Question: When and how did you come to realize you were an “influencer”?

Answer: I started my Instagram account @boneill_athome after we built our home over a year ago. It was a space for me to show my style and to find inspiration from others. In time people who I did not know started to reach out to me asking for design advice and they were wanting to purchase the same pieces I had in my home once they saw them styled! I then started to realize that my little personal decor account could be something more!

Question: What platforms do you currently focus on and why?

Answer: I only have @instagram. I was never a fan of Facebook or other social media accounts. I think by just having one, I can give 100% to my followers. I also believe for home decor and design, Instagram is the best platform.

Question: Where do you see the industry heading?

Answer: The world is becoming more and more digital as we speak. There are days where I think what will be the next platform app everyone will switch to? What will happen to Instagram in time? So many bloggers and influencers have spent hours and hours creating their accounts, and for many it is their business and way of income. What would happen if it all ended? I am so grateful for this app and the people I have met though it. Like everything, this industry has its pros and cons but I just hope it continues in the right path!

Question: What inspires you the most to create content?

Answer: for me I love to decorate, rearrange home furniture, and style spaces. Be being able to share my ideas with others and receive the amazing feedback from my followers, makes me want to continue every day! I never thought I’d have 10,000 people interested in seeing my style… but the fact that I do, is amazing!! I love knowing that I can help people out in the design world all across the world!

Question: How hard was it for you to build the audience you have today?

Answer: I started my account in November 2017. I didn’t start this account to become an influencer or to make money, it literally was a space I had to share my style. I didn’t care if 5,000 or 50 people followed me. It was like an engagement version of Pinterest for me! In a little over a year I grew to 10,000 followers! Now for some that may not seem like a lot.. but I do have a full time job, so this is a side passion of mine. I would never pay to gain followers, nor have I ever done anything to increase my numbers that wasn’t organic. It’s just a number folks! At the end of the day, you need to remind yourself it’s better to engage and have people engage on your account then have thousands of followers who actually don’t even look at your page!

Question: Tell us about what being an influencer has taught you?

Answer: it has taught me that not everyone is going to like you, your style, the way you do things or live your life. And they will gladly express that to you as well! So you need to bite your lip and just say ok thanks for your feedback… But this is me, and if I annoy you then I’m sorry, but I’m not everyone’s cup of tea!

It has allowed me to really express myself and become more social (I know that sounds funny because it’s all online) but I have met some amazing people through social media! I also feel like it shows you who your real friends are…

Question: What are your favorite brands to partner with and why?

Answer: home decor! If Your products suite my style then I will gladly work with brands and promote their product! I wouldn’t partner or promote someone or something if I didn’t believe in them or like their products. I also love supporting local and Canadian companies!! It means so much to be able to share a Canadian marker or company!

Question: What would you have done differently starting out as an influencer?

Answer: I was a lot more personal and didn’t really expand or look into other accounts outside of home decor and pathways for social media. I didn’t really know much about influencers or how someone could make this their job. It wasn’t until recently that I started to actually look into it. I guess I was just naive and didn’t think I had it in me! It all takes time, and once you realize your style and what you stand for, it makes things a lot easier!

Question: What is something your followers don’t know about you?

Answer: I do not work in design or home staging, although I wish I did! I am actually a teacher but I do not teach right now, i work in medical sales and marketing... no one ever guesses right when I ask them what they think my career is! ;)

Question: If you have one piece of advice to give to someone starting out in the industry, what would it be?

Answer: have patience and make time for engagement! Will you receive free product or be asked to partner with companies right away? Most likely not. And if you want a following that’s true, then engage. If you follow and/or comment back, the person on the other side will really appreciate it! Oh and don’t follow to unfollow! That’s not cool ;)