Stephanie Scolaro, the influencer at the center of the viral snake skin selling, has finally spoken out about the entire issue. In an interview via social media, the entrepreneur and model disclosed her opinions and plans for the future.
Having a social media following of over 100,000 comes with so much influence and responsibility. It also means being closely watched and secretly investigated by both prospective clients and the trolls.
In the case of Miss Scolaro, the young entrepreneur looking to carve her path away from her parents wealth, she became a victim of the system. The problem of celebrities and influencers being publicly punished or used as an example to bring attention to an existing law may not be the best of approaches. Recently, Atlanta based rapper, 21 Savage, was detained by the ICE over an expired visa though the “A Lot” hit maker had made attempts to renew.
A Dublin-based hotel also publicly shamed a YouTube star, Elle Darby, with claims that the influencer was being over demanding. Though given community service as punishment by a judge for importing snake skins, the negative publicity, trolls and threats the fashion entrepreneur endures daily might be traumatizing for a young woman starting out in business.
However, Stephanie Scolaro has given her opinions on doing business on social media, inequality and animal rights in a transcript below:
On Social Media:
“Even though I think social media is a great platform to promote your business, it also comes with huge complications and risks. You don’t know who you are buying from or what exactly you are buying. You can buy a baseball cap and then end up in front of a scary judge in court and not even know why you’re there to begin with.
People think that by setting up a business on Instagram, you have a business. This is not the case unfortunately.”
The content creator also spoke on how she leveraged social media to build her brand:
“I am a big lover of art, brands and photography. I love to combine my creativity and share my passion for travel on my social media. I love to show the world that they can live anyway they would like- it’s all about taking risks and being yourself; living the life you want.”
“I grew up riding horses during my childhood and I have two dogs that I love and care for very much. It’s a shame I have been portrayed by the media this way and I am an animal lover.”
When asked what she thinks she could have done differently about the whole snake skin saga, the creative stated; “I made a big mistake but I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I was young and naive. I bought a couple of products on Instagram not knowing they were endangered species. If I had any idea these products were from endangered species I would never have invested so much time promoting and even investing in the business in the first place. Everyone makes mistakes and we all learn from them.”
On Social Justice:
“I do feel like I was used as an advertising campaign. I feel the wildlife crime unit used me and portrayed me as an animal killer. I feel like I was used because of my followers, my lifestyle and just because I have some sort of influence they think they could take advantage of me. For them, I was the perfect excuse to promote animal cruelty. This is absolutely unfair.”
The entrepreneur cum model continued; “I feel I was treated unfairly by the police and the judicial system. I believe a person should not be judged on character or race and that is not anyone’s place to judge someone except for what they have done. I am a great believer in equality. No matter whether you are affluent or not. No matter what nationality you are or your ethnicity- I believe in equality and I believe everyone should be treated the same regardless of who they are or their race.”
The content creator further asked her what she would want people to know about her that the media doesn’t know:
“I want people to know that I have a good heart and I’m honest. My creativity and my ambition is to keep moving forward no matter what. I’d love to inspire others to keep motivated and positive also. I’d love to help people and show them that anything is possible and to never give up on their dreams no matter how distant they may seem”.