How fashion blogger Rach Parcell is expanding beyond the world of blogging
Fashion blogger Rach Parcell has managed to go above and beyond her blog into other realms of the fashion world.
What started as a journal for cataloging her wedding experience has turned into a full-fledged career for Parcell. Not only that, but she's managed to build a complete brand for herself beyond her Pink Peonies blog on social media networks like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more.
If that wasn't enough, Parcell has also launched her very own fashion line, featuring items like dresses, skirts, tops and more.
It definitely wasn't an easy ride for Parcell, and she fought hard to make it to the top.
This included years of work with getting her photos just right, building up a base of daily readers, perfecting her relationship with affiliate link companies, boutiques, and more.
We had the chance to chat with this inspirational blogger about her passion for fashion, her advice for starting bloggers, and more. Check out part two of our interview below (and check out part one here)!
#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Rach Parcell, click here.
It seems like your site is now expanded beyond just fashion, how did you make that leap into beauty and home?
My husband is a home builder, and I started blogging when we were living in a rental house. Then, we decided to build our own, and that's when I expanded into interior design. I started during the build process when we were asking questions about light fixtures and other details. That's when my love for interior design really blossomed. My readers were fascinated, they wanted to know what paint color I was using, what backsplash I had, what marble I chose, etc. They wanted to see more and more of my home. I think once you are able to reach a follower and connect with them, it goes from them wanting to know what I wear, to wanting to know everything. They want to step inside your life. They're intrigued, so they did things like randomly following my sisters and wanting to know about their lives. That's how it evolved into interior design, home tips, family, and general lifestyle. They wanted to know how I live my life.
How did your Rachel Parcell fashion line come to be?
I noticed that when I was working with brands after I was signed to an agency, and I didn't think anyone would want to work with me since I was just a small town girl from Utah. But people were really impressed with my conversion rates on my blog. So, if I posted something I was selling it a lot. My agency would use my conversion rates as a selling point for working with me, and that's how I initially worked with these major companies.
After I saw how well I was selling other people's product, I knew I always wanted a clothing line of my own and this was the perfect opportunity. I already had built-in customers -- my blog followers. From there, I sketched out five different dresses, ideas I wanted to have manufactured. Then I started working with a company that sent me samples back, but the fit was horrible. I knew people wouldn't like it. So, it ended up being a long process to figure out the perfect fit and the best companies to partner with for that. We launched in May of 2016, so we're coming up on a year. It's amazing, but it's been a lot of work. We've built out a team now. People to oversee the operation, people to make sure the items are high quality and match my sketches, and people that help with social media. We have a little office space now in downtown Salt Lake. It's been great to see this little dream of mine come to life because of my blog.
What do you hope your followers take away from your blog and your brand as a whole?
I think everyone's life isn't perfect, and sometimes you have amazing days and other times you have bad days. I love to follow blogs and Instagrams that are an escape for a second. If I'm having a bad day, it's nice to get online and see a pretty image of flowers or something else that lightens the day. I hope my followers want to visit my site every day to be inspired, whether it be for their home or their wardrobe. I hope it's a space that's lighthearted and can give people an escape for a few minutes.
How do you use social media to connect with your fans on a daily basis?
Instagram and Snapchat are my two daily platforms. The blog posts are really professional photos and take a week to do like I said. But with Instagram, it's real time. For instance, I Instagrammed a photo of myself walking across the street to come to AOL, and it helps people see my life in real-time instead of being scheduled out. Instagram is nice because they're just little snapshots of my life that go online. It's really easy to have conversations on Instagram. They can comment and I can interact with them. I'll get Instagram messages about personal questions and asks for tips. So, I can interact with people one on one. Then, Snapchat took it even further. It's more than just a shot of me doing something, it's a video and a snippet of the moment it happened. It's a deeper way to connect. People can just feel more connected because they see videos of you in real time that aren't filtered.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers and people that are trying to start their own brand?
I would just say to gear up and get ready for a lot of hard work. Do your research and look to people who inspire you and then figure out what they're doing. Go buy a really good camera, I recommend the Canon Rebel and then get the 50mm 1.8 lens. That's the one I was searching for forever. Get a good camera, and have pretty content, because that's what people will pin. Pinterest is a great way of driving traffic because once it's pinned, it will always direct people back to your website. I also think that with Snapchat and Instagram and Facebook, you can't control how that app is going to change.
What's nice about creating your own website is that no one can change that. You have full control over how it works and how it runs. So, I would say if you're going to go for it, create a beautiful site that you have full control over and that you can change how you want to. Don't just try it on Instagram or whatever, make sure you have your own space that you control. Also, get a thick skin. People on social media will be rude, but you can't let them get to you. I know girls who had blogs but then decided to shut them down after people were too critical, and it's sad because then you let those people win. Don't let what people say affect what you're doing. Be secure in what you're doing and what your dreams are. Don't let anyone influence that. It's also so important to network and help each other out. Some of my best friends now are bloggers. There's room at the top for everyone.
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