“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up. just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
What an overwhelming response I received from all you amazing people, on my last post. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I will leave a link below this post, so you can have a good read.
Before we get into this one (which is somewhat similar to the last post), I just want to briefly touch on the importance of being honest and living your truth. THE CONFESSIONS OF A BLOGGER was composed out of love, support for others and just to encourage and uplift anyone out there, who may have been going through a season of discouragement and lack of hope. In that post, I talked about how blogging doesn’t seem to be all it appears to be, through images, SnapChat posts and IG Stories. There are a ton of sacrifices (depending on your personal circumstances) that go into pursuing a career as an influencer. And at times, it can be challenging and difficult to balance.
So many of you sent me private messages and comments under social media posts which made me feel so much better about sharing my personal experiences. I always aim to keep it brief and not share too much as thats not what I’m building my platform on however, It is refreshing to know that other individuals who are embarking on a similar journey are here to support you during tough times. So once again, thank you for all the positive messages, responses and overall feedback on THE CONFESSIONS OF A BLOGGER.
I often get asked similar questions from so many bloggers/ influencers such as myself, who are trying to make a success of their brand; in the fashion industry. “How do you know what to write about on your blog?” “How often do you take pictures for your blog?” “How do you get brands to collaborate with you?” but the all time popular question is… “Why don’t you collaborate/ work with/ mingle with other girls in the industry?” The last question, is one that I’ve had to ignore on too many occasions, because in the past, I just didn’t know how to answer it!
In the past, Ive met and shook hands with a number of fashion and beauty bloggers in the industry. Ive attempted to pitch my ideas to some during a private meet and greet which I initiated but the responses I received were UGLYYYYYY! I never came on a “I want to be friends with you” approach, as at times, I felt like it wouldn’t have come across as genuine. They must receive a ton of emails/ messages and face to face interactions with people who want to be friends with their level of fame as opposed to building a friendship with the person inside. Ive had doors closed (sometimes slammed) in my face and I’ve honestly lost count of how many messages Ive sent to women I look up to and never received a response from them. But its fine…It is absolutely okay. I said to myself, friends come and go and whoever is meant to be in your life, will surely be. My intentions was not to build a friendship with so and so because they had an X amount of followers on YouTube; but rather to seek some guidance or advice from someone whom I admired and looked up to as a hard working woman who was building a solid future for themselves, by following what they labelled as their passion…which was also my passion. As time went by and I continued to build and work on my brand, I noticed that God will occasionally allow certain people to pop in and out from time to time. To give sound advice and criticism that I could take something very positive away from. These people were not necessarily working in the fashion industry. It ranged from family, friends and sometimes even people I had never met before. But I always knew and felt what their intentions behind a conversation were good; therefore I took away everything there was for me to take away from it; using it to correct/learn from mistakes and continue to build my brand. As I went on, attending influencer events, I continued to shake hands and greet bloggers whom I admired and looked up to. I never gave up on sharing my ideas (briefly) with them and connecting through social handles, but I kept it as that. And I was okay with that. God later placed people in my life whom I’ve built strong bonds and relationships with. A lot of this happened during my time as a freelance stylist and I couldn’t be more thankful for those people. I’ve watched videos of some of my favourite YouTubers saying that they don’t want to make new friends or build new relationships with anyone else. They were happy and content with the people they already had in their life and their aim isn’t to build an influencer circle of friends. And again, thats fine, but is there any harm in helping someone by giving a little bit of advice when it is requested?….
I’m not saying you must share all your ideas or experience with everyone you cross paths with. Nor am I saying that you must respond to every direct message, email and comment you receive from your followers (especially if you have a huge following) but sometimes, taking the time out to read through some comments and messages and addressing it whole, can help people and encourage them in areas they are stuck in….isn’t that one of the reasons why you’re an influencer?….
As I continue to walk on this path as a blogger, I look back at the times when I used to beat myself up about the errors in my career. And yes, at times I used to question the idea of mingling with other influencers and if being greatly independent was also one of the factors hindering my success. But as I continue to look back at it from time to time, I know that It all happened for a purpose and that purpose is, God wants me to use my tools to the best of my ability and build my empire without too many handouts. I’m not saying I am superwoman and I can single handedly do this all on my own. But with the guidance from God, and those who He has placed in my life, why should I fail? Why would I need to go out there, seeking for friends in the blogging industry?..
