It’s the month of giving thanks, and I am grateful to share Stacey Freeman from Posh in Progress’s story with you. If you can believe it, she is a full-time mom, works full-time in higher education (yep, she’s a doctor working with museums to promote sustainability) and a full-time blogger/ social media influencer. She is one full-power, inspirational person, and someone who has a lot of motivational life tips to share. Whether you are a brand looking for ways to leverage your content, an influencer in-the-making, or a curious reader, this interview will leave you feeling a fire in your belly and passion for life. Thanks Stacey for your contribution to this blog and the world at large!
ZJ: When did you start Posh in Progress and what inspired the concept/ your vision?
PP: I started Posh in Progress in 2013 as a creative outlet. I was a new mom, and I thought the blog would be a great way for me to express myself and hold onto my individual sense of self in the midst of all the craziness of motherhood.
ZJ: The moment I land on your website I feel all sorts of beautiful things – it’s refreshing, exciting, clean yet fulfilling, hip, colorful – I could go on. Who designed it and can you tell us about the process you’ve taken to create your brand and image?
PP: The co-founder, my husband Jade, is the creative behind my website design and branding. He created my logo within the first couple months of starting the blog, and I still love it. I’m really lucky my husband was on board to create Posh in Progress with me. He does the majority of the graphics, photography, and design for the site.
ZJ: Which social platform (including your blog) do you feel is the most a) fulfilling for you, b) successful business-wise, c) fun to run?
PP: The blog is most fulfilling for me because it is all my own vision and I do it because I love it.
Pinterest is really important for feeding website views; Instagram is important for self-promotion and creating my social image; the blog is definitely most important since all of my social media content feeds from my blog content.
I’m pretty obsessed with Instagram and Twitter can be fun from time to time.
ZJ: Your kids are complete dolls! At what point did you make a conscious decision to include them in your social posts, and what was your thought process?
PP: Thank you! We try to limit the exposure of our kids on the site and our social channels, but we do include them from time to time. The most conscious choice we’ve made is to avoid using them as products for promotion. Ultimately, they are a major part of my life, so I do include them every now and then.
ZJ: Is social media/ blogging your full-time job and if not, what else do you do?
PP: It IS a full-time job, but I also have a professional career in higher education. I have a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and my university job involves working with museums internationally to promote sustainability. It’s a really awesome job that allows me to travel and meet so many interesting people.
ZJ: Do you consider yourself an influencer? How has that impacted your life and business?
PP: Yes, in the last few months we’ve seen major growth on our blog and social channels. We take our blog seriously as a business and it is important to us that we create quality content that people want to see and share. The biggest impact it has had on my life is cool opportunities to interact with new people and companies.
ZJ: What amount of time would you say you spend marketing yourself and your brand?
PP: I am lucky that my husband helps me with my social media too. I would say, combined we spend at least 20-30 hours a week working on social media. We probably spend 60-80 hours combined working on my blog and social media. Blogging really is a full-time job!
ZJ: No kidding! That said, can you share with us what a “day in the life” looks like for you?
PP: During the work-week, I’m like most people. I get up pretty early, get my kids ready for preschool, drop them at school, work an 8 hour day, pick up the kids, make dinner, get them ready for bed, have a little down time with my hubby, and then off to bed. Weekends are a little more flexible. I’d say my day to day is pretty ‘normal’/boring. Because of my job, I get to travel a lot, so at least 1-2 weeks every month or two, I get to travel somewhere interesting. Tomorrow I’m leaving for South Africa!
ZJ: Regarding fashion, what is your top choice for Winter style (in general or a particular item/ piece)?
PP: I love booties! I own way too many pairs. I’m especially obsessed with Freda Salvador. I found this brand a couple years ago, and I just love it.
ZJ: Haha I so get the bootie obsession (short boots, that is!), I am also obsessed, but I am guilty of wearing mine through the summer. On to the next, I think a lot of people would love to know – given your full-time job, being a mom, and what most would consider a full-time blogging and social media job, what motivates and drives you every day to do what you do?
PP: There have been a lot of days where I’ve felt too overwhelmed to stick with the blog on top of my day job and raising two toddlers, but then I think about all we’ve accomplished, and it keeps me going. Honestly, it’s pretty amazing to look back on three years of blogging and think about how much we’ve grown in that time.
ZJ: So cool! During that time you have built up a nice following on Twitter. Does Vine’s shut down and Twitter’s instability concern you at all?
PP: Thanks! Not really, social media is always changing, so we’re just trying to keep up and adapt as we can. We decided from the beginning that our blog is the foundation of what we do. There are constantly new social media channels, and we know some will go away, so that’s why our blog is the most important.
ZJ: Congrats on your first TV appearance a few weeks back! Has that impacted your following, influence, or brand sponsorship deals at all?
PP: Thanks! It was so much fun. So far, I haven’t seen any major changes, but I do hope I have more opportunities to do TV spots in the future.
ZJ: At what point did you begin gaining a substantial number of followers? What did you think and why do you think it happened?
PP: We have grown my Twitter following from 1,300 to 12,000 in 9 months. How did we do it? Through consistent effort to follow like-minded people, and tweeting and retweeting interesting things. Social media growth is all about engagement and consistency.
ZJ: What do you love doing outside of blogging and social media?
PP: I love shopping and fashion. That’s a major reason I started the blog because I just really do love it. I also love to bake, which is why you’ll find a lot of baked goods on my blog.
ZJ: Do you have a life mantra or quote you live by? If so, what is it (or your favorite quote)?
PP: I love this Winston Churchill quote:
“You will make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her. She was meant to be wooed and won by youth.”
To me, it is empowering to realize that mistakes are part of the process and that if I’m persistent and hard-working, I can accomplish anything.
ZJ: What would you say are your three keys to success?
PP: Consistency – I try to maintain the style, voice and presence for the blog. I decided early on I would post three times a week and I’ve (mostly) kept that up no matter what.
Striving for Excellence – I work hard to put out good content. It’s not always perfect, but I continuously try to improve and get better.
Patience – there have been plenty of times I’ve thought about quitting, but I remind myself that if I keep putting out good stuff, I’ll eventually get there. People often quit right before they get success. It seems like every time I’ve thought about quitting, something really good has happened to keep me going.
ZJ: Biggest dream in life?
PP: Besides traveling the world? I have a lot of dreams — some that relate to my Ph.D. research and some that relate to my blog. In terms of blog-related goals, I really want to attend and cover Paris Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week. I’d also love to have a regular fashion segment on a TV Show.
ZJ: How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Any particular personal/ family traditions, food musts, or gratitude lists?
PP: This year, we’re road tripping to my mother-in-law’s house. She hasn’t seen our kids in awhile, so we’re making the trip to California. Food musts – my husband makes the best corn bread stuffing! I also always make pumpkin pancakes during Thanksgiving weekend – my hubby loves them.
ZJ: Anything else you would like to share…..
PP: I’d love to connect with people on social media or my blog, poshinprogress.com – follow me on social channels @poshinprogress; or email me at [email protected]