Punch Profiles: People to Know / 10 Questions with Stacey Ferguson, Blogalicious co-Founder & Chief Curator aka Justice Fergie
The first time I had heard of Blogalicious was via a new acquaintance, Xina Eiland, whom I’d met through my fresh involvement with ColorComm.Â The fun name intrigued me, after all, it incorporated my line of profession (well most of it) and anything ending with “licious” is right up my alley.Â So I did my social media duty and went to the website, started following on Twitter and liked on Facebook, as directed.
Through my research, I learned the the founder, a beautiful, fearless, go-getter leader (with style), Stacey Ferguson who is aka Chief Curator and Justice Fergie, had boundless energy and a constant smile on her face.Â Some of her accomplishments in recent years include being a vlogger personality for SheKnowsâ€™ Mommalogues,Â being named as a Babble Top 50 Twitter Mom in 2011, and lends her social media expertise to events everywhere from MediaBistroâ€™s Social Media Marketing Bootcamp to the BlogHer conferences and beyond.Â Anyone can follow her at @JusticeFergie (she has over 4,700 followers) and basically, Stacey is all over the web.
But when I had the chance to talk with her, I found out she’s not a newbie to the social media universe. Interestingly enough, the “recovering technology lawyer” and mom of three, started blogging in 2006, the same year I did and launched the Blogalicious community a few years later to “serve as a supportive platform for its members to develop their social media presence, blogs, brands, and businesses.”
Pamela’s Punch:Â We understand you once held a profession that is quite popular in Washington, DC: an attorney. But before we go there, tell us a bit about your younger years.
Stacey Ferguson:Â My younger years were spent growing up in Montreal, Canada. It was a great childhood! Filled with memories of family and friends. I was a very active child and participated in a range of activities from Girl Scouts to figure skating and playing the clarinet. I also won the award for “Best Butt” at my high school prom
PP:Â And how did you get to law school? Â What type of law did you practice?
SF:Â I wish I could say that “I knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a little girl!” but…that really wasn’t the case. I majored in Television and Radio Production in college and was looking forward to a career in media, but, once I saw the starting salaries for Production Assistants in those fields, I was discouraged. I decided to do what so many people do when they’re not sure what to do…go to law school!
As it turns out, I really enjoyed law school and actually discovered an interest in technology and Internet law (which was a nascent field back in 1999). Â I ended up joining a AM LAW 100 firm with plans on pursuing entertainment law. Ten years later, I am proud to say that I am an accomplished technology attorney with expertise in consumer protection, advertising, and social media law.
PP:Â Let’s get to the fun stuff. Blogging. How/why did you start and what was your focus?
SF:Â I started blogging in 2006 as an outlet to share my challenges and stories about work-life balance. Â My first blog, Mamalaw.com, was a group blog with two friends that I had gone to law school with. Â We were all dealing with juggling being attorneys with young families and used the blog as a way to give and receive advice and build a support system in the form of a blogging community.
PP:Â As you look back now on your first posts, what do you think? How have you seen your style change over the years?
SF:Â Oh my first posts are hysterical (as in lame)!Â I was a stickler about sticking to our legal theme.Â I came up with the idea of giving ourselves aliases with the prefix of “Justice” as if we were judges holding court. The concept was cute, but boy did those aliases ever stick. To this day, people know me as Justice Fergie and are shocked to find out it’s not my real name. Â Those first posts were all legal-themed with “verdicts” and other legal jargon. *gag!* My blogging voice has DEFINITELY evolved over the years; nowadays I’m much less calculated and my style is rooted in light-heartedness and connecting on a personal level. Â I do love that that chaotic period in my life (3 kids in 5 years) is all documented on the blog though.
My personal brand has also evolved a lot. Â In 2009, I started a food blog called FOODe (showcasing my love for food and social media). That grew into my current blog in its present iteration: “Justice Fergie’s Life IS the Party” – a lifestyle blog inspiring women to live richly. Â I write about Food, Family, Style, Success, and Life. Through that umbrella, I’ve built a media company consisting of events, consulting, speaking, and more. Â It’s 100% me and I love it.
PP:Â You are a wife, a mommy of several, an entrepreneur, a national business leader, and a visionary. Â Here is the question every woman wants to know. “Can a woman have it all?”
SF:Â I wish I had the answer!Â I think that women need to be flexible and be ready and willing to bend and adapt as life calls. Also critically important is having a support system; I’m fortunate to have a super duper husband and wonderful friends and family to keep me sane.
Here’s a funny fact: I am so used to having someone ask me “How do you do it all?” at least 3x week, that I started to put it down on paper. Look for a “how-to” book on the subject coming soon….
PP:Â Tell us about Blogalicious.
SF:Â Blogalicious is a community and conference devoted to celebrating diversity in social media. Â It was started in 2009 and has grown by leaps and bounds ever since. Â Our community of multicultural social influencers is extremely passionate and vocal and we wanted to give them a platform that mainstream blogging outlets weren’t giving women bloggers of color at the time. Â Our main event is the annual Blogalicious Weekend conference that takes place each fall. We recently had our 2012 event in Las Vegas – it was on FIRE!
PP:Â How have you seen Blogalicious and the social media industry along with women of color in that industry evolve since your first event?
SF:Â Oh it’s evolved tremendously. Â Four years ago, there were only a handful of people on Twitter and Facebook wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today, so it was much harder to build a community and get access to opportunities. Â Nowadays it’s so easy to connect with others in your niche, no matter what your background. Â From a marketing standpoint, women of color have since demonstrated that that they are a powerhouse demographic that brands need to pay attention to.Â Blogalicious serves as a medium for building community, connecting with brands, and building personal and micro brands.
PP:Â What is next for Blogalicious?
SF:Â We are ALWAYS evolving to meet the needs of our community and to keep our influencers ahead of the social media game. Â Take a look back at the last 4 years and you’ll see that we’ve launched projects of all kinds from downloadable social media eGuides to a documentary film to #BeUplifted Twitter chats, to our bLink Marketing Network. Â There are several exciting projects in the works, the first of which is our Social Action Circle which will leverage the influence of our community for social good.
PP:Â What is next for you?
SF:Â I’m serial entrepreneur who is positively PLAGUED with new ideas daily!Â I’m working on building my Justice Fergie Lifestyle brand into a true media company with multiple channels and assets.
PP:Â And yes, we always have to ask your subjects, what are your favorite haunts in Washington DC (or DMV)?
SF:Â Great question! I’m loving the DC food scene right now, especially the food trucks!! TaKorean or EatWonky or Sinplicity are some of my faves.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.