You can’t help but want to linger when you get invited to a party at the home of The Fashionable Hostess herself, Amanda Gluck. The Miami mama has the most glorious home with plenty of space to lounge but what makes you want to stay is Amanda’s gracious way of setting any nerves at ease and her warm hospitable smile. After a career in fashion PR, Amanda relocated to her hometown of Miami to start her family and after she started blogging about her engagement, quickly realized she had a whole new career at her fingertips. Flash forward to Amanda creating an insanely popular blog and business where she creates content, curates parties and crushes any Pinterest challenge with ease. There are no #fails as far as this mama goes.
We met up with Amanda after a successful Whiteboard & Wine HeyMama event where she was (of course!) our hostess with the mostest to see where she drew her inspiration and how she keeps her busy business organized. Read on…
We love that you first started blogging after you got engaged and have shifted focus and grew your content to match what was organically happening in your life. Tell us about that evolution.
I really love that too! Fashionable Hostess started when I was engaged and sharing my registry picks but really evolved with each of the new stages in my life. For example when we purchased our first home, I started to feature home decor and design (and have been lucky enough to be featured on several Style Me Pretty Home Tours!). And when we started having kids I started to share about my motherhood journey, nursery decorating, baby essentials (which again I was lucky enough to be featured by Project Nursery and Martha Stewart). I am excited to see where this next year takes me and my blog! I will say the best compliment is when I hear from people who have been following me for years and know my journey!
What was the tipping point that really took you from daydreaming to knowing you wanted to take action and turn your passion into a business?
When I became pregnant with our daughter I was still working full time and writing the blog as a hobby. Once I became a mom I knew I wanted the flexibility that having your business provides so I worked my BUTT OFF to make that happen. I emailed every brand I could think of and asked them to work with me. I DM’ed brands on Insta, I messaged head of PR for a brand on LinkedIn. I knew if I could get product in my hands to style, I would wow them with my work and they would want to work with me again. Luckily all that cold-calling worked and the business totally took off within a year. Now I have made long lasting relationships with brands that have made this whole dream into a real business. I have always been about quality photography and attention to detail and I think that’s been super important in growing my business. I will say that even with all of the hard work aside, I feel very lucky to have been able to do this and made it this far!
We love someone who is not afraid to hustle! We often talk about feeling like an imposter or self doubting why people should care about what we have to say. Did you ever feel like you were an imposter in a world of professional designers and party planners?
Never have I felt like this because my motto is that I am a “regular gal” (just like you and the rest of my followers!) that has no formal training, loves to throw dinner parties, loves to have people over, and wants my home to feel welcoming and comfortable (and instagrammable – hehe). So my mission in starting the blog was to inspire other women to be proud when they have people over… whether it’s providing inspo like a gorgeous cheese platter for them to make, or creating a super fun bar cart display they can make for their kids birthday party, or giving them ideas for a table setting for Thanksgiving! I want followers to feel like they need to add my entire website to their pinterest board.
The Fashionable Hostess Amanda Gluck with HeyMama Community Manager, Megan Murphy.
Oh, we’ve definitely pinned your ideas! You now have over 127K followers on Instagram (congrats!). Was there a certain post and/or period of time you can point to where you really started to grow your following?
I am not sure there was or ever will be a specific point because I always want more and feel like I don’t have enough! (See! We are all perfectionists!) I remember it felt like it was a huge deal when I hit 10k… 50k… and 100k… and each time I stopped and said “holy crap, that’s a lot of people who care about what I have to post” and the same goes for when a big company like Pottery Barn has reached out to me – and I am like “I can’t believe they know I exist!”. But truthfully I wish I had a million followers and keep hoping to grow and grow and not settle!! On the flip side though, I think what’s always been important to me is not the number of followers but the quality of followers. To have a successful business you need to have a niche dedicated and I will say that I do have that, so that makes me really happy.
How do you manage the sheer volume of engaging in an authentic way with your followers? Do you have any apps, hacks or assistants?
Oh gosh, there is so much to do and so little time! Becoming a mother has definitely made me efficient when I do work. I don’t have a specific hack but I do try to make a weekly schedule. Mondays are spent on the computer doing “brainstorming” and emailing and outreach. Tuesdays are photoshoot prep on the computer. Wednesday are photoshoot prep and set up (I have an intern who helps with all of the errands). Thursdays are photoshoot days. And Fridays are back to emails and writing the posts. I try to post to IG every day (once a day) and spend 30 min a day responding to comments and liking friends posts. I honestly try not to live on social media or I wouldn’t get anything else done in the day!
As someone who has built her career using Instagram, what are your thoughts on the proposed update where likes will no longer be part of the game? How do you see this affecting influencers overall?
Is this really going to happen? Wow! If that’s the case I think people will end up posting MORE because they will be less afraid of how many likes they get.
How much time do you currently dedicate to your blog versus consulting for other clients?
I dedicate pretty much as much time to my blog as I do to my social media. A blog is something that is yours. Something you own. A portfolio of your work that has longevity and SEO. Someone could search bridal showers on Google and my favorite parties can come up! I always tell people that a blog is so important even though IG is what a lot of people prefer.