“I’ve only partnered mostly with brands that are vegan, socially conscious and follow fair trade practices. I also share the many benefits and aspects of a plant based lifestyle on my account and over the years people have used my account as a resource. I am also involved with a handful of nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles that focus on animal rights and wellness, as well as other causes. Proudly, I am finalizing my own nonprofit to give micro funding for women refugee entrepreneurs.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Agnes Mujadi, known as @artsyagnes . With over 500,000 Instagram fans (her fans call her the ‘vegan ballerina’), she has been the face of numerous brands including Amazon, NFL, Starbucks, Macy’s, True Religion, Reebok, Banana Republic, Lionsgate Studio, Google Photos, and many others. Additionally, her interest in advocating for a plant-based and socially responsible lifestyle has become the essence of her platform. Notable collaborations include ethical brands such as TOMS Australia, KIND Snacks and Matt & Nat. Agnes is a classically trained dancer at Julia Bourlina Classical Ballet in Studio City, CA.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I was a full time ballerina and then transitioned to being a photographer about 7 years ago. At that time, I decided to open an Etsy shop and a friend of mine suggested that I open an Instagram account to promote my Etsy work. After a few years of posting product images on Instagram, I got bored and finally posted a picture of myself in a ballet pose. The image went viral and it marked the start of @artsyagnes.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?
When I started my brand I was not vegan — never thought of becoming vegan — and since I transitioned to a plant based lifestyle for health reasons, my account has grown astronomically. Now we get tons upon tons of messages from people from all over the world for tips and advice on how to transition to a plant based lifestyle. I find it interesting — I never thought this is where I would end up.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’d like to think so. These days I’ve only partnered mostly with brands that are vegan, socially conscious and follow fair trade practices. I also share the many benefits and aspects of a plant based lifestyle on my account and over the years people have used my account as a resource. I am also involved with a handful of nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles that focus on animal rights and wellness, as well as other causes. Proudly, I am finalizing my own nonprofit to give micro funding for women refugee entrepreneurs.
If someone would want to emulate your career in social media, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
Three things: authenticity, consistency and clear branding.
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful?
My ballet teacher Julia Bourlina, as well as the teaching of Esther Hicks, have been instrumental in shaping who I am today.
So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
Yes! 1) Rolling out my new @artsyagnes line, starting with a tshirt and a yoga line. 2) Partnering with 2 traditional retail stores to create a sustainable and cruelty free capsule line. 3) Being an ambassador for a green brand that I truly believe in. I have a lot of exciting work coming up, I’m looking forward to when I can really share the news with everyone.
What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Consistency is the key to any sustainable success from when & what you post, down to the consistency of the quality of your post and branding.
2. I am a firm believer that your “influence” should be a true reflection of your lifestyle. For example: I could never partner with a company like McDonald’s because it does not align with my lifestyle.
3. Authenticity is important. These days the social media market is overcrowded and most of the time I can’t even tell difference between two bloggers. A lot of the feeds are starting to look very much alike and I think in order to succeed in the market you just have to do you and be you.
4. If you want to monetize your brand, you need to treat it like a business which means that you have to be a true professional in handling every area of your brand whether it’s your content, marketing, branding etc. Within my team we have all these little rules to make sure that everything is handled professionally and efficiently like for example: all business inquiries should be answered within 12 hours/half a day.
5. Build a great support team around you. My life and business were transformed for the better shortly after I assembled a support staff and found myself a manager and PR representation. Remember that in order to make you money, you have to invest money on yourself and your brand.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂
Ellen DeGeneres or Oprah Winfrey, I’d love to have lunch with either one of these amazing business women. Their stories and the ways they give back are exemplary.
Originally published at medium.com