#SomeoneSocial: Talia Hubble

Introduce yourself to the Something Social community via your top three favorite Instagram accounts!

Ahh what a hard question! I think my top favorites right now are @CarolineCalloway, @Oona_Design and @TaylorStering. Caroline is an insanely amazing writer and storyteller, her IG stories are witty and well written and she always manages to keep her followers in the loops about what’s going on in the world! Taylor is the founder of Glitter Guide but I love her personal feed because I feel like I’m seeing honest, quick moments of her life. And it’s pink, so duh! Oona is my good friend who also happens to be an INSANELY talented graphic designer (she does commissions so check her out!)

Your blog, T + Tour, launched a little over a year ago. Tell us about the start of T + Tour – what was your original intent with launch and what has changed over the last year of your journey?

I started T&Tour after a trip to Europe during June 2017. I got back to LA, having just graduated, and decided what better time to build and start a blog? I had a TON of content I wanted to share from London, Italy, Prague, Greece, etc. and just enough free time to do so before applying for jobs (shoutout SSLA :)). I had actually built and deleted my blog TWICE in college out of fear of judgement by my peers (one of my only regrets is not starting sooner) so my outlook on judgement is definitely something that’s changed. I always tell people, starting and building and editing and planning a blog is A LOT of work but the hardest part isn’t all the hard work, the hardest part is choosing to be vulnerable on the internet. You just have to get over yourself and get out of your ego. Whomever’s going to judge you isn’t a friend anyways.

Your saturated and sunny aesthetic mixed with hand-drawn collage elements is so distinct! Tell us about how you developed your personal brand and how you maintain that across all social platforms, your website, and your work.

Firstly, THANK YOU! I think being distinct in a sometimes over-saturated market is such a compliment so I really appreciate that! I’ve always leaned towards bright, happy, warm and pink colors (even on IG, before I started blogging) so it was only natural that my brand developed that way as well. I like to think it’s kind of a reflection of my personality? Is that cheesy? **Answers my own question** A little, but I’m a positive person!

What is your favorite way to interact with your audience online and your best secret for maintaining strong engagement?

I think responding to DMs is huge! If someone is going out of their way to personally message you, it’s so important to take the time to respond in some way because that really means something to them (at least it does for me when I message bloggers I look up to). I also think liking and responding to comments is important. I really don’t pay attention to “best posting times” but I have found, the less often I post the better engagement I get. Hasn’t stopped me from posting almost everyday though recently! Hahaha, can’t win them all.

You attended your first New York Fashion Week this year. You wrote a blog on it, but we need to know the deets. What were you expecting, how did you prepare, and what was it like to be there?

I still look back on that week and smile because 1. I adore NYC and 2. I feel so lucky and grateful to have even gone a year after starting my blog! And with one of my best friends! I wasn’t expecting to get into many shows so I was happily surprised Sorelle and I got to attend several. It was also such a treat to be able to attend events for brands I love, like Lulus, and meet so many other bloggers from all over the country (and the world) that I’ve been following forever!

When was your “I’ve made it” moment with blogging?

I haven’t made it!!! Honestly, as silly as it sounds, I really thought I made it when I hit 10k (that swipe up feature though) but I’ve realized, there really is no “making it” because blogging is unique in that you can never stop growing. It’s not like one day I’ll be CEO of the blogging world and, there you go, I’ve made it to the top. Even the bloggers “at the top” like Negin and Aimee are still constantly growing! I think that’s what makes it so fun (and challenging), the possibilities are endless.

What would be a dream collaboration for you?

Oh I think about this all the time, I actually keep a list in hopes of manifesting them (hahaha shameless). I think my dream collaboration would be a travel collaboration with an airline I love or a high end hotel chain. I LOVE traveling so much.

What can we look forward to seeing in 2019 with T + Tour?

More. Blog. Posts. MORE BLOG POSTS. I really want to focus more on the blog this year. I definitely used 2018 as my year to focus on Instagram because I felt like my credibility as a blogger didn’t exist until I had the following to match (it’s silly and untrue, but I was really in my head about it at first) and now that that’s not my concern, I’m so excited to start focusing on my blog. And, if you’re reading this and you’re a blogger or creator, you should be doing the same! Instagram is awesome, but it’s also not your platform. If it disappeared tomorrow, what would you have left? That was some awesome advice Julia Engel gave me at Create + Cultivate in February and, though it’s taken me a minute to follow suit, it really stuck with me.

Quick Rounds:

Dream vacay?

Tokyo! Positano! Amsterdam! London (always)!

Favorite secret spot in LA?

Aroma on Tujunga. Not suuuper secret but secret if you don’t live in the valley!

Favorite piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Comparison is the thief of joy.

One food for the rest of your life?

Pasta, please.

Guilty pleasure song?

Let’s Dance To Joy Division – The Wombats

Embarrassing celebrity crush?

Robert Pattinson is forever bae.

Follow this girly-pop princess on Instagram and on her blog.

Interview by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

Are you just as obsessed with Talia as we are? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Interview with Katie Groover, Social Media Beauty Specialist at Revolve Beauty

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katie-groover-karina-spritze-revolve-beauty-nyc-interview

Katie was guest interviewed by Digital Influencer + Brand Manager, Karina Spritze.

While there are new tools, companies, and applications popping up everyday that promise to leverage our business, there is an even more impactful element organizations tend to overlook: young women. The young women who tell stories and guide a brand’s vision with their own shopping expertise and fresh perspective that is often over-analyzed by those men in suits.  Meet Katie Groover, the Social Media Specialist for the newly launched REVOLVE Beauty, one the latest players to enter the beauty game.

Culture is not measured by the years spent behind your computer, and Katie is living, glowing proof. Her personal and professional love for lipstick and lashes has curated her voice to become the perfectly authentic Social Media expert that she is today at her REVOLVE Beauty desk. I chatted with my former Estée Lauder Companies colleague on how her love for beauty influences and is influenced by social media and her own career.

Tell us how you came to be at REVOLVE Beauty?

