Learn more about Brooke from What Brooke Wore and what it takes to build an engaged community and be an influencer
Name: Brooke Falvey
It’s 10:45 am - about time for a coffee, and a chat with the fabulous Brooke Falvey. Brooke wears many hats – she’s a traveller, a journalist and an influencer – so when we caught up for a coffee, it was no wonder she started by asking me the questions first. Recognizing my American accent, she asked me where I was from (Atlanta, GA, in case you were wondering!) and after bonding over our travels, I got the inside scoop on Brooke’s life as a fashion and style influencer – read on to learn more about our chat, where we covered all things blogger, how What Brooke Wore came about and of course, her everyday style.
Do you take an ootd picture every day?
So, you are always looking nice!
Hardly! Sometimes, I’ll wake up after an event, fixed my hair, and redo my makeup for the photo. And, the first thing I do when I get home is take my pants and bra off!
How did your fashion blog come about?
I already had a lifestyle and travel blog, Blonde Ambition and then I started