It seems like influencers are everywhere in the age of Instagram, but if anyone doubts their influence, they can look at Rachel Parcell, the 26-year-old founder of the blog Pink Peonies and her eponymous clothing line, as a case study. Parcell reportedly drove $1 million in sales to the Nordstrom site during the 2014 holiday season, and that doesn’t count the people who flocked to the store to shop in-person. When RewardStyle, a company that lets top style bloggers monetize their content through affiliate links, released the projected earnings of their ten highest-grossing bloggers in 2014, Parcell netted out at $960,000, Vanity Fair reports. And that was before RewardStyle released their LIKEtoKNOW.it feature which lets bloggers like Parcell, who has almost one million followers, monetize their Instagram posts. Brands understand the ROI of top influencers and will pay thousands of dollars for sponsored blog posts, social media posts and appearances.
“[Parcell] runs a successful million-dollar fashion business, and is also one of the most humble people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” says Alex Neill of Be Social, a public relations agency that works with Parcell, “Not only has she proven to be a business leader and role model for women entrepreneurs around the world, but she’s also proof that when hard work and passion come together, anything is possible.” I spoke with Parcell to find out how she grew her blog into a business.
Elana Lyn Gross: What inspired you to start Pink Peonies?
Rachel Parcell: I originally started my blog as a way to document my life as a newlywed. It was more of a life journal for my family and friends to follow. Not long after I started my blog, our wedding was featured on the cover of Utah Valley Brides Magazine and that’s when I started seeing more and more traffic on my little space on the Internet. My wedding photos were being pinned and re-pinned and I started receiving fashion questions from women all over the country. They were more interested in what top I was wearing or what shade of lipstick I had on than what my husband and I were doing that weekend. And that’s really what sparked the idea to change my focus and make Pink Peonies more of a fashion blog.
Gross: What has been the biggest challenge and, on the flip side, the biggest reward of being a blogger?
Parcell: The biggest challenge has probably been balancing my work life and personal life. I am a wife, mother of two babies (a two-year-old and a one-year-old), and I manage two businesses — my clothing line, Rachel Parcell, Inc., and my blog, Pink Peonies. I don’t have a typical 9-5 job and so much of it, especially when it comes to blogging, is my everyday life. It’s hard to shut off the work mode when we are on vacation or even just at our home because so much of my life is shared online with my readers. I’m constantly brainstorming and creating new content for my audience. It’s something I love and am truly passionate about so getting out of work mode is difficult sometimes. On the flip side, the biggest reward of being a blogger and fashion designer is definitely my followers and customers. I am amazed that so many wonderful women from all over the world choose to follow me and my daily life to see what I’m up to and what I’m wearing. Nothing makes me more excited than seeing one of my blog readers wearing something I designed. It’s an honor to be able to provide inspiration for them every day, and in return, I feel inspired myself.
Gross: What is a workday as Rachel like? Please walk me through a day!
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Categories: Money Matters