How did IFabbo begin?
Tonia: My business partner Sinead and I are bloggers ourselves and through our blogs and our daily interaction with other bloggers it became very clear that an organization was needed that promoted individual and professional growth… as well as a place for beauty, fashion and style bloggers to come together with brands.
Sinead: Basically what we wanted to do was bring together beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands to the bloggers and vice versa, but then bring in a very strong technology component, so that our members were at the forefront of everything available technology wise. What we first needed to do was build our membership base, but what we really wanted to do then, was bring in the technology where new companies that launch seek out iFabbo. So for the first year we did a lot of events just to generate buzz and promote iFabbo. We’re in the process of building a forum on the back end on our website so people can ask questions and it’s hidden from the public, but we can also match brands with bloggers. We did a workshop piece with Google, Google Plus, Polyvore, Spreecast will be on board and we’re doing Facebook, Twitter, Klout. We want to bring to our members everything new and updated technology wise just to be able to help increase your own brands, increase your search range, SEO. Tonia and I decided we are going to be doing a conference in July. We are going to be bringing n incredible panel of technology, fashion, beauty and lifestyle not necessarily bloggers and brands, but interesting media companies and things like that.
How many are you?
Sinead: Tonia and I are founders, but we have 5 founding members. We’re expanding our advisory board. Some new technology companies that come on board as advisors. Our next plan is making money. What we will be doing is charge a membership fee for iFabbo members now that we’ve given some educational benefits so there’s value there, and then increasing all of our sponsorship brands.
What makes IFabbo unique?
We are leaders in blogging education and that alone makes us unique. We introduce our members to the latest technology applications, sometimes before they even become available to the general public. We hold a variety of workshops throughout the year, along with events to educate our bloggers and introduce them to influential brands in the fashion and beauty industry. For example, we teamed up with Google for a “members only” webinar on Google+. The best part about iFabbo is that we’ve created a reliable and credible community of bloggers… and only the best can call themselves… iFabbo members.
What inspires you?
The bloggers. I am fortunate enough to work with some of the best bloggers in the fashion and beauty industry and these women are amazing! They are talented, smart and business savvy. Of course it doesn’t hurt that they’re also very stylish.
What plans do you have for the future?
First up is our educational conference which will take place in the first half of 2012 in the U.S. Soon after that, we hope to hold similar conferences overseas, starting with London.
What challenges have you faced?
We are an international organization and one of the challenges we’ve faced is to make sure that our members in India or South Africa benefit just as much from iFabbo as our members in the US. We started having events overseas with the first one being in London and we hope to expand soon and start offering workshops to other countries.
Do you have any advice for women starting out?
Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. When starting something new, you may be faced with a paralyzing fear of failure, but push through it and that fear will turn into an adrenaline rush. If you love what you do and you work hard you will become successful. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. You may not know what to do but someone else will. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.