Brands + Influencers: A Two-Way Street

Up Next In Commerce

By Mission

Brands + Influencers: A Two-Way Street

Tuesday, 15 June

The relationship between a brand and an influencer is a two-way street. And even though that sounds obvious, even the most successful brands and influencers are struggling to see ROI from their content.

Tessa Barton, AKA Tezza, has experiences on both sides of that spectrum. She is an influencer-turned-entrepreneur, whose company — also called Tezza — has seen its ups and downs in the five years she’s been working on it. 

On this episode of Up Next in Commerce, Tezza explains how she went from cold reach outs to Urban Outfitters to leveraging a following of more than a million people to building a company all on her own. She discusses how both brands and influencers should be thinking about putting their best foot — and content — forward and what kind of creative and distribution process has had the most success. Plus, she talks about the lessons she learned when she launched her very first product expecting immediate success and then being able to count her orders on one hand. She turned things around, though, and you’ll learn how she did that and more on this episode!

Main Takeaways:

Show Em What They’re Working With: In a world where everyone wants to be an influencer, brands need to know that whoever they invest in will be worth it. With brands being more scrupulous, the smart content creators and influencers are being more proactive and showing exactly what kind of content a company will get when it partners with them.Only One DM Away: Thanks to the myriad of platforms and channels companies operate in, there has never been a better time to get in touch with them on a one-to-one level. This connectedness is a mutually beneficial scenario because customers, potential partners and brands are all only one message away from forming a lasting relationship.Talk Their Ears Off: Even the biggest influencers in the world can’t just come out with a product and expect to sell out in the blink of an eye. Selling is a constant action, and whether you are a brand or an influencer, you need to constantly be putting your products in front of people, talking to potential buyers, gathering feedback and data, and pivoting as necessary. Then you have to do that all again.

For an in-depth look at this episode, check out the full transcript below. Quotes have been edited for clarity and length.

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Transcript:

Stephanie:

Hey, everyone, and welcome back to Up Next in Commerce, I'm your host Stephanie Postles, CEO at Mission.org. Today on the show, we have Tezza Barton, the CEO of Tezza and the Tezza app. Tezza, welcome.

Tezza:

Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.

Stephanie:

I'm excited to have you. I think this interview, I'm just going to be saying your name a bunch of times, should be very interesting. You'll be like, "Stop it."

Tezza:

It's very confusing, I'm sorry.

Stephanie:

I like it and I actually think its branding is on point. I want to hear a bit about your background, because I was looking through your social presence and the things that you're doing. You obviously have a very big following, I think on Instagram definitely over a million, right?

Tezza:

Luckily, yes.

Stephanie:

You've got a lot of fans, a lot of fans of Tezza. So I wanted to hear about how you got here and what was that journey like.

Tezza:

Totally. Where to begin? I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I loved just living in the outdoors, being really close to nature. My entire family is full of just artists and creative people, so that was just always something that I was lucky enough to be in front of and around and welcomed by. I think as I got older, I didn't really realize how special that was and how impactful that would be on my life, and how a lot of other people just were turned away from that. This was a really beautiful experience, both my parents were entrepreneurs and started their own businesses, so that was just like what life was to me.

Tezza:

So I was super lucky, and I remember when I was 16 I had this just, I was like, "I'm going to be a fashion designer." I really was so obsessed with fashion design and creating and selling all my own looks and things like that. Then I picked up a camera to shoot the looks I was creating and I was like, light bulbs went off, "This is amazing, I can actually capture so much more than just the clothes, but the storytelling and all that stuff." Which really got me excited, and from there it was like an explosion in evolution of just figuring out who I was as an artist and creator. I did go to school for fine art and photography, where I really dug in and learned more about just ... I guess honing in on my skills.

Tezza:

That was right about when the whole Facebook, Instagram boom came about. So for me, I was blogging since I was 16, I was always on I guess social media in some way trying to create, just to get my work out there. I honestly was using it as a portfolio, a way to get clients, a way to just be seen. I think I was super lucky, I remember feeling like, "Gosh, I don't even have to have a website, as a 16 year old, I can just post it on Facebook and people see it and people want to interact." So that just became the way I worked, and in college, Instagram came out and really my dream was to work with all these amazing brands. So I was like, "How can I help them create content?" No one knew how to create that much content.

