Lisa Pastor ::: Digital MARKETING FREELANCER ::: Brooklyn
Lisa has been a longtime girl crush of mine. She's got cool hair (done today in a very chic, wavy bob), is always dressed in funky clothes, and is usually doing something pretty badass. We used to live in the same building in East Village, but since our last meeting, Lisa has moved to Brooklyn, left her corporate job, re-started her freelance digital marketing business, and launched Two Eggs, her first fashion line. We caught up at St. Balmain, a coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
On New York
It's impossible as a New Yorker to not discuss 2 things during almost every conversation: the weather & the subway. At the end of March, winter is still hanging on mightily. I'm a popsicle after my 10 minute bike ride and Lisa is bundled in a mile-long neon pink scarf. Like a true Brooklynite, she orders green juice & we discuss the rumored closure of the L train for a blasphemous 2 months. Most eavesdroppers would assume we both are dying to leave New York. And yet, when I ask her if she ever thinks of moving, she is quick to give a firm "No." I take a guess that LA would be the next city for her to conquer -- her boyfriend is a DJ after all -- but she says she is quite content with the level of 'happenings' in New York. "L.A. is boring," she declares. And I can agree -- a certain level of serendipitous discovery is lost when you are in a driving city. You can't exactly bump into an old friend on the highway. But the compactness of the city is also a key contributor to her burgeoning freelance business. For a freelancer, the strength of your network determines the success of your career. Alas, staying in one place becomes much more appealing when, as a free agent you can take a break whenever you need to. Lisa's most recent trip was to Japan: a week in Tokyo, a few days in Osaka, and another few in Kyoto. She fell in love with the country & culture and added that the efficiency wasn't bad either. Her next grand adventure will be a Euro trip, spurred by her boyfriend's high school reunion in Switzerland (yes, you read that right) bookended with Prague, Berlin, London, and Croatia. In true freelance form, she says neither of them have purchased return tickets to NYC.
On Day Jobs vs. Freelance
"I don't understand why someone would work for a company unless they had to," she muses. To Lisa, there is plenty of work to be done by freelancers and loads more freedom. Last September, when she left her full time job & decided to return to the world of freelance, she set only one goal: to not go back to working for anyone but herself. When asked what is the hardest thing about her freelance life, she says it's knowing how to "productize her offerings". "Marketing and especially Social Media marketing is pretty ephemeral," she explains. Unlike graphic design, it has no true deliverable. She relies on analytics to measure some parts of her work, but it's sometimes difficult to describe to prospective clients what product or service she actually provides. "Selling clients on the idea that I'm going to gain them more customers doesn't really work," she says, because it starts off on a negative note. No one wants to actually admit that they have a problem. But other parts of freelance life seem to come more naturally to Lisa. One thing I've heard over an over in talking with freelancers is how hard it can be to manage your time. She seems completely at ease with the lack of a schedule but says finding a dependable environment to work in is key. For the past couple months, Lisa has rented out a minimalist space in the Lower East Side alongside other creatives: fashion designers, stylists, and painters.
The Girl Gang
One thing Lisa & I share is a belief in girl-power. I've dreamt of having a design studio full of girls working in proximity on creative projects like video production, designing, drawing, and coding. Lisa's interpretation of girl power is exhibited in her first fashion line, Two Eggs. Over coffee, she pulls from her bag a light pink tutu, carefully pointing out the gold "$" signs embroidered all over. "That part was so expensive," she says. Makes sense. Following the tutu, she pulls out matching jewelry, necklaces, and bracelets, all of which she has made herself. Impressive. The line doesn't have an official launch date yet, but she is busy working on everything from product photography, materials sourcing, and designing. I can't wait to see the full line!
Lisa was kind enough to let me borrow her spot at 83 Hester, a co-working space, the week following our interview. Other tenants include fashion designers, stylists, and painters.