Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Elliott.
Amanda, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I moved to Chicago, I was sitting in my apartment setting up Comcast. I needed to create a password and it came to me – Windy City Cosmo – that’s how I felt in that moment -an empowered 23 year old starting her first marketing agency job, living in her own apartment in the best city in the world. I seriously felt like I had made it and was living my best life. I went out every night trying new restaurants, attending a fashion party at a mattress store, signing up for the Color Run and Women’s Half Marathon, and attending my first conference – Techweek. I wanted to capture the essence of being in the city. I thought it was so cool that I didn’t have to know anyone – but I was meeting people I read about in Forbes and I was sitting in Microsoft’s and Cannon’s office and Bosch’s office. I was developing a new taste – not just because I’ve been to Measure Make’s or Horrondo’s or Bombay Saphire’s cocktail tastings, but it was more than that – I was developing a new sense of self. Guys were finally interested in me. I was doing well at my job. I was learning how to dress from day to night. And that’s what I hope people experience when they visit Windy City Cosmo – a portfolio of professional women and men with a little sass, a big heart, and a desire to explore everything Chicago has to offer while achieving their dreams.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think the biggest struggle was starting Windy City Cosmo and continuing to keep it going. I definitely didn’t feel like a blogger – my hair was a mess or my lipstick was smudged. But that’s kind of my brand – I am always on the go and would rather show up with tousled hair than not show up. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments to go to Dry Bar, but for a lot of them, side swept and smiling with a dash of Chanel is authentic – and isn’t that what we’re all trying to be? I remembered that when I was a journalist for Streetwise Magazine, I covered the CNDA awards – my very first cocktail party. I met a guy and told him I was a journalist. He spent the night introducing me to everyone at the party and told me not to be intimidated – everyone wants to feel important and be noticed. I have to remind myself of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote – no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Besides that, I had a technical curve that I’m still learning. I got a WordPress website and re-coded it and then realized there were other designs that would meet my needs. Putting time into my website design was the best decision. I have many aspects of my blog that I would love to tweak and improve upon, but I love this project. I love the places it’s taken me and I’m glad I could build something authentic that people can resonate with – whether it be my dating stories, places to go, or entrepreneur’s stories.
Windy City Cosmo – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built and the experiences I’ve been able to share. I love marketing, and I’m glad I created my own channel to share the struggles of city life and the excitement. My business is helping people connect and sharing stories – cocktails and connections. I’ve been able to plan events – like my Drake on a Cake Galentine’s Day party, as well as create content for brands like Potovino’s Wine Purses or Bluemercury’s spa and skincare lines, and share stories of what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur. I love when entrepreneur’s come to me when they are starting and I get to help them test their products or develop a marketing plan.
I have a passion for interviewing and finding a story. Throughout my career of being Windy City Cosmo, I’ve had the pleasure of being flown to Kansas City to interview HBO and Hallmark, interviewing the former editor of Vogue Paris and some of the most successful female entrepreneurs in Chicago. I think Windy City Cosmo is beyond a blog because it isn’t all about me – it’s also about where other people have gone and how others have made the most of city life, and created a lifestyle, a business, found love, etc.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There’s been a lot of moments where I’ve thought – I can’t believe this is happening. An email being invited to Paris Fashion Week was one of them. I thought it wasn’t real. I texted my family and they said – go. I called the number on the invitation and there on the other line was someone speaking French. I called my boss and got the week off, bought my ticket the same day I flew out (thank you Kiss and Fly). I flew to Paris in 2016, went through customs and jumped in an Uber that was playing Rihanna’s new single, Work. And there, in a secret passageway, I went up the stairway to meet with Bernard Chandran, interview him and go through his collection. It was the most humbling experiences of my life.
- Website: www.windycitycosmo.com
- Phone: 708-320-1719
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/windycitycosmo/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/windycitycosmo/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/windycitycosmo?lang=en
Photo Credit: Amanda Elliott, Windy City Cosmo
For the first horizontal photo, photo credit: Homegrwn Creative