Tezza:

So I would just message local brands and I was like, "How can I be your just main photographer? I'm going to help you create 60 different pictures that all look different that you can have this awesome Instagram feed." So that became my side career while being in college and playing in a band and all of this stuff. So I used that as just a way to build also a following in the community, and people often would talk about my page as like a TV channel. They're like, "This is like a series. I can't wait to get the next series that comes out." So I used it as a professional and just a personal platform, and not necessarily using it as monetizing to work with brands, but more as just a photographer.

Tezza:

Then I remember I was like, "I'm just going to move to New York." My husband and I were like, "Let's just go, we have no reason to go, but we need to go. I don't even think at that time the word influencer, it wasn't a thing, but that's really where I just saw like, "Oh, wow. I can actually work with these brands. I can get them to hire me as an individual." I really just loved the storytelling, that's what I wanted to focus on, so I leaned in and decided I was going to use this and try and monetize my Instagram, if you will.

Tezza:

That was the beginning of where we are now. So it's just been an evolution since then, but I can get into I guess, why and how we started the businesses from there. But that's the gist of the story.

Stephanie:

I love it. So in those early days, how did you convince brands to work with you? I imagine you being in New York and just going to a brand and being like, "I have a great Instagram, I've got some good followers, pay me." What did that process look like and how did you catch the big fish in the early days?

Tezza:

Totally. I remember, and I still do this to this day, I'm not going to lie, but I remember the first big client I really wanted to get was Urban Outfitters, this was back in the day. I was like, "I just know I can create the kind of content that will not only sell their products, but my audience would just love and be attracted to." So I would basically buy their products and I would create, I would go so hard and create amazing content that I knew they would want to see, and I would email it to them, I would tag them, I would DM them. Finally, after months of doing it, they were like, "Oh, my gosh, yes." Then all of a sudden they were hiring me every single month to create for them.

Tezza:

So that always has been a part of my strategy, even with high end brands like Michael Kors or whatever. I think just as an individual or creator showing what you can offer a brand, what you can provide and why you'd be a valuable asset to them, whether it's amazing imagery or you can drive sales or you're just the biggest fan in the world of the brand. Those are all tactics that I think brands actually use and look for when hiring creators and influencers.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I like that, show value up front. So with this much content that you're creating, especially thinking about sending samples of what you can do, what does your creative process look like when coming up with these campaign ideas? You were talking about banging out six feet of photos, that all look different but have a similar theme and really sell the product. What does that story-boarding and creative process look like to be able to come up with something that connects with people and also keeps the brand's image at the forefront?

Tezza:

Totally. I think, look, I'm somebody that likes to consume products and most of the time it's because an image captures me and I'm like, "I want to look like that. I want to feel like that." So when I'm about to create any kind of content, I take a step back and I'm like, "What story am I telling? Who's this girl? Where is she going? How is she feeling?" Whether it's a personal project or I'm creative directing a campaign for another brand, because I think those can be a little bit different.

Tezza:

But I think if you can take something, just even a little bit of the extra mile and do a little more storytelling than just standing on a blank wall, which also that can drive sales too ...

Stephanie:

That can be so vogue. I have no idea, do not ask me.

Tezza:

That was a great line. It really can. I think there are so many ways, but I think the one thing I notice and the reason I ever started to really even become, have any sort of traction or growth, is because I definitely lean into just the storytelling aspect and making a piece of content that lasted a little bit longer than just that five seconds of scrolling on a feed, but somebody might want to repost it, somebody might want to recreate a picture like that because it made them feel something. It lives on Pinterest, that's how I focus and think about my content.

Stephanie:

Were you also focused on distribution? You can make these great pieces of content, but how did you get it in front of the people that they wanted to? Was it just focused on your following, or were you trying to find new ways? Like Pinterest, maybe you weren't there before, you're like, "I'm going to go here, I'm going to try YouTube." What did that look like to really get that content out into the world in a way that could potentially go viral or scale?

