How did each of you start working with Carrie?
Did you know her before? How long have you known each other?
Julie: Carrie and I first met five or so years ago through various blogger groups and events in Houston. She then decided to expand her team and asked her friend (who happens to be a client of mine!) if she knew anyone who might be a good fit. We met for coffee, and the rest is history. I started working with Carrie in October of 2016.
Carrie commentary: It actually seems like way longer than that — in a good way! I don’t know what I’d do without Julie! Excuse the vulgarity, but frankly she knows how to get shit done. Ha.
Ashley: I met Carrie in The Woodlands (a town just north of Houston) seven plus years ago when we both were in different fields of work and life stages. I helped Carrie launch her original blog and we would meet at 7:30am on weekdays to do pictures before she would hurry into her office!
Carrie commentary: Indeed, we met at church in The Woodlands. And I had to chuckle a little at Ashley’s comment about different stages of life. That’s pretty much the understatement of the year. We’ve gone from neither of us being in relationships or having any kids to relationships and four daughters between us. Crazy.
Maritere: Carrie and I have known each other for over three years. We connected through Instagram and didn’t know each other before. We planned on a couple shoots together and continued working together ever since! The beauty of connecting through IG! Grateful for it!
Carrie commentary: Awwww, I’m equally grateful for Mari! And yep – we connected on Instagram and then got together in person. Now, she left out the part where I actually stood her up for our first scheduled photo shoot together. Gasp! Long story for another day. Wink.
Alex: I had been following Carrie for years and used her mural guides all the time in Houston and when I traveled!. When she posted on her Insta stories that she needed an intern I applied immediately. I met with her and Julie and got the job on the spot. That was in November so it’s been over 6 months!
Carrie commentary: Has it really only been six months? What did we ever do without our kid sister rockstar intern?! When we opened up a call for intern applications on the website and social media, Alex was the first and most professional person to apply. We met for an in-person interview, and we pretty much hired her on the spot and put her to work immediately!
Who does what on the team? Seems like there are a lot of y’all!
Julie: I started as the Senior Editor, which included writing articles, editing articles, formatting articles, getting articles ready for publishing, and managing the editorial calendar. Fairly quickly, I transitioned into the COO role, which includes helping Carrie run and operate the site, brand outreach and communication with partners and agencies, facilitation of photo shoots, Splendor Made store operations, Senior Editor duties, and more.
Carrie commentary: Like I said, she gets stuff done!
Ashley: I do graphics and handle Pinterest!
Carrie commentary: She makes it sound so simple! But there is so much that Ashley does behind the scenes! Everything from creating Instagram story templates and graphics, Pinterest graphics, email graphics, managing our Pinterest account and its associated strategy, and contributing creative ideas as well — like, she thought of the DIY guacamole bar idea!
Maritere: I do the vast majority of all photography for the blog and Instagram, art direction during photoshoots, research and planning for travel features and mural guides, scouting of locations, imagery for Insta stories, and contributions to creative planning.
Carrie commentary: Mari has such a refined eye and loves color as much as I do. I am so appreciative for how she puts her skills to work for CarrieColbert.com day in and day out. Plus, she deserves a gold medal for putting up with me on trips.
Alex: I’m the intern so I do whatever they tell me to do 😉
Carrie commentary: Clearly Alex has a sense of humor! While her answer is true, I’ll elaborate… On one hand, she does do whatever we tell her — and I appreciate and admire that about her. She has the best attitude about working! Such a willingness to learn and do whatever helps the team. On the other hand, I do hope that we also give her meaningful work that will help her grow and learn and practice some of what she’s learning in school. In fact, Alex will be taking on an expanded role here soon! Hint Hint…
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Carrie: Getting to do what I love with people I love – and hopefully spread some happiness to you all along the way
Julie: The people I work with! The creativity! The flexibility!
Ashley: I love the flexibility and that it still challenges me to be creative.
Maritere: Putting my creativity to work. I am a creative being. Creativity feeds me, and I am always with a camera. So being able to do what I love in a creative environment is definitely my favorite part of the job!
Alex: My favorite part of my job is getting to work in an industry that is so new and ever changing.
What’s the thing that makes the most money for you as an influencer?
How do you make money with the blog?
Carrie: That’s a good question which I’m happy to dive into in more detail, if you are interested in hearing more. For now, I’ll keep it straightforward and brief.
There are three primary ways to monetize a blog: (1) affiliate links, (2) sponsored content, and (3) advertising. In our case, we have a fourth stream of revenue, and that’s from our online store.
Store side note: we are currently running a clearance sale to make room for new stuff! Fifty percent off the entire store, no code needed, discount taken at checkout.
Back to blog monetization: In our case, our number one source of revenue is sponsored content. That may surprise you!
