In honor of posting my home decor ideas on Instagram for three years and growing my account to over 50K followers, I am sharing some of my first photos that I posted on Instagram in late 2015. My style has certainly changed a lot over the past three years, which makes it fun to look back at how it all started. You can be successful and have your dream job without having 200K followers. I feel blessed to be able to inspire others, promote small businesses, and meet women who share the same interests and goals.
When Instagram first launched in 2010, I thought it was just an app to edit and store photos. So, I created a personal account to predominately keep overly filtered photos of my kids and dog. Then one day, I noticed that one of my art students (I taught art at the time) commented on a photo of mine. I wondered how she was able to do that; like was there a security breach on my phone. And what did those hearts mean anyways? It took me a long time to figure out that Instagram was actually for social networking and not just an app to privately edit my photos. No judging the headbands, y’all!
Fast forward to October 2015, after I became a ‘stay at home’ mom and my kids went to school. While decorating my home, I began to take photos of my holiday decorations an post them on Instagram. Consequently, it didn’t take long for me to find other moms who were doing the same. I soon learned how hashtags worked, about followers, and began interacting with others who shared a passion for home decor.
I noticed that some home decor accounts had cute instagram names, posted only home decor and often hosted hashtag challenges. A hashtag challenge is hosted by a group of similar accounts, usually weekly to share a certain theme for the chance to be featured on the hosts’ instagram accounts. Some popular tags were #mymantlemonday, #thursdaytrays, and #vivalavignettetuesday. I remember that I posted my Halloween mantle pictured below, and it was reposted by a few ‘larger than me’ instagram accounts. Being able to connect with others that share similar interests was fulfilling, especially when I was often home alone during the day. That is how Cuter Tudor began.
I will always have a passion for sharing small businesses, especially female entrepreneurs. The first product that I saw on Instagram and ordered online are these ‘grateful hearts’ napkins from Kitch Studios. I shared my Fall tablescape with these napkins and the owner Erin Roberts reposted my tablescape on her IG page. Later, a large account shared her post of my tablescape and it felt good to be recognized! I begin to see how Instagram worked and it really interested me. Decorating for holidays, styling my home, DIYing, and photography has really filled my creative itch between loads of laundry and washing dishes at home.
I have met so many amazing and talented women in the Instagram home decor community from creative small shop owners who build signs in their garage during their kids’ naps to fellow home decor and DIY bloggers. My favorite joke is that Instagram is the ‘Tender’ for wives/moms who love to decorate. (I know guys and single ladies decorate too). Instagram has allowed so many individuals to share their passion, find a tribe of like minded women and or create extra income. Whether you interest is home decor, fashion or slime, Instagram has a niche and people behind the squares that you can relate to… My daughter loves those ‘satisfying’ slime accounts, lol.
By the time mid November rolled around, most everyone was posting their Christmas decor. I think it was the first time that I put up my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving, but my dining room table was still decorated for thanksgiving. The excitement of Christmas got to me! Now that I collaborate with companies to share Christmas products and share my holiday DIYS, it makes sense to decorate early.
When you post a photo on Instagram, you can tag other accounts including magazines or brands of products that may be included in your photo. Tuesday Morning was the first national brand that posted one of my photos, so I had to take a screen shot to commemorate the occasion. This showed me that I could work with companies in exchange for product, and eventually get paid to do so. I get to decorate in my pajamas. It really is my dream job!
I spent the next year and a half growing my Instagram account before I started my blog in March of 2017. Instagramming and blogging has been a great outlet for me to share my passion for creating, decorating, holidays and DIYs. It has led to many other opportunities like magazine features, staging at The Findery and decorating green rooms for Jenna Bush and Robert Earl Keen. I contribute home and holiday inspired DIYS to my local news and hometown magazine, Modern Texas Living. I have been able to collaborate with small businesses in Waco and online shops. Most importantly, I have met some of my best friends through Instagram and became part of a very supportive home decor community.
I appreciate each of my readers for stopping by the blog, sharing it on Pinterest or Facebook and for all the likes and comments on Instagram. Finally, I have big goals as a home decor blogger! My style continues to evolve as I continue to learn and grow. This week, The Findery is sending me to the Design Twins instagram workshop here in Waco, Texas. Follow along with me on my Instagram stories at @cutertudor for an inside look!