Although my birthday is next month, I guess this week is my unofficial birthday week on the blog. On Tuesday I shared my birthday wish list and today I’m sharing my birthday look! I think this romper speaks for itself–how cute is it?! It looks like a dress, but there are shorts built in underneath it. That definitely makes it more wearable since the skirt is shorter than I normally go for. I think it’s perfect to wear when I’m celebrating year 24.
I want to take things in a different direction this post than I normally do. I want to talk business.
This frilly detail on this romper reminds me of the new collection from Gal Meets Glam–a blogger named Julia Engel who turned her platform into a fashion collection of absolutely GORGEOUS dresses. Seriously, they’re beautiful and unique.
Bloggers, Youtubers and influencers of all sorts have done a lot of really cool things from their platforms, but I think this is my favorite. Not only is the product Julia has created gorgeous, but it’s in line with her brand and seems like a natural fit. Her whimsical and feminine Charleston style is evident in every piece she created. And they are creations. No dress looks like it was mass produced from a simple pattern. There are unique cuts, lengths and patterns that you normally can only get for double and triple the price.
I think the fact that Julia’s product is excellent makes the promotion and purchasing of her clothing extremely easy. What a dreamy project it is to put on beautiful dresses and have photoshoots in London! So let’s keep that in mind. You have to have a solid product. The branding of it is also amazing. It isn’t much different than what she has already done for her blog. It’s just that the clothes are now from her line. The photography and promotional shots sell a lifestyle we all dream of. There’s beautiful buildings, old cars, pastels, flowers, pastries and the message that dressing like a lady is no longer for decades of old. It’s relevant. Put all of these factors together and, to Julia’s audience, it’s a no-brainer. Add to cart.
On the other side, there are several influencer projects that have fallen flat. Frankly, they fail because they don’t align with the influencer’s brand (buzzword alert). It reminds me of this beauty YouTuber who caught tons of flak for releasing a vitamin when her audience didn’t even know she was interested in vitamins. I know you’ve seen influencers on social media who promote products that just don’t make sense. Nothing will make me unfollow an influencer quicker because disingenuous social media is the worst kind. It’s the quickest way to kill a following. People can spot it from a mile away and they will not go quietly.
One of the reasons I love the Gal Meets Glam collection so much is because it’s such a perfect, genuine and sensible next step. Julia is known for the dresses she features on her blog. Her style hasn’t changed to fit the dresses she is selling and they look exactly like something she would wear on Gal Meets Glam. This was not out of left field. This clothing line makes perfect sense, and that is what you want your consumers to feel when they see you extending your brand into new business. Julia built her blog by going viral on Pinterest, raking in the followers and solidifying brand partnerships that grew her blog into a business (this is all an educated guess based on how the industry works). It’s the dream in terms of fashion blogging, but I know the process was more of a grind than a dream.
In terms of anyone who wants to be in the world of influence, Julia is a great model to follow. I think she falls into the category of a timeless millennial, if I do say so myself! In the world of influencers, there are a lot of really bad examples and a lot of really good ones. If anyone desires to start a company, start building your influence now. Even if you don’t know what you want to do. It’s much easier to build an audience slowly over time through authenticity than feel the pressure to grow rapidly to sell product. In the age of the millennial consumer, trust is still one of–if not the–most important factor in the purchasing journey. And building trust takes time.
Take a lesson from Julia and build your trust with your audience as you start to figure out what you want to do, and as you find your calling share that with your audience. My best posts on my blog and my Instagram aren’t the super staged photos. They’re the posts that are really honest and personal or photos that are a quick snap in a real moment. People want to follow real people and they want to buy from real people.
I wanted to support a girl–or rather, gal–who organically grew into the brand she is because of her consistent branding, posting, dreamy style and vision. Anyone can translate that mentality into their passion and make a business out of it, but make sure you don’t cut corners to make a quick buck. In the long run, it is much better to grow lasting relationships than chase money. Consumers know when they’re being sold to, so the trick is to not have to sell. If they know you, trust you and want to support you, the success will come.
I’m really excited watching Julia’s journey into this phase of her brand and business because it is just continuing to pave a way for others like her. Influence is a serious business and it’s only going to continue to grow! For a girl who started a blog in 2009 as an online diary, this blows my mind. It’s also extremely inspiring and makes me want to work harder on my passion project called The Timeless Millennial. After all, you never know where a little patience, hustle and passion will take you!
If you are wanting to shop the Gal Meets Glam Collection, you can do that here or in the widget below.
SHOP THE GAL MEETS GLAM COLLECTION
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Holly Hoehner has her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.