After becoming a cosmetologist in 2010, I went straight to work. I’m one of those people who had two jobs and knew I needed more than a license to get clients, so I began assisting. The first opportunity I had was to do hair and was lucky enough to be taught by a North American Hairstyling Awards winner Ryan Teal. Shortly afterwards, I began to to assist a National Artist for Bobbi Brown. She was an amazing mentor and can be credited to teaching me all of the fundamental elements of a beauty career: stay creative, never stop learning + always do your best to make your clients feel their most confident.

When I was a junior in college I met Patricia Pantino, the VP of Sales and Education at Too Faced Cosmetics, and had a chance to interview for the first ever Pro Team at the company. This led me to having my work published online for Rachel Zoe, Too Faced Cosmetics, Vogue, Sephora, Ulta and Nordstrom.

When my final semester of school rolled around, I began interning in the Social Media Department. I cherished working for Esteé Lauder, but after 2.5 years, it was time to take on something new.  I started at REVOLVE this year and was drawn to their amazing brand that is always on the forefront of fashion and who now has an unbelievable beauty offering! From cult-favorites to the newest products on the market, they really do cater to every beauty buyer. I cannot wait to see where we are able to take this new venture.

How did your love for makeup and beauty begin?

My love for the beauty industry began with my older sister who introduced me to the world of makeup and bought me a selection of Kevyn Aucoin books. I was really inspired by how something so small, like lipstick or an eye shadow, could make you feel amazing and allow you to be creative every day. From that day, I had my eye set on being involved with either hair or makeup. When I was in high school I was a receptionist at a salon in Orange County and had a chance to see stylists put their creativity to work with their clients. The time spent watching my peers really lead me down this path.

How did you transition your makeup skills into a social media career?

When I worked as a National Pro Artist for Too Faced, I had an amazing mentor who allowed me to intern for her in the Social Media Department. I really got to see how useful my cosmetology background was by speaking on behalf of the brand about their products and how it helped our fans find makeup that really fit their lifestyle. I was able to build stories around conversations and what fans needed, rather than just pushing products. I think that really helped the Instagram account grow and lead to more fan engagement.

How important is your own social media presence to elevate relations and career opportunities?

I think that having a presence that is authentic to who you are is the most important. It is great to have a curated page, but I think people (myself included) want to see more than a highlight reel and want to see what you’re inspired by and who you really are in life.

How much influence do social media platforms have on you personally?  What was the last thing you purchased that you discovered on Instagram?

Well this isn’t a surprise, but a lot! I feel really inspired on social and love that it connects you creatively with people all over the world. One person I religiously follow is Desi Perkins – I love her travel tips. The last thing I bought was this amazing makeup case from one of her Youtube videos that holds all of your beauty essentials – which I have a lot of!

Any new brands you’re excited about?

YES! For skin care, I finally found a scrub that I just simply can’t be without, the Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Advanced Ruby Crystal Powder Scrub. Our REVOLVE Beauty Buyer, Kandice Hansen, told me about this amazing ruby powder and I can honestly say my skin had never been softer in my life! A few other brands are Lovewellness, Dr. Barbara Sturm, N:P Beautiful, and Viseart.

We constantly are scrolling through content.  What are brands whose social media content you’re obsessed with and why?

There are so many amazing pages + creatives out there, but there are a few that come to mind for very specific reasons:

  1. REVOLVE: I love their main account for fashion and the newest trends. I feel like you get to see how to wear or incorporate pieces in your closet that I would have never pieced together on my own.
  2. Glossier: I really like their page because they often show off the everyday girl and have easy how-to’s for product application.
  3. Violette: She is the Beauty Director at Estee Lauder and I love to follow her instagram page because it’s full of life, color and very authentic.
  4. Fenty: I mean who isn’t, but they just create AMAZING work. Their videos are insane, they have fabulous artists and create an encompassing space that shows off all skin tones + genders.

You have a lot of responsibilities in your new role.  What is your morning ritual that prepares you to take on the day ahead?

The number one thing I do is always try to catch up on emails and content at night so my mornings are for myself. The first thing I do is grab my Peter Thomas Roth eye patches from the fridge and have a glass of lemon water. I walk my dog and then choose my playlist for my drive to work. Before I leave, I always look at my schedule so I can plan my outfit based on what I am doing and who I’m meeting with. Once I get to work, I review my to-do list and do my best to complete those tasks prior to checking my email. I feel the most productive when I have a list because it feels so amazing to knock things out!

There are many entrepreneurs working from home and managing their own social media accounts.  What advice can you give them?

There are a three things that I think are key to starting a new brand + IG:

  1. Testing content consistently and really getting to know your customer. In the beginning, it can be very scary but don’t let that stop you from following your dream of having a successful brand. How can you get to know your customer? Test content with them. Content is a beautiful thing, so make sure to dedicate time and thought into what you are posting.
  2. Use different types of Influencers to see who your customer relates to. Talk to them + engage on their pages. Do things to set yourself apart and you will succeed.
  3. Lastly, I would recommend investing in community management. I used to do this in my previous role and would get the sweetest messages back from fans who’d tell me how much it meant for them to be noticed. Your customers matter and you should always keep them as your focus. Lastly, always remember that you don’t need to have a ton of followers – your engagement might be the same as a bigger account and that’s what really matters.

Of course, we can’t let you go without some recommendations.  What are your top 10 must-haves from REVOLVE Beauty?

Kevyn Aucoin Lash Curler 

Viseart Neutral Mattes

Ouai Memory Mist

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Advanced Scrub

Dr. Barbara Strum Face Cream

RMS Beauty Within Probiotic + Prebiotic

Benefit Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil

Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Gel Eye Patches

n:p beautiful Hair Dryer

 

Karina Spritze is a guest contributor. She is a Social Media Strategist and brand visionary. She is a proud Angeleno and loves advocating for more diversity and inclusion in media & arts by engaging community and teaching workshops for small business owners. Learn more about her work on her blog, Overdressed LA.

Let us know how Katie’s tips work out for your blossoming beauty brand. Tweet us at  @SOMETHINGSOCIAL or tag us on Instagram- @SOMETHINGSOCIAL.

 

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#SomeoneSocial: Sophie Elkus

Introduce yourself to the Something Social LA community via your top three favorite Instagram accounts (any cute puppies and Instagram-friendly food accounts are welcome)!