Please know that we are very particular in which partnerships we accept. We take on only deals that (1) are congruent with our brand, (2) make sense for our audience, and (3) align nicely with our brands aesthetic, values, mission, and such.
Sponsored content is what allows us to do what we do here. Sponsored content helps to underwrite the generation of other (pricey) colorful content — like mural guides, travel guides, and more.
Does all that make sense? Like I said, I’m happy to share more about the business of blogging. I’m an open book about how I think of this as a business. So, if you’re a fellow blogger and would like some further insights, just let me know.
Do you all have an office you work together at? Do you have set hours?
Carrie: As you read above, each team member values her flexibility! So we do operate with a certain amount of autonomy. Because each lady is so skilled and dependable, I trust that they are each going to get the job done to the best of her ability. However, creativity feeds creativity! And then there’s also just day-to-day stuff of business that sometimes is easier to communicate in person.
So, we do a little of everything… work independently, work together at our work space in my house, or work together at a coffee shop or restaurant or outside. A change of scenery can be just what the doctor ordered sometimes!
Are you hiring?
Carrie: First, thank you for your interest! We don’t have any specific openings we are trying to fill immediately. But we are always open to talking to anyone who is interested. It’s so important to have the right people on the bus, so to speak! As I mentioned above, the current team is so diverse in every sense of the word. But that’s so helpful in that we get so many different ideas and perspectives and opinions.
What’s the flow for how you and your photographer Mari work together? Like, how do you get such great pics?
Maritere: Carrie and I see each other at least three times a week. We have days for fashion shoots, other days for shooting collaborations and other creative content, as well as casual Insta stories. As far as how we work together, we usually discuss outfits or concept/collaborations to be shot, then brainstorm on location, and plan on images needed. The photoshoots themselves flow naturally as we have been shooting together for a few years; I know Carrie well and what she likes on her images, which allows for a comfortable setting when we shoot and for me to capture her as she is.
Carrie commentary: What she said. And thank you for the nice compliment. 🙂
How do you keep up with all the comments, DMs, emails and all that? Any tips? Does Carrie answer them all or does everyone pitch in?
Julie: In terms of Instagram, it’s pretty much just Carrie answering her DMs (and she gets a lot of them!) and responding to comments. She loves engaging with her community, so it is her behind the phone responding, which I think is pretty neat. She wants that connection herself to keep it authentic.
In terms of emails, Carrie manages her own account, and she and I both tackle the [email protected] email account (It takes two. Trust. Ha!). And then in terms of blog comments, Carrie handles all that herself too. It’s one of her favorite things to do!
In terms of tips for staying organized with all the influx of digital communication, I’d say to not let the emails pile up. That can get very overwhelming and feel like a never ending task. Try to answer them daily. Set aside a certain amount of time each day to just focus on emails. Little by little! Don’t let the task get too big.
If you were to write a memoir, what would the title be?
Carrie: More Color, Please! Duh 😉
Julie: Oh gosh – this is such a hard (but great!!) question. As of this moment, I’d say How Zoloft Changed My Life (haha! sort of kidding, sort of serious) or Eleven (I’ve moved 11 times, and each of those moves helped to define who I am).
What is your favorite program to use for graphics?
Ashley: Adobe Illustrator
What is your editing process?
Maritere: I always shoot my images on RAW, which allows me to capture as much quality and information on the image. My first step on editing is to cull through the images and select the best shots. Afterwards I open the selected images in photoshop camera raw and do basic image adjustments, like temperature, contrast, exposure, vibrancy, etc. Each image is hand edited, which means attention to detail on each image is of outmost importance to me. After the basic camera raw adjustments I transfer the images to photoshop. I never batch edit. On photoshop I first clean the images of unwanted objects or dirt on the floor, etc, correct camera distortions, color casts, perspective and crop composition. Lastly I run a custom made filter on each image and save.
What have you gotten to do as a college intern? I want to intern for a blog so badly!
Alex: I’ve gotten the opportunity to do and learn so many things. I love working for Carrie because I’ve gotten to learn about the industry and, more importantly, business. I help run the different social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter. I also ship out all the packages we have sold through Splendor Made. My favorite part is helping with the creative side of things and assisting with different proposals. I get to work with awesome people and get to go to some really cool events!
What are you going to college for?
Alex: I’m a Marketing student at the University of Houston. Once I graduate I hope to work in social media marketing, which is why I love working with Carrie!
Carrie commentary: Fingers crossed that I can afford to hire her full-time myself when she graduates!
A Couple More Things
And there you have it! We hope you enjoyed this “Ask the Team” installment. It was somewhat random, but hopefully still fun to read. Please feel free to send any and all questions you have for any of us over to [email protected] or to any of us on Instagram.
We hope you had a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!