Style Me Pretty's Larson: Women Business Leaders
The second reason is we put out great content. That's always been the goal with Style Me Pretty.
The other secret to my success is Tait, my husband. He transformed this little blog into something that people were reading all over the world. He tripled revenue [by handling the back end]. He does all the development on Style Me Pretty.
Where does the content come from?
Larson: We accept content from brides with the photographer permission and from vendors from all over the world. Tait built a submissions tool and vendors can go in and upload all their pictures. And through the back end we can automatically create those photo boards. We get about 600 weddings a week in.Did you know the idea would be a hit? What lesson can other entrepreneurs learn from your experience? Larson: I don't think I knew with certainty it would be a success. I did know the wedding industry is a really visual, beautiful space and it's a very profitable space. And then it's a space where your target market is constantly craving ideas, so it's this culmination of these components. No entrepreneur knows with certainty. You trust your gut and your instincts and you get off the sofa and you start doing it. How does social media, specifically Pinterest, fuel your efforts? Larson: For the first four years of Style Me Pretty we didn't use Pinterest. All three [social media sites] have been strong. Facebook has been much more visual. Twitter great for vendors and getting that community vibe. Pinterest is new [but] they deliver far more traffic to our site than any other social media site without question. Pinterest was really designed as an outlet to document your inspiration and ideas for your personal self, not necessarily for your business, and businesses come in and use it as a form of marketing. We decided to approach Pinterest kind of the way it was originally intended. The editors and I pin things that we truly love and that speak to us. It really worked in our favor by approaching it that way. It's quite amazing the amount of traffic it has sent us. As a business owner, what has been unexpected for you? Larson: The most surprising thing with growth is a different approach to decision making. When it was just me running the site I used to be able to make a decision and turn on a dime and it was done. Now we have more than 20 employees, millions of people check into the site -- it's become much bigger and you have to be a lot more careful and more thoughtful with the changes and decisions you do make. We pushed out products that haven't worked. For instance, The Style Circle. The hope was that it would tap into the social media craze...it just really didn't take hold because the decision was made hastily. It really got away from our core business model. Thankfully we're a small organization to shift. Now we know that every decision we make is important and it affects someone in some way and so we're a lot more careful with that now.
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