Interview by Aleksandra Medina
How would you define your profession?
To be honest, I am reluctant to call myself a fashion blogger, since, I believe, this is the 21st century’s most hated profession. The majority believes that the ones calling themselves bloggers don’t do anything more than just post pictures on their blogs or Instagrams. Actually, this profession includes in itself multiple traditional and well-acknowledged professions. I am a PR, stylist, photographer, model, MUA, manager and, at the end of the day, my own boss. It’s neither easy nor difficult for me. Because this whole thing comes from my heart and is my passion, I became a 'fashion blogger' by accident. I only began calling myself that, when I reached the 30k follower benchmark on Instagram. Before that I simply enjoyed posting Instagram pictures to inspire my followers.
I believe not everyone can be a fashion blogger. Just like not everyone can be a surgeon or a lawyer. Most fashion bloggers don’t spark my interest, because quite many of them copy each other’s styles and look pretty much the same. The same style, the same feed, the same brands… Instead of being trend setters, they are mere followers of the big successful bloggers, who have become successful with their own style. These fashion bloggers don’t end up creating something of their own, subsequently making their content plagiarised, instead of inspiring others, which, in my eyes, is quite sad. Influencers should create their own content coming from their mind and soul, instead of copying already successful examples. Unfortunately, fashion bloggers like these are the ones destroying the perception of the social media influencer’s industry.
Some say that an unconventional job like yours takes over your whole life, is that true for you as well?
I cannot possibly imagine how I would be able to combine this lifestyle with a 9-to-5 office job. Every day for me is completely different. Of course, the most important to me are the daylight hours, when one of my most important tasks has be done – photography. If my workload was lighter, I might have been doing a full time job as well. But now that is not an option. But of course, I am not just a fashion blogger. I also work as a social media strategist, offer consultations on Instagram and Facebook, and work as a photography journalist and social media redactor for the art portal arterritory.com. Currently we are working on some new, exciting projects, where I might have a higher position, but let that be a secret for now...
How has the online content creating environment changed since you started out? Would you say it has become harder to stand out?
Honestly, there have been substantial changes. Before, social media was more natural and looked a little bit dirtier and unkempt. People didn’t overthink what they posted, like they do now. Social media today is full with overthought visual material, false news and sexual content. All of this, just to catch other people’s attention and to make money out of that attention. People are too thirsty for attention. This has driven us into two extremes - on one hand, it is quite positive that people think more about what they’re posting on the Internet, but on the other hand, the content is so carefully prepared and overthought to gain more engagement that it drives some people crazy, and they start avoiding social media overall. Not just social media as a whole, but Instagram as well. I have been on Instagram for about 4 or 5 years now. I have kept the style of my photos pretty much the same to avoid becoming a trend follower. I enjoy being unique from all the other bloggers. My ultimate goal is to be unique, keep my own style and never lose it.
What makes you stand out?
Maybe it’s the discreteness of the sponsored posts and my own special Instagram feed style. Sometimes my friends and I joke around that I should copyright my feed and call it the 'Agucci Feed'. But, of course, that’s just an inside joke.
"Influencers should create their own content coming from their mind and soul, instead of copying already successful examples."
Tell us more about how you started out.
Even when I had only 8 thousand followers, people told me that I should ask money for my work. I only started charging my clients, when I reached 25k followers. Then I realised that it was the real time for me to turn it into a business. I keep my conscience clean and have never delved into any scheming with my Instagram auditory. I believe everything took off because people truly followed me and continued doing it because of my style. I have never tried to enlarge my auditory on purpose. It only happens organically and by loving what you do. If you have that special sparkle of passion in your eyes, good energy and truthfulness to you and your followers, people will want to follow you.
How do you see the future of bloggers and online influencers in Latvia and the Baltic states?
The influencer marketing business is growing and developing. But slowly. There are still many businesses that are afraid to invest in this type of marketing. They are reluctant to put their trust in sponsored publications, because the attitude towards bloggers is still pretty condescending here. But I believe this attitude will change and businesses will realise that this is a huge market and a much more effective way of advertising their product.
"Before, social media was more natural and looked a little bit dirtier and unkempt. People didn’t overthink what they posted, like they do now. Social media today is full with overthought visual material, false news and sexual content."
What are the pros and cons of being based in Riga?
I honestly hate the word competition, but, first and foremost, there’s barely any competition. That’s the main plus. Minus – the market here is small, which often drives away foreign investors.
Describe a day in your life!
There isn’t one! Of course, it’s a lot of work in front of my laptop, development of growth strategies, creation of visual material. I make it my priority to take care of myself and am a big believer in meditation and mantras. The constant overflow of information might just drive me crazy one day. My belief is that everything is in our heads – if you believe that everything will be bad, you won’t be able to achieve anything. That’s why, when I’m feeling particularly low or overloaded with work, I try to return my positive energy through meditation or a glass of some bubbly. That keeps me sane!
"If you have that special sparkle of passion in your eyes, good energy and truthfulness to you and your followers, people will want to follow you."
If you compare where you are now and where you started out, do you think you’re near the finish line? What are your future plans? What are you focusing on right now?
I believe I am only at the beginning of my journey. Obviously, two years ago I had no clue how my life will change. During the hardest period of my life, at the age of 15-18 when I had no money for food, I would borrow clothes from my friends, because looking good was always important to me. I always dreamt of owning many, many clothes. Dreaming, of course, is very good, but for dreams to come true, you have to be kind to others, work hard and never forget to take a well earned break, when your body is running out of energy. Take care of yourself. I believe that my finish line is still far from where I am now and this most certainly is just a beautiful beginning to something even more incredible.