How Amber Fillerup Clark of "Barefoot Blonde" launched her own line of hair extensions
Amber Fillerup Clark is the definition of hair goals.
What started as a travel journal grew into a full-time career for Clark. Now she's cataloging family trips, makeup tips, outfit ideas, and more on a daily basis for her fan following. From her passion for blogging came the idea for a hair extension line.
Clark is widely known in Pinterest realms and beyond for her amazing hairstyle talents (see for yourself):
But through the years, after trying a variety of hair extension lines, Clark realized she wasn't satisfied with the options out there, so she started her own line to appeal to an affordable price point, while still giving good value to the user.
We had the chance to sit down with Clark to hear more about how her business came to be, her social media strategy and more. Check out part two of the interview below, and part one here.
#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Amber Fillerup Clark, click here.
Do you have a trend right now, whether it be hair or fashion or beauty, that you're obsessed with?
With hair, I really like the bangs with the lob look. I love the rose gold lowlights that people are doing. I think it looks so awesome. Forever, people were so scared of the brassy tones, but I think the rose gold looks awesome.
How would you say you differentiate yourself from other bloggers out there, or maybe other people who work in the beauty and hair space?
I think that my blog is a little bit of everything. I have the lifestyle aspect, just being a mom and traveling. We do love to show that you can travel with your kids and still have everything you want in life. We also have a little bit of fitness, a few recipe posts, and we have fashion and hair. It's just kind of a little bit of everything and maybe that's how it's different than others.
How did your hair extension line come to be? What was the process there?
I started wearing hair extension in high school, when I was 15 because my hair was always so thin but I've always loved doing hairstyles and playing around with my hair but I wasn't really able to do a lot with it. I bought some hair extensions, from like Sally beauty, and just started playing around with those, and I loved them. Since then, I've gone so few days without wearing extensions, just because I love them so much. I tried other kinds, like the tape-ins and I never really loved those, I'm a huge clip-in hair extension advocate. You can move them around for different hairstyles, you can take them out at night and also when you wash your hair.
I also got asked about my hair, and I've always been open about how it's not real, even though I wished it was. People were super interested in them and how I put them in. It was a natural fit because I'm asked about it daily. I got to the point where I was sick of promoting other people's products, and I wanted my own. It was to the point where you either had to spend so much to get good ones, or you had to go to Sally Beauty and there was no in between. I wanted to be the in between. Our hair is good and thick, but you can still get it at a good price. The price point was really important to us. When I was fifteen and in college, I did not want to spend $350 on a set of hair extensions. We've been working on it for about two years. We had the idea before I even had my first kid, but it just took a while because I thought it would be super easy. But we learned it was actually really difficult, we tested so much hair. It takes a long time to test it because I had to curl it and go swimming with it. You have to do everything someone would do with the hair if they bought it. It took a long time to find hair that I was obsessed with, and I am such a harsh critic because I've been wearing them for so long. We finally found hair that I felt so good about, and we just went with it and it's been really great since. It's fun to promote them because I'm wearing them every day and the uniting of two ideas and be really fun for me
What do you hope that users take away from this hair product?
I hope they feel good about their hair because I never felt good about my hair. It was always so thin. I just want them to feel confident and be able to try out new hairstyles from my website or other websites. I used to watch hair tutorials and know that I couldn't do them because I didn't have the right hair. It would be nice for people to be able to put these in their hair and do the hairstyle they've been wanting and feel confident about it.
You have a super engaged fan base -- What is your relationship like with your fans? How do you interact with them?
This has been one of the best parts of the blog. Honestly, I love interacting with them. That's one reason I love Twitter. I feel like it's a really quick back and forth conversation. Twitter feels really personal to me. I try to write back to every person on Twitter. I've made a point of responding to blog comments. Honestly, it's because I enjoy it, but I'm also a big believer in customer service, and with the blog, there's nothing to do with traditional customer service. So I engaged with my readers and try to answer as many questions as possible. Instagram is the one difficult platform. There are so many comments on there it's hard to tackle. The blog and Twitter are my two main ones. I also love Snapchat. I've also enjoyed getting to send gifts to people. Sometimes girls will tell me that it seems like my kids never throw tantrums, and how it seems so easy for me, and they'll tell me what a hard day they're having. I like to try to send those people a card and flowers or something, just to tell them my life is just as crazy and my kids are just as nuts. At the end of the day, I don't want people to think our lives are perfect. Last year we flew two readers out to New York, and that was so fun. We've stayed in touch since then.
What advice would you give to people who are aspiring bloggers or photographers or girls who really want to work in the beauty space?
I think it's nice now because when I started there really weren't a lot of blogs. Now it's nice because there's so many blogs you can look at, and get ideas and inspiration from and kind of see what has worked for them and what hasn't. If someone is looking to do this as a business it's smart to have a business plan, and set goals and challenge yourself to post a certain number of times a week. Make sure you have good photography. I didn't make money blogging for the first three years, and even then it was serious chump change. I don't think people have to wait three years today, just because it's a different now. But there will definitely be a period where you're totally just investing time and money into it. It's important to have good web design. It's important to go through the website like you would as a reader, and make sure your photos are easily shareable, especially on Pinterest. Pinterest is really huge for me personally, so I'm a big advocate of pinning your posts and taking advantage of that. I see a lot of bloggers today that are accepting so many campaigns that it's overwhelming. It's really important to me that for every one campaign, or for every one sponsored post I have, that I have at least 6 regular posts to counter it. Having a good ratio is really important to me. It makes your readers want to stay. I don't like reading sponsored posts over and over again.
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