The day I created VoTrends.
Before we dive into this short story I hope this can inspire some of you to follow your own dreams and your true passions in life. If you put your mind to it, you can do it.
It was 2016 the beginning of January, the start of a new year. At this time I was a senior in High School. I was preparing to leave for college and I was going to begin a new journey at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. My mom told me that I would need a job in college. There was no way that was going to happen with soccer taking up most of my time while I was at school. I really was just looking at ways you could make money online and I came across this “Wolf Millionaire,” website. It showed all the ways that you could make money on Instagram with a specific niche that you love. A few hours passed, and I started thinking to myself that I could do this if this guy can. Not to mention Anthony, aka Wolf Millionaire makes six figures doing what he does on Instagram. At that time I wasn’t really that big into fashion or clothing. My sister, who I look up to, had her own blog on affordable women’s fashion. She has always said that I dressed nicely so, I thought I would hop on board and create my own Instagram and blog. That’s when I came up with the name VoTrends. It is a mixture of my last name with Trends at the end of it. I thought it was clever since it had something to do with fashion.
January 15th, 2016 was the first day that I created this Instagram account (VoTrends). A tip that I learned along the way was to upload consistently, basically daily. I started finding people on Instagram that would feature their everyday outfits in grid format.
I basically would lay out my outfits every night before I would go to school and take a picture of them. Easy enough, right? Then things begin to change, my followers increased by thousands a day from these grids. Ten thousand, twenty-five thousand, fifty thousand followers. My monthly average following in July was at thirty thousand a month. For a few months I started out posting my own outfits. When I started to gain followers like crazy, I featured other outfits from other people. Posting at least 6-8 pictures a day of just outfits. Up until this point I didn’t really make a lot of money just a few bucks here and there. When August came around that’s when I had to head off to school.
I was in school for about a week and a half. I couldn’t play soccer anymore because of a health problem. With soccer out of the picture, I knew I could put my full attention into this Instagram gig. The third day of classes, I came out of my Econ class and had 10+ emails from brands asking if they could advertise on my page. I knew right there and then I wanted to do this full-time. I called my family and told them about it. They all supported my decision but thought I should just try to stick it out. I forgot to mention I think college is somewhat a waste of time with the classes they make you take when you already know what you want to do in life. That is non of my business though. Anyways, by the end of my first week I dropped out of school. This meant that I could really build myself as an individual.
October came around and I was at about 125K followers. I decided to make a personal Instagram account where I just post my own content. VoTrends was where I would feature other people’s content to gain them more exposure. With more brands wanting to advertise on my account the money started to flow in a little more. Nothing crazy like I said before. I ended up buying a 2011 Ford Mustang GT Premium. Before you ask yourself, I thought you weren’t making a lot of money? Well I was making enough to pay the bills on this one. I don’t regret it though, it is fun but it was a life lesson on my end. I do not have a salary so it was very difficult to pay my monthly car payment and it still is.
VoTrends was still going strong and now with my personal Instagram I noticed this one was growing faster. Makes sense, people knew who I was and people gained this trust. I grew my personal account from 0 to 54.4K followers in a year. Crazy right? Overall I had gained 240K+ Followers on Instagram and a lot of new relationships with people just in a year and a half. I have worked with many brands over the past year like, Sutro Footwear, JACHSNY, NN07, Express, Flag and Anthem, VisionPros, V-Moda, Vi Personal Trainer, LSTN Sound, Koio Collective, Shoeology, Greats Brand, Nifty Genius and so many more. Creating content for these brands has been an awesome experience. I taught myself a lot from when I started till now. Huge shout out though to my friends at @stylishmanmag and @dadthreads for really helping me along the way.
Just sitting here and writing this I could go on forever. You have to really take risks in life and do what you love to be happy. I started VoTrends at first to make money but now its a passion of mine. Till this day I am so happy I dropped out of college to become what I am today. I have traveled to New York many times and Miami this past summer to create content for specific brands that sponsored my trip. Honestly I do not make a whole lot money wise but I am doing what I love and that is what truly matters to me. Every morning that I wake up or every night that I go to sleep I tell myself that one day everything that I have done will pay off. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day but one day. My mom always tells me that, “It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.” Being an influencer and content creator for social media is the future of advertising. That is what I enjoy doing. Taking pictures, traveling and meeting new people. Not only that, I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to create my own clothing brand, VoTrends. My name is official and registered. The next steps will be a process but I know I can make it happen if I just put my mind to it I can do it. Same to you guys if you want something in life do it and don’t look back. Keep grinding day after day because you won’t work another day in your life if you love what you do.