Boss Lady: Olivia Bossert

Boss Lady - Olivia Bossert - Lifestyle Photographer - Social Stylate

Interview with Marketing Photographer Olivia Bossert

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Olivia Bossert, a UK-based photographer who works with brands (like Barbour and Joules!) to help grow their audiences, sell their products and inspire their followers. In addition, Olivia offers coaching services to fellow photographers and hosts a podcast with tips for other creatives.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I’m a 26-year-old Swiss and British female fashion photographer, based in the UK. I first picked up a camera when I was 15 and accidentally stumbled on the website Flickr.com whilst working on a school art project. I have no idea why, but photography had never really occurred to me as an art medium. I’d always been creative, and loved fashion, but struggled to find a place for myself in those industries. That all changed when I found photography.

2. What prompted you to start your own business?
The need to create, mostly. I’m wired to make stuff, all the time. When I left school, I knew I wanted to study fashion photography, so that’s what I did! After finishing, I ended up focusing on the magazine I’d co-founded, “Atlas Magazine” before eventually coming straight back to where I’d started: with photography. I worked for a few companies here and there and interned as well, but the moment I was able to work for myself, I took it. I absolutely adore being my own boss, choosing the work that I take on, and running my own schedule. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

3. Your blog and podcast are huge resources for other photographers and for businesses. How do you decide what information to share so you aren’t giving away too much?
Thank you so much! That means a lot. Honestly, I don’t really hold anything back. I believe that there is more than enough work to go around for everyone. In sharing what I know, I help others, which in turn raises up the industry as a whole, and ultimately creates more work in the long run. The more you give, the more you get back. I also just really, really love sharing. Connecting with other creatives and talking about work, creativity, and life is so inspiring to me, that I wouldn’t have it any other way!

4. Earlier this summer you wrote a blog post about your decision to stop photographing weddings. Was it hard to walk away from that side of the business?
Honestly, it wasn’t. I knew very quickly that wedding photography wasn’t the right choice for me, so I walked away. Sure, I had a moment of doubt here and there, but whenever that happened, I went back to myself and got super clear about where I was going and what my goal was: to make my career as a fashion photography succeed. Going back to that goal made walking away from weddings very easy.

5. What is Olivia Bossert Photography’s most successful form of marketing?
It varies if I’m honest! Sometimes its Instagram, sometimes people find me through a Google search and read a blog post. Sometimes it’s through Pinterest. Sometimes it’s word of mouth. I think that all the marketing I do works together quite well. There’s no one thing which is better than the others.

Boss Lady - Olivia Bossert - Lifestyle Photographer - Social Stylate

6. With iPhones, editing apps, and the popularity of Instagram everyone seems to think they are a photographer. Does that affect your business at all?
No, it doesn’t. I’m highly skilled. I know how to manually take a great image. I can manipulate light, I’ve spent years honing my craft, working on composition, creating my own editing style. I love that everyone has such immediate access to photography these days! It’s wonderful that everyone gets to be so creative. But just having access to a smartphone doesn’t suddenly make you a photographer. My clients book me for my vision, my style, and for me as a business owner and person.

7. For those trying to build their personal brands, it can be hard to think of photos to take, especially when we aren’t traveling or doing anything super exciting. Any content suggestions or tips?
I’m going to make a shameless plug here, because the ebook I just released, “How To Take Beautiful Instagram Photos” has a whole chapter dedicated to popular Instagram themes and lots of ideas of photos to take! I’ve created a discount code, just for BossLady readers: BOSSLADY001.

But to get you started, I suggest trying this exercise: Pick a theme. Perhaps it’s the color blue. Grab your camera or smartphone, and head out for a walk for an hour. Along the way, keep an eye out for the color blue. What do you see? Do you notice anything new? Take photos along the way of anything and everything which inspires you. You might come away with nothing at all, but you might also randomly take an image which you otherwise never would have! It can open your eyes to something totally new.

8. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before you started your business, what would that be?
To trust myself. To go with the flow. To not worry about what other people might think, and do what works best for me, not what I think other people want me to do.

9. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Nature, without a doubt. Going somewhere new. Getting out of my comfort zone. But also, fashion! I love clothes so much. They inspire me massively.
In terms of fuel for my creativity: I need space. Time to myself. Time to reflect. Calm. Quiet. Time away from work can be hard, but always fills my creative fuel tank right up! Surrounding myself with other creative people who inspire me, that’s also incredibly inspiring.

