Fashion Forward

Lauren "Daisy" Lewellyn takes the next step in her career

investments, to which at one time she committed nearly half of her paycheck. She routinely had a portion of her check go straight to her financial adviser. She contributed $200 every two weeks to a Roth IRA, which now totals $5,000. And her stake in the Davis NY Venture Growth Fund (NYVTX) now stands at $9,000 after a steady $300 contribution in the same two-year time frame.

Without a steady paycheck every week, Lewellyn initially found it difficult to budget. And there was always a question of when her client’s checks would arrive. Because her bills were due throughout the month, she arranged to have as many of her bills as possible due on the first or 15th. She had enough money coming in to meet her fixed expenses of $2,700, and whenever she was able, Lewellyn paid bills, such as her health insurance, in advance in anticipation of possible dips in her income.

For the first few months Lewellyn chose financing an emergency fund over her existing investment plan. After Lewellyn mastered the ebb and flow of her new career and established a two- to three-month cushion, she returned to her investing life. She now has $3,430 parked in a money market account and is also starting a new retirement savings account designed for the self-employed: either a Keogh plan or SEP IRA.

This spring, Lewellyn relocated to Los Angeles, where she now does regular television fashion and beauty segments on E! and KTLA. She has also hired an agent to cross-market her name as a potential spokeswoman for brands such as Downy and Jergens and to handle red carpet fashion commentaries. But her ultimate goal is to create a lifestyle brand, licensing her name for clothes, candles, food, stationery, and more.

Lewellyn’s Advice:
Contact someone who inspires you. You’d be surprised at the number of people who want to share their story about how they made it (but are never asked). In the magazine business, is the only Website dedicated to editorial mastheads.

Know faces. Lewellyn not only knows the names of the key players in the industries she follows but can also recognize them. and post pictures of movers and shakers, along with the latest style news and trends.

Live within your means. Position yourself to be able to seize an opportunity when it arises. Because Lewellyn was disciplined about saving, she was able to quit her job to pursue an opportunity that she was excited about and increase her income.

Maximize your return on savings. Lewellyn chose an FDIC-backed online money market and savings account with ING Direct. Several online banks offer higher interest rates than those of traditional banks. Do your research on to find out who’s offering the best rates.

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