Tezza:

Totally. I think if you can be on as many platforms as possible, you should. It's definitely difficult, I even struggle with it myself, but I use my blog and Pinterest were a huge, huge way of existing and growing my audience outside of just Instagram. Because so many people would be like, "Wow, I discovered you on Pinterest. I didn't know that was your photo, I've been seeing your blog over here." So I think having the conversation, TikTok is an amazing way now, YouTube is an amazing way now. On top of that, I think another amazing thing you can do is collaborate with other creators and influencers. That is huge for just combining audiences and being able to share each other's audiences and messages and build your own brand.

Stephanie:

Yeah, yeah. I love that. So when thinking about these big brands partnering with you, I always ask the brands, "How do you think about ROI with influencers? Do you think it's worth it? How do you find an influencer is good for your brand?" What's nice about this conversation is it's on the other side of the table. So I want to ask you, how do you think about working with a brand, what's a good partnership look like and how would you advise them on thinking about is this going to be a good fit, will you get the ROI that you want?

Tezza:

Right. I think ROI, that's always the hot topic, the hot conversation, but there are so many different ways to think about using an influencer. It's like when Doritos does a commercial on the Superbowl, obviously there are so many things that does. Vibe, culture, conversation, visual, you don't know how many people are going to go buy Doritos after you watched that commercial. But I think the benefits of using an influencer is that you're hitting personal, usually an influencer's community is pretty personal, they've stuck around for hopefully many years, they trust that person.

Tezza:

So I think you're hitting those trust points, and I think personally the most success and the best success in conversations I've had with brands as an influencer is when, even if I'm the biggest fan of a brand and they just send me an email and they're like, "We just want you to post, here's how much it's going to be, here's the brief, done." I'm like, "Okay, cool." But if a brand sits down with me or has a phone call and they're like, "This is why I love my brand and this is why I think you're going to be a good fit, and this is why I'm passionate about this project and this new thing that we're launching." I'm so hyped, I feel so much more connected to that brand, I'm going to spend 10 more hours on that piece of content than I am if it's just too quick and there's no heart in it.

Tezza:

So I think just as a brand, if you can find influencers that not only love your product and want to talk about it, but actually connecting with that person, that partnership is going to ... It will just go longer and they'll talk about you even more after than when you just pay them, because they're excited about it too.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I love that. That's such a good idea. How do you pull in whoever you're working with so that they have heart in it? It's not always just about the contract and the hours, all that. People will probably go the extra mile if they've personally committed to it. I know when I was talking to someone from Anheuser-Busch on this show and they were talking about a partnership with Travis Scott and they were like, "He's not just an influencer, he's shaping the product. He's shaping the creative and he has a very vested interest in this entire campaign. It's not just him posting once on Instagram and then walking away." It's a whole thing, and that to me is what you want. I don't know if enough brands think of it that way and think of the longer term benefit and have actually pulled in the people that you're trying to help spread the word in a way that's meaningful to them.

Tezza:

Totally. I think another example of that, and this is a brand that I've worked with for many, many years and we built just honestly the trust, kind of to what you're saying, I think it's actually using an influencer as a creative and a creative director. I worked with TRESemme for so long and my content always performed really well, they loved the direction I took things, the amount of time I spent on things, and so after a few years, they started to hire me as a creative director and photographer for the brand and I got to shoot other influencers for their campaign. That became a bigger part of the story, they helped tell that story.

Tezza:

So I think, think outside the box. Use these creative people to your advantage, because we're sitting here. That's more exciting than just a quick post, and I think everyone's just craving just personal touchpoints right now, so anything you can do like that is going to be just a level up from just a post.

Stephanie:

Yeah. What did that look like behind the scenes with TRESemme when you were acting as a creative director and you were behind the camera, instead of making your own posts for them? What did that look like?

Tezza:

So much fun, not going to lie. It was a blast.

Stephanie:

Sounds fun.

Tezza:

Yeah. I think we had six different girls and I got to help choose the influencers and really come up with different imagery that would bring to life not only the TRESemme content, but the influencers' content. So I think because it was coming from also the influencer side and not just the brand side, there was so much more value in thinking about it that way and really trying to bring to life two different brands. Influencers basically have their own brands, so I think finding that storytelling is really where beautiful things start to happen.

Stephanie:

Yeah, yeah. Very cool. Which brands to wish to work with in the future? Are you hoping to one day partner with?