@NikkiDeroest has the best product recommendations and skincare tips, @SaltandWind for travel inspo, and @Jooleeloren for hilarious and too-true illustrations (look her up!).

Your website and brand, Angel Food Style, is introduced as a personal lookbook of style upon its inception in 2013, but has since transitioned into a fashion and beauty destination with a partnership list that puts most to shame. Tell us about the start of Angel Food Style – what was your original intent with launch and what has changed the most throughout your business journey?

My original intent isn’t too far from where I am now, but it started on a MUCH smaller scale! I was a junior in college and wanted to dive into the fashion world, providing style inspiration to my friends and peers. I started taking photos of my outfits and wrote up articles on favorite runway shows at New York Fashion Week. I just wrote about whatever I liked – I didn’t care about criticism or whoever thought it was weird or self-promotional. I surprised myself with how fearless I was putting myself out there and blocking out initial noise. Now, I’m so glad I went for it.

These days the blog and all my social accounts are a real business like any other, and it’s become so much more organized and structured. I’ve learned so much about how to run a company, how to communicate with brands and pitch project ideas. Also, in the beginning I was putting out content by trial and error. Now, I have great feedback from my audience and their requests drive a lot of my content creation.

When you run an online brand, your voice is very important. We’ve seen a lot of discussion about the importance of staying true to your voice when taking on new clients/projects/sponsored content. Tell us about the Angel Food Style brand and how you maintain that across all social platforms, your website, and your work.

First and foremost, I write everything myself. It’d be impossible to run and grow a business alone, and I’m grateful to the women who contribute, pitch and manage me, and help with editorial creation. But, I make sure that all the content that goes out to my readers is written or edited by me. That personal connection with readers is important to create a level of trust. (Blogging aside, I’d recommend that teams who work together representing one client or one voice make sure to be on the same page about what the message and “who your girl” is to keep that trust with readers and consumers).

When I work with brands, I make sure to have full control over captions and tone of voice. It’s a tricky balance, because of course the brand has talking points they want to come across to make the partnership worth it on their end. Ultimately, I don’t want to feel like an #ad or a spokesperson – the goal is to sound like your girlfriend, recommending a product she’s used for years. My tone of voice is always friendly, sincere and approachable, but still put together and refined, and I think that’s how I am as a person too.

What advice can you give our readers who are looking to establish their own professional voice via social media?

The best thing you can do is “stay in your own lane” and use your own natural voice. Don’t compare yourself or your aesthetic and tone to others. We all do it, but where does it get us? I always remind myself to create and execute my own vision, not someone else’s. Of course it’s natural to take inspiration from other creators (I do that too!) but it’s not sustainable to try to mimic someone else’s voice and style.

If you’re having trouble finding your natural voice – forget about the impact of “social media” and just channel how you’d talk to a friend. Have a five minute conversation with someone and then ask them what your most impressionable qualities were – did you leave them noticing your innate sense of humor and comedic timing? A light sarcasm? A gentle sincerity or girl-next-door, down to earth tone? Whatever it is, run with that and be yourself.

What would be a dream collaboration for you?

Cliché, but Chanel. Or Chloe, Stella McCartney… the list goes on.

If we looked on your phone, what apps would we see?

ClassPass, where I book most of my workouts; Poshmark; where I resell clothes, and of course a bevy of photo editing tools like Snapseed, Facetune and VSCO. Oh, and 2048, which is an addicting number game I’ll play on flights and can never seem to beat!

What are some of your favorite spots to do work in Los Angeles?

Such a great question, because I can be terribly unproductive at home. I like a little white noise and change of scenery. I’ll work from Zinque since their locations have comfy seating, great coffee and a relaxed ambiance. Or if I have meetings throughout the day, I’ll post up at Soho House.

What can we look forward to seeing in 2018 with Angel Food Style?

This year I’m focusing a bit more on beauty content. While fashion will always be my first love and where Angel Food Style began, I’ve really noticed a piqued interested in beauty content over the last year from readers so I’m intent on delivering that. There’s such an engaged community around beauty, from tutorials to seasonally inspired looks and product reviews. I can understand why – beauty is a unifying force. No matter your culture or background all women love to talk about beauty rituals; it goes back to the beginning of time! There’s no sizing or right or wrong way to do something, and anyone can recreate a makeup look or hairstyle so the beauty genre feels more welcoming in a way. I’m hoping to take it one step further and not just focus on traditionally outward beauty; but also inward – feeling good in your skin through healthy eating, living and connections with others . We’ll see where it takes me!

You can also expect to see more travel content, as I love putting together city guides and taking readers around the world with me. Also – the launch of a YouTube channel, finally!

Leave us off on a positive #SomethingSocial note – if you could Instagram anything from anywhere, what would it be?

In front of the Sydney Opera House, or at Paris Fashion Week… I’m manifesting where I want to be this year!

Follow along with Sophie Elkus on her WEBSITE, FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, AND BLOGLOVIN.

Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Know someone that you want to elect as our next #SomeoneSocial? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

Someone Social: Kristina Wilde

Introduce yourself to us by telling us what your first Instagram post was!

It’s actually quite funny – I don’t think any of us actually anticipated that Instagram would become the platform it is today, myself included. I’ve been using Instagram for so many years; but when I downloaded it I honestly just thought it was going to be my new Tumblr. I was joking around with my friend so my first post is actually a gumball machine with a filter on it. It got around 200 likes – at the time I had no way to gage if that was a lot or not.

How has social media helped you develop your business and your brand?

Honestly, when I had started using social media, I didn’t understand what a brand was. I was just a girl who loved documenting her life. I started my blog in an era of bloggers who had actual blog names. I knew I wanted to be in fashion so I wanted people to remember my name, and not my blog name. I started back in 2013 with my blog and I self-titled it and reverse-tracked building a brand. I started my blog without realizing that I was my brand. It’s changed over the years and recently I re-launched my blog and changed the direction. Because I’ve been able to grow and expand, it’s helped me understand the difference between a brand and a business. A lot of Instagrammers – they are their brand and it is their business.

