Meet Me

IN NEW YORK WITH GRACE ATWOOD


Meet Grace Atwood, a Cape Cod native come New York dweller and founder of The Stripe.com. Discover her love of modern art, her favourite city haunts and her journey to becoming a full time blogger.


THIS YEAR MARKS A DECADE SINCE YOU MOVED TO NEW YORK, WHAT LIFE LESSONS HAS THIS CITY TAUGHT YOU?

Living in New York has taught me so many things, but the biggest, broadest lesson has been to be open to everything. The city is so diverse and rich with culture. It can feel very small at times (especially amongst social circles) but I always try to remember how big it is and to seek out as many new and exciting experiences as I possibly can. New York isn't my forever home (at least I don't think it is!) so I want to make the most of it while I'm here.

WHERE DO YOU SEEK CREATIVITY IN THE CITY? DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GALLERY OR COFFEE SHOP?

I seek creativity everywhere. As I tend to favour modern art, my favourite museum is the MoMA, but I also love the Cooper-Hewitt, The Met, and the Whitney Downtown. I also love gallery hopping in Chelsea. For me, it's impossible to pick a favourite as there are just so many. Two of my favourite exhibits this year were Tom Wesselmann at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, and Mr. Brainwash at The Taglialatella Gallery. Out in The Hamptons, my friend Tripoli Patterson has a really cool space. As for a favourite coffee shop, Stumptown!

What made you set up your blog six years ago?

You know, it probably sounds a little bit trite but I just really wanted a place to share the things I loved. I was uninspired at my job and so I made my own little creative outlet. I never dreamed it would lead to the opportunities it has today!

Grace atwood photographed in Chelsea, New York

How do you think your approach to blogging has changed in those six years?

Oh how it has changed! I've become much more strategic. Lately though, I've been moving in a slightly different direction, incorporating a lot of lifestyle content. My readers are responding really well to the Q&A posts I've been doing so I've been adding a lot of those in as well as recipes, travel and wellness content.

New York is a very competitive city, how do you make sure your blog stands out in such a busy market space?

Is it bad to say that I just don't really think about what everyone else is doing? At least, I try not to. Since leaving my previous Social Media Director role, I am not as attuned to what the rest of the blogger community is doing, and I think that's actually really helped me. I just try to always feature the products and things that I truly love and stay as authentic as possible. I also just work really, really hard. It's a very simple statement, but "work hard and be nice to people" is actually some of the best career advice out there. If you do both of those things, it's rare that you'll fail.

How has running social media for a brand helped you as a blogger?

It definitely helped me. A big part of my previous job was to stay current and understand what is going on in the market. So I read everything I could get my hands on, and really studied social media as best I could. And when I couldn't figure something out on my own, I worked around all these really young people who could help me. Take Snapchat, for example. I'm 35. None of my friends were on it. Lucky for me, I had an army of interns who were dying to tell me how to use it, and so that brand's Snapchat was born… as well as my own Snapchat.

In my day-to-day today, I always try to treat The Stripe as a brand and think about it the way I would a 'day job', taking it seriously, being strategic and putting thought into what you do as opposed to just throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks.

Grace stacks Signature bangles in plain and diamond finishes

Styling the Naida collection in open circle and cocktail shapes

You have previously worked in more traditional marketing roles for the likes of P&G and Coty. Did you always see yourself moving into the digital space?

I didn't! My career has been very fluid. Prior to traditional marketing, I was an assistant buyer for a department store. I tend to just follow my gut and my instincts and see what happens. Buying led me to marketing, and then I started my blog for fun, which led me to a role in social media, and then that led me to eventually running my own site full time.

I can be very strategic and calculating at times, but when it comes to the bigger picture I tend to just go with the flow and see what life hands me. So far, it's worked out pretty well and been a very interesting ride.

What do you admire most about New York style?

The diversity, and the fact that anything goes. I could decide to wear a tutu with a military jacket tomorrow and no one would bat an eyelash. You can mix and match and really experiment. My own taste is pretty conservative and classic, but I admire the crazy stuff from afar.

Describe your style and its evolution from New England casual to now.

I describe my style as a feminine mix of coastal and city. There is a side of me that gravitates toward all things preppy; striped tees, fruit motifs and tassel earrings, but then there is my New York side that wants to wear distressed denim and all black. So my day-to-day style can be a little all over the place, but it's very girly with elements of both Manhattan and Cape Cod.

In terms of an evolution, I think it's really just that I have gotten a bit more comfortable in my own skin and understand what works on my body. I wear a lot of fit and flare silhouettes, I rarely wear pants, and I'm almost always in heels.

Grace captured near her favourite museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art

Your blog name is 'The Stripe' because of your love of timeless pattern. What jewellery styles best with stripes?

In my opinion, stripes are the perfect backdrop for jewellery. I love stripes with anything that sparkles, whether it's a chunky statement cuff, or a great pair of earrings. One of my favourite looks is a navy and white striped tee with a bold pair of earrings or an armful of bangles. You can wear that with a skirt, with jeans, with skinny black pants. It's timeless but also super fun!

If you could engrave anything on a Monica Vinader pendant or bracelet, what would it be?

Okay, this is perhaps a bit corny, but as I'm the only person who would see it, I would write: "Life is sweet." Sometimes life in New York can be challenging and very lonely, but at the end of the day I feel so blessed and lucky; life is truly awesome. Having that engraved in a bracelet would help me to remember.

Shop Grace's Look

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