Tezza:

Oh, gosh. Way too many, so many brands.

Stephanie:

We've got to put it out there so the universe answers your question.

Tezza:

Yes. No, totally. I think personally, I would love to work with ... I did a small campaign a couple years ago with Canon and I'm a Canon fanatic. I love cameras obviously and I used their products for years. So when I got that campaign and I got to use a new camera coming out and I got to create content that was going to be in a photo gallery and all this stuff, it was such like, "Wow, this is my dream collaboration." So I think working with not only just camera brands that I love, I would love to work with Fuji or anything like that, but also working with just artists.

Tezza:

I would love to work with, I don't know, like a musician. I think it would be so fun to be like, "Okay, I'm going to come up with your next music video and Instagram strategy and let's get into it and get creative." I just love that kind of stuff, so anything like that would be a dream. But real, real talk, my dream would be like Gucci, okay?

Stephanie:

All right, it's out there.

Tezza:

It's out there.

Stephanie:

... Will be next, now you've put it out into the universe.

Tezza:

Yes.

Stephanie:

Let's jump over to Tezza now, I want to hear about your company, I think it's super interesting hearing how you built up this following, you have a lot of people who like your work, they love your creative direction. Then you go and you create an ecommerce shop and then you create an app and I want to hear what was that process like going from building a community and focusing on that to them being like, "And now I'm going to build a full-on ecommerce business and app."

Tezza:

Totally, yes. So many mistakes, I'm like, "How do I even get into the beginning of it?" I think for me, I wasn't setting out to be an influencer or just even an entrepreneur, but I always just loved ... I had this motto, which was the art of life, that was like, "This is my goal in life." Because I grew up in this family of creatives and people that always were supporting my art and helping me fuel my art, I felt like, "Gosh, not everyone has this opportunity and I want to do that for other people."

Tezza:

So I want to inspire everyone to find their inner artist, because I feel like everyone is creative, everyone has the ability to create art, but they don't always know that. So that was like my mission, and so then everything that came after that was to support that idea. I was fortunate that every product we've started has been from actual interesting questions that we were getting, it wasn't like I was like, "I have this random idea and I want to make a thing, so let's just figure it out." For example, our first product we ever launched was our collage kits

Tezza:

That idea, when we started, it was not there, it didn't exist. But so many people, we had so many images on our walls and they were like, "How did you do this? Where do you get these cool pictures?" I was like, "Wow. I take all these pictures, I could create this kit." So that was my first physical product ever and wow, we had no idea what we were doing. We just called a printing shop in Wisconsin, we were just trying to figure it out, we did it all out of our studio apartment in New York. The interest was there, when we announced what we were launching, people were like, "Oh, my gosh. This is genius."

Tezza:

I was like, "Yes, we're going to make a lot of money. This is going to be amazing." Then we put it up on the site and we got like two sales. We were like, "Okay, so this is a horrible idea." It really was a lesson that just taught me so much that I implemented ... It was just like, "Wow, you do have to talk about something so many times." It doesn't matter, even if you're an influencer, even if the interest is there, you just have to talk about it. You have to get it into the right hands. You have to constantly be presenting the idea. Especially now, I think we're inundated with so ... We're seeing so many products all the time, so how are you making it personal? How are you telling the story? What is the product? Why does somebody want it? Why is it going to benefit their life?

Tezza:

So that really, after doing it for two years in our apartment and making all those mistakes, we finally found crazy success with that, after grinding away at two years.

Stephanie:

What did you do? How did you go from having two sales and you're like, "Wah-wah," to then finding success with it? Because I can tell now just by looking at them like, "There's no way you're not selling a bunch of these." Collages are so on trend right now, everyone is trying to collage walls with the pictures and then trying to organize it. I tried to do it, it literally took me a week and I was this close to giving up. So what did you do to hit success with that?

Tezza:

I think like I was saying, just talking about it way more than we thought we had to. I didn't know how it worked, I never have run ... I didn't know you should be doing email campaigns or I should be ... That every person that is interested in DM-ing, I need to be DM-ing back. Really supporting the community of it and helping people, just making it an easier part of conversation, and then also just getting it into the right hands and having those people love it so much that they want to talk about it, that's always been influencer marketing.

