Olivia Muenter, writer + digital content creator
Olivia Meunter is a multi-hyphenated woman. She is a writer, editor and brand builder in the fashion and beauty industry. Her success, however, comes from breaking the norms in this space. Olivia let go of everything she though she knew from a “dream job” in a “big city” to diving deep and becoming her true, authentic self. From exposing Instagram vs reality and highlighting size diversity to unlearning “rules” of beauty, Olivia is on fire with her craft and it’s not burning out anytime soon. Read along to find out why we and the cast of Queer Eye are such big fans of this catch.
Olivia, you’ve made a career for yourself by breaking norms and going against trends. How did you break into this type of writing?
I started writing about fashion and style in college and that lead to my job at Bustle, where I expanded into beauty. Since then I’ve dabbled in all kinds of writing.
Being involved in such digitally based work must bring about trolls. Has their words ever influenced you to think differently about yourself and craft? How did you overcome it?
I am generally a pretty sensitive person so I am almost always affected by criticism of me, my work, or my career, in some sort of way, but these days I usually get over it pretty quickly. The truth is that I feel much more secure and confident in my life choices than ever before, and once you get to that point, everything else is less important. It becomes easy to know you’re doing your best work and living your best life and to ignore everything else.
This work also brings about brand partnerships. What are your best practices when you’re approached to make sure your ethos align and you stay your authentic self when collaborating?
I try to picture whatever the partnership is and whether or not it would fit into my feed when I’m contacted by a brand. I was once approached by a granola bar brand who wanted to collaborate on what would have been an extremely lucrative, long-term deal for me. But when I tried to imagine myself promoting a granola bar once a month in my feed, it just didn’t feel like me. So I passed.
You’re thriving in Philadelphia pursuing such a “NYC” type of industry and I am sure there are tremendous benefits from this. What is your best advice for those trying to break in, but may not necessarily be able to make a big city work out? OR simply do not want to, but feel the pressure to?
My first piece of advice to people is to separate what they want to be doing day in, day out, with how they want their life to look — or what they want their title to be. I used to think I wanted to be EIC of a magazine or website some day simply because that title seemed like the best. But when I asked myself what I wanted to do, the answer was pretty simple — I wanted to write, have a flexible schedule, and expand my personal brand. And I wanted to build my life (hobbies, relationships, etc.) around that work, not the other way around. There is so much attachment to the idea of New York as the be all, end all of editorial. And sure, if what you really want is to be EIC of a legacy publication, then this makes sense. But that isn’t the only way to be successful.
What can we expect next from you, Olivia?
I’m hoping to expand my consulting services and help more people learn how they can make the freelance world work for them and their lives.
Interviewed by Emily