Meet the newest writer for Forbes – Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad has been tapped to write a column on chronicling her experiences as a young entrepreneur . For the next four months she will share her experiences running her clothing lines, writing her books and managing her websites. Her first article went live on Thursday.

Many of you are probably wondering why you should take a person like me seriously as an entrepreneur. For me, it’s pretty clear: I run two clothing lines, two web sites and a book franchise on top of directly managing my brand and endorsement deals. I’ve made a career out of allowing cameras to capture my personal life but that doesn’t make me “just another reality star” looking to start a clothing line. People often forget that I am a person who was documented for more than six years while pursuing a dream to make it in the fashion industry. The friends, the drama, the adventures, unfolded around that.

Protect your brand (Too bad more celebrities don’t subscribe to this attitude.)

When it comes to brand integrity, I’ve also learned that you don’t have to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Be selective. If I decided tomorrow that I wanted to become a singer simply because I could, it wouldn’t make any sense and people would have trouble supporting it. Be honest with yourself and stay true to your interests—your fans will follow and will respect you for sticking to your guns.

I took this picture right before I filmed Chelsea Lately. I wore a dress from my Paper Crown Holiday collection.

Staying Connected and Creating your own opportunities

After recognizing the power of social media, I launched two websites just a few months ago: and…Through these sites, I am able to present potential business partners with web analytics that show what my fans are interested in and how we could potentially channel that momentum into successful products and partnerships. Web data is valuable and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned recently is that information is a passport to success.

These are shots of the Paper Crown look book. We have to sort through thousands of photos and pick our favorites (this is not an easy job when you have models as lovely as ours who don't take a bad photo).

Transform Setbacks

When I was told that MTV would not be moving forward with a show surrounding the development of my clothing line, Paper Crown, I was disappointed. MTV said the show wasn’t the right fit for their audience and in retrospect, I realize all of the pieces didn’t fit together as nicely as I had hoped. Due to the nature of the fashion industry, most people were reluctant to allow cameras into their work place and many thought the show cheapened the brand because of the stigma attached to reality shows. I was also concerned that what might be entertaining on television may not be perceived as good business sense.

When it was decided we would not be moving forward with the project, we were faced with the challenge of providing our own publicity for Paper Crown in a short amount of time. We got the word out through various social media channels, in addition to a cover we booked with Lucky Magazine, which featured Paper Crown pieces for the cover shot. Sales for our first season were beyond our expectations and we landed an account with Nordstrom. Even though the TV show failed to materialize, we were able to transform the setback into a marketing success and an opportunity to establish credibility.

This is a behind-the-scenes photo from the Paper Crown Holiday look book shoot. The shoots are thrilling and make all your work seem so real.

We made this sign for our Holiday look book shoot by covering a lettered garland with glitter. (I love incorporating crafts into my job!)

While I was down at the Paper Crown factory one day, we were deciding how we were going to have the tiers of one of our dresses look. Our brilliant pattern maker made up some different options for use to choose from.

More color swatches…One of my favorite parts about starting the design process each season is picking a color story.

Here's another picture I took at our Paper Crown Holiday 2011 look book shoot. As usual, we had a wonderful time shooting all the pieces and bringing them to life.

Whenever I get a chance, I do builds with Habitat for Humanity.

Because ONTD hates to read paragraphs heres a summary:

She’s a credible source because she runs her own companies and manages her own endorsements.

She protects her brand by being selective about which opportunities she takes hence why she will not be launching a singing career any time soon.

She has linked her websites with her facebook and twitter. She collects data through her websites that she can use to suggest opportunities to potential business partners.

MTV canceling the show about her new Paper Crown line was for the best. Vendors didn’t want to work with her on camera and a tv show would have cheapened the brand.

She used social networking to make up for the loss of promotion from MTV and her line, Paper Crown ended up scoring an account with Nordstrom’s.

Full article and pics at source

Remember her dog Chloe Conrad-Bosworth? Here’s a recent pic of her sleeping under Lauren’s bed