Tezza:

An influencer, I say that, I think everybody's an influencer. You could have 10 followers, and heck, you might be influencing those 10 people major. So all of a sudden [inaudible], but I think how can you have those organic conversations and find people that are actually interested? The second we did, it circulated and circulated, and circulated, and we never really had to ... We don't overthink it now, but I think that was a really interesting learning process. On the flip side of that, we launched the app, it's been I guess a little over two and a half years now, so two and a half years ago, and that was a similar product where we launched that out of just interest.

Tezza:

I was a photographer, I really had a super specific aesthetic and so many people were like, "How can I do this? How can I be a better photographer?" So I was like, "I want to be able to help everybody do this. How can I?" I could sell my lightroom presets, which I was doing, and I had great success with that, but it was so limited to people that I could reach and I was super lucky that my husband was a developer. So we were like, "Let's just sit down and see if we can build an app." We were two kids in a studio apartment, who knows what we were doing? But after a year and a half at midnight grinding away trying to figure out how to build a photo and video editing app, we finally got it up to work and it was so raw at the beginning.

Tezza:

I remember when we launched, it had so many problems. It's such a different product than an actual physical good, but equally you have bugs and you have just a million types of phones that it has to work on and all of these things. So it was a very humbling process, but I think we've benefited, because we knew who our consumers were and what they wanted and I had built such an honest and real relationship with that initial community that wanted the app, and so they were willing to work with me and we worked through the bugs, and that's still how the app works today and we were really able to grow it because of those initial core people that just wanted it and thought it was amazing and were willing to get through the mistakes with us.

Stephanie:

Yeah, yeah. That's nice and it's good to have a community that is willing to chip in like that.

Tezza:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

You get the Tezza app, which is a photography editing app, and you've got Tezza which is an ecommerce shop, how do you think about uniting both of those and sending traffic both ways potentially, or not at all? Do you keep them as complete separate companies and use cases? How do you view the branding on everything you're doing?

Tezza:

Totally. Just to be honest with you, it's been I feel like a quick five years where I'm like, "Wow, we just did so much." We didn't have time to think, we were just building and doing stuff that we wanted to make. All of a sudden, last year was a very important year for us and in a way grateful for everything slowing down, because we were able to take a step back and be like, "Okay, what are the brands that we're building and how do they work?" So now, we are really passionate and excited about combining those two brands together and really focusing on having art in the physical and digital space, and really just helping and inspiring creators, whether it's making your home a more inviting amazing space, or you're able to create really amazing artwork and be an amazing creator by using the app.

Tezza:

Then on top of that, we're doing so many different collaborations this year, once again in the physical and digital space, by working with other artists and bringing to life their work through art prints and things like that, and then also within the app. So it's a really exciting year, I feel like we're finally understanding the brand that we're building and I now finally see where we're headed. So that's an honest answer, I think we're still growing and figuring it out and we're such a small team, it's me and my husband and our assistant. So we're growing, we're trying to get bigger and better, but it's been a good year for sure.

Stephanie:

Well, that's impressive how much you all are doing with just the three of you. Yeah. That's a lot of work. What are you thinking about the NFT trend right now, especially hearing about how you're doing digital art? I'm just imagining, are you going to put it into an NFT, put it on the blockchain, do something like that? Sell it that way? Is that something that you guys have even talked about? Because it seems like you have a good opportunity, especially since you're one of the creators who is making some of this amazing art. People are willing to buy your collages with just your photos. Have you thought about creating scarcity around that potentially and having it in a digital format that people can own?

Tezza:

Totally. I think it's a hot topic right now and something that we're dipping our toes in and actually trying to figure out an interesting way to go about it. I'm not exactly sure if that will evolve to be the way, I think we're going to see a lot of different things pop up like that. So I don't know. Honestly, I feel like a newb, is that, I don't even know, a word to use on that space?

Stephanie:

Yeah.

