Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Anna Price Olson: Finding a Sweet Home in Alabama and New York City

Two women with the same first name rode the elevator down the Conde Nast building one Wednesday afternoon. They both had thin frames, short blonde bobs and have traveled the world due to their involvement in fashion journalism. One of the “Anna”s stepped off on floor 12 to resume her duties as the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. The other, a perhaps lesser known name at this point in time, stepped her pointed heel onto floor 8 to resume her duties as the features intern at Brides.

Anna Price Olson traveled 1,018.5 miles from her home in Thomasville, Georgia to stand in the elevator with one of the industry’s most known figures. Her Southern roots are evident in her double first name, Anna Price, which she reminds her new friends and coworkers should be pronounced as if it were one word. Her Southernness is also manifested in her long, even stride that remains constant despite the hurried steps of frenzied New Yorkers rushing beside her. Then there are her vocal mannerisms, which are marked by the way she frequently slips “y’all” into conversations.

“I didn’t realize how bad my Southern accent was til I got here,” she says with an embarrassed laugh.

One thing Anna Price didn't have to discover when she got here, however, was the dynamics of working at a wedding magazine. She interned at Atlanta Weddings magazine last summer where she interviewed brides-to-be, composed a photo essay and identified wedding dress trends. Now, at Brides, Anna Price researches story ideas and writes a daily etiquette post for the website.

To prepare to give her daily dose of wedding etiquette, she spent her first day reading Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette. Because her mom wanted to send her to the city with an etiquette book of her own, Anna Price's mother was proud to hear what her daughter did on her first day.

“I didn't take the book with me before I left," she says. "I was like, ‘Mom, I have good manners.'"

While saying “thank you, ma’am” has always been a part of Anna Price’s life, following a definite career plan has not. Anna Price didn’t choose to attend the University of Alabama for its journalism program, or for its renowned football reputation. In fact, she didn’t buy a season pass for the football tickets this year and calls herself the “worst fan ever.”

“I was a cheerleader in high school so I know offense from defense and that’s about it,” she says.

But she is fond of the buzzing Game Day atmosphere, which is part of the reason why she fell in love with the UA campus on a college visit.  

She began her coursework as an English major, a major she chose because she’d always loved reading and writing, especially novels from the 1920s. After she found that she enjoyed her journalism minor classes, she decided to declare an additional major in journalism.

When she returns to UA for her senior year, Anna Price will work as a writer for Mosaic magazine, the official publication of the UA Honors College, where she particularly enjoys writing profiles. Anna Price has also worked for Alpine Living magazine, which is a biannual travel magazine published by the university. Her role as the fashion editor took her to Spain and Portugal with other staff members of the magazine. Anna Price’s interest in fashion extends farther than her knowledge of prints and designer names. She’s a “total history nerd” when it comes to fashion and enjoys visiting the homes of famous fashion designers and learning how trends have evolved over time.

Anna Price is quite the fashionista in her own right. Her friend and fellow Alpine Living writer Lindsee Gentry describes her style as a mix of Nicole Kidman and Gwenyth Paltrow, and always put together with classics and basics full of pops of color. Lindsee says Anna Price’s personality is even more vibrant than her wardrobe.

“She'll tell you her honest opinion, even if you don't want to hear it sometimes,” she says.

Her bluntness and bubbly personality have been assets to Anna Price’s journalism career. Lindsee says Anna Price is always able to ask questions that other journalists miss — the ones that reveal more humanity and a personal side of the story to draw the reader in.

Although Anna Price loves fashion and writing about it, she jokingly admits that she’s not sure she’s “tough enough” to make it in the fashion industry. While she’s still trying to figure out what her dream job is, she knows that she wouldn’t mind living in New York City, despite the noticeable lack of her favorite Southern food chain, Chick-Fil-A.

After mastering the subway system, holding her own amongst industry celebrities and making a name for herself at her Brides internship, y’all will be happy to know Anna Price is proving to be more than "tough enough" during her summer in the city. 

Written by: Allison Pohle, University of Missouri-Columbia, Ladies' Home Journal
Edited by: Andrea Baumgartner, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Good Housekeeping 

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