boss the year Sapphire bates

What if you have a job that a million girls would kill for but it’s no longer fulfilling you? Leaving a ‘great on paper’ job to pursue a passion project can be terrifying, but Alice Bell did it and is here to tell you that you can too! With stars in her eyes, the self taught astrologer left her coveted role as a fashion assistant at US Vogue to read birth charts full time. Ditching telephone ‘call ins’ to discover her true calling, she’s now back at Vogue in a new guise, delivering her now iconic weekly horoscopes. In the final instalment of our Boss the Year series, we talk to Alice Bell about her life journey in a bid to discover how she replaced one dream job, with an even dreamier one...

Alice Bell

How did you begin 2020? 

I stayed at home and did yoga. I also made a list of what I had accomplished in 2019, and then made a list of everything I want to accomplish in 2020. 

What were your resolutions? 

My resolution was to find a better work life balance this year. Last year, I spent so much time working, and barely had time for going out and seeing people. So I want to make my personal life more of a priority. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I used to work as a fashion assistant at American Vogue. I quit my job exactly a year ago to become a full time astrologer. Currently, I’m the resident astrologer for British Vogue, where I write weekly horoscopes. I also spend my time meeting with clients for one on one astrology readings, and I do a lot of readings at brand events. In addition, I write other astrology related content for brands and magazines.

Alice Bell

You left a “dream” position at Vogue to pursue astrology, what spurred that decision?

I had been at Vogue for a year, and was realizing that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing in the long run. I wanted a job that held a deeper meaning to me, that wasn’t just about telling people to buy more things. In early 2018, I began to teach myself astrology. I learned how to read a birth chart, and later on also how to do future predictions. I liked how astrology explained so much about my own emotions as well as the relationships in my life. I never thought that it would end up being my career though. All throughout 2018, I was doing free readings over Instagram DM, and when I felt I had developed my skills enough I began to charge people for readings. I was surprised by how much response I got from the astrology content I posted on Instagram. Meanwhile, I was also building my own website which I launched at the end of that year. Once I was certain I could financially support myself doing this, I left Vogue to pursue astrology full time. 

Was it scary, how did you combat that?

I wasn’t that scared, because it felt like the right time to leave. I wasn’t accomplishing anything by staying there. I think the only fear I had was “what if I stop making money, and then I’m without a job and no way to support myself.” I think when you leave a job to start your own thing, you need to make sure you have a savings. 

Alice Bell
Alice Bell
Alice Bell

What did you learn at your two years at US Vogue that you’ve carried forward?

At Vogue, they know how to get so much done in one day. So I carried this attention to managing my time efficiently over into my own business. I also wrote a lot of shopping article for Vogue’s website, so this helped me practice writing more quickly, and made me realize what tone of voice publications want for their articles. 

How did it feel to come full circle as the Vogue resident astrologer?

It was really cool, because I had interned at British Vogue in 2016 before I moved to New York and worked for the American one. They initially reached out to me, asking if I would want to write weekly horoscopes. So I sent them mock ones, which they liked, and so I became the astrologer for them. 

Alice Bell

What about astrology do you love?

I like how it shows there is a timing for everything in your life, and gives you clues as to where you should be directing your energy at that particular moment. So for example, if I see in my chart that there’s not a lot of potential for dating and having a relationship, I shift the focus to work instead. Knowing there’s a time for everything has helped me calm down a lot, and I’ve become much less anxious as a result.

Why do you think it’s become so fashionable / has such synergy with fashion?

I think it’s because astrology is appealing mostly to women, and the fashion industry is made up of mainly women. I also think that some of it has to do with both fashion and astrology being so big on Instagram. A lot of editors and influencers have opened up more to talking about their emotions, and I feel like astrology is a good opener for that. 

Alice Bell
Alice Bell
Alice Bell

What’s the difference between sun, moon and rising, and what’s important about them?

Those three things make up your core personality traits. They aren’t your full chart, but once you know these elements it makes more sense why a person acts a certain way. The sun sign describes your basic thought process and how you view the world. The moon sign is your emotional instincts and how you relate to others on a deeper level. Then the rising is how you immediately come across when you first meet people. It embodies the traits you’re most comfortable expressing. That’s why sometimes someone might not seem like a Cancer or a Pisces, because maybe they have a really fiery rising sign like Aries or Sagittarius. 

What all those retrograde memes, does it really affect us - I think this question has a typo. It should be “With all those retrograde memes, does it really affect us?”

Yes it affects you. However, it’s nothing to be scared of because it happens three times a year. Mercury Retrograde is just a period when you should reflect and not do so much. It’s a time of reviewing and going back to people you already know and projects you’ve already started instead of trying to push ahead with something new. As a result, it may feel like business isn’t moving as fast, or you might be more reflective of a past relationship.

Sapphire Bates

Why should someone have a reading with you?

To gain a deeper understanding of yourself and to learn how to use your unique personality traits to your advantage. In my readings, I go over family life, relationship struggles, career interests, etc. It’s all about realizing that there is a purpose behind everything that happens to you in your life. 

What do people always ask?

The number one thing is love. People always want to know when they’re going to find a relationship. Then the second is career and the third is moving homes or country. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to turn their passion project into a career?

If you’re unhappy at your current job, carve out the time to work on your passion project on the side. Every hour of free time I had at Vogue and even when I came home from the office, I was learning astrology. It’s important to give yourself time as well to build things up. I wouldn’t quit until I was sure I was making enough money to support myself. 

How will you ‘boss 2020’? 

I want to continue expanding my brand. Right now, I’m shifting the focus more to writing and potentially working on a book. I also want to get more involved in organizing astrology related events and bringing people together. 

Alice Bell