Hello, Hillary Here. E-commerce Manager For a Vintage Fashion Company by Day, Freelance Social Media Consultant Hopeful by Night and Blogger For Caia Rose For The Times in Between. AMA!

Hillary Brown
Apr 13, 2018

I created a blog 10 years ago called Vintage Pixie in Denim that was fueled by my interest in the fashion industry and fashion history. Then I got into environmentalism and social justice, so for the sake of consistent branding, I closed shop and started working on a new blog called Caia Rose.

My weeks consist of juggling investing time in blogging and nudging my way into the social media marketing and web development freelance space. With a goal of working with sustainable fashion companies and other conscious businesses, I'm just trying to figure out the roadmap to get there. In the same or a similar pickle? Just interested in social media marketing? Then Ask Me Anything. :-)


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How would you describe your clients at Vintage Pixie? What sources do you use to check on the latest vintage fashion?
Apr 20, 11:56AM EDT0
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Apr 19, 10:37PM EDT0

It depends on the day.  Large chunks of my day are usually slated for doing work for a client be it product photograph and photo editing or researching social media best practices and reorganizing a marketing plan or analyzing a website or social media page for ways to improve keyword usage or page structures.  I spend a good amount of time looking for freelance and other work opportunities to build a more stable income stream.  Then, I fit in a few hours to recuperate and relax, anything from reading to watching TV.  Then sometimes I'm able to squeeze in some time to blog, or when inspiration strikes (which often happens throughout my day), I jot down an idea to pursue later.

Apr 19, 11:48PM EDT0
Is there a celebrity whos fashions style inspires your own?
Apr 19, 12:05PM EDT0

Not too much, I'm not really good about keeping up with what celebrities are doing.

Apr 19, 8:30PM EDT0
What do you feel is the best marketing tactic using Facebook?
Apr 19, 3:26AM EDT0

Depending on what your goal is, for me, encouraging foot traffic, and tagging events and locations are two of my preferred methods.  Foot traffic for brick-and-mortar more so because if you can get people into your store then whether they buy that day or not, it's one of the best ways to possibly build some kind of relationship with a potential customer.  Tagging events and locations to get people to come to interact with your team to build some sort of bond, or, as a nice way to show a behind the scenes view of day-to-day activities because behind the scenes views are popular now and help to build a bond with potential customers.

Apr 19, 10:13PM EDT0
Do you think that the paid sponsored ads on Facebook are beneficial for a company that is trying to market their brand/product?
Apr 18, 10:51PM EDT0

It's hard to get attention on facebook unless you have a large following to begin with that actively checks out your Facebook Page.  I've seen paid sponsored ads be rather effectively used to get customers into a brick and mortar store I've worked with, so I do think the paid ads on Facebook are worth the money.  The store had a rather broad age range it catered to so what customers they didn't capture through Facebook, they were able to market effectively to through the use of Instagram.

As with anything, just make sure you have a clear idea of the goals you are working towards.

Apr 19, 8:54PM EDT0
You seem to work a lot. Do you still have time for a social life?
Apr 17, 7:38AM EDT0

Great question Joe.  I do make sure that I make time for friends and family always, and make sure that if it is important, I drop what I am doing to really listen to the people in my life.  It helps a great deal that the friends I do have are fairly low maintenance.  I also make sure that I make time for myself so I'm not overwhelmed with tasks.

But it is a balancing act that requires constant recalibration.

Apr 18, 9:03PM EDT0
What kind of new oppourtunities are you looking for?
Apr 17, 1:56AM EDT0

I'd love to get experience with a sustainable fashion company because that is currently my main goal.  I would also like to build upon my communication experience.  I tend to gravitate to things in the fashion and beauty industry because that is what I know, but I am open to opportunities in sustainability planning and the nonprofit sector.   

While these are the types of roles I see myself being interested in, I am fairly flexible on them.  I have often gotten a healthy dose of perspective doing unexpected projects.  For example, in college, I did a sustainability analysis of the food waste management system with a fellow fashion student.  Long story short, through the power of conference networking, we managed to connect the school with a local food waste management co-op who got the contract for the following semester.

Apr 18, 9:30PM EDT0
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Apr 16, 10:24AM EDT0

I really like writing, and I've always liked writing.  As I've changed blogs and done smaller writing gigs for other people, it has been interesting to learn and develop myself as a writer and to challenge myself when I write for different audiences.  I've also enjoyed learning about new things that I maybe wouldn't have discovered without having to write on certain topics.

Apr 16, 11:23AM EDT0
Do you think one person can stick with one job for life? If not, why?
Apr 15, 5:12AM EDT0

Yes, I do, Some people know what they want to do and what they are good at and can just spend their lives doing that work.

Apr 15, 2:22PM EDT0
How important do you consider influencers to currently be to the fashion industry and why?
Apr 14, 5:46PM EDT0

I was actually reading an article on influencers in the fashion industry the other day, I'll put a link to it here.  I think with influencer marketing, as with any form of marketing, you have to do your research, make a plan then try your strategy out and really look at the data to see if you can see some kind of return on your investment.  With the collaborations that Target and other brands have done, I know that some of the featured designers have been a real hit and that some things have sold out quickly if that influencer has a strong following who are ready to buy.  I also think that influencer marketing has been done and talked about a lot and, like the article says, the way brands collaborate with influencers will change going forward.  

I think influencer marketing has a place and even having an influencer "take over" a brand's Instagram story feed could be a nice way to shake up a brand's regular posts and give your marketing team a scheduling day off.