10. Who is a #BossLady you admire and why?
Oh gosh, so many. My best friend, Anna Clark, she’s an incredible creative and human being. Estée Lalonde for being such a powerful woman. I’m loving Alex Beadon right now. Her podcast is incredible. And my mum and grandmother, always.

Just for fun…
Favorite time of day to photograph: It’s so cliché but it has to be golden hour.
One item I can’t live without: not an item, but my dog.
Photographer idol: Paolo Roversi
Cocktail of choice: I don’t drink!
This Disney princess hair I most covet: Rapunzel, always.
If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I’d be in: right where I am, now.

More about Olivia
Website | Instagram | Podcast

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3 Email Marketing Tips

Are you a business owner who’s looking to refocus your marketing strategy? A great place to start is by creating a vibrant email presence. Email marketing is a personal and effective way to speak directly to your customers. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, are constantly changing their algorithms, so email is a great way to get right in front of your readers. Your customized message will be delivered directly to their inbox so they can refer to it whenever they want, and it won’t get lost in the mix of a busy news feed.

If you’re still on the fence, according to HubSpot, “86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly.” If they’ve purchased something from you in the past, there’s an excellent chance they want to be a repeat customer. Give them that opportunity by creating engaging emails!

Here are a few tips to get you on your way:

1. Keep emails 90% educational and 10% promotional. You have something unique to share with your customers and they want to hear it. Focus on what you can show, tell, or teach your readers and they’ll love you even more, then throw in that quick promotional bit at the end and don’t forget a call-to-action! A great example is Kirna Zabete (see below). They show their customers what’s new in the store, feature call-to-actions (“shop new arrivals”), and include a promotion.

Email Marketing - Example Email Blast - Kirna Zabete

2. KISS- Keep It Short & Sweet. If you give your customers just a hint of what you want to share, it will make them interested in finding out what else you have to offer (like the latest fall fashion

3. Experiment! Creating dynamic material can be your make-or-break email marketing moment. Don’t be afraid to shake it up and try something new.

There’s more to email marketing than this short list, so if you’re interested in learning about the rest of our tips, contact us! We’ll chat about marketing strategies and help you to grow your business into exactly what you’ve been working towards.

P.S. Take a peek at this blog post on “The Email Blast Done Well” from 2012. These brands are still nailing it in email marketing.

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To Serif, or Not to Serif? And that’s just the beginning…

How To Choose The Right Typeface - Social Stylate

How to choose the right typeface for your project

Hello! Julia here, Social Stylate’s graphic designer, and I’m here to talk (type?) typefaces. I have been an artist since I could grip a pen, and a graphic designer since I “artfully arranged” my first tri-fold science board in grade school. Back in the day (aka the glory days of Windows 95), all I had to work with were the 20 or so preloaded Windows fonts, back when Comic Sans was fun and Papyrus was exotic. With the explosion of font availability in the form of type kits and open-source sites, the selection can be both thrilling and overwhelming. With that in mind, I wanted to share my concept/thought process when it comes to choosing a typeface for a project.

When approaching a graphic design project, one of the first questions is almost always which typeface should I use. Then the questions begin… I find that after a few basic questions I generally can find my direction:

How much type are we working with? The first question is always “how much?”. A large body of text in paragraph form has different readability considerations than an event invitation. One design principle that’s constantly scrolling through my mind as I’m designing a layout with type is “hierarchy of information.” This simply means the scale of each element (i.e. type) will dictate its importance. Scale is one of the most basic ways to control your viewer’s eye (and ensure that they see the important stuff first!). Once I know how much I’m working with, I can begin to prioritize the visual information.

Which fonts/typefaces are (possibly) required? Is there branding is being associated with this type? If it is not a standalone piece of work, then there is some creative leeway. If this is for a brand, the “rules” have already been established, and it’s the responsibility of the designer to maintain the visual continuity by using the same font family.

Who is the target audience, and what is the message? The font choice must be congruent to the messaging of the artwork. A PSA shouldn’t be cartoonish, a child’s party shouldn’t be a study in the Bauhaus School of Design. You get the picture.

