Long before the word ‘influencer’ entered our lexicon came the first wave of Youtubers and fashion bloggers — one that Korean-American Chriselle Lim was part of. A pioneer in digital fashion content, she first gained recognition as a stylist, before she began blogging and subsequently posting videos on Youtube under the name of The Chriselle Factor.
Over a decade has passed and Chriselle has achieved meteoric success as a trusted fashion influencer who now regularly works with some of the biggest fashion and jewellery houses in the world including Dior, Gucci, Fendi and Cartier. Her social media numbers are staggering; Chriselle has over a million followers on Instagram and almost three million on Tiktok.
Outside of social media, Chriselle is also an entrepreneur and mother of two girls. She, along with co-founder Joan Ngyuen, started Bümo: A company that reimagines the future of work and family by offering solutions for working parents. It opened its first Bümowork location in Los Angeles as a co-working space with dedicated licensed childcare.
Chriselle has also recently relaunched Phlur, a beauty brand that she acquired and unveiled four new fragrances – the first of which was inspired by her recent separation. We caught up with Chriselle on how she got started, life as a multi-hyphenate and how her new fragrance brand is guiding her healing.
How did you get started in this industry, from the early days of you as a stylist?
I went to school at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) and there I studied Fashion Merchandising as I had initially thought I wanted to become a buyer. However upon graduating, I got an internship at fashion PR agency Karla Otto which was just opening up their offices in LA. Through this internship, I got my first experience dealing with stylists that would come to the showroom to pull clothes for their celebrity stylists. Through Karla Otto I met celebrity fashion stylist Tanya Gill and became her assistant. Tanya was great at showing me the ropes and over time started handing off jobs to me as she was so busy so I was able to work on some great campaigns, commercials, and red carpets. This experience as a stylist earlier in my career was so formative in many ways and was the best training to becoming an entrepreneur later in my career.
In 2008 I began blogging and in 2011, I launched my YouTube channel. It’s funny as when I look back at the evolution of my career, I can’t say that I had a roadmap. In fact, I was just blindly moving through the industry seeking opportunities that excited me. It really is so neat looking back and seeing how everything fell into place to get me to where I am now.
What have been some of the most defining moments of your career?
There have been so many defining moments of my career but I think when I look back at all of them, the ones that I am the most proud of are the ones where I took a risk and pivoted my career. Pivoting from fashion creator/influencer to launching Bümo, a company that is reimagining what the future of family and work looks like for modern parents, has been so rewarding and has challenged me to expand my breadth of knowledge which has been really refreshing. Building Bümo has been a fulfilling and mental sanctuary. I feel much more balanced as a working mother now that I’ve been working from BümoWork because I’m able to carve out time to spend with my daughters whilst still running my various businesses.
Most recently I took on another project and I relaunched fragrance brand PHLUR as the Owner & Creative Director. Currently the fragrance is available on PHLUR.com and will be launching at Sephora.com starting March 31, 2022 and Sephora stores on April 8, 2022 . The success that we’ve seen with the launch has been beyond our wildest dreams.
Other highlights include Mattel creating a Barbie modelled after me my two daughters, being on the cover of Parents Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Of all the looks you’ve worn over the years, what are some of the most memorable ones?
Over the years, I’ve been able to build some really great relationships with some amazingly talented designers and have been lucky enough to wear so many beautiful pieces. Some of my favourite moments have come from Dior, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, and Givenchy.
What’s an average day in your life like, as a mum, entrepreneur and Chriselle the influencer?
Every day is different depending on the season, what launches and shoots I have, and what’s going on with my daughters’ lives. I will say that on an average morning, I wake up early around 5AM or 6AM as that is the one time during the day that I have for myself and time seems to slow down. Before the girls wake up, I read, journal, and meditate or get on my Peloton bike. That is advice that I always give working moms (and non-working moms): carve out time during the day to be selfish and to be with your own thoughts as that time will power you through your crazy days.
Once the girls wake up, it’s then off to the races. We get ready, eat breakfast and I drive them to school. The time I have with the girls in the car is also a time that I’ve come to cherish as it’s our time to talk about what they’re learning in school, observe and listen to my daughters talking to each other, and of course, listen and sing to their favourite girl brand, Black Pink!
Once I drop the girls off, I typically grab coffee on the go and head to work- work being whatever is on the schedule that day whether it be heading to Bümo for meetings, heading to the Dear Media studio to record my podcast, heading to a shoot on set, etc. I’m so lucky that I have an amazing team surrounding me to help me get through my days as they can be pretty hectic.
So much has changed in the last decade. I’ve been a fan since you started. I read your blog and watched your Youtube videos, and now I’m watching you on Tiktok and Instagram. How do you keep up with these constantly changing landscapes?
You have evolved so much over the years. Walk us through how you’ve built your business and various brands.
Describe some of the biggest challenges in your life today.
How would you describe your relationship with your followers today?
Now that you’re a veteran in this space, what keeps you driven about your job?
Tell us all about Phlur and Missing Person. What drew you to relaunch Phlur?
What else is in the pipeline for you?
All images are courtesy of Chriselle Lim