Fashion, Kuel Category Expert: Angie Weihs
Life is an ongoing sale no matter if in business or daily life. We sell our image for money or love or acceptance by our tribe. Marketing our own product or service is our passion and sometimes even our purpose. But influencers sell other people’s stuff. How do we balance the need for being real and the want of money and success?
Many of us feel a dilemma, as we don’t want to sell our soul. Luckily authenticity isn’t a state; it’s a journey. The friendly term “collaboration” means to create with mutual benefits, reality is simply that brands pay us with products or money for us to praise them. That’s paid advertising.
What Doesn’t Work For Me:
Some influencers made my skin crawl sugar coating product values or even lying with photo shopped before-and-after pictures. Pushing well-known polluters and applauding health threatening fast food and pharmaceuticals makes my skin crawl. I thanked the fast fashion brands that hit me up for their interest, but I did not take their money. I felt positively righteous and kept my Instagram gallery “pure.” As a storyteller, I aimed for being like Hulu without ads. (But then Hulu gets paid for the luxury of ad-freedom.)
People Like To Be Sold To?
“It was her joy that was contagious”
The account of a good friend who advertised the heck out of her gallery made me stop and wonder. Instead of being put off, her followers loved her sales posts. Her number of followers even grew. People like to be sold to? Putting judgment aside, I observed for a while and her vibe said, “I love what I am doing.” It was her joy that was contagious and the small business she advertises were often up to my eco-loving standards. Maybe I could be like her?
A casting agent told me that my style and opinions were too young for the midlife crowd and I was too old to be an influencer for Millennials. When she added that at my age I needed to have gray hair, I sulked; I was a rad rebel midlife influencer and would be blonde forever. Resistance is a multi-layered response and mine wasn’t productive. What was my Yes? Why would I promote products?
Our Why Is A Tool For Freedom:
“products tell their tales too and they can be symbolic for our message”
No matter if we sell or promote a product, service, story or philosophy, life is an ongoing sale until we ask why. Does our presence solidify the old mindset of a patriarchal society? Does it cement the old ideas of what beauty or aging is? Are we lulling people to sleep in their cozy bedding or waking them up to adventures? Is our why propelling us to the life of our dreams?
A jar of organic Sauerkraut in my hand reminded me how its fermented magic had helped me stay slim and gut-healthy since I was a teenager. Right then an epiphany hit me. It wasn’t just about ageless mindset and fearless style stories; products tell their tales too and they can be symbolic for our message.
Influencers Can Change The World:
“Remember “our vibe attracts our tribe!””
With the power of being an influencer comes great responsibility, to set trends not to follow them, to provoke discussions, open minds and create quality and equality. We don’t squeeze ourselves into the “normal” of the advertising world.
1. We influence not just our followers but brands by being picky and checking on their practices. Telling them why we don’t want to work with them will make them rethink and change their policies. When I was a wedding planner, I asked every company I worked with about their eco-friendly measures. If they didn’t have any like recycling or organic food, I chose a company who had. Who wants to lose 500 guest weddings? I got restaurants to do recycling, offer organic and vegan choices and transport rentals in eco fueled trucks. Influencers have that same power; brands don’t want to lose powerful Instagrammers.
2. Remember “our vibe attracts our tribe!” We invite the advertising gigs we like with our conscious branding letting our philosophy of life shows up in our style.
3. We choose who we want to collaborate with. The value in the word collaboration becomes a true give and take when we support mindful small businesses and sustainable companies with empowering philosophies. We lift collaborations to a new level; we create a crew of strong female characters who slay evil practices, rescue the environment, and save the world…all while wearing heels.
Stay True To You:
And yes, we might lose a big bad advertising gig when we let our soul speak but we gain self-respect and use our influence for a better world; we are the beauty queens who mean it.
When our why styles our actions, life is an ongoing collaboration.
About the Author:
Angie Weihs is a fashion forward Instagram influencer. In nearly three years of outfit explorations, fashion evolved as a tool for awareness and empowerment. Women who embarked on a styling journey with her found confidence by discovering their ”real.”
Her upcoming memoir, “Maybe you should wear pink,” lets outfits talk and shows how to wear our souls on our sleeves so that the Universe can have our back. Reinventing ourselves during a worldwide pandemic is an unprecedented challenge. Angie’s goal is to let our style help us rethink, redefine, and re-feel our lives. And, provide the clarity and power we need to reinvent a broken world. You can follow Angie on Instagram at agelessrebelmagic.