You’re a blogger, photographer, and YouTuber – what is your favorite way to interact with your audience online and your best secret for maintaining strong engagement?

This changes because applications are always releasing new ways to engage with your audiences. I love trying out all of the new features. Before, I would have to say I absolutely love interacting with my audience via Snapchat. But now that Instagram Stories has taken over, it’s also another way I really love interacting with my audience. In terms of the tool I love the most right now, it’s definitely going live.

I’ve been going live both on my YouTube channel and my Instagram Stories. Sometimes I create mini themes, like showing my audience items on my Instagram. A couple of weeks ago, I walked my audience through why certain items are my favorite fall items. I just thought it was so fun to be able to interact with my audience in real time. On YouTube recently, for Vlogmas, I’ve been going live pretty much every day. It’s pretty much just to sit down and talk about our days. I don’t publish it so it doesn’t stay on the feeds, but I think it’s important just to check in with your audience all the time and let them know that you appreciate them.

I think another tip would be always stay genuine. Always interact with your audience. I’m always replying to DMs. I always respond to comments. I also sometimes go show some love on their page. I know how hard it can be, so I like to show my support with my audience wherever I can at all times.

You’ve also launched an online platform called Women Run This – why do you believe this is an important platform to have, especially in the digital age?

The best way I can describe it is how I did on my website! So who, better yet, what is the Women Run This network? Think of it as a place where all babes alike go to support one another. You wouldn’t want to see your bestie fail, would you? Here inside the Women Run This network, we want you to feel more confident with our tools, freebies and not to mention, a community full of other female entrepreneurs to connect with. We want to see you succeed, just like your best friend.

My mantra behind this is, “Behind every successful woman, there is her best friend telling her she can.” Women Run This is that best friend. I truly believe that moving from Los Angeles to Paris really flipped my world upside down – I thought I had everything figured out. I thought it would be an easy transition but it wasn’t. I realized there was a need for women supporting women all over the world. So I wanted to create a platform where women could come together all over the world and support each other.

Our network ranges from bloggers, entrepreneurs, and female creatives coming together to learn, inspire, and motivation each other in the Women Run This community. If women support women, we can seriously take over the world. I am so passionate about helping other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs in this space. I’m not positioning myself as an expert, I’m positioning myself as a best friend. It’s my passion project, my little baby, and I’m really excited to see where it leads to.

Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts, photos, and videos?

Honestly, I get writers block too where I don’t know what to publish. So I try and sit down and listen to what my audience has been asking for and put it in a way that fits my brand but also in a way that gives back to my community. Because I have so many different social medias, from YouTube, to my blog, to my Instagram, though they all crossover, they all have their own audiences.

When I first started, I thought they would all have the same audience demographic across all of them, but I learned that I didn’t. I think it’s important to listen to your audience. But in terms of inspiration – I like to keep a database/harddrive where if someone has asked me for a dedicated video or question, or I see a certain question appearing constantly through YouTube, I will write that down. As well as for blog posts and photos.

I also love the feature on Instagram where you can create different collections. I always try and categorize that for inspiration for photos. I think also staying active on all social platforms helps – I could be watching a video and hear the intro song and that can inspire me. Recently, I’ve been really into Podcasts. Even though there’s no visuals, I get to listen. That’s been one of the best ways for me to get inspiration right now. There’s so many useful and inspiring interviewers that I listen to. I really do get my inspiration everywhere. It’s just a matter of how I organize it and put it out there on all of my platforms.

What’s your favorite social platform and why?

Oh my god this is so hard to choose. This is so impossible. I feel like each platform has my heart for a different reason. I love YouTube because I feel like I’m actually talking to my audience, I feel like we have a real relationship on there. We’ve gone through similar things, we share stories on there; it just feels like a more vulnerable platform in general.

I’ve also really been loving Instagram Stories and doing mini tutorials in there just because people really want the content right then and there.

Also, I love blog posts because I’m able to really go in depth. I’ve also been doing audibles so people can listen to the blog posts on the go, because I know time is money and I find myself listening to podcasts more as well.

If I had to choose just one I would have to say one hundred percent it’s YouTube. The YouTube community is like no other.

Where do you see the future of social media headed?

If I had to generalize it across all different demographics, it would have to be a more authentic relationship (especially in terms of Instagram). It used to be all the feed. Now, even though people still want to see pretty pictures, there needs to be some meaning behind it and a story.

People are going to have to get better at sharing their personal lives; they’re going to have to be storytellers. I also see video playing a huge part into that, now that live is something that Instagram has rolled out. YouTube has had it. People are just going to be wanting more real-time interaction. Which might be hard for people who rely heavily on Photoshop. It will be really interesting to see how people will play the part of storytellers through video. I’m actually really excited for it because I love sharing my bad jokes with the world.

If you could Instagram anything from anywhere in the world, what would it be?

A place I’m dying to visit? Honestly, every day since moving to Paris, I look out my window or go for a walk outside and I’m in such awe. I’m trying to capture more of that through my Instagram.

Follow along with Kristina Wilde on her WEBSITE,  INSTAGRAMPINTEREST, and YOUTUBE.

Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Who do you nominate as our next #SomeoneSocial? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Introduce yourself to us through your three favorite Instagram posts and give us a little story behind them!

I am a mother, wife, designer, creative director and founder of Planoly – a visual and marketing software for Instagram. This is one of my favorite Instagram posts of my little family taking a #selfie in Hawaii.

When I gave birth to my son Teddy, I dreamt up Planoly to be more organized with my social media strategy (Instagram in particular) as I was a one-woman team executing my own content creation and marketing. Planoly was born out of my own need. I used to shoot, edit, and plan content during his nap times before he woke up in the mornings and after he went to bed at night.

I love sharing my story and my experiences with fellow creatives. I feel that it’s important to share what I’ve learned because I wish I had the guidance when I was younger. Here I am at The Bloguettes Workshop in Austin sharing everything I know about creating a visual brand, marketing, and Instagram.

Tell us about Planoly – you found a solution for something people may not have known they needed. How did it start?

