Hands down our favorite thing about blogging in Chicago is all the amazing + interesting people we’ve crossed paths with!  Today, we’ve decided to introduce you to one of them, Emily VanderBeek.  Emily is in advertising by day, and blogging by night.  We instantly fell in love with her site, Isn’t That Charming, her mad DIY skills, and her chic street style.  Join us in getting to know a bit more about Emily!
How long have you lived in Chicago, and what brought you here?
I’ve lived in Chicago for almost 4 years. Originally from Michigan, I came here to go to graduate school at DePaul University. I worked full time while going to school at night, and completed my M.A. in PR and Advertising in June of 2011. After graduating, I landed a job working in social media at DDB, an advertising agency, and that’s what I’ve been doing since.

You’re in advertising- are you as into Mad Men as we are?

Yes! I love Mad Men. In my humble opinion, it’s the best screen writing on tv today. And who can resist Don Draper? Not I.
And in case you’re wondering, Mad Men’s depiction of working in advertising is totally accurate. Of course, times have changed, but the basics of the field have remained the same.

Why Blog? 

I started my blog as a creative outlet. Being in advertising, I’m surrounded by some very creative and inspirational people who encouraged me to explore that side of myself more. I started Isn’t That Charming in September and now that I have a blog I can’t imagine life without it. It’s been an amazing networking tool, enables me to share things with others that would normally never see the light of day, and has allowed for me to develop my own personal brand, which I believe is invaluable.

What has been the biggest surprise of having your own blog?

How time consuming it is! It’s a lot of work – some posts can take hours and growing it/maintaining it is a full time job within itself. You’re really putting yourself and your thoughts/expressions out there, which can be hard sometimes, especially knowing how judgmental people can be. With that said, I’ve also been surprised by both how supportive & unsupportive people are. Some people come out of the woodworks to tell you how much they love what they’re doing, and others that you’d hope would be more vocal don’t say a word. It’s very strange. But I guess that’s life.

Describe your personal style?

Classy city girl meets boho chic.

Who would play you in a movie and why?

Jennifer Lawrence. She and I have the same disposition – we don’t take things too seriously, are down to earth, like to have fun, and are at times slightly awkward. I like to think that awkwardness makes me endearing like her. But that’s something you’ll have to ask those laughing with (at?) me.

What’s your perfect Chicago day?

A warm Saturday in the summertime. It’s filled with brunch, a trip to the farmers market, laying on the beach with a good book, and rooftop wine chats with friends at night. 

What are your favorite hidden gems in the city?

Art Effect – It’s been one of my favorite stores in Chicago since I moved here. I could spend hours perusing in there. 
Randolph Street Market – It’s filled with SO many great finds, from vintage jewelry & clothing to materials for DIY projects and furniture.

You do a lot of DIY on your blog- have any good “DIY gone bad” stories?

More than I’d like to admit. Here’s one – over the winter I tried to spray paint a candle holder with glitter spray and the spray pretty much exploded all over the project and street that I was on (I was painting outside because of the fumes). That one definitely didn’t make the blog. I can actually still see the glitter on the sidewalk, which I slyly smile at on account of adding a little color to the city. 

Who takes your outfit photos on the blog?

Mostly I do! I have a tripod that I set up. Imagine me pressing the little button, running in front of the camera, posing, and then running back to do it all over again. It’s pretty funny and admittedly so strange. Sometimes my boyfriend will take them, which I like better because he’s able to get different angles and close-ups that I can’t get when working with a tripod. 

What’s your “10 Year Plan”?

I don’t have one! I’m a big believer on “what’s meant to be will be”. I do, however, have many goals that I’d like to see accomplished within 10 years, including writing a book, having a family, and traveling to far away places like Thailand. Regardless of where I’m at, I just hope to be happy, which is something I strive for in whatever I do.

What’s your favorite room in your place and why?

I live in a studio apartment, so it’s all in one room! My favorite part about my place is the view. I have big windows that let a lot of sunlight in, and they face downtown Chicago as well as all of Lincoln Park. It’s spectacular.

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12 Responses to Meet Emily Vanderbeek

  1. michelle says:

    So glad to have met her! I am checking out her site right the now, love the dress she is wearing w/the ankle boots..

  2. Emily says:

    Thanks so much for having me, ladies! Loved how this turned out, and it’s always great to work with fellow Chicago bloggers. xo
    Isn’t That Charming.

  3. You girls from Chicago are so chic!!

  4. giedre says:

    Yay for more fun Chicago bloggers to check out! :) x

  5. Alyssa says:

    I adore Emily–and her blog. She’s so sweet and creative (and gorgeous, at that!)…thanks for the great feature!

  6. […] to Spice Girls. We were talking about how she found my blog, which was through Amelia’s feature on me a while back. We then bonded over women-to-women outreach in general. Doing her own PR, she’s […]

  7. […] out (Yes, in the name of being honest, it happens), DIY’s gone bad (Read my interview on The Chicago Life for a little more context) or the nights in which creativity feels like a […]

  8. […] out (Yes, in the name of being honest, it happens), DIY’s gone bad (Read my interview on The Chicago Life for a little more context) or the nights in which creativity feels like a […]

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