We had the good fortune of connecting with Camille Todaro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camille, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
I’ve never felt like you have to find your path in one set thing; if you’re exceptional at multiple things, why not pursue those and see what comes of it? I’m a writer at heart. I have a print media background. For a long time I felt like I had to be one or the other. I struggled with how to define myself. I knew I liked the freedom that came with freelancing, like being able to write an article for a magazine based in L.A when you’re on the other side of the country. I had a brief stint at an advertising agency and I felt like I was dying a slow death; the office chatter, the gray cubicle aesthetic, waiting for the clock to hit 5:00 so I could go sit in traffic for nearly two hours; I didn’t want any of that. So I set out to create more streams of income in addition to writing. What happened was three e-commerce brands, each an extension of myself. One with punchy, bold home decor, another with kitschy office accessories for freelancers, and the latest, which is more feminist and in your face. When the pandemic hit, many were scrambling to make ends meet, but, it’s 2020. We have more resources than EVER to create something and take it to fruition. The pandemic definitely accelerated my hustle.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I guess you could say I like doing the really hard things; it’s the only way to see your true grit. I didn’t want to graduate with a mountain of loan debt, so I danced through college, all over the country. It was fun, sometimes scary and exciting all the same. I began to write a book about the weird stuff I would encounter, it was a great observation of the human condition. Some 40,000 words later, that book was discovered by the Editor-in-Chief at Penthouse, and from there I had my first byline. I was over the moon; this was what I had worked for. The people I worked with were esoteric and unapologetic in their work and it definitely helped to be in the company of people who thought big. From there, other bylines followed but I never lost that entrepreneurial knack for creating. And that’s when I created three online brands. The pandemic hit and I lost a few good paying clients I did copy for. But, it forced me to learn how to pivot; all of us have had to really think long and hard in this uncertain time and I think it’s only solidified our survival skills, one of those being a sense of hustle. What are you good at, and how can you monetize it? I had bounced some ideas around for a long time with regard to home decor and apparel, and then finally one day I just threw myself in, head first.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
La La Land cafe has the most amazing lavender matcha latte. I also like Si Tapas for some amazing paella!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be here without the help of my good friend Sam who’s an e-commerce wizard, operating five stores! I think you’re definitely the product of the company you keep. I didn’t think this was true when I was younger, but now, I think it’s definitely indicative of your success to be around people who will challenge you and foster your ideas. I’ve never cared for being around people who just placate. Tell me if I could do better. Tell me if something in fact, sucks. If you’re around people that pander and never offer constructive criticism, how are you going to elevate to your highest potential?
Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/pompblossom, https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheScribeHive, https://www.etsy.com/shop/AngstyAddie
Instagram: @camille_writes, @pompblossom, @the_scribehive, @angsty_addie
Photos by me.