Meet Allegra Shaw, renowned fashion influencer, with 280k+ IG followers and nearly 930k+ YT subscribers. You may know Allegra for her iconic outfit inspiration videos, or for her amazingly, fresh humour that you often catch on her YT channel. Allegra says the fashion world is her bread & butter, but don’t let this fool you from the fact that she is always open to trying new and exciting things in the influencer industry from beauty products all the way to sharing her fitness grind.
How did Allegra get to where she is today? Through hardwork, being kind to herself and others day in and day out, and making a concious effort to show up and make her dreams come to life.
When did you first start using social media?
Does Myspace count? If so then 2005! I’m not sure there was a start date to “influencing”. It’s such a funny way to describe what I do because I’m not trying to influence people; I’m informing, I’m educating or I’m building community and that’s what I enjoy the most – building community.
YouTube came first for me. I put up my first YouTube video in 2011 but it didn’t really turn into a business until 2015. I started Instagram around 2012, but I was only using it to connect with close friends. I didn’t start using Instagram for business until 2016.
I never planned on becoming an influencer. I guess I just fell into it. I started making YouTube videos as a hobby. It was the early days of You Tube so it was pretty organic and I did because it allowed me to be creative. Over time the platform grew and so did I – and I began taking it more seriously.
Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
I’m not sure there is a step by step process. It was and still is about being creative, but you have to complement creativity with hard work, consistency, continuous learning and discipline so that you can grow.
How long was it before your social media platforms became profitable? How did you live through those first few months/years? Did you have any struggles?
It took longer than you might think. In the early years when it was a hobby, it gave me a little extra cash in university. But, when I started focusing on it as a full time job, I had to make a lot of sacrifices because I was barely making enough to survive – especially the first two years. I learnt a lot about finances and budgeting in those first few years. I can’t say enough about the importance of financial literacy, planning and budgeting.
What did you do prior to influencing on social media? If you weren’t an influencer, what would be your dream job?
I was in school when I started on social media, but I had a lot of part time jobs through my school years as well to earn money and help pay for my education. I worked as a camp counsellor, in retail and at a bank! I’m not sure where I would have ended up if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now. I didn’t have a grand plan. But, I’m very entrepreneurial so I’m sure I would have ended up starting some sort of business. My mother says that I had to be an entrepreneur because no one can manage me.
What are your thoughts on social media? And what do you think is the most commonly misunderstood thing about social media?
There are positives and negatives to social media. From a positive view point, it helps to facilitate and build community, it helps with distributive education and it also demonstrates creativity – it’s a wonderful outlet for people. But, there are negatives as well and I think we are aware of them whether it’s disinformation, bullying or just plain negativity. What I think is really misunderstood when it comes to building a social media profile is the work involved. People think it’s easy creating good content and they may not understand the time and effort that is put into content creation that is interesting and will create engagement.
What negative assumptions, if any, have been made about you via social media?
I think there are a lot of negative assumptions about me and too many to discuss, but that’s what they are – “assumptions”. People seldom do research. I’ve learned that some people are always going to talk or want to drag others down, so I try not to focus on that or give them any time.
Tell us something about yourself that your followers don’t know
Of all the gifted packages you receive as an influencer, which product/item excites you the most? What would be your dream brand to collab with?
Anytime I receive something from a designer brand, I am very excited. Working with any of the big fashion houses (Dior, Chanel, Prada etc.) is one of my goals.
Who are three of the most important, and influential people in your life? and why?
This is hard. The first two would have to be my parents. They are both extremely important to me and have taught me the value of hard work, picking yourself up when you fall but also taking risks. I’m lucky they are such huge supporters of me. The third is not one person, but a combination of my friends, family and the team that I work with everyday. They constantly inspire me and challenge me to be better. I wouldn’t be where I am without all of them.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring influencer if you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip?
- Work hard
- Find your edge
- Stay true to you
Who are some of Allegra’s biggest inspirations?