When I created my instagram @WTFrenchie 6 years ago, I had no idea this was what my life would turn into (everyone says that, lol). But at the time, I was working as a makeup artist and the hairstylist I was working with had an instagram for her cat. She was always on that thing, so I was like, wait Weston should have one too!
Because there is such an amazing French Bulldog community, I got really really into it. Not only did I learn some new things about frenchies (like food allergy tests, dog food recipes, training tips) (and hashtags) but I started meeting other Frenchie parents in person. I remember my first Frenchie spotting was @ollieishandsome. Picture me: “Is that OLLIE??? I follow you!!”
Looking back, I’m surprised I even met up with strangers because of my social anxiety. This from someone who would wait in their car an extra 30 seconds to make sure her neighbor was gone to avoid saying hi, but then willingly met up with unknown humans because of dogs. Wow. Everyone with social anxiety: get a dog. They help with literally everything.
Back to Instagram…
Not gonna lie—pet companies reaching out to send us free dog treats or a pet vacuum was a NICE PERK. I remember being so giddy seeing a package that was shipped to Weston (I obvi still get giddy).
I really got the majority of our followers when Fira came into the picture because of a funny video of them booping went viral. That’s sort of when I started thinking, ok I have all these followers… what do I do?
I never really had a super clear life plan. I was always a self-starter and a creative but the future seemed a bit fuzzy without a direct path. I never planned to be a blogger or “influencer” or partner with brands etc. But somehow, it makes sense now. It combines everything I love: dogs, design, art-directing, entrepreneurship, working from home.
But back to YOU…
The pet instagram landscape has changed SO much and pet brands have noticed. So even though you started a page for fun, it would be silly not to at least get some free dog food, help animal rescues AND/OR create your own empire… 🙂
My biggest thing is, this only works if you’re having fun with it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be that serious. Genuinely build relationships, connect with others and share the joys of your life with your pup.
For me, that’s basically what a lifestyle brand is. It’s sharing a bit of you, your lifestyle, your interests, expertise and a certain je ne sais quoi. And yes, everyone has that, even if you think you don’t. You are YOU and there is nobody else like you. It’s like putting a stamp on everything you put out there!
Do you guys want more of this content?
This blog really began as a travel blog with dog-friendly hotels, city guides + more but I gradually added my dog food recipes, grooming tips and a sprinkle of home + shopping. As this world is growing (there are more dog pages now than ever!), I can definitely share more about that topic, behind the scenes (like how to get the best photos for brand partnerships) and e-commerce (ie: my WTFrenchie merch shop and dog accessories line SAINT RUE).
To start, I just filmed a video for The Pet Summit Oct 24-25th about How to Build a Lifestyle Brand and I share my top 4 things you should know. There are some really amazing dog moms involved with over 100 classes, workshops, live panels + more—all for the pet influencer/blogger or even if you’re just thinking about it.
For 25% off your ticket, use code: WTF25
By the way, a few years ago I neverrr wanted to be live on camera. Photos, fine. But video—omg. I remember when IG live was brand new and just casually filming the pups and responding to the comments by actually typing in the comment chat and people were like, “why aren’t you talking?” Lol awkward.
This past year, I’ve been trying to get over this fear and just go for it. After all, video is the future. Things are ever-evolving and changing… let me know in the comments what you would like to know more about!