THE STRANGER | Michelle Lara Lin

Photographer: Wayne Lin

Hello. I’m writing this from the airport in Denver an hour before my flight to New York and long train ride to Montreal. I’m jetlagged, sick, and running on 3 hours of sleep from last night. Today I spent the whole day talking and networking with entrepreneurs, and despite how much I loved the experience and enjoyed meeting all the amazing people, I am exhausted beyond belief. I am on the verge of passing out, but I will force myself to publish this entry so that I can get a big load off my shoulders.  It will help clear up some misconceptions. This is mainly a response to a comment about the direction that my blog has headed lately.

THE STRANGER | Michelle Lara Lin

There has been a lack of deep, provocative writing on the blog recently– the type of writing that drew some of you to read my blog. It’s going to be this way for at least the next two month or so. Why? Because I don’t have the time. Or more appropriately worded, I have chosen to delegate my time efficiently, and spend it on other passions that are more important to me. Writing is damn time-consuming. If you write, you know how tormenting it can be to painstakingly craft something as short as a paragraph. It’s not abnormal to spend weeks isolated in a cave just to produce some short prose of decent quality.

THE STRANGER | Michelle Lara Lin

So what are these other passions that are more important to me? There are some things about myself that I don’t mention here on The Stranger, because I don’t want to confuse people. I think my whole fashion-meets-art-meets-literature-meets-psychology-meets-personal-stories-meets-writing thing going on is already confusing enough. In some past entries, I did vaguely mention a startup that I was working on, but I stopped talking about it after I realized that it was confusing people too much. It is confusing to explain what I do. Fashion blogging? Designing websites? Freelancing? Working a startup? A fashion startup? No? Huh? Wtf are you doing? As a result, I’ve tried to keep my work in technology and identity in fashion as separate as possible.

THE STRANGER | Michelle Lara Lin

But yes, I am running a startup called Quotesome. My brother and I are cofounders. I do the frontend development, he does the backend development. We handle all the business, marketing, pitching, meetings, and everything else together. We’re here in Colorado because of it. Over the course of a month, we’ll be going across North America working, pitching, and meeting investors. I don’t believe in the glorification of busyness, which is why I avoid whining about how much work a startup is. So excuse me as I very ironically whine for a moment to explain my perspective. Saying that running a startup is like working three full-time jobs is an understatement. You’re understaffed, so two people end up handling the work of ten people, and most likely underpaid. Oh and you’re likely on the brink of mental sanity from all the uncertainty, doubt, and endless stress. (Thank Darwin for running.) There is nothing glamorous about running a startup. I don’t think most sane individuals would think of pursuing one. It takes absurd amounts of passion to persevere.

THE STRANGER | Michelle Lara Lin

So I hope you understand why I don’t write more sensitive entries like I used to. I understand that because of the lack of written content, it comes off as if I’ve decided to “sell out” or promote “materialism” just to appease bigger brands and attract more collaborations.. The reality couldn’t be more staggeringly different. I just don’t have the time or inner leisure to attend to every single passion simultaneously. After a long day of work, stress, coding, planning, emailing, arguing with my cofounder, trying to create a sense of direction in a new business that frequently feels directionless, the last thing I want to do is pull an all-nighter just to write a long entry for The Stranger about some topic that I’ll always have the chance to address in the future. Instead, I want to post an aesthetically pleasing outfit post that isn’t intended to provoke or stir people. I don’t want to slap some message or philosophy behind every single outfit I wear, that would not only be pretentious, but incredibly dishonest. When I spend most of my time stressing over Quotesome (everything from the design to business model to the strength to just fucking ship things), these simple outfit posts are the entries that I genuinely enjoy posting. They are a gentle and lighthearted remedy to the emotional roller coaster of running a startup. I hope this makes sense. :)

THE STRANGER | Michelle Lara Lin

Convertible maxi dress c/o MLB
Necklace (used as bracelet here) c/o Rich & Stack
Ralph Lauren scarf


even if you are doing a startup,the quality of your posts is still very remarkable. it’s one of the reasons why i even bothered making a new facebook after deleting my old. love keeping up with your updates.

  • I’m new to your site but I feel that your writing has a really great quality to it. Your startup is very interesting and I feel that it can easily melt into this blog. Why should fashion and style be separated from the written word?


  • I completely understand. Thank you for taking the time to address my comment. I hope that I didn’t come off rude or un-empathetic as those were not my intentions. To me following a blog is like following a journey and yours is a journey I definitely want to stick around and watch.

    • Hello Ashley! Sorry for getting back so late. I finally have some time to adequately respond to comments. You didn’t come off as rude at all, don’t worry! I think a lot of readers were having the same thoughts as you, so I definitely needed to clarify a few things. Thank you for sticking around <3

      Lots of love. x

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