Apr 14, 6:47PM EDT0
What vintage fashion pieces do you currently treasure and why did you choose these pieces?
Apr 14, 12:54PM EDT0

I just got a pair of Levi's 501 jeans and these are the best fitting jeans I have ever owned.  I like them a lot because they have a straight leg which allows for a more casual and comfortable fit, and I don't particularly like the elastane in skinny jeans because after a while the knee areas get that bagginess.

Apr 14, 3:06PM EDT0
Why is social media considered to be one of the best marketing avenues for the fashion industry?
Apr 14, 10:33AM EDT0

A lot of it has to do with the instant nature of social media and how consumers (at least in the U.S. market) crave instant gratification more and more.  Through social media, brands can also be more personable with their fans and followers, they can connect with the customer so the customer then feels like they are a part of the brand journey and that they can get a sneak peak of fashion shows or the production process or even what life is like in the office (which is particularly exciting if the office space is dog friendly).  Another appeal is that social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are very visual.

Apr 14, 3:11PM EDT0
If you were only allowed one social media platform to utilize for your blog's marketing needs, which one would you choose and why?
Apr 14, 6:03AM EDT0

Since my blogs tend to be less picture and more word oriented, I have always tended to like Twitter a lot.  For Vintage Pixie in Denim, Twitter tended to be better for me in terms of tapping into new potential spheres of readers (easier than Facebook at least), and it fit well with the promotional mix I had.  

However now, Instagram seems to be on the rise, the last time I checked the second most utilized after Facebook but that very well could have changed.  For that reason, I would vote Instagram.

Last edited @ Apr 14, 3:43PM EDT.
Apr 14, 3:43PM EDT0
How should new blogs market themselves?
Apr 14, 5:52AM EDT0

Blogs should be consistent with their message and marketing frequency.  If you start promoting 2-3 times a week on Facebook, try to continue to do so. 

Your social media posts should be creative and engaging, ask questions, be funny, and if you can, try to do something different that catches people's attention.  Also try to be engaging in a way that is comfortable for you, don't force funny if it isn't your thing or if you have a different flavor of humor embrace it, 

Find out where your potential reader hangs out and market there.  If you have a niche topic you like to blog about, find out which forums and which social media platforms a lot of those potential readers like to go for their information and market your blog there.

Last edited @ Apr 14, 3:30PM EDT.
Apr 14, 3:30PM EDT0
Aside from your career, what are some other things that you enjoy doing?
Apr 13, 10:32AM EDT0

Reading.  I've been in a really analytical mood since college so I've gravitated towards a lot of history, nonfiction, and political books.  If I'm in a really creative mood and other things aren't on my mind (which is like a unicorn sighting) I can spend hours drawing or writing just for fun.  I like photography just to take photos and I also really like learning new languages.  I can get by with my Spanish and French conversationally, so I've been working on just improving that like 10-30 minutes most days.  

Then yoga, karate, and dog walking keep me grounded and keep stress down.

Last edited @ Apr 13, 10:41AM EDT.
Apr 13, 10:40AM EDT0
Which is your favorite social media platform to work on? Why?
Apr 13, 4:53AM EDT0

Each platform has slightly different best uses that work well together.  Pinterest is nice because you can make a digital collage and showcase your products or services, Instagram is good and I've seen people use it as a mini-blog platform, linking it to Twitter to act as a teaser to the longer Instagram post.  Then, even though Facebook is getting a lot of flack now, I like the idea of platforms like that where you can grow a base point for your community and it could be like a forum type space if group members are committed to a discussion.

Apr 13, 9:56AM EDT0
Which do you think is more important, content or design? Which should be prioritized?
Apr 13, 12:55AM EDT0

Content.  Having good blog content helps a blog's searchability and it convinces readers to stay for the long haul.  Having good design Initially draws in potential followers.  If you have to pick one, make sure your content is stellar and that your blog is at the very least easy to navigate and each post has a good photo and/or video component.

Apr 13, 9:48AM EDT0
How did you learn social media marketing? What are some good online resources for learning SMM?
Apr 12, 8:27PM EDT0

I've learned a lot through trial and error and experimentation.  The learning process has been faster by collaborating with others and learning from people that are in the same or similar boat as me and being able to bounce ideas off of one another.  This is how I learn best.

I know that there are online courses through LinkedIn and Lydia.com and Google has the Analytics courses and others that you can use to learn their platform and some basic concepts.

Last edited @ Apr 13, 9:59AM EDT.
Apr 12, 8:43PM EDT0
How would you describe yourself using 3 words?
Apr 12, 4:02PM EDT0

Focused. Dedicated. Driven.

Apr 12, 8:44PM EDT0
Do you think it is reasonable for someone to blog daily? If not, how often?
Apr 12, 9:54AM EDT0

I'm sure some people could hack it, I personally don't work like that with anything really.  Someone could put in a little effort everyday blogging, but they might get burnt out.  I've had stretches where I end up doing social media research every day and while I don't tire of researching (I really enjoy it especially if the topic is interesting) I do better work and the product is better if I give myself breaks from looking at the project I am working on and then coming back to it with fresh eyes.

I think with blogging (and all things) one should play to their strengths and capitalize on their mood that day.  There are some days when I can bang out 2-3 posts and come up with 3-5 future concepts to later piece together.  Then other days when I am super focused and can do a long stretch of editing.  My energies are pretty cyclical so instead of fighting with myself and giving myself a hard time, I just take advantage of where my head is at on a particular day and just focus on a task to get a bunch of work done.

In short: How often and how much blogging work gets done within a given week can be different per each person.  You can force it and require hard deadlines (and some people do need that), but if you trust your blogging team, you can give them a lump sum of how many pieces you want within the month or weekly and let them delegate for themselves how they space that out.

Last edited @ Apr 13, 10:02AM EDT.
Apr 12, 8:36PM EDT0
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