I started Don’t Be Common Fashion when I was 16 because I saw an issue in the fashion world; I hated how people were judged by showing who they were through their clothing.
Don’t Be Common Fashion started five years ago, and has since evolved into a business that I am very proud of. I have worked with many companies – I work with large companies, ethical brands – and being a student in Burlington, I love to reach out to local companies and create partnerships.
The best way as a blogger to expand your base is to work with other companies. You gain more followers by blending platforms with other businesses to reach a novel audience. I worked with companies with both fewer and more followers than me. I have even worked with brands that are not my target audience.
Working with varied brands is successful because my target audience is millennials and millennials love learning about new brands. They are intrigued by the stories behind companies. Therefore, instead of just highlighting how amazing the products are I share the story behind the brand. As a result, the brands I’ve worked with have had positive experiences.
Rarely, I have a negative experiences working with brands. A recent response I received, grossed and creeped me out more than any other response I’ve ever read. As a blogger, I am always reaching out to companies, to try to expand my reach and also theirs. When I send out press emails, there is a larger chance I get a no rather than a yes, but even when I get a no, the response is normally positive about the business I created.
Then, I got this response:
Before getting this email, I sent my press statement to this Burlington business. As a college student, my Instagram is one way in which I collect a meager income to live my life; it’s not something that’s a joke.
I was initially unsure how to react to this business owner’s comments. I showed the email to a few of my friends. Some of them work at ski shops in Burlington and are familiar with the environment at this particular business. This business has no females working there and had previously had a job posting promoting themselves as a “Great place for you to talk bad about your girlfriend”.
This brings me to the “@buttsnorkler” suggestion. I had no idea what this Instagram was, but if you search it on Instagram it is a bunch of pictures of some bare butts. A connection of mine asked the owner of this business about his response, and it was ” Her Instagram is all about sex, therefore she was asking for this response”. While I do not deny that I have one picture of a bare butt on my Instagram page, the irony of this business owner’s comments was clearly lost as I was using it as a vehicle to discuss the phenomenon known as “slut shaming”.
Here’s a comparison of my Instagram and the Instagram this local business owner believes my photos are a good fit for.
Recently, it feels like every day there’s a new high-profile celebrity that is brought up on sexual harassment or assault claims. When I received this email, I needed to figure out the best way to respond – in a way that I believed would create the most poignant impact and create something that could help someone else with an experience similar to mine.
Coming forward about being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted is not an easy thing to do. When I was younger, I had a job and the male employees acted very inappropriate towards me, and I had no idea what to do about it, and didn’t have the voice to speak up about it.
The fact this this person who owns a business, is very involved in the Burlington community, saw no issue with the comments he made, disgusted me. Being in the position I was in, I felt writing this was the best way to speak out against sexual harassment.
I couldn’t just move this email into my trash and not say something that could benefit someone who has, had, or will have a similar experience to mine. My little cousins read my blog, and in a few years they will be entering the workforce. I want them, and others their age to feel powerful to stand up for themselves if they ever are in a position like this. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world and sexism is something that exists. I don’t want any of my readers to feel like it is not okay for them to stand up to someone or feel isolated in their situation.
The social media campaign “#METOO” showed how many people are affected by sexual assault and harassment. I want the people who read my blog to know that sexual harassment is something that they can stand up to themselves, not let anyone make themselves feel less than, and remind them, that they too have a voice that can speak out against sexual harassment they may suffer.