My name is Amanda. I’m married, a mom of two boys, and have three dogs and a cat. I started LuxMommy as a creative outlet while I was working full-time in the corporate world. I honestly had no idea what the possibilities were when I started. I was very green when it came to social media influencers, bloggers, etc. I didn’t know any in my real life. I just needed a creative outlet, and I knew others out there had similar interests. Right now, it’s just me! I was working with an assistant, but with the pandemic’s hit at the beginning of the year, that changed. She would help me a lot with graphics, scheduling, and things like that. I hope to replace her eventually when things settle down.
LuxMommy just came to me one day when I was lying in bed. When I started the channel, I didn’t know it would be what it is today. I started with the idea that I would only do handbag-related content. I instantly searched, and nobody was using it, so I used it immediately. I think it fits. It’s different and really is an excellent example of who I am. I always say that I am just a boring mom carrying a lovely handbag. Haha! Now I share much more than only handbag content. I was really able to make LuxMommy mine, not that it wasn’t before, but I grew into it if that makes sense. Now it really is an extension of me. I still don’t show a lot. I value my privacy, which is challenging in this industry.
When I started LuxMommy, I only used my cell phone. I think it was the iPhone5s at that time. I was a little behind in the phone technology department, don’t judge. Haha. I didn’t even have a tripod. I would just lean my phone against a shoebox or something. The quality was horrible, with no lighting, no editing. It was pretty bad. Looking back, I am surprised I grew. With that said, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love that I started so small. It’s been four years now, and I think that starting out small was realistic for me. I needed to see if this were even something I’d enjoy. I get bored quickly.
Eventually, I bought a little point and shoot camera. Still no lighting or editing, but at least it was a real camera. I didn’t have this master plan. I just wanted to get on camera and connect with others. My love for luxury handbags encouraged me to start, and a friend who was also as addicted as I was. You either love luxury handbags or don’t. If you don’t, you certainly didn’t want to talk about them, and when I was obsessed with them, I could talk about them all the time. I did a ton of research about them and wanted to find a place that others loved it as much as I did, too, without being judged.
I used to watch a bunch of YouTube videos and talk about those videos with a friend. Then one day, she said, you should just start a channel. It felt crazy to me, but then I thought about it for real. In the beginning, I would only share my bag of the day on Instagram, but LuxMommy really started on YouTube. The inspirational quote that I cherish from the start is, “Be your biggest cheerleader!” What keeps me motivated is the connection. I know some people don’t get that. It’s hard to understand, but I love that I have this community of women that truly support each other. It’s not about me, I mean, I am the hostess to the party, but it’s about the community. It’s really amazing.
I used to struggle when it came to getting content ideas. I still do sometimes even now, but I listen to my audience. I make notes when I get a request in the comments. I also see how my followers respond to content that I’ve already created and ask myself if I can somehow expand. I keep lists of content ideas for every platform in my planner. I even break it down into categories (beauty, lifestyle, etc.).
Even with all the lists and ideas available to me, I still sometimes need a break. My brain just feels blocked, and I have to take a step back. When that happens, I allow myself that time. I am naturally a busy body.
I am a doer, but I also need to breathe for a moment, and when my body, my mind asks for that, I listen.
This will always be a creative place for me, and if I force it, the passion I have for it will go away. I love it too much to get to that point.
So this may surprise you, but I am actually pretty technology challenged. When I first started, I watched YouTube for hours to learn how to split video or write a blog post. I taught myself everything. I am on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Oh, and TikTok, but not really. I currently use Canva, Lightroom, and iMovie for all my content.
I schedule all my YouTube videos within YouTube; my blog posts get pushed out to my email subscribers via Mail Chimp. And when I post to Instagram, it’s linked to my Facebook. I probably spend the most time sharing everything once it’s on its final platform to Pinterest.
I’m naturally a shy person, so putting myself out there was a huge deal. When I first started LuxMommy, I didn’t want anyone who knew me in real life to see my content. I knew I’d be judged. If I am honest, I still get nervous filming a video or doing live on YouTube. I do not like being in front of the camera in my everyday life. I very much shy away from the camera in everyday situations, but it feels different for creating content. I honestly just enjoy the creative aspect of LuxMommy, and that passion is more powerful than the fear.
I get asked about negative comments all the time and how I handle them. I take them very differently today than I did when I first started. In the beginning, I struggled a lot when I would get a negative comment. I would think about it and take it to heart. Now I genuinely understand someone leaving a negative comment says way more about them than it does about me. I am not perfect, and not everyone will like me or my content, and that’s okay. If I get a negative comment today, I either delete it or respond with kindness. With that said, I am still human so that one may get to me, but that’s rare.
For me, I think it's about consistency. I was always very consistent when it came to content. I would snap a picture of my outfit of the day before I left for the day and share it later that morning. Then I would post one video a week on YouTube. Eventually, when I started the blog, I posted 2-3 blog posts a week. In the beginning, I feel like I grew pretty quickly. I didn’t go viral or anything. It was just a steady growth, which felt nice because I’ve always made sure to grow organically.
My day to day operations is different now with the pandemic. There is a lot more on my plate and all the uncertainty. I am still trying to figure out my new normal. Things are so up in the air, and as a mom and business owner, I need to be more flexible now than ever. One of the things that I often say to my followers is to give others grace, so that is what I am doing right now to myself. I am giving myself grace. I don’t think there are many people right now that have it all figured out, certainly not me.
There are so many things that I could give as advice to someone, but if I look back at my path, I won’t do anything different. Social media is so oversaturated that you need to have a plan; you need to be more strategic; you need to do more than I did initially. Start with a niche and hit it hard. Make a plan and stick to it - whether that’s one video a week or three blog posts a week. Make a plan and be consistent.
Hitting 100K on both Instagram and YouTube felt pretty amazing. That number was never a goal for me in the beginning. I think my dream was to hit 10K. Once I hit 10K, the rest just felt like gravy. It wasn’t until I hit 75K that I realized that maybe I would hit 100K one day, and now, to be honest, I don’t have a number in mind. My goal is always just to keep growing, fast or slow, just grow!
I wish I had a strategy and had thought that far ahead. Well, consistency, I guess that’s a strategy. If you are going to do it, you have to commit to doing it if you want to grow.
I am very fortunate that I’ve been able to partner with some fantastic brands since I started LuxMommy. Most of these brands I continue to work with regularly. With that said, when it comes to reaching out to brands myself, I am terrible at pitching, so I just don’t do it. As with most bloggers/YouTubers, I get emails daily about partnerships. I turn down 99.9% of them. I am super picky about the brands I work with. It has to be the right fit for me and the direction that I want LuxMommy to go.
My advice if you want to partner with brands is to know that you bring value. In the beginning, I didn’t take payment for partnership work. I know crazy. I honestly just did it because I wanted to and because I truly loved that product. Then you realize that you can share because you want to and truly love the product but be valued at the same time. No matter what your size, you are valuable.