6 Influencers That Challenge The Stereotypes Associated With The Word Six Influencers That Challenge The Stereotypes Associated With The Word Photo Courtesy of The Gypsy Shrine Influencers are taking over the world, and our social media feeds. They set trends, market products, make witty captions, take fabulous pictures and most of all, influence. There are negative connotations that come with the job title. People often think that these largely followed accounts promote a false reality that is impossible to live up to. These six women are changing that stereotype and showing their accumulative million-plus followers how to be an influencer without changing who they are. The vibes of these bloggers are different from the typical Kylie Jenner look-alike accounts. Take Katie Jane Hughes for example. Most makeup guru’s cake on foundation and concealer but Hughes has a unique aesthetic that sets her apart, an all natural, glowing skin look paired with fun eye colors and funky earrings. We adore these bloggers and if you need a little influence in your life, they are some follows you won’t regret. Fashionpoet 1. Annie Vazquez Instagram Handle: @TheFashionPoet Place of Residence: Miami/NYC Total Following 85.7K How did you become an influencer? I created a blog six years ago about Miami and the style scene there and it picked up traction. Can you describe your digital aesthetic? Colorful, authentic. Can you briefly explain today’s consumer relationship with influencers? Brands hire me to promote their products. I give honest reviews and only work with brands I’d really use. Have you worked with any brands? If so can you name them? Penhaligon’s London, Havaiania USA, Kendra Scott and more. What inspires you? People who are authentic, my latina roots and color. What is your life motto/personal philosophy? YOLO. What is your ultimate career goal? My ultimate career goal is to launch a motivational lifestyle brand that will inspire others to follow their goals and live a happy healthy life. Uberblond 2. Heidi Hackemer Instagram Handle: @uberblonde Age: 38 Place of Residence: New York City / Damascus, Pennsylvania Total Following: Twitter- 8541, Instagram- 2155 How did you become an influencer? I don’t really consider myself an influencer in the digital/commercial sense – it’s certainly not something that I work towards or am cognizant of when posting. If anything, I have a message and life story that resonates with women and entrepreneurs. By being honest about that – even the ugly parts and the more emotional parts – people respond. And when someone comes to me saying that they took a bigger risk or believed in themselves more because of something I said, that is so satisfying. Can you describe your digital aesthetic? For me, it’s more about the writing than the aesthetic. A picture is a mechanism through which I can write a caption and tell a story. So my aesthetic is pretty shit actually compared to many people on Instagram, but I’ve always been more of a writer so I’m cool with that. Can you briefly explain today’s consumer relationship with influencers? The era of brands and celebrities solely owning the idea of influence and inspiration is over. Obviously, a Kardashian can change business by holding a bottle or wearing a pair of boots but influence has been democratized – we can be just as inspired by a high school friend’s Whole 30 journey as Kylie’s latest lip extravaganza. And that’s awesome. We feel an intimacy and authenticity when it’s peer to peer and because of that, influence is messy and sprawling but also really crackly and fun. Have you worked with any brands? If so can you name them? In my business, it’s all I do. As an influencer, no. What inspires you? Badass women. Nature. Anyone who tries even when the world isn’t set up for them to succeed. What is your life motto/personal philosophy? Nothing to it but to do it. What is your ultimate career goal? Keep my soul aligned with my work. 3. Kathleen Pagan Instagram Handle: @endlesslyelated Age: 34 Place of Residence: Jersey City, NJ Total Following: 19.2K endlesslyelated How did you become an influencer? I started Endlessly Elated and my journey as a digital influencer after my dad’s passing in 2012. A defining moment to say the least. It was the first time in my life that I stopped ‘doing’ and starting ‘questioning.’ My dad passed away at the age of 62 so for me it became a period of “Am I?” Am I doing what I want in life? Am I living to my fullest potential? In search, I realized that although I was blessed with a supportive family, great friends, and an amazing boyfriend (then turned husband) something didn’t feel right. I felt like I wasn’t doing work that made me tick. Work that made me feel passionate. So, just weeks after my dad’s passing, I founded Endlessly Elated (strategically a name I chose to ensure it was a daily reminder to live a fulfilled life) and the rest is history. Can you describe your digital aesthetic? I would say that my digital aesthetic is two-fold. When doing fashion posts, it’s ultra feminine. Think Parisian inspired hats, lots of bows, and pretty dresses. If it is home related content then definitely bright and airy. Can you briefly explain today’s consumer relationship with influencers? Today’s consumer and influencer relationship is one of relatability and trust. No longer are celebrities and big named brand ambassadors commanding the attention of most consumers, especially within the younger demographic. Digital influencers have become the voice of authenticity for many brands and consumers have responded in large masses. However, as influencers become bigger players and some even dubbed “internet famous” the perception of consumers will begin to change and in my opinion, already has. We will enter an era, where influencers must remain engaged with their audiences and build upon those relationships to maintain the level of confidence and trust that their respective audiences command. Have you worked with any brands? If so can you name them? Yes, absolutely. I’ve worked with brands such as Starbucks, Lindt Chocolate, Target and Stonefire to name a few. I’ve also been featured on media outlets such as the Rachael Ray Show and Huffington Post Live. What inspires you? Inspiration for me comes from really strong women. Women who don’t make excuses. Women who live a life of purpose. Nothing gets me going