With ten years of experience in the fashion industry, I went off on my own and built my namesake jewelry company out of my 400 square foot NYC apt. The company was bootstrapped with savings, and within the first year, I did six figures in revenue and was carried in stores like Anthropologie and Henri Bendel. I achieved this through pure hard work and hustle – cold calls, trade shows and going to boutiques one by one.

After having my son, I wanted to spend more time at home and decided to slow down my wholesale business while growing my business online. During that time, Instagram was just on the cusp of taking off with influencers tagging brands and sharing their daily #ootd. I saw this and made planning digital content for my Instagram a priority, and it took up the majority of my time. I knew magazines, editors and buyers were looking at my Instagram so I was obsessed with the look of my feed and treated it as my online portfolio.

After showing the tedious process of preparing my Instagram feed and captions to my husband, he thought it was crazy. That was the genesis of Planoly. I took this idea and designed the software the way I wanted. In eight short months, Planoly grew to over 100K organic users. To date, Planoly has over 800K users around the world and has been well-received by every industry across the board (not just fashion)!

Since Planoly is a social media management tool, tell us what role social media plays in your life.

Social Media plays a significant role in my life, as well as my team’s lives. We wake up to Social Media and go to bed with Social Media. It never turns off, so we have to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape in order to stay relevant, to innovate, and to evolve. Social media is where we get our news and stay up to date with family and friends. It’s a form of communication that is slowly becoming the main point of contact for everyone.

As you mentioned, you’re also a jewelry designer! Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?

I have a passion for design and detail, so I find inspiration everywhere, whether it’s in furniture details, personal experiences or architecture. My classic collection consisted of needle designs as a homage to my first love of fashion (my design school major and where I first started my career), so there’s always a backstory to my pieces.

How do you balance both jobs, while also tying the two of them together?

I’m a designer at heart, whether it be jewelry or designing UI’s and wireframes for Planoly apps or the web. It goes hand in hand, and I use the same design theories and beliefs when I design. For me, everything is about the branding, presentation, and how the design makes the customer/user feel when they wear or use our product. I hate the word balance, but it’s all about time-management and scheduling out time for each project. I prioritize by urgency and work my way down my to-do list.

What is one of the most important things you’ve learned from starting a business and building a brand?

Starting a business is hard. It takes perseverance and dedication to start and maintain a successful business. You always have to have a clear vision and try not to stray from it. To me, building a brand is much easier because we’re all about authenticity. Every single feature we add on Planoly is actual needed features that I personally use. The story of our brand is about me, so it’s much easier to tell my story versus making one up. Some of the keys to building a brand are authenticity and consistency.

Who is your social media crush and why?

I have a few social media crushes and can’t name them all but here are a few… I love @glossier and what their team has been doing since the birth of their brand. They’ve always told their story from their perspective and related to millions of women because of their authenticity, and that has never changed.

The same with @mansurgavriel. I’m drawn to designers who put out mindful, and beautifully crafted products with so much love and care and Mansur Gavriel is one of them.

I also love and adore @glitterguide, and it’s Founder @taylorsterling and Director of Content and Partnerships @caitlinkruse. Glitter Guide shares such inspiring and beautiful content that make you feel good and the people behind it is even lovelier! They are so genuinely sweet and supportive of Planoly and has championed us since the beginning. I’ll always be grateful for everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through social media and building those friendships offline.

What’s a social media hack you can share with our readers?

I take a few hours at the start of the week to plan out our entire week’s worth of social media content (sometimes two weeks in advance). Planning is essential, and it’ll save you tons of time and headache. Whether it’s a few hours on Sunday night or Monday morning, you’ll be able to plan everything out for the week so you can concentrate on other tasks.

Another strategy I use is labeling colored post-it mini notes to plot out a month’s worth of blog content. I know exactly who Planoly is going to interview or feature on the blog a month in advance; then I use that as a roadmap to plan daily social content from there.

Follow along with Brandy Pham on her WEBSITE and INSTAGRAM and PLANOLY’S WEBSITE, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, AND YOUTUBE.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Have someone you’d like to nominate as our next #SomeoneSocial? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Someone Social: Jordan Younger

Start us off with a little background on you! How did you come up with the name The Balanced Blonde?

My original blog was called “The Blonde Vegan,” which I came up with on a whim when I decided to start a vegan food blog as a hobby way back in the day. About a year later, the blog had become my full-time job (to my surprise) and I was transitioning away from being vegan for personal reasons. At that point, it was time to come up with a new name that really characterized who I had become and the trajectory in which my blog was moving. I was no longer vegan, but I was balanced – or at least striving for balance! So, voila, “The Balanced Blonde” was born. The fun thing is, so many people suggested that name to me that I have at least two dozen people in my life who feel like they came up with the name! It makes me happy that people were so invested in my transition, and now I feel more like “The Balanced Blonde” than Jordan most days… haha, #entrepeneurlife.

You manage your blog, social media, and podcast just to name a few! How do you stay organized in managing all of them while keeping a consistent brand voice across your platforms?

Yes, very true! Luckily, my brand voice is totally my voice. I made the decision when I began blogging and podcasting that I wasn’t going to try to be anything but myself. That makes it easy to stay consistent because I write how I talk, and I talk how I write… wordy, from the heart, and usually very introspective. As far as staying organized, I keep my podcast on a strict schedule to keep the episodes streamlined. Blogging is more of my creative outlet so I am less structured there, which mostly has seemed to work with my audience over the years.

You are your brand so to speak – what has been the hardest part of building your brand?

Since I am my brand, I have to make the decision in a lot of areas of my life whether to share or keep something private. That has been a learning curve. To this day, I still overshare when I get excited and then I have to reel it back in because… of course, things change, and some people in my life don’t like their personal business on blast! The hardest part of building my brand has probably been just choosing what to focus on. I am a very right-brained person, and I can get carried away with ideas. Let’s just say I’ve started a lot of projects and wild ideas that have not been finished. That is the beauty of being an entrepreneur, but learning to hone in and use my energy for what matters most to be in my brand has been a learning experience.

Social media has played a huge role in your life; it’s been a business platform as well as a way for you to educate others and explore healthy lifestyle options. You’ve also seen firsthand some of the not as glamorous sides – like how some people aren’t afraid to hold back with their opinions. How do you maintain the positive attitude on your platform while combating the more negative side?

