When I think of a power-duo, the first two ladies that come to mind are Lauren and Megan. Not only have these two beautiful women built amazing personal brands through each of their blogs but they are the force behind the Atlanta based full-service marketing firm, Adorn Media Group. Get to know more about their journey into entrepreneurship below!
What was the inspiration behind starting Adorn Media Group?
MEGAN: It all happened very organically. Lauren and I met in March and our first experiences together consisted of planning a sponsored trip to LA. We worked so many deals and Lauren came up with these really strategic and specific plans for what we could do for our sponsors via our blogs. We made a good team and had lots of fun doing it. One day I was thinking about blogging & sponsorships and told Lauren she should start a business that offers both PR & blog campaigns. With Lauren’s PR know how and my blogging expertise, it just made sense. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were business owners!
LAUREN: We wanted to start something that focused on engaging tastemakers and influencers in the fashion, lifestyle and beauty space. Connecting brands + bloggers as well as providing innovative solutions was something we both dabbled in previously and just knew that we could take this to an entirely different level together!
You both are amazing bloggers as well! How has building your personal brand helped the success of AMG?
M: Thank you! The skill set I bring to Adorn comes 100% from my experience in blogging. When I started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing outside of the writing element of it. Over time, I figured out ways to increase readership & traffic by marketing my blog. Now these things are second nature to me and it's crazy to think about how far I've come. I was already offering blog consulting via my blog & so I brought that to Adorn, which was an immediate success. I also think that as bloggers, we bring a different perspective to building campaigns, which really enhances our brand, as well as increases satisfaction on both the brand and blogger side of the campaigns.
L: Understanding the importance of my brand has been a game changer. Everything form the aesthetic of my Instagram feed to the types of content I share out on Fashionably Lo, the way I position myself and my brand is what keeps my audiences engaged. As I began to fine tune this element of my blog, I developed a better know how of branding and it's impact and was able to bring that to our Adorn brand and our clients' brands as well.
Was entrepreneurship something you ladies have always been interested in? Or did you have a different career path?
M: I'm not a planner. I never really had any idea of what I wanted to do in life besides inspire others. In college, I found my love of writing & media, but still didn't know where it would take me. It wasn't until my first full time job out of college that I realized I can't work for someone else. The work environment was exceptionally horrible and definitely not common (or legal, but that's another story), but I realized then that if I'm not working to build my own dreams, I'm working to build someone else's. I quit without a backup plan and never looked back.
L: I grew up with the plan of college, corporate career, family, retirement. Done and done. But after starting Fashionably Lo and learning more and more about my own potential as a brand, I was bit by the entrepreneurial bug. I began to work my blog like a business and immediately fell in love with being my own boss. Connecting with Megan and realizing that we both had the same goals was definitely that little push I needed!
3 WORDS THAT DESCRIBE MEGAN AS AN ENTREPRENEUR: NEVER.STOP.WORKING
Seriously, I barely even take a break to eat. But it's all sooo worth it - trust me!
Do you have a business mentor or someone you look up to for advice?
M: I don't have anyone I talk to or ask questions, but I do look up to many powerful and successful women who give back to their communities.
L: My dad. He is the kind of being his own boss. Ever since I can remember, he has always worked what seemed like one millions jobs. Everything from a successful corporate career to starting his own businesses and seeing success form those as well - I definitely look up to him in that regard.
What has been the best piece of business advice that you have received so far?
M: "Don't act like you've arrived when you're just barely getting the invitation." Sophia Amoruso said that at an event I saw her at and it really resonated with me. It's important not to get ahead of yourself. We don't have offices for Adorn yet because we are working on building out client base and really optimizing our services. We shouldn't spend the money to rent out a place until it's absolutely imperative.
L: "Don't give up."
So cliche but so freakin' true. There have been times when I was too tired to answer the long line of emails or where I just thought "what is the point" but in the end, it always works itself out and I am reminded why we started Adorn in the first place. Will our business slack? Sure. But we will also grow, evolve and begin something great for brands + tastemakers and that is what keeps us going!
In your opinion, what does it take to build a memorable, long lasting brand?
M: Evolution. In order to be a timeless brand, you have to be able to change with the times by offering new and improved services. The world of media is constantly changing, so it doesn't make sense to stick to one or two methods for a long period of time. On the aesthetic branding end of things, I think it's important to stick to simple, clean lines and avoid too much color.
L: If your brand is organic and true to who you are, you won't have to try or force anything - your customers can sense that and in the end, builds more sustainable brand trust.
Can you name the most exciting moment of your careers so far?
M: For my personal blogging career, being featured in magazines is always exciting. I am also very honored (and excited!) any time a big brand that I genuinely love emails me to collaborate. As far as Adorn, one of our first clients was Vera Bradley - a national fashion brand. And we were their first blogger media buy, which was so fantastic! We were thrilled to work with them and they were over the moon about the results, which made it even better!
L: Landing two national brands within the first two months of launching!!
What are your go-to online business resources?
L: Love Google Drive. We are currently working out of our homes so having a place we can store everything and access from our desktops and our phones is fantastic. We are also huge fans of utilizing social media for engaging current and potential collaborators.
3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE LAUREN AS AN ENTREPRENEUR: Collaborative. Solution oriented. Creative
You both are extremely busy women! How do you balance business and personal life?
M: I don't. Not even a little bit, haha! It is very hard to balance. Luckily, my boyfriend is also my photographer, so for example, last night we went out to dinner. He brought his camera and we were able to snap some outfit photos before we ate. Combining work and personal life is what I've been doing. Luckily, my blog is about documenting my life, so it's important to remember that as I create content.
L: I have two planners and three calendars. Oh, and I basically live with a coffee IV attached to my arm at all times.
What advice would you give to a young woman wanting to start her own business?
M: Make sure you are passionate about the business. This business will be your LIFE.
L: Just do it. No seriously, make a list of what you need to do and just do it.
We had the idea of starting Adorn and in about two months, we were an official business with clients and too many emails but it was so exciting!
All photos by Johnny Cheng