Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Member Spotlight: bullygrrl

Today's spotlight is on bullygrrl, winner of our Rep Your College contest! She's a creative strategist whose avocation is advocating for pit bulls, and she's been styling away on Polyvore for two years. Check out some of her sets:

Marni Print Fever

New Year's Resolution 2011

La Grande Boucle

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Erika Knudson, I grew up in Wyoming and live in Bloomington, Indiana. I am 43 years old, am married to an art historian, and our family includes two American Pit Bull Terrier mix dogs, a German Shepherd mix dog, and a cat. I work as Director of Strategy and Client Relations for Indiana University's internal ad agency/branding and marketing operation, IU Communications.

I love animals, fashion, writing, reading, and learning people's stories. On the weekends, I volunteer at my local animal shelter (Bloomington Animal Care and Control) as an adoption counselor and animal photographer. I am listed on the Pitbull Rescue Central website as a resource for people who need help rescuing pit bull-type dogs.

In my day (and often night!) job, I help the Indiana University and our internal clients identify their part of the Indiana University brand story. With my creative and informational/emerging technology colleagues, I create marketing strategies to help the university recruit students, cultivate alumni and donors, and communicate with the world. I have been fortunate to connect in my work with amazing alumni of Indiana University who are in the fashion world, including fashion blogger Jessica Quirk and men's fashion director of Singer22 and blogger, Jace Lipstein. I love my job, the projects we get to work on, and the new things I learn and people I meet every day!

What's the story behind your Polyvore profile name?

My avocation is to serve as an advocate of pit bull terrier-type dogs, a now life-long dedication that started when my husband and I signed up to be a foster home for homeless and abandoned dogs for our local animal shelter. Our second foster dog was a pit bull named Cuddles--he was torn up and scarred all over his body and the shelter believed he had been abused. He was going to be euthanized if he didn't find a foster home, and when my husband and I walked up to his kennel, he looked at us soulfully, threw back his head, and howled his story. We took him home that night and he has never left. Cuddles (whose mission in life is to snuggle anyone in his vicinity) was the start of a parade of pit bull foster dogs through our house, and the beginning of my passion to advocate for a terribly misunderstood and deeply loving breed of dog. I adopted "bullygrrl" as my Twitter name and alter ego, and so it was natural to keep that as my profile name when I joined Polyvore.

On Polyvore I can follow my other passion (for fashion!) ... and it is a somewhat unconventional way to advocate for so-called bully breeds. Sometimes people send me Polyvore messages asking if I am a bully, or they are puzzled and think I am advocating bullying... but it is the exact opposite. I stand against those who would bully or hurt people and animals... I stand up for the breed of dogs that has been most misunderstood and mistreated.

What are your personal aspirations/goals?

I feel lucky to be in a job that allows me to meet new people and learn new things every day. It's a long way from my childhood dream, which was to be a jazz flutist and to write for the New Yorker! I'd still love to do the second half of that dream--I am a writer at heart and am happiest when I have uncovered a good story and have found an innovative way to tell it. I would love to work at Polyvore in another life (or perhaps later in this one!) I'd also like to dedicate my life to speaking and writing about pit bulls to help change perceptions about these dogs in a significant way.

How has Polyvore affected your life?

Since I have moved from being "creative" to a strategy and client services position, my writing has moved from writing stories and marketing copy to writing proposals and strategy statements. As my work life has changed, Polyvore provides me with a deeply creative outlet, a place for my imagination to play and create. I have also made deep friendships with people around the world on this site, and have been able to connect with and be inspired by some truly remarkable people. I have met two of my Polyfriends in real life and text, e-mail, and call one Polyfriend regularly. I find the site to be a bit addicting and sometimes have to remind myself to go outside and play!

Describe your personal sense of style.

My personal sense of style is a little eclectic, a pinch of edgy, feminine, and runs the spectrum from my "creative professional" persona to my grungy dog-walker garb. I love wearing high heels and boots.

What are some of your favorite brands?

Well, I LOVE Marni. Its combination of patterns and shapes delights me and I find endless hours of fun putting together virtual Marni outfits on Polyvore. On a more attainable note, I enjoy clothing from Banana Republic and Anthropologie, thrift shop finds, and hand-me-downs from stylish friends. My dream designer wardrobe would be stocked with Marni, Miu Miu, Anne Demulemeester, Rick Owens, and Rodarte.

Got any requests for the Polyvore team?

You guys rock. Love the site, love the contests, love the community you have created. Two requests: Polyvore meet-ups around the world, and a way to identify and track your favorite friends on the site.


Anonymous said...

It was awesome reading about you BullyGrrl! We know you are no bully but an awesome dog lover and poly friend! Congrats on your win!!! I'm so happy they did a spot light on you! I learned so much more about you! Take care and keep that big heart of your open always. It makes you who you are and from what I've seen, a sweet person.


eating-cheese-on-toast said...

I love the "Polyvore meet-ups around the world" idea!

br0k3n said...

CONGRATS on being interviewed BullyGrrl! I had so much fun reading your delightful answers - you are such a beautiful person, inside and out!

br0k3n from polyvore =)

blujay said...

Congrats Erika! You deserve to have the spotlight shined in your direction!
<3 Lu

Cait Emma said...

love these combinations! nice to meet you BullyGrrl!

C |

carra said...

