Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to go behind the brand. First things first, though, what are you currently working on?
Jaimie: I am currently working on the creation of The Jaimie Hilfiger Collection by La Curcio makeup line. This has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. Beauty and skincare have always been my first love (over fashion) which people find surprising. I am looking forward to creating vegan, cruelty free products that will make people feel better about themselves.
Adam: How did you become an “influencer”? What is the inside story?
Jaimie: People have always looked up to me for fashion and beauty advice. When I was a freshman in high school, I styleed the senior girls for their prom. I would style them from head to toe. From hair, makeup, dress, shoes, and accessories. I continued this throughout high school and once I became a senior I was even styling my own classmates. It was in college where I really began a love for beauty and different products. I was always giving recommendations to my sorority sisters because, if I found a product that worked, I wanted everyone to know about it. Once social media gained its popularity, it was almost instantaneous that I became an influencer in fashion and beauty. I feel very fortunate that people look up to my style and ask my advice.
Adam: Can you describe your upbringing and the role it played and continues to play?
Jaimie: I grew up in an upper middle-class working family in the Hudson Valley Region of New York. My hometown, New Windsor, NY, is about one hour north of New York City, so it was very accessible to visit the city on weekends and for day trips. Since both of my parents worked full time, a strong work ethic was instilled in me at a young age. I always knew that I wanted to be a “career woman” like my mom except I wanted to work for myself and to create my own brand. Around the age when children start dreaming about what they want to become in life, my uncle Tommy Hilfiger’s brand was really taking off so it gave me an inspiration that seemed accessible and doable.
Adam: What advice do you have for those interested in working with influencers? What advice do you have for those interested in becoming influencers?
Jaimie: My advice for those companies that are interested in working with influencers is to do your research on individuals that you want representing and promoting your brand. Make sure that they’re compatible and complimentary. Look at their social media audience and make sure that they have a strong following in the category of your product.
Becoming a successful influencer takes a lot of work. You constantly have to be one foot ahead others and have an eye for the latest and greatest. For those interested in becoming an influencer, it’s important to differentiate yourself from all the other influencers out there. Find something unique about yourself and run with it.
Adam: What have you learned about branding that would be applicable to an audience of entrepreneurs, executives and civic leaders?
Jaimie: Branding is about recognition and identity. It’s important that, before you introduce your brand to public, you need to establish the identity of the brand in a way that makes your brand recognizable to others. If you are creating a brand around yourself, make your brand personality driven. Find a unique attribute that makes you stand and distinguish your brand from others.
Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?
Jaimie: I began working as a model at a very young age, so whenever I’m asked about my hobbies, working always comes to mind first. I am lucky that my work is also my passion, so I truly enjoy what I do. I would love to go back to school to become a dermatologist because I am absolutely fascinated with learning about skin. Currently, I enjoy reading dermatological books. I also love shopping and traveling with my husband where we can find design inspirations. I love taking long walks outdoors, yoga, and Pilates.
Adam: How do you pay it forward?
Jaimie: From a young age, my parents always taught me about the importance of charity and volunteering. The city adjacent to where I grew up Newburgh, New York is one of the top five most dangerous American cities (FBI Statistics). Having this so close to home meant that I was able to see extreme poverty conditions first hand. When I reflect on my childhood, I remember volunteering in this city with both of my parents. We used to work soup kitchens, babysit for single-parent families, and drive up and down the streets handing out turkeys on Christmas Eve. Even though I was little, I could never forget how good it felt inside to give back. This feeling has continued to stay with me. Throughout high school, I helped after school at the health clinic my mom worked at and during the summer I was a candy-stripe volunteer at our local hospital. In college I frequently volunteered at the local Ronald McDonald House to cook meals for families of sick children. After graduating, I moved to Los Angeles and continued to help at the Ronald McDonald House and started volunteering with The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Today, my husband and I donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. We are new parents and realize the importance of finding cures to save children.
Adam: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Jaimie: It’s so important to love what you do because if you don’t then you will not put your best self out there. Your image is a lot like your reputation. It’s the first thing people notice when they see your photo or meet you in person. You can’t take back first impressions and nowadays you have to remember that online content lasts forever. Before promoting your brand, do your research and make sure what you put out to the public is what you want to stick.