“One of my most favorite memories is our first charity event myself and the original team organized in New Orleans for the Audubon Fund and wildlife rescue. We coordinated a live fashion design competition with local designers, kind of like Project Runway but live! It was incredible. And the team and I being huge animal lovers, and supporters of education, the event was an amazing experience.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dalton Primeaux, blogger for The WearHouse District and entrepreneur who has launched his social media influence into several budding businesses in the digital realm.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thank you for having me! Back in college, I had interned with an online lifestyle magazine in New Orleans — assisting their fashion editors. In a way, that’s what spawned the initial idea for The WearHouse District. I knew that I loved fashion and style, but being a part of photo shoots and trend stories for the first time really sealed the deal. After the internship wrapped, I still felt the need to share my love for style and build something creative. So, I teamed up with my best friend Veronica to start our new creative outlet, The WearHouse District — named after one of our favorite neighborhoods in New Orleans, The WareHouse District, home to some of the city’s best art galleries and boutiques.
After some time, my friend had stepped away from the blog to focus on her career. But I remained focused on The WearHouse District and in the fashion industry. I moved to NYC after college to catapult my career in fashion PR. With this change of team and change of scenery, The WearHouse District evolved from an editorial outlet to focus more on my personal style. I remember around that time I was starting to get more interest and engagement in my outfits, my travels rather than the articles and reports and reviews I was sharing. So I ran with it. And that’s essentially how my blog came to be what it is today.
Now, The WearHouse District has grown into so much more than what I dreamt it would nearly 7 years ago, back when it was birth out of my sheer need to talk about fashion. It’s allowed me to build my own business. Be my own boss. And now with my following, and the community I’ve built, I’m able to branch out and do even more — like starting my own social media management firm and my own online shop.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?
There are so many crazy stories from my career! The fashion world is definitely an exciting and interesting industry. I have tons of amazing stories from Fashion Week’s past.
But a recent crazy story from my adventures with The WearHouse District, was from a trip we took to the Nevada desert for a photo shoot. After scouting for locations for an accessories shoot, I found a ghost town about an hour south of Las Vegas that looked really cool. My friends and I jumped in the car and headed out to the town. When we got there, we were asked to sign in at a little shack in the middle of the town. We were totally shocked when the woman working the front desk made us sign waivers because the town is infested with rattle snakes crazy, barbed-needle cacti! To make the necessity of the waiver even clearer she proceeded to show us photo albums (yes, more than one) of people and animals bitten by rattlesnakes and covered in cactus needles. I thought I was going to faint. Even a step further, the woman checking us in asked one of my friends to open the freezer door of a refrigerator in the room — revealing a ton of frozen rattlesnakes! It was so bizarre! To say the least, that was not what we expected to encounter during the shoot. But despite the odd start — that ended up being one of my favorite photo shoots.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
One of my most favorite memories from the WearHouse District is our first charity event myself and the original team organized in New Orleans for the Audubon Fund and wildlife rescue. We coordinated a live fashion design competition with local designers, kind of like Project Runway but live! It was incredible. And the team and I being huge animal lovers, and supporters of education, the event was an amazing experience.
We were also in the works of building out a similar live fashion design competition in Las Vegas, raising money for homeless youth in the city. Unfortunately our venue sponsor pulled out at the last minute — but I look forward to reworking and revisiting the event in the future. It’s so important for a part of my business to have a charitable and philanthropic presence.
I also have built out The WearHouse District to be an outlet that encourages self expression, and creativity. I think that’s so important and I hope that in some way I can inspire someone else to be their true selves and share their passions.
If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
Definitely think the key to success is finding your own path. But if someone that wanted to build their own blog or social media business like me, I think the most important steps are to learn as much as you can about the industry, learn from other professionals and creatives, network as much as you can, don’t be afraid to take risks, and always trust your gut.
I also think that it’s important to gain as much experience as you can. Paying your dues, so to speak, is actually important — especially in a creative field like fashion.
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?
It’s impossible to pick just one person. My family and friends have always been so incredibly supportive and I’m so grateful for that. Very thankful to the incredible photographers and creatives I’ve worked with. I’m also so grateful for the brands that I’ve worked with in the past that have believed in my vision and enjoyed my content. They essentially helped to propel me to where I am now.
In the PR world, I will never forget one of my first internships in NYC was with Ali Fee. She’s awesome. She built her business from the ground up and is a total fashion PR powerhouse. She taught me so much about business, and the industry and the city. She still inspires me today. And my boss from my time at People’s Revolution, Emily Bungert, was truly who taught me everything I know about fashion. She’s a genius when it comes to PR and the fashion industry. She’s also someone I note from my past giving me the confidence to believe in myself and my capabilities. She taught me the importance of working hard, pushing myself, and not being afraid to take risks.
So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
Right now, I have a ton of cool collaborations and photo shoots coming down the pipeline for The WearHouse District that I’m super excited about. I’m slowly adding more layers and markets to my content outside of just fashion and style — and it is so exciting for me. I’m also super focused on continuing to grow my social media management and PR business. It’s always been my dream to start my own PR firm and I’m definitely well on my way. I’m constantly adding new exciting projects and clients to my roster and it feels amazing. I love being such an important part of a budding brand’s story and being able to share all I’ve learned in the social media and fashion worlds. I’m also excited to start launching my own online store. I’m very much still in the initial planning/testing phase but it’s been an incredible experience thus far!
What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)
My top five ideas for monetizing a brand as an influencer are:
- The most common way to monetize your brand as an influencer, is to offer advertisements or sponsored posts on social media and your blog. This is such a tried-and-true way to monetize your brand, and adding an extra layer to these services like takeovers and exclusive content is a genius way to remain relevant and attractive to potential clients.
- As an influencer, don’t be afraid to step out of the digital realm to monetize your brand. Events are a great way to add a layer to your brand’s income. Appearances, hosting events and guest speaking services have been a great addition to my service deck.
- Recognize your skills. Being an influencer, you learn so learn so much. Monetizing your brand can also mean simply sharing what you’ve learn or teaching a skill. Whether it be talent management, social media management, photography, business development — you always have a skill set you can use to your advantage.
- Sales can be the perfect way to monetize your brand. Offering merchandise on your blog or website, and designing items or apparel is another smart way to extend your brand.
- Collaborations with another influencer or established brand is a smart way to monetize your own brand. This can mean guest designing items, appearing in campaigns outside of social media, etc.
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. 🙂
I would love to sit down with Bethenny Frankel! That would be such a fun lunch! She’s incredible. I think she encompasses so much of who I want to be as a person and business owner. When I think “hustle,” she’s one of the top businesspeople that come to mind. Not only is she an influencer or personality, she’s an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. She’s a business owner multiple times over, a chef, a producer, an author, and an investor. She even had her own talk show. And she still finds time for philanthropy and charity work. Hustle, for sure! She embodies what it means to be a strong and business-savvy New Yorker, and has the wit to boot.
Originally published at medium.com