more than hearing a story about a woman (whether I know her or not) who went after her dreams and achieved exactly what she set out to gain. It completely fires me up! Everyone’s journey is different and mine is no exception, but surrounding myself with like-minded women, women who are go-getters, who stands on their own, and who live to their fullest potential is quite the inspiration. What is your life motto/personal philosophy? My life’s motto is simple; celebrate everyday life! It’s the reason why Endlessly Elated exists. The food recipes, entertaining tips, and home décor advice that’s my work. The celebrating life is my why, my purpose. I believe it’s the reason I truly exist. Life is too short and to me that’s no longer just a saying. My legacy needs to show that I never took life for granted. That I celebrated everyday life and that I never needed a reason to do so. But most of all, that people were inspired by my footprints and lived their lives believing the same mantra. Let people cook and entertain so long as the outcome is gathering family and friends and celebrating “just because” moments. I want those people to live believing that the more they have, the more chairs they need to pull up, and the more people they need to celebrate with. What is your ultimate career goal? My ultimate career goal? That’s a tough one! I live in a space where I believe that I will never understand my full potential —that no one really does. We often sell ourselves short. I always say that the sky is the limit and the universe has bigger plans for us than we can ever imagine. But if I had to choose my ultimate career goal, I would say that I’d be the face of Endlessly Elated, a largely successful company who is run by women for women (and the fabulous men who support them!). A company that has an array of lifestyle products (Cheeseboard and champagne glasses, anyone?!), a digital presence (Hello, Netflix!) and whose story inspires women all around the world to go after their dreams. sophiehannahrichardson 4. Sophie Hannah Richardson Instagram Handle: @sophiehannahrichardson Age: 26 Place of Residence: Essex, UK Total Following: 409K How did you become an influencer? I began my career in fashion styling, which then developed into me sharing my personal style via a blog & social media channels. Now I can call myself a full-time Blogger & Influencer! Can you describe your digital aesthetic? If you follow me then you’ll notice there’s a little theme of blue going on. I adopted the mermaid trend when it started to become popular as I already had blue hair and loved glitter. I find my style to be individual and I like to keep my images quite real and relatable. Can you briefly explain today’s consumer relationship with influencers? Consumers now make purchases via influencers more so than via print magazines for example. Consumers, I think, find influencers relatable and their styles/looks actually attainable than if they were to see a model in a magazine. Influencers are influencing. Have you worked with any brands? If so can you name them? I’ve been really fortunate to work with many brands from L’Oreal, ASOS, Missguided, NYX and many more. What inspires you? The content on Instagram and Pinterest. I love researching trends and new ideas and turning them into my own. What is your life motto/personal philosophy? Treat others how you want to be treated. What is your ultimate career goal? I would LOVE to have my own beauty range one day. katiejanehughes 5. Katie Jane Hughes Title: Beauty Influencer Instagram Handle: @KatieJaneHughes Age: 33 Place of Residence: Brooklyn Total Following: 100K How did you become an influencer? By accident, I think. I think my fresh skin aesthetic and real approach to beauty has helped me gain a loyal community. Can you describe your digital aesthetic? Fresh, light real and authentic. Can you briefly explain today’s consumer relationship with influencers? I think consumers look to influencers for real honest opinions and honest reviews Have you worked with any brands? If so can you name them? Yeh, I worked with bare minerals, too cool for school and glossier. What inspires you? Real women, real talk, and cool Color combos. What is your life motto/personal philosophy? Be nice, work hard and don’t beat yourself up. What is your ultimate career goal? To encourage more people to embrace what they have. iamjessenia 6. Jessenia Vice Instagram Handle: @iamjessenia Age: 32 years young Place of Residence: New Jersey Total Following: 500K with all my social media platforms How did you become an influencer? I got into modeling first, worked my way into tv hosting and acting, then IG came along and opened up a new lane for many of us in the entertainment industry. Can you describe your digital aesthetic? I’m an ordinary girl doing extraordinary things. No, but seriously I’ve been blessed to make a career doing what I do helping others with my story and inspiring others to pay it forward. Can you briefly explain today’s consumer relationship with influencers? I believe people try out new things, places, etc based on referrals. I myself do. So, I never promote or push a product I don’t stand by or like. So when you see me post something its because i highly recommend it. Have you worked with any brands? If so can you name them? Hard Candy Cosmetics, FitTea, Apple Bottom Clothing Brand, Do You Even Fitness, GoJane, Fashionnove, Lola Shoetique & more What inspires you? My parents. They have done so much for my family and it’s only right I do the same for them. They are the reason I go hard. I take care of them and make sure they are living stress-free. What is your life motto/personal philosophy? Be true to yourself. I can’t stress that in any other way. If people are going to follow you and like you, you need to be yourself, not mimic someone or force the perception of someone you are not. That’s a terrible way to live. What is your ultimate career goal? I want to get into public speaking while working on my original music, which my team and I are beginning to execute. I ultimately would like to go on tour, not just signing but doing public self-help seminars. As a survivor of domestic violence and overcoming childhood obesity, I have a lot to say and educate. Amanda Jaguden Amanda is a writer living in New York City. She loves reading, coffee, traveling and anything that empowers women.