I had to develop quite the thick skin to be in this industry. There is always something people aren’t going to like. The most important thing I’ve learned is that no matter how authentic you are to your content, you are not going to be for everyone. Especially putting myself out there on my podcast — I share so much, I am bound to say something every so often that offends someone or rubs someone the wrong way (try as I might not to!). I have come to terms with it and I don’t take it personally. I know that there are so many people on the Internet, the audience that comes to me resonates with my content and makes it easy for me to stay positive and inspired!

You’ve mentioned you’re a Snapchat addict… what’s your favorite social media platform to use?

I was a Snapchat addict, but now I am an Insta story addict! I love stories and Snaps because I love the realness, authenticity, and un-curated aspects of behind the scenes life. I think it really helps people get to know you as an influencer / blogger / podcaster / what have you. I also love podcasting for that reason because you get to share a full, mostly un-edited story that really gives people a glimpse into who you are versus what you may want to portray.

Can you share a social media hack with our readers?

Be honest and authentic to who you are. I get so bored following people who never dive deep with their readers and/or are trying to conceal who they are behind a perfectly curated aesthetic only… I don’t think that’s a very sustainable life. Not hating on those who have built a brand around beautiful content and minimal writing, because everyone’s brand is different of course and unique to who they are, but I think on some level and on some platform going deeper is very engaging for audience members.

Leave us off on a positive #SomethingSocial note – if you could Instagram anything from anywhere, what would it be?

Oh my goodness, I would Instagram a yoga flow from the blue watered decks of Bora Bora! Calli, I KNOW you feel me on this! Bora Bora is my happy place, and damn did my photos from that trip get a lot of likes. 😉

Quick Rounds:

Coffee or tea?

COFFEE! (Cold brew baybay.)

Favorite yoga studio?

CorePower and Tantris in LA, Katonah and Sky Ting in NYC.

Best recipe you’ve ever made?

Raw Vegan PB Cups. To this day, the most searched recipe on my blog!

Follow along with Jordan Younger on her WEBSITEINSTAGRAMPODCASTFACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, TWITTER, AND PINTEREST.

Know someone you’d like to nominate as our next #SomeoneSocial? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Someone Social: Jennifer Jaden

How has social media helped you grow your business?

Social media has been a huge impact in my life and business. I grew up using myspace, aol & dare I say chat rooms… “Your true self, your first email address.” Social media is your medium to the world and you can find, connect and engage with people all around the globe in an instant! Kinda cool when you think about it. I love how I can find people with similarities and connect with them. I use Instagram the most and I honestly meet the most incredible people because of it!

What accomplishment are you most proud of with Societygal?

The fact that I have been able to connect so many women and given people a place to collaborate. So many collaborations and friendships have come from the community so that would definitely have to be the greatest accomplishment.

Where do you see the future of social media headed?

I really think people want to see peoples authentic lives — video is where its headed. People want more and they want to get to know other people on a deeper lever than just photos.

As far as businesses go on social media you HAVE to create a community aspect with your brand. People want the experience not just the product.

Women empowerment and inclusivity are key conversations right now. How do these tie into your brand and why are they important to you?

I feel like I was raised to support each other and especially women. I have always been such a collaborator in everything that I do — so it really just comes naturally to me. I love the saying “women supporting women is not a trend.” Although it may be a hot topic now I choose to believe it’s not a trend but rather an up-leveling of women everywhere. We are all in this together and there needs to be more love & support in this world.

What would be your dream project to work on?

I would love to do more traveling and trainings around the globe. That is my goal for this next year! I really feel blessed to be able to truly work from wherever so I really want to take advantage of that!

Where do you find inspiration?

I am really inspired by people who are really going out in the world and making a difference. I get so inspired when I see others stepping outside of their comfort zone and really taking time to help others. I aspire to do that more!

Favorite Instagram accounts?

@somethingsocial of course! @mariannahewitt and @theskinnyconfidential too.

Favorite secret spot in LA?

So recently my BF & I have been going to a place called EP & LP — they have a summer rooftop movie series. It’s so awesome; we watched grease a few weeks ago. It’s definitely a summer must! Nothing like watching a movie under the stars.

Favorite piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t internalize things. Simple but so important.

Latte or cold brew?

I am all about the decaf life – ice please!

Leave us with an Instagram caption you love.

Good things come to people who wait, better things come to those who go out and get them!

Follow along with Jennifer Jaden on her WEBSITEINSTAGRAMTWITTERFACEBOOK and THE SOCIETYGAL. 

Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Know someone you’d like to nominate for our next #SomeoneSocial feature? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Someone Social: Julie Solomon

Welcome to Someone Social! You’re definitely a Queen of all things social, so why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers by telling us about your first Instagram post ever?

My first IG post ever did not have a single ounce of strategy behind it whatsoever. I wasn’t using IG as a branding platform at the time, so it was me getting my hair highlighted and making a funny face if I recall. So original 😉

You’re a woman of many talents – walk us through some of your projects.

Within my blog JulieSolomon.net –  I share a ton of free tips for influencers and entrepreneurs on branding, blogging, social media and PR. Each week I post a new tip sheet or bonus sheet for my readers to download that gives them immediate action steps to up-level their brand. I also run two courses; Pitch It Perfect, a customized course that teaches entrepreneurs, bloggers and creative pitch strategies and helps them land free PR for their business and thousands of dollars a month in brand deals. These strategies are the same I used to help my clients garner national media placements and over $1 million dollars in income and brand deals just last year alone. I also founded Conscious Connection, a six-week, one-on-one branding consultation program that teaches online marketing, public relations and branding to bloggers and influencers. CC is the must have for anyone looking for a rebranding overhaul. My latest venture, The Influencer Podcast, explores the secrets behind the careers of today’s top social influencers and industry insiders. I was honored to join the Top-100 list of iTunes’ Business Podcast Chart, peaking at #16 during the launch month.

You’ve been ahead of the curve every step of the way through the social media boom. What’s your advice for people looking to break into this industry while also standing out?