Whenever I open up the Instagram app, I immediately type in the names of my favourite fashionistas in the search bar. One by one, I scroll through their recent posts and double tap each love struck picture, I feel (at most times), very inspired and almost connected to them; as if I have more than just a social media connection with them. And thats the magic right there…you can find yourself connecting with someone whom you follow just by staying updated on their content. Through their work, they can guide you, push you and inspire you to do better and build your brand. So you don’t have to allow that feeling of worry, rejection or unnecessary disappointment to get to you if you don’t have a personal relationship with them.
The truth is, the fashion industry can be bitter sweet. In order to make it in this fast paced area of production, you have to be as tough as nails. That doesn’t mean to say to must change your attitude and act negatively towards others (no matter what level you’re at), but you must be ready and mentally prepared to have a lot of doors closed in your face, a lot of “no” answers and sometimes, people leaving you hanging.
The truth is, there are a few influencers of a higher success level who don’t consider us smaller and upcoming influencers as worthy to succeed too. The truth is, there are a lot of them who think it is only right to communicate and work with fellow influencers who are on the same level as them. Unfortunately, you will find that some people will treat you differently because you don’t have 200k subscribers on YouTube and your Instagram account isn’t verified with a little blue tick. But never let that insignificant opinion of others drag you down to a dark place where you don’t belong. Don’t let that make you feel as if you aren’t enough or that your contributions to the fashion industry don’t count…you’ll be surprised how many people are secretly rooting for you to win!
I’m dedicating this post to a few of my favourite women in the industry (in no particular order):
- DEE MAAT- A beautiful soul whom I crossed paths with in 2013, at a photoshoot. We were both assigned the tasks of styling the models. She worked on sports/ fitness and I worked on a glam/ party wear wardrobe. She was so helpful and supportive. After the shoot, we briefly exchanged contact details and she told me she had an upcoming shoot, which she wanted me to assist her with…I was over the moon. From that moment, we’ve kept it 100% real with each other and our relationship is nothing short of amazing. Dee has helped me gain confidence at times when I felt a bit down about my content. She helped me make the right decisions towards my career in the industry. I’ve watched this woman, kick down doors and break barriers that others deemed impossible. She is one of the most strongest people I know. She has worked with some top notch people in the industry and her work…well her work speaks for itself…PURE PERFECTION!!
- DIOR BEDIAKO (FOUNDER OF PEPPER YOUR TALK)- Miss Dior is the founder of Pepper Your Talk. This is a platform for fashion graduates which specialises in workshops and assists young women and men in finding their desired career roles in the fashion industry. Dior birthed this amazing platform shortly after quitting her job at Burberry head office. She wanted to use her knowledge and skills to educate young people. Her hard work shows through her impeccable content, her consistency, her drive and passion to lead and direct a group of young fashion graduates (through The Junior Network) as well as the testimonies from those who’ve landed their dream job, thanks to Dior. She is also my daughters Godmummy and an amazing one too 😉
- ERICA MATTHEWS- The beauty that is Erica Matthews! When I said I feel as if I have a strong connection with some of the influential women I follow on Instagram, Erica certainly falls under that category. Although, I have never met her I’m always rooting for her to win. She is truly an inspiration. We are talking about a strong beautiful black woman who is continuing to climb her way up. She is an extremely talented fashion stylist, YouTuber, mentor and fashion editor. She speaks her truth, she is humble and did I mention how beautiful she is?…yep she’s gorgeous!
- DAISY GOLDSMITH– Daisy is literally a Daisy!!She is such a cheerful soul who spreads nothing but positivity all the time. I first met Daisy at a shoot where we were both styling the models. We got to chatting and later exchanged social media handles etc. This happened back in 2015 and since then, we’ve kept in touch with each other and last year, she was so sweet enough to interview me and write it up on her blog (click here to read). She has a unique style which demonstrates confidence and inner beauty. I love that about her. Not to mention, she is such a sweet and humble being and I cannot wait to see amazing opportunities unfold for her.
- KYRZAYDA RODRIGUEZ- WOW…………………………I’m going to attempt to compose this without tearing up. Kyrzayda is a beautiful and inspirational blogger based in the US. She passed away earlier on this month. When the news broke out, it was a very dark and gloomy day for so many of her followers worldwide. I don’t want to go into details about her passing because I’m here to talk about her beautiful and powerful legacy she left us with. When I first signed up for Instagram, she was one of the first bloggers I gravitated towards. Her content was almost near perfect….in fact, it was perfect. Her pictures spoke volumes, her style was fierce and her confidence shone through her poses and everything. REST IN PERFECT PEACE KYRZAYDA.