INSIGHTS: Voices + Views Behind the Leopard Glasses With Emma Zielinski By Stephanie Sengwe Friday, April 13, 2018 4:31 PM NEW YORK—Emma Zielinski may be a rookie to the eyewear industry, but as a lifelong eyeglass wearer, she’s definitely well-acquainted. Though she has been wearing glasses since she was in the eighth grade, it wasn’t until she took a meeting with 10/10 Optic’s co-founder, Ruth Domber, in the summer of 2016 that she decided to change her career path from teaching high school biology and go to school for business management. “Ruth found me through my Instagram (@emmasglasses) and invited me to her Madison Ave NYC boutique,” Zielinski explained. “She discussed the aspects of your face that are accentuated by certain frames and colors, and showed me eyewear that I had only dreamed about. Since that meeting, I left my career teaching high school Biology and enrolled at The Fashion Institute of Technology in the Fashion Business Management program.” Zielinski will be graduating this May with hopes of finding a job in the eyewear industry in brand management or product development. When she is not in school, Zielinski manages her blog, Behind the Leopard Glasses, a seven-year-old personal style blog that stemmed from her obsession with fashion, combined with her need for a creative outlet at that time. “By the time I was graduating college, with my Biology degree, I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. The economy had just tanked, and I decided to do a year of substitute teaching to see if I wanted to go into the education field. By January of that year, I knew I desperately needed a creative outlet. I had been reading a lot of fashion blogs to get some inspiration and decided to start my own.”Behind the Leopard Glasses features sections such as “Love List,” which lists the blogs, podcasts and music Zielinski is currently into; “Wish/Shopping List,” which collages clothing items that she’s spotted; and “Shop My Closet,” which links to her Etsy and Poshmark stores. She also has some sponsorship opportunities for various companies. “The most popular option is product based because that works best for showcasing eyewear,” Zielinski said. “How this generally works is I contact a brand, or they reach out to me, and I select frames that I would be interested in promoting through style posts.” So far, she has been able to work with Lafont, Zyloware and Faniel Eyewear, and she has also worked with Mo Eyewear to build their Instagram account. In addition, she also has featured posts titled, “Spectacular Sunday,” where she writes about eyewear companies and glasses that are on her wish list. “Spectacular Sundays” may or may not be sponsored. When it comes to selecting topics to cover, Zielinski keeps an open mind and hopes that her readers are inspired to always take chances. “I like to keep topics broad so I can blog about whatever inspires me. I hope that my readers take away some creative inspiration to wear whatever they want, whenever they want. I want readers to embrace their eyewear and feel inspired to step out of their comfort zone and try different shapes, colors and patterns. Glasses are the ultimate accessory, so it is important to have options that you feel comfortable and confident in,” she concluded.