Gem+Elli started out as a textile brand, primarily for handmade wall decor, before the sister duo and founders, Anna and Julie Reinberg quickly realized they "needed to go in a lifestyle direction." From travel blogging and lifestyle tips to beautiful eyewear and home decor, the sisters are foremost true to themselves. Their brand naturally follows.
By Julie Reinberg
Everywhere we go, we get asked the twin question—so much so we decided to use our twin imagery as our marketing tool. From handmade textiles, we shifted toward posting about our style; and when thinking about our style, we realized that we’re most inspired with fashion when we travel. That’s how our traveling posts tie-in to the overall brand. In a sense, if you're true to yourself and your interests, an authentic brand will naturally follow.
Anna and I have always been creative types. In college, we both studied textile design and there was always this dream that we would have our own brand, but we didn’t necessarily know what that brand would be. There are so many different types of design that interest and inspire us. We never wanted to limit ourselves to one thing and we didn't!
Once you've established your brand and voice, followers and fans will find you. But it's also necessary that you proactively connect with your local community. Here's a handful of ways to go about it.
- Look through local hashtags to find other bloggers and people connected to your industry and local to your area. They're out there and posting publicly. Try several hashtags for more hits!
- Follow and engage with these people. Take it one step further and suggest to go to an event together or grab a coffee to meet face to face.
- Check if there are any networking events in your area. Trust us. There will be. If you sign up and attend, you're guaranteed to make a few lasting connections.
- Plan your own networking event and invite all the bloggers or people in your industry. Don't let a lack of networking events in your area limit your opportunity. You have the power to do anything.
- When you go to a restaurant or store, tell people what you do! Find a way to relate to their industry to make it a meaningful conversation. Meaningful conversations are the ones which will turn into friendships and mutual fans.
Of course, the biggest question is: how do we monetize all of this? For our products, it’s all about getting the most amount of eyes on them. In order to achieve that, we have go beyond our website. We have an Etsy shop, we use Amazon, and we sell our wall hangings on Joss & Main, Wayfair, and AllModern. All of these verticals help our new customers find us.
Since our twin imagery is our main marketing tool, all of our fashion posts are linked to commission-based sites like RewardStyle and ShopStyle.
Being “fashion bloggers” is not our goal. Our goal is to use fashion to sell our own products. But if we can monetize the fashion that we do post, why not? The millennial generation isn’t just about doing one thing, or having one career path. It’s about combining everything that you love and thinking outside of the box on how to monetize those things! If you do that, the rest will follow.