Where will this be displayed? Will the work be in print, or on the web? Or both? Is the typeface setting the mood with a dramatic headline, or is it supporting beautiful artwork? It may sound a little obvious to say that readability is paramount, but it can easily be lost in translation when artwork stretches across formats and sizes.

I adore an on-trend typeface, and nowadays they are more accessible than ever. However, when it comes to typefaces, the most important thing to me is restraint. Typefaces are beautiful, and some have been around for centuries (see: Garamond, Bodoni, Grotesk), and they shine gorgeously on their own with a little breathing room. Remember, good design is invisible. Happy typing!

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Chatting With Liza Fragomele

Trudy Boutique in Wilmington, Delaware - Interview with Liza Fragomele - Social Stylate

If you work in fashion, the idea of opening your own store is probably somewhere in the back of your mind, but when is the right time to take that leap? For Liza Fragomele, owner of brand new Wilmington womenswear boutique TRUDY, it was when the right space became available.

Below, Liza shares her inspiration for the decor of the store, her favorite brands, and dealing with the online shopping competition.

What prompted you to start a career in fashion? Is that what you studied in college?

Fashion has been a love of mine since I was a little girl. I really don’t think I ever contemplated another career path. I moved to NYC as I got the opportunity and started working!

What made you decide to open your own boutique, TRUDY? Was there a defining moment when you realized you were ready?

I had been talking about opening my own store for forever. After moving back from New York I realized there was still a retail void in town and I started to get serious about the project. When we got word that this space was going to become available, I decided it was time to take the leap!

TRUDY is gorgeous — the way you decorated the space, it’s so chic, yet incredibly comfortable. Can you describe your inspiration/vision?

I knew I wanted a clean, neutral space so that the merchandise could do the talking. And I wanted an openness, to feel like the store was part of the block and vice versa. When it came to the actual furniture, the brass racks came first and the rest sort of just came together naturally. The art is actually my favorite feature design wise. Each piece tells a different story, but they work together so perfectly.

Trudy Boutique in Wilmington, Delaware - Interview with Liza Fragomele - Social Stylate

With so many consumers buying online, what made you want to open a physical store?

I myself have always been a big online shopper, but there’s something about walking into a store and walking out with something – it’s that instant satisfaction that I think people will always crave. Also I think brick and mortar shopping is more personal. You can really tell a story and create a mood that inspires customers – it’s hard to do that online.

Who is the TRUDY customer?

The TRUDY customer appreciates fashion, understands quality and enjoys an intimate and personalized shopping experience. Our selection is fun, modern and colorful. I really take my time with the buy and to make sure it stays super curated and unique.

What do you look for when selecting brands/pieces for the store?

I think about the realities of the women who live in this area and what makes sense for their lifestyles. I also try to choose things that are maybe a little outside the box style wise. I hope to introduce our clients to new things and to encourage taking fashion risks.

Trudy Boutique in Wilmington, Delaware - Interview with Liza Fragomele - Social Stylate

What are your favorite looks or trends for summer?

Mini handbags, chunky gold jewelry, pastels, mixing prints.

How would you describe your personal style?

I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy, but I think I’m dressing more feminine as I get older. I’m typically pretty casual though. I wear a lot denim, I love mixing colors and prints, and I think sneakers work with everything.

Who would you say is really killing it in fashion right now?

I’m super into a brand from Copenhagen, Ganni. Its super cool but feminine, and I feel really lucky to be carrying it. In the luxury fashion world, I’m loving Italian designer, Attico. I have the biggest girl crush on the two designers – their style is so good. Japanese designer, Sacai, will always be my favorite. I cherish the pieces that I have from each of her collections.

A little more about Liza…
TV show you love to binge-watch: Big Little Lies, Keeping Up With The Kardashians – I’m not ashamed 🙂
Cocktail of choice: Margarita in the summer, old fashioned in the winter
Favorite book or podcast: I just bought “The Power of Now”- I’m trying to work on being more present
Thing you love to do on your day off: relax outside
Fashion item you can’t live without: my Sasha Samuel locket necklace and Celine white cat eye sunglasses
Style Icons: Julia Sarr Jamois, Christine Centenera, Taylor Tomasi Hill

 

Follow TRUDY on Instagram and Facebook.

Photos by Kelli Wilke

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