At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing exactly who your audience is and HOW you can best serve them. You figure out the “how” by learning to speak their language, connecting with them through relationship building and empathy, building trust and then being their solution provider. You stand out by being unique, not better. You grow by serving the community you already have, not focusing on just your scale. My course Pitch It Perfect does in to each layer of this in detail.

Between being a New York Times best-seller and now running a podcast, what is your work-work balance like, as well as your work-life balance?

It is a day-by-day practice. Some things happened in my life this year that made me focus on building a better system, routine, and practice in each day so I can show up in the world the way I’m truly meant to and live a better quality of life. I start every morning with a gratitude practice that stemmed from me reading the book The Magic. Practicing gratitude has been a game changer for my overall perspective on life and has allowed me to open new doors for my business. I also hired a Project Manager to “be my boss” and help me manage my team and all my tasks, and that has been extremely beneficial.

Where do you see the future of social media heading?

I think we are going to see more and more focus on engagement vs. scale. Numbers won’t matter as much as how engaged and strong the community of followers you are building is. We are and will continue to see a significant shift toward digital content being king.

What do you want to see more of in the online world?

I would like to see more of us rethinking our relationship with social media and our relationship with views, likes, retweets, mentions, and followers. Why are we showing up every day? Is it authentic or does it come from a superficial place? I know social media is capable of doing good things. I know it connects people to each other and the larger world and its causes. But, so much of it is filled with shame, judgment, and comparison. Each of us can do our part to make sure we are not part of this. Our life’s purpose can’t be racking up hundreds or thousands of likes.

What do you want to see less of?

Loop giveaways bought followers and pods – they hurt your engagement terribly in the long run.

Leave us off on a positive #SomethingSocial note – if you could Instagram anything from anywhere, what would it be?

Me and my husband on a private beach in Hawaii on a hammock just enjoying life, with my son making sand castles next to us.

Quick Rounds

Favorite Instagram account?

For My Soul – @notesontheway; for my business – @JasmineStar

Favorite social media platform? If we reached in your bag, we would find… iPhone 7 Plus, Honest Hand Sanitizer, HourGlass Lip Oil, Hermes Wallet, and some sort of toddler toy that my kid snuck in there.

Best LA spot to work from “home” at?

Soho House Malibu

One food for the rest of your life?

Avocado Toast with a side of street fruit topped with Tajin!

Follow along with Julie Solomon on her website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

 

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Know someone you’d like to elect as our next #SomeoneSocial? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Instagram Shadowbanning & What You Can Do About it

Ever since Instagram rolled out it’s algorithm in the middle of last year we’ve heard a number of complaints from users & brands who have seen drops in their engagement. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when you’ve been putting a lot of effort into creating original content & engaging with users to grow your fan base.

Recently, the engagement debacle has gotten worse, much worse, especially with brands on Instagram. Clients have been noticing that they’re not gaining followers as quickly or are even losing followers and that their posts are no longer showing up in popular hashtags that they’ve been successful using in the past.

This anomaly has come to be known as “Instagram Shadowbanning.”

What does ‘Instagram Shadowbanning’ mean? 

Shadowbanning, also known as Stealth Banning or Comment Banning, is the act of blocking a user from an online community in a way that doesn’t let them know they’ve been banned. So this could be happening to your photos & you would have no idea you’ve been Shadowbanned!

What does Shadowbanning look like on Instagram? Instagram will now hide your posts that are connected to a hashtag from users that aren’t already following you. So if a user clicks a hashtag that you have used in association with a brand post, your photo won’t show up in the hashtag feed unless that person is already following you. So if you’ve previously been using hashtags to grow your account and gain new fans, this will definitely have an impact on your account growth and could even result in you losing followers.

“I have been experiencing less engagement, does that mean I’ve been Shadowbanned?” 

Not necessarily. Unfortunately, all of the algorithms that Instagram has been rolling out over the past year are known to negatively effect engagement on users’ posts. Just because you’ve been experiencing lower engagement rates doesn’t mean you’ve been Shadowbanned.

The easiest way to discover if your posts are being Shadowbanned is to ask a user who doesn’t follow you to click on a hashtag that you’ve used and see if your photo shows up in the feed. If your photo isn’t in the feed, you have most likely been Shadowbanned.

If they do find your photo, then you’re experiencing low engagement for a different reason. Try switching up your posting times, create new types of content or make more of an effort to engage with potential new fans (like and comment on their photos) on a daily basis.

“Why have I been Shadowbanned?” 

There are a few different reasons that your posts could have been Shadowbanned.

You use the same hashtags repeatedly. 

We’ve discovered that some accounts who use the same block of hashtags on every single one of their posts have been Shadowbanned. Because you’ve been using the same ones, you might have been flagged as a spam account. Make sure to mix up your hashtags on every single post in order to keep them fresh & avoid being banned.

You’ve been using a bot for follower growth. 

If you’ve been using an automation tool to help increase your follower base & engagement, you’re likely to have been Shadbowbanned. These tools, like (the former) Instagress and Likestagram are clearly against Instagram’s Terms of Service which prohibit use of automation services, such as bots.

You like & comment too frequently on posts. 

Instagram has limits for how many photos you can like or comment on in a given hour. If you’re being super diligent on your engagement and notice that you’ve been reaching the liking limit (you’ve reached the limit when you’re no longer allowed to like photos), it’s likely that Instagram has flagged you with bot behavior and has Shadowbanned your account.

You’re using a “broken hashtag.” 

A “broken hashtag” is a hashtag that has been flagged with inappropriate content. When a hashtag becomes extremely popular, it can become overrun with inappropriate content. Even if the hashtag itself is innocent, Instagram promotes a safe online space and will have to remove the hashtag from their community. Double check all of the hashtags that you’re using to make sure that they aren’t associated with vulgar or inappropriate content.

Your account has been reported. 

If your account has been reported to Instagram, someone thinks that you’ve been acting in an inappropriate way on the platform. If this happens, Instagram is likely to Shadowban you.

“How Can I Grow My Account if I Don’t Use Hashtags?” 

Focus on content. 