Tezza:

But I think I am excited to see stuff like that, I think there's a lot of value. I like the idea that an artist can get, as a piece of art goes on and on and gets passed on, an artist actually would still get the commission from something like that. I think that's a beautiful thing and I think it's similar to music. I think music is going to change and evolve a lot over the next little bit, and so I'm excited to see where it's all going. I think all these worlds are about to come crashing together.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I was just going to bring up music, because I know you were in that world for a bit, to me it just seems like a no-brainer. Why wouldn't you put your music somewhere that can get properly valued and bought and respected in a way that it hasn't been previous? I just so many use cases where I do feel like there was obviously a very big fad, it got a little crazy, you can't just be like, "NFT solves the world's problems, it just needs to do everything and I'm going to put my pen on it, I'm going to digitize this." It's definitely gotten a little out of hand, but I can see a place where there are really good use cases around ownership and giving artists what they deserve, which is really cool.

Tezza:

Totally. I think just more artists are becoming independent, even with TikTok, the things that has done for small musicians that could never get the viral reach or anything without a label or all these people behind them, I think there's so many cool ways that are coming up and Instagram alone I think has been just an amazing place for independence and artists to be able to sell their art or find a community. I think about the people I've connected with. My favorite thing to say is just, because it blows my mind, because it still happens to me all the time, is like you're one DM away from a CEO of something amazing that you're super interested in.

Tezza:

So if there's a brand, a person, a musician, whatever it is that you are like, "I just have a question." Probably just send it, because you might get a response and it might be from the actual person that you want to get in touch with. So I feel like there's so many quick touchpoints that are coming more and more accessible. I think we're in an exciting time. I know it's also like there's a lot of negative things people could say about it, but I think that's the positive side of it.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I like to focus on the positive side as well. I love that, you're one DM away from whatever you want. How do you think about collaborations? I know earlier you were talking about collaborations with brands, it seems like that could also get tricky and a little sticky, depending on who you're working with. So how do you view having a collaboration and a brand that's going to work well and not get to a place where you're both rubbing heads and trying to figure out who is doing what, what's a good collaboration?

Tezza:

Right. I think we touched on this earlier a little bit, but actually having just a real conversation about the goals of not only just the brand, but as an influencer, what works and what performs well for you. So having that laid out almost before you get into what the collaboration's going to be about is important. Then when a brand sends me a brief it's like, "You have to say these exact 45 things." So this is an infomercial and even if I love the product, my community is going to swipe away. So I think really as a brand, if you can try, I know it's hard because trust me I run a brand too and sometimes you're like, "But we need to hit these talking points," which I understand, but just taking that extra step and making sure it is coming from a personal place and voice is the special sauce.

Stephanie:

Yeah. I agree. What kind of platforms are you most excited about right now? What are you dipping your toes in that maybe other people aren't even thinking a bout exploring? Or where are you seeing a bigger following than you even would have expected happening quicker than maybe other platforms? What are you bullish on right now?

Tezza:

I know everyone's saying TikTok, but it really is like the early days of Instagram where there still is that discoverability. I don't think it's going to last too much longer, so that's why if anyone isn't dipping their toes in that, I would say just jump in for a year and try everything. Don't try what you're seeing, just try something new and different. I think people are craving just something that's super different, so that's one area.

Tezza:

I think also, this is a vaguer area, but this is where I find a lot of success in the platform is more like combining, collaborating with other artists. So I think everybody has such a strong community these days, whether it's a brand, an influencer, an artist, whatever it is, so how can you marry those two, that relationship to really actually combine your followers or your community and the ideas that you share as brands? I think that's almost what I'm excited about in just commerce in general, because we're doing this on a personal level and with brands and things like that, but I think massive, massive brands are doing that. Street style brands are doing it with random cool artists that live in LA that want to be discovered, and I think that brings so much more heart, like I said, into everything that you're doing. So I think that's almost like a new, not platform, but way of collaborating and trying to grow, if that makes sense.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Yeah, that completely does. I love that. All right, well let's jump over to the lightning round. Lightning round is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This is where I ask a question and you have a minute or less to answer. Are you ready?

Tezza:

Oh, boy. I'm nervous, okay.

Stephanie:

You'll do great. All right, first one. What's up next on your reading list?

Tezza:

The Adventures of Calvin and Clay, is that what it's called? Wait, Kavalier and Clay. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I don't know, but my husband's read it like four times and he's like, "It's just beautiful, it takes you into this world." It's on my list just because I hear him talk about it so much.

