Authority in the fashion world, the Instagrammer and blogger reveals the behind-the-scenes of success and the secret of the balance between life on and offline.
Fashion taken seriously
“I am very aware of this risk of Instagram and I can say with honesty that I also sometimes suffer from anxiety. The reality to it is like I have many beautiful things but I don’t have it all and I don’t even want to have it all, because it’s just stuff”
Who needs a catwalk when their own life is a show? The Dutch Charlotte Groeneveld knows well where she steps and does it firmly – because she has been preparing the ground for years: for almost a decade, she has studied fashion beyond the photos, publishing on her blog (which turned into her website thefashionguitar.com) some thoughts while analyzing the universe often seen only from a superficial point of view.
Natural, therefore, that with the maturation and professionalization of online information, Charlotte would become a pioneer in her industry – hence the solid audience base of her social media accounts, such as Instagram, where she is closely followed by nearly 400,000 users. More than the number of likes and views, the Dutch believe that her success is through engagement because she knows that dialogue exists only if it is a two-way street – and that’s the greatest asset to the most important brands in the market. A declared heavy user of the photo-sharing platform, Charlotte is not blinded by the flashes – she knows the risks the exposure brings, and even in high heels, she does not take her feet off the ground. The mother of two makes sure that her life is a healthy balance.
“I’ve been doing it seven years. When I started there was not no Instagram I started with a blog. It took a very long time to build the relationships and a network that I have right now”
Claur: So our first question is that a lot of brands and influencers are trying to get to your level of success and in the digital marketing and social media. So what do you think and what will you call a common mistake that people do when they come to this field and that doesn’t let them be actually successful?
Charlotte: I think right now and it’s always been like that and now it’s such a became such a big business. It’s I think a mistake for people to things that you start and then right away it’s gonna be a success. I’ve been doing it for seven years. When I started there was no Instagram I started with a blog. It took a very long time to build the relationships and a network that I have right now. I would say advertising it was a hundred percent dedication from the start and a non-stop thing. So now the result is that I work with the brands that I truly love. I do amazing collaborations but it took a long time and like a really long time, I would say the past four years I’m really good. This is a proper full-time job. I can make money with it. I can you know hire people to become part of the team but doubt before that it was really just a lot of input and I don’t want to say hope for the best because I know you work for it. But like you just have to build it. And that’s a mistake people get into it it’s like influencer marketing right now here I Oh my God I see him travel there where all these luxury close and of course, it’s super appealing but in the beginning, I did not work with Chanel or you know it’s like it takes a long time. So. Yeah.
Claur: What was the turning point in your career?
Charlotte: I think when we moved to New York because before I was in London and that was amazing I had read a starter. But a lot of happy hours and like a lot of the brands they actually already were like influence or marketing or blunt works with bloggers as they go to them and then they were much more open to speaking with me. They invited me to their events their shows. It sort of started growing more because they were just more ahead here than in Europe. And then now Europe obviously also came and they are amazing too. But it just took longer so for me being here made me, maybe, able to build my network bigger my business that collaboration to project to work on creatively. There are so many creative people here too. Even more time in London I would say. So it was a combination of just a market that it was a bit ahead. And that brought opportunities.
Claur: Many mothers say that raising boys and girls are totally different things. So do you agree with that?
Charlotte: Yes. Now I can. Only say there is a difference in two girls like they are seven and five. So I know how to organize a phase or two really becoming their own person other than just having his character going out now or in school, they have more opinions and I think. It sounds stereotypical but it is true like my girl is more emotional on many levels so if she does something and I would not like it it would get an emotional argument if I would go on an emotional level and if we just make it very rationale she’s fine. But she responds very differently than to my son who is much more rational. I just tell him no he can’t do this because of this. And you would be like oh OK I will do something else and or he’s very relaxed and no fuss and I mean I think it’s really great that it’s that way but it’s everybody. We learn every day how to approach them and how to deal with these situations.
Claur: Would you say that raising a girl taught you something new about being a woman?
