Tech

What Emma Did

We talk to Emma Campbell of What Emma Did, the popular fashion and lifestyle blog.

Whatemmadid.com is a Manchester based Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle blog and online boutique, born in Jan 2010. The fashion blog turned ‘blogtique’ discusses all lifestyle news, as well hosting ‘The Boutique‘ – a dedicated dress shop destination.

Whatemmadid.com scooped the award for Cosmopolitan Best New Fashion Blog 2010, opening up partnerships with Cosmopolitan, Handpicked Media, London Fashion Week and Matalan. Emma Campbell graduated from The University of Central Lancashire in 2007, with a BA Hones in Fashion and Brand Promotion with Journalism. Emma is also a Manchester, Cheshire and North West based Make-up Artist. We talk to her to find out more...

I came up with the idea when…
 Back in 2009, I used to freelance for a number of fashion and beauty magazines online and in print, therefore set up a website called whatemmadid.com to record all my published features, articles and reviews. As I have a real love for writing about fashion and beauty, I started to blog about various events, launches, new collections and brands etc, which soon started to get picked up by brands who then wanted to work with me. Back in 2010, there weren’t too many fashion blogs around, so it picked up a huge readership really quickly.

The biggest challenge is…
 Nowadays, it is setting your blog aside from everyone else’s. The blogging business is a very saturated market, and you need to have some sort of niche to make people remember yours. In April this year, I launched a boutique page as part of whatemmadid.com, which is a dedicated dress retail area on the site. My blog readers can read up on all my fashion, beauty and lifestyle news, and also shop my range of dresses on the blog too.

The average day is spent…
 At the moment, I juggle running the business with working in PR, which is very difficult but hopefully it won’t remain like this for long. Running my business works around my mornings, evenings and weekends, and the rest of the times I have to make sure I am always answering emails and updating social media. Every morning I schedule my business social media presence using Hootsuite - social media is one of the best ways to reach out to new readers and audiences, therefore it’s essential to active on all channels this at all times. I get sent a lot of products and press releases from brands on a daily basis too, therefore most days I sort through the products and work out a schedule for posting. During my evenings, I’ll go through my sales orders and package up the dresses for next day delivery. It’s very manic at present!

The team consists of... Just me! I have a freelance web developer who assists on any urgent website changes, and a photographer whose studio I go to to shoot the dress collections, but other than that I run the business single handed.

My favourite quote…
 Feel the fear and do it anyway. Many times during running the business, I got scared to take risks or felt I wasn’t good enough to go down certain avenues. I’ve learnt to just say yes to everything now and then worry how I’ll pull through later!

I am where I am today because of…
 My passion. Sometimes, after a long day at work or if I’ve had a pretty awful day, knowing I have to go home and turn on my laptop and get working on whatemmadid.com can be tiring. But as soon as I have logged on and start editing imagery and writing, I’m in my favourite place. My passion for the fashion and beauty industry has really helped get me where I am.

I am who I am because of... The choices I have made. I run my business, work my day job, have my social life and live my life through my own decisions and thoughts of my own. Maybe that’s not always a good thing!

The best advice I've been given... 
It’s cliché advice, but if you want something that badly, you will get it. I never thought I would be close to making a living from writing about my love for fashion and beauty, but because I have wanted a career centred around it, I’ve pushed myself so hard. And I guess that has brought on the success I have found today.

In five years I’d like to be…
 Running whatemmadid.com full time, as a daily fashion, beauty and lifestyle news site and dedicated dress boutique. My clothing collection would be growing and growing, and hopefully my blog will allow me to travel more, so I can focus on international features too.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... 
Is that you actually morph into a virtual life. You have internet friends, social media friends – people you speak to purely online but you feel they know you more than your ‘real’ friends. Running a business online means you are glued to social media apps and emails, which turns you into some online hermit. It’s not really a bad thing though…

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us…
 I didn’t look into good photography early enough. What you have to realise is that an online business has to be visually pleasing, as customers and readers are judging you on first glance. It took me four years of running whatemmadid.com to update my camera. I honestly think I have missed opportunities due to the poor photography I had a few years back.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date…
 Winning the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards in 2010, and being interviewed on the news as a blogging professional at Ladies Day with Matalan. I have also secured some brilliant press coverage features about the launch of the boutique, which has given my brand some excellent write-ups. Hopefully, things will continue going this way!

4 August 2015