Black Blogger Month: Young, Fat & Fabulous, Micro-Sizing Business

Juggling corporate brands with her own, Gabi Gregg is thriving in social media with tweets that empower women

 

(Image: Lonnie Major)

Most people know Gabi Gregg, 24, as the winner of Follow Me: The Search for the First MTV TJ—a triumph that translated into a one-year, $100,000 contract to tweet (and blog) the latest news for the major music and entertainment network—but she’s no stranger to the social media scene. In fact, Gregg’s plus-size style blog, Young, Fat & Fabulous, has earned her plenty of pre-MTV press featured by various media outlets—including The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, Glamour.com and Vogue.it, as well as other well-known international glossies.

The Detroit native’s quest to expand her writing abilities and meet the demand for a youthful, chic voice in the plus-size fashion industry, birthed YFF in August 2008 for only $12, the amount needed for a domain name. Not a bad investment considering her blog now boasts nearly 80,000 unique visitors and between 150-200,000 pages views per month. Even big name retailers from American Apparel and Forever21+  to Asos and City Chic are reaching out to the social media connoisseur to advertise and review products on her site. For promoting positive body perception amongst women—regardless of size—throughout the blogosphere and mastering the art of microblogging, BlackEnterprise.com recognizes Gregg as part of our first annual Black Blogger Month series.

I started blogging because…

I had an interest in fashion journalism and I didn’t really have any experience, but I knew that I had a strong interest in it. So I decided to start a fashion blog specifically geared toward plus sizes just because, at the time, I knew there were very few, if any, resources for younger, trendier plus-sized girls as opposed to just the kind of matronly like Lane Bryant customer. No offense to Lane Bryant. They’re great. It’s just not my aesthetic, so I wanted to provide a different type of resource for people my age who wanted to keep up with runway fashion and figure out what stores really cater to them.

Young, Fat & Fabulous stands out because…

I have a strong and unique message that’s really about body acceptance and wearing clothing that expresses your personality as opposed to wearing clothing that makes you thinner or hides you.

People trust my brand because…

I’ve always been really authentic and honest with what I like and what I don’t like and I give an honest opinion about what my taste level is.

Building a brand is important because…

If you build your brand both online and in person, you can control exactly how you’re seen by other people and what you want your messaging to be.

I realized blogging was a business when…

Companies started approaching me and emailing me to advertise on my site, and asking me for rates and asking me to review clothing items for my audience. Once I saw that other businesses were really seeing me as a valuable voice, I realized that there was potential there for me to really make money from something that I love to do.

Microblogging is a good marketing tool because…

It’s another way to connect with people, especially with the younger audience. Getting in there and really getting on top of what’s the latest thing online is super important.

The best piece of business advice I ever got was…

Basically to dive into social media. I was really against Twitter for a long time… Not against, but I didn’t just see the point of it, kind of like a lot of people. My friend convinced me to start up one and she was saying how it could be beneficial for my blog, so I took her advice. It definitely took my blog to a new level and obviously opened up opportunities with different companies, as well as with MTV, so I think that if anyone is still hesitant about getting into social media and doesn’t think it’s worth it that they should reevaluate that because it definitely can be worth it.

Working with MTV has been…

A great experience and definitely has taught me more about social media. Before this, I used it as a personal tool, but I think using it in a professional setting has just taught me more about all the ways that you can really connect with not only friends, but also consumers.

Having a day job is…

Optional. I think far too often people feel like it’s a necessity to do the 9-to-5 thing and forget that you really can, especially with all the great things that the Internet has provided, be an entrepreneur and a successful one.

In business, you should never be afraid to…

Fail. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. But I think it’s better to try and fail, then not try at all.

I measure my success by…

My happiness. I think no one can really tell you what your definition of success should be for some people, myself included, it’s not money. For me, success should be measured by happiness and how personally fulfilled you are in what you do—obviously, with the addition of hopefully being able to pay your bills and do what you need to do financially.

Anyone that wants to follow in my footsteps should…

Just do it!

Be sure to check out the rest of the digital thought leaders as they’re revealed each day by logging on to BlackEnterprise.com/BlackBloggerMonth.

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