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How to Win Friends With Influencer People

Krystal: In 2015, four years later. But I came back to New York pretty regularly [in the meantime].

Bick & Atwood at a “Dirty Martini Night.” (Courtesy of Lydia Hudgens)

Beck: How did you become close?

Grace: I think we bonded over the fact that we both had full-time jobs. We were killing ourselves.

Krystal: It was a lot of burning the midnight oil. I always really admired that about Grace, because she balanced both very beautifully. I felt like I was this never-sleeping, frantic person, running around with my head cut off.

Grace: And I would look at you and be like, She’s always so put together and well dressed. I’m just scrambling to get a post up. I guess you always think that about the other person and see yourself as a mess.

Krystal: We’re all ducks sitting on the water. Very calm and peaceful at the top, but then once you look at the feet below the water, it’s a big old hot mess.

Grace: We also hung out a lot more because we had the same photographer.

Krystal: I eventually realized that walking around by myself with a tripod and a camera was probably not the most efficient way to scale my business.

Beck: At a certain point, you both decided to quit your jobs and go full-time on your blogs. Did your friendship play any role in that?

Krystal: I think Grace quit before I did, maybe six months ahead of me. I remember picking your brain quite a bit.

Grace: I remember being skeptical of myself for quitting. I was like,Well, you’re at Google! Maybe you shouldn’t quit, that’s a really great company!”

Krystal: They were valid points to bring up.

Grace: It was so hard for both of us to leave, because we both really loved our day jobs. But you get to a point where you don’t have any other life. I was so tired. One weekend, I couldn’t get out of bed.

Krystal: I was working like crazy, at Google and on the blog, and I realized that something had to give. I had to choose one or the other. Grace and I had a number of drinks talking about that. She gave me a really good nudge, like, “Go for it, just try it. If all else fails, we can both go back to corporate America.” And four years later, I think we’re both doing okay.

Grace: I think when you leave a job like that, you feel like you could never go back. But the reality is, you can. It’s not like you’re retiring.

Krystal: I think Grace’s time working in corporate environments has really helped her build a strong foundation for what she does on The Stripe. She does an amazing job building out a very robust editorial calendar. Not just for her site, but also for a number of different social-media platforms. Shameless friend plug.

Grace:  I’m very proud of you. I would say the exact same thing. We both take our sites and our social media very seriously. We treat it as a brand and not just a fun hobby. Like, “Oh, maybe I’ll post today because I feel like it.” I’m not throwing shade at the industry, but a lot of people have kind of given up their blogs.

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