Stephanie:

Wow. It's like 1900 almost five-star ratings on Amazon. It looks like a comic book, but I would be down with that.

Tezza:

It's an escape, not necessarily, I'm not going to learn, it's not a business book.

Stephanie:

All right. Hey, if it's good enough for someone to read a couple times, I'm down. That's cool. So when you want to get into your creative head space, what do you do to do that?

Tezza:

I love to watch old movies or look at vintage magazines. I get inspired by old things. I think we can feel ... I get overwhelmed almost by how much new stuff is going on, but sometimes I like to look back and be inspired by things that were done before and see where new inspirations have come from. So I just love old movies and books and magazines and things like that.

Stephanie:

Yeah, me too. I think it's always a good fun way to get brought back to where things were and then incorporate that into certain things that maybe people forgot about, which is always a fun feeling. If you were to have a podcast, what would it be about and who would be your first guest?

Tezza:

Great question. I think it would be about art and I've always wanted to have a podcast called either the art of life or starving artists or something like that to break down the walls of just what being an artist actually is and showcasing just ... My husband, for example, he's a developer, I always made fun of him for not being the creative one, but he's so creative and developing is creative. I was being a critic, I was judging him and now I take it back. So I feel like there's so many things like that, that I would love to talk about and so many cool people I'd love to interview.

Tezza:

But my first guest? This is going to be so lame and cheesy, but I would love for it to be my mom, because she's the most fascinating woman. I haven't even sat down and asked her all the questions I want to ask her about. She has five kids, she started an amazing interior design business from the second I was born, and never seems to be stressed out or not have enough time for everybody. I don't understand. She's just on another level. So I would love to interview her first.

Stephanie:

That's a good one. I would listen to that one as well, so let me know when that's up.

Tezza:

We'll see, stay tuned.

Stephanie:

Stay tuned, everyone. Who is your either favorite artist you're watching or fellow influencer?

Tezza:

I'm going to say this for people that are out there looking to become influencers, because I think she is doing a really great job at growing platforms, which is really hard to do right now, so I look up to her for this. But Brittany Xavier, she is an amazing influencer and I've just watched her change her brand over the years, and really go after the brands she wants to work with and also grown literally everything from TikTok to YouTube to millions of followers in short periods of time. She just does such a focused approach, and I think for somebody that's trying to become an influencer or wanting to really grow and find the community, she's just an interesting person to observe.

Stephanie:

That's a good one. All right, what is one thing you don't understand today that you wish you did?

Tezza:

How to scale a business. I feel like, I wish I went to business school sometimes. But sometimes there's benefit and I know.

Stephanie:

You're in it right now.

Tezza:

I know. I'm in the business school, but sometimes I'm just like, "Wow. I don't even know what to do, where to go." But it's fun, I don't know, figuring it out.

Stephanie:

You will learn so much more by just doing. Well, if I have to circle back in like a year and you'll be like, "Look at all the progress, look what's happened."

Tezza:

Exactly, exactly. Can't wait for that day.

Stephanie:

All right, then the last question, what one thing will have the biggest impact on ecommerce in the next year?

Tezza:

I think we're in a time where everybody has to take a step back and look at what they're doing, what they're giving as a brand, whether that's anything from sustainability to actually being of importance. So I think, though we're having these massive brands like Amazon and Walmart who run so much of ecommerce, I think there are going to be so many small brands that are coming up that have so much more meaning and thought behind them. I think we're just barely tapping into this new generation of young YouTubers that have insane amount of impact and following and community that I don't even understand. So I think they're going to be leaders in ecommerce and products and I'm just excited and curious to see where that goes.

Stephanie:

Yeah. Awesome. All right, Tezza, it's been really fun having you on the show. Where can people find out more about you and all the cool things that you're working on?

Tezza:

Thanks so much for having me. Yes, you can go to ShopTezza.com or LelloTheLabel.com, that's my sunglasses brand. Then also in the App Store, if you type in Tezza you will find our photo and video editing app, and on Instagram, Tezza, T-E-Z-Z-A.

Stephanie:

Good handle. All right, well thanks so much.

Tezza:

Thanks for having me.

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