Charlotte: Yeah I think it helps me analyze certain situations more because it’s easy to react is like a woman being emotional about something and reacts very easily on that. But now I try to rationalize those moments and analyze how she responds to me saying things sort of we have like better chemistry and like solving things because I don’t want to argue with a 5 year old because it’s not necessary you know what I mean but also not from my point that I’m the one that knows better and more from a point that I want to build this relationship where she feels she can tell or say me anything and then we will see what it gets us like how I respond to that. And also I don’t want to be the parent especially because I work. A lot and travel a lot. It’s like but I mean like if she’s slow in the morning I don’t want to make her feel like Oh she’s too rich because Mommy’s gonna be late somewhere I want to make sure that she understands it’s because she gets to school and her to be done on time. It’s a good thing to be on time. So you know. Yeah, I think that’s the best way to explain.
Claur: So what is one thing about your work that people don’t know about but you wish they knew?
Charlotte: Well I guess it’s just that it’s a lot of work and it’s non-stop like I did not have maternity leave. I mean it took two weeks off I guess but then things start again because it’s it was a one man show for a long time. I had like some creative people like photographers who work with me but it’s for a long time I was a business that I ran. If I was not working e-mails and you know nothing would happen. So I think that common mistake and then also going back to your first question it’s like it’s just it’s a lot of work. It never stops. Sometimes I make jokes about the fact that I’m like thinking in Instagram photos like I go somewhere and I’m like oh it can be a good Instagram for I’m like seriously I should enjoy this. Think about Instagram photos. But it’s part of my business and it’s like you know my heart is in it. So yeah I think it’s exhausting and it’s amazingly rewarding but it’s a lot of work.
Claur: A part of your job and a huge part of your job is being in social media and being live a lot. And for some people, it can cause anxiety and even depression. So how do you deal with that and what are your like advice would be for some people who want to have work life balance?
Charlotte: No I fully agree with what you’re saying and I am very aware of this risk and I can say with honesty that I also sometimes suffer of anxiety. I don’t want depression because that’s not the case but I get that people get depressed by it because you see a perfect thing on Instagram and the real life behind it. It’s hard to show because of people also. That’s like a bit of them. The problem is that people don’t want to see that like they don’t engage with a photo whereas something. Beautiful or well done they would if there’s a story with it. But it also depends on your whole brand. And might a person who makes jokes like real life situations and then posted and then it’s like a funny thing. Not because I’m doing loads of fashion and shows and so my audience is not necessarily engaging and if it’s not engaging then I shouldn’t do it because you know this is the thing. So you’re constantly balancing between showing what’s real showing what your audience wants to see and building your own brand at the same time. I do show for example like how I kind of benefit, for example, is like over the weekends I’m with my family. So I make sure that over weekends I close situations things we do and my kids are in it too. But I don’t use them to get bigger or to get more followers or whatever. I don’t think that it’s just a burden for people to see it. I’m also a mom and during the weekends it’s about family and I still document on Instagram photos. But that’s just to show that part of the night of my life and then into stories, I can use for more like behind the scenes real execution and even then I don’t do it enough maybe I shoot. I always love it when people do it. So it’s something I’m working on. The other thing I’m truly very honest to suppose like I wear for example last night and even with Chanel and the Webster and so and they dressed me for events but I’m very clear about the fact that the next morning before I left the house it was already downstairs. So the doorman speaks up and it’s like going for another shoot or something. I’m not pretending that all of it is mine. I work with friends as a stylist but then I stop myself basically. So you’ve just called in samples and you wear it or you shoot it and then it goes back and sometimes you keep things you get something’s gifted. But yeah the reality to it is like I have many beautiful things but I don’t have it all and I don’t even want to have it all because it’s just stuff. And it also makes it clear in my head I want to look to the next collection work with the newest pieces and that’s all about that’s why I started it. I really have this like yeah I love it. I love fashion. I wanted to share the latest collections and style in my way and that’s what I bring out there. It’s not about having it all at all. It’s just not important.
Photos: Alive Velter