suits for women). For Corporates, I’d recommend Herringbone, Rhodes & Beckett, Saba and Godwin Charli – all of these cater to both men and women.
For those who don’t have to wear a suit to work, Country Road often have great Contemporary Business Wear pieces while Cue and Veronika Maine have become much more fashion-focused offering things like crop tops- I wrote a piece on this recently!
For basics, well-priced lines include Basque and Tokito (both at Myer) and even Target have become increasingly impressive of late.
Shoes and accessories are important in completing a look and while Wittner, Tony Bianco and Nine West are good places to start – Florsheim’s latest campaign has really impressed me. Personally I stock up on ALPHA60 who make interesting styles and Bared Footwear for stylish but orthotic-friendly shoes.
What are 3 of your favourite resources which you go to for inspiration?
Style.com, everything Pip Lincolne does – I find her drive and creativity really inspiring, I’m loving the Secret Bloggers’ Business course that we’re doing and I so admire Lucy’s consistency and great eye over at The Design Files.
You seem to be a very busy lady, you also run a fashion podcast, “Fashion in Melbourne” with fellow Fashion Stylist, Meagan Harding, tell us a little about that?
Meagan and I met through the blogging community and were in the habit of catching up and talking about Melbourne’s fashion scene- designers we were loving, things we wanted to buy, advice we had shared with our personal styling clients and so forth. Meagan was already an avid listener of podcasts when she suggested that we should record our chats and start inviting the subjects of our conversation to be guests on the show. So far we have talked to milliners Richard Nylon and Kerrie Stanley as part of segments talking about fashion at the races as well as designers and organisers of the Melbourne Fashion Festival – we were thrilled to be part of the official Cultural Program!
What is your favourite part of blogging?
The community. It’s reaffirming to meet fellow people who are interested and engaged enough to self-publish, learn new skills and share that with others.
What is next for Business Chic?
You can follow and contact Cheryl on the following platforms: