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The Hustle

Name: Gina Marks (Ellis Fashion Company)

Gina is a student at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, with a love of fashion. From that love came the online boutique and blog, Ellis Fashion Co. While working towards her BA in English Literature, with a minor in Education, she has been building this business and enjoying spending her time creating. This new online shop has everything from fun, unique women's clothes to blog posts with DIY modification tips and style guides.

Years in St. Pete

Almost eight years now. I'm originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but St. Pete is my home.

Hustle (job)

Owner and founder of the Ellis Fashion Company blog and online boutique.

What do you do?  

I blog about clothes (and sell them, too).

Why do you do it?

I do it because it's something I love. I want to spend my life pursuing my passions and doing things I enjoy, and this is one of them.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

My boyfriend, actually - one day he randomly gave me the idea that I should make an online clothing store, and now here we are.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

How much work really goes into getting yourself started. It's not just making the website and the products and the posts - it's spending hours online trying to get your content out there, it's finding the time and the motivation to create the content in the first place, it's getting your hands dirty and figuring out what you actually want to do. In the end, you get something you're proud of and you can say, "Wow, I did that."

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

At this point, it's making time to do it. I'm a full-time undergraduate student (currently working 18 credit hours), so my days are pretty full.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Do what you love. I struggle enough with finding the time and effort to work on a business focused entirely around things I love doing. I can't imagine I would get very far without my passion behind me.


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