Congratulations honey on your fantastic interview. You have such a great talent and are an amazing polyvore friend. I have enjoyed reading and learning more about you. Also your work in advocating for a misunderstood breed of dog is amazing as an animal lover this really touches me. well done you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hortensie said...

It was great to read this interview! I looove love idea of Polyvore meet-up around the world!

ginevra-18 said...

Congrats darling!!! I love your interview! Thanks for your friendship and for show us your big love for animals and life! :)

Julieta said...

Congrats Erika!!! And thanks to Polyvore for letting us know more about you, you're very talented and one of the most kind and sweetest friends I have met at Polyvore, and I support your "meet-ups around the world" ideas!

Lidia Solymosi said...

Congrats my friend. yeeeeeeeeey for you. I learned more about you again.Love your creative mind and I am super happy to be your friend here on Polyvore. Keep up creating your Marni sets and thank you for your kind spirit. Congrats on the winning again and this interview rocks. Love ya

Robsfriend73 said...

Congratulations on being in the spotlight, sweetheart!!! So well deserved! Love you!!! x Naomi

Noemi said...

This is awesome Erika, it is great to be able to know more about you, I love your idea of "Polyvore meet-ups" hopefully we will all get to meet one day!!! Thank you for your constant support, I am so glad to have you as a Poly-friend. Congratulations you so deserve the spotlight!!!
♥ Noemi
Fashion: Classy N Glamorous

Anonymous said...

YAYYY!!! :D Congratulations, dear. Super interview. Great job!
Seelah. *

Alexandra said...

Congratulations for this blog post! You so well deserved to win the IU contest, and you are amzingly creative and such a nice person!!! I am so proud we have met on Polyvore! Hugs. AlexxandraT

Anonymous said...

How amazing to be profiled by Polyvore I am so happy for you! Great that everyone can read more about you and see your wonderful sets! xoxo

mars said...

This is an amazing interview, I enjoyed reading and knowing more about my dear bullygrrl! She's such a wonderful and inspirational person! I also like the idea about Polyvore meet-ups around the world. :) Congrats on the spotlight dear! :)

beegis said...

Nice job, Erika! Loved reading your spotlight. Your sets inspire me all the time. Cheers from me and my pack of rescue dogs!

achie said...

WOW great interview, Erika!! :))
I'm happy to read & know more about you!! You're very nice person!
Congrats sweetie!

ulovemylaundry said...

loved the interview ! Keep up the fabulous sets & inspirational lifestyle!


uptowngirlxoxo said...


Regally Rebekah said...

Way to go bullygrrl! You are such a creative individual who is always full of new and exciting ideas!! I can never get enough of your original sense of style and work of art!!! You are truly one-of-a-kind my polyfriend!! Congratulations Erika!!! <3 Rebekah aka RegallyBlonde

CD Duplication said...

Wow it’s really great, it’s new era of fashion. It will be like by every age group.

malisha said...

Darling Erika!!!!!!!!!!!Awesome!!!
Congrats on your interview!!!It was such a pleasure to get you know a little better!!The most deserving candidate to be on the Spotlight!!You are as wonderful a human being as you are exceptionally creative!!!Keep the good work going in life and on Poly and delighting so many of us!!

lexuslady said...

Congrats, bullygir, for being in the spotlight. You certainly deserve recognition for your creative abilities,loving heart and kindness towards furry friends/family. Polyvore is a wonderful place to meet people who enrich our you, Erika.

Aclaire Jewelry said...

Congrats, Erika! I'm so happy for you! Great write up and interview. Well-earned and deserved!

buttercup08 said...

You are such a talented, supportive, sweet, and wonderful Polyfriend!! I sooooooo enjoy reading your awesome comments and look forward to them. Congrats on a fantastic interview!!!!

Hooded Sweatshirts said...

Congradulations, I really enjoyed the interview.

Anonymous said...

A M A Z I N G , interview, Erika! I love the photo of you
with the adorable puppy. Thanks for sharing about your interesting life, dreams and electric creativity
in such an awesome and open way!!!!
Many kudos for all the work you do with the dogs.
You are helping people understand what a beautiful breed pitt bulls are.
Your style so creative and bold. It is always exciting to
see your new designs!!!!!
Lots of Love, grrl!!!!! xoxoxo Agatha

joomla development services said...

Wow, these are interesting woolen wear; it’s a best creation of designer. I like each woolen item of this winner wear.

toshiba laptop repair said...

That's great, mostly I like the foot wear, and its design is beautiful. I really like it.

Fumiko Kawa said...

congrats my dear, you are such a nice person, I like this interview, and your answer is rocks!
btw, I really support "Polyvore meet-ups around the world"!! it's already excited to hear this^^

take care,
Fumiko Kawa from Polyvore.

Tugce Tufekci said...

Wow! She is my dearest polyfriend Erika! She's so positive girl! Congrats Erika..

Adoption Agency said...

The information is precisely one of the desirable source every reader should takes place of. Keep on partaking such useful information. Good Luck

pet supplies chicago said...

Those dog shoes are absolutely adorable. I can imagine the stress I'd go through if I try to put that on my dog though.

ITarticle said...

you're blog is so well organized, congratulations.

Anne Collins said...

Its time that all the small advertising agencies in new york or anywhere in the globe should here what Erika can about developing interest towards creating a creative and artistic concepts in building new designs to present to the public. I think it only takes one inspiration just like Ericka to make things like this possible.

emerging technology said...

Congratulations, I really enjoyed the interview.