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In this #OpenDialogues feature, Hélène opens up about her unique path as an influencer and the changing tides of social media. From a blogger in 2007 to a multi-faceted influencer today, Hélène continues to seek new, creative opportunities. We have collaborated with Hélène for several years and could not wait to share her aspirational story with our community.


01 What was your motivation to become an influencer and dedicate your career path to this industry?

I'm in a bit of a different position because I am far from a traditional influencer - it's more of a side hustle! It all started back in 2007 when I launched my blog as a creative outlet. It's something I thought would make me look proactive on my resume - no one knew what a blog was (myself included), so I figured this type of obscure and innovative platform could work in my favor. I studied fashion in university and always planned on having a career in that industry, particularly in publishing, but when I realized print wasn't a viable path, I explored other avenues, namely in styling and digital. I kept up with my blog through the years and witnessed firsthand the inception of blogging as a career, followed by the birth of the influencer, which Instagram facilitated.

As someone who had a blog early on and who's always keen to share my thoughts about style and beauty, Instagram was an organic progression (a sentiment shared by most pre-Instagram bloggers), and it's just something I've enjoyed getting more serious about. Having created a tight community and made dear friends through this channel, it just feels like an extension of everything I do now. In fact, it's my primary channel, as the blog is admittedly not something I nurture consistently these days.

“I'm not gonna sugarcoat this, Instagram's evolution has been hair-pullingly frustrating”

02 What is the biggest frustration/challenge you face as an influencer navigating these uncharted waters?

I'm not gonna sugarcoat this, Instagram's evolution has been hair-pullingly frustrating. I talk about this a lot on my Stories, so I'm aware of the fact that I sound like a broken record, but I also know that most people in the community feel the same way. The reach isn't what it once was, even with a bigger audience, and by default, neither is the engagement. It's very disheartening to take that hit when you pour your heart into your content and are really passionate about interacting with your tribe, but that's just the game now. Insta is a crowded place, and cutting through the noise is a challenge that grows in magnitude ever single day. You just gotta keep doing you and constantly find ways to improve by giving your 200% in everything you put out there.

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Name one digital influencer who inspires you and why?

I'm in total and complete awe of Elaine Welteroth (also not a traditional digital influencer!). I've been a huge fan of hers for many years, and to see her stratospheric career growth as her primary claim to fame, with her social clout increasing as a derivative of her accomplishments, is something to aspire to. She is goals in every way.

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Julianne Fraser