The best thing that you can do to grow your account is have great content. Focus on a great photoshoot highlighting your product or brand or brainstorm ways to produce new & unique content that users will associate with you. Take time in using other features, like Instagram Stories, to find new fans.

Engage Organically

Don’t use bots to increase your following. Make sure that you are behaving in an authentic way on the platform & doing your engagement by yourself. This is also the best way to make sure that the fans you are targeting are ones that will interact with your brand & will be interested in what you have to offer.

Play by the rules. 

Especially if you’re using Instagram as one of your main methods of marketing for your business, make sure that you know what the Terms of Service are and that you are abiding by them. Shadowbanning is bad, but it could be worse. Instagram has been known to delete accounts that repeatedly don’t abide by their terms and you definitely wouldn’t want that to happen.

At the end of the day, remember that Instagram is a community. Use the platform as it’s meant to be used, to foster a community of creative individuals and friends.

Written by our Vice President of Operations, Marissa Stahl, find her at @MarissaCStahl on Instagram and Twitter.

Share your experiences with engagement and Shadowbanning on Instagram. Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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#SomeoneSocial: Tayst

Next up on Someone Social – content creator, Taylor St. Claire, aka Tayst. Illustrator extraordinaire, Taylor is is the mastermind behind creating customizable and personable illustrations that add a new dimension to your photos. She has curated the perfect Instagram, worked with some of your favorite brands, and is only just getting started. Read below to learn more about this month’s Someone Social.

Q: Tell us about the start of Tayst – who were some of your first clients, what was your schedule like, how did you decide your branding/style, etc.?

My designs started to take off right around Coachella two years ago when I posted a collage and illustration for a Wildfox Instagram competition. Ever since winning and the reposts, business has been nonstop. Some of the very first clients I can remember are Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat, Francesca Aiello from Frankies Bikinis, and then Wildfox. Since I started posting my work at the end of my senior year of college, my schedule was crazy hectic. I had to balance a good work, school, social life, and at times had to choose work over social functions. It was a bummer at the time but has totally paid off in the long run. When I had originally posted, I had no intention of turning my account into a business platform, but as more and more companies reached out, I stuck with it. One thing that was really important to me when branding myself was to stay true to who I was and the things that I loved. That meant turning down loads of paid sponsorship opportunities because I didn’t want to promote something I wouldn’t buy or actually use, (i.e. all of those ridiculous teas). It worked out, because I now work with brands that I have loved and looked up to for years.

Q: When did you realize this was something you could translate into a business and what were your first steps when transitioning into a business?

When I started to get big name accounts and brands reaching out to ask me to do some branding or illustration work for them, I knew this was the start of something big. While I had no professional experience of running my own company at the time, I put in the long hours to create unique artwork while also learning how to run a business. I knew I needed to ditch my personal email and create a new work email for two reasons: to look professional and to stay organized with each of my projects. Creating a website to showcase my work and the services that I offer was huge too so that future clients could book me for projects. I had always loved messing around with website design, as I was a Digital Art major in college, so those skills definitely helped me out. Branding myself and creating business cards, and mini portfolio books to send out and bring to events helped me out tremendously.

Q: What’s one of the hardest things about running your own online company?

While there are loads of perks to running my own business, it is a lot of hard work. I do everything on my own as far as scheduling content on my social platforms, and creating content for others, to behind-the-scenes business projects. Since I work and post online, it is hard to really create a set day for my business hours, as people expect me to be responding to them at 1 am when they see I have just “liked” an Instagram post. Also, running a company using social media as a main platform is incredibly tricky because everyday is new. Since the world of social media is always updating, I am having to stay on top of the hottest trends, and be able to create high quality content to engage users on all platforms.

Q: Social media can be used for both business and pleasure, as we’ve seen through the growth and success of your company. Do you believe the two should be kept completely separate? What is your best advice for managing the two different lenses?

I think that there is a fine line between the two. For my brand, since I have always kind of shown a glimpse into my life, people kind of expect it now. I think it is important to give a personal flare to your instagram account, as no one wants to follow a boring business-only account. I’ve learned that people are interested in the brands I wear, the places I travel to, the restaurants I eat at, and the events that I go to. I know now to create fun content while getting my message across whatever that may be, but to never overpost as it may come across as bragging. I also know that since I have loads of people that I look up to following me, that I have to remain professional in what I post. However, it is also important to me to be able to have a personal account where I don’t have to worry about having the “perfect Instagram grid” and where I can truly be myself and goof off with friends. My Tayst account needs to be fun, but business professional, whereas my personal is a bit more private for close family and friends.

Q: When you run an online brand, your voice is very important. We’ve seen a lot of discussion about the importance of staying true to your voice when taking on new clients/projects/sponsored content. How do you decide what fits the Tayst brand voice?

This is super important to me when creating content, because I feel like once I lose my voice, there’s really no point in continuing to post. Everything that I post is 100% me and what I love and believe in. I work with companies that I respect and would support with or without my business platform. If you take up a sponsored post just because you think it may look cool to #ad #sponsoredpost you are doing it all wrong. This cheapens your brand, and how can your followers trust your recommendations/figure out when to really pay attention to something you are 100% passionate about?

Q: If you could ‘gram from anywhere right now where would it be?

It’s currently pouring rain, so right now I am in the mood for bikini weather. If I could Instagram from anywhere, it’d be in the South of France, lounging by the ocean eating truffle pizza and drinking rosé.

Quick rounds:

Favorite Instagram account?

Too hard to pick just one, so here are a couple of my favs –

@stephanielavaggi for design, travel and color inspo.

@joellehyman for the best beauty and makeup recommendations.

@josefinehj and @whitneybearr for style & lifestyle shots.

@josefindahlberg.se and @viktoria.dahlberg for home inspo – I’m obsessed with their style.

@lafemmecollective for kick ass female empowerment.

Favorite LA destination to snag a good picture?

Malibu Farm Cafe overlooking the ocean with a bottle of rose lemonade.

Best app (minus Instagram of course)?

Snapchat – I’m dying to get my hands on a pair of the Spectacles so I can film myself drawing and creating my work, and Pinterest – anytime I am bored, I can scroll for hours pinning away cool design ideas.

Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

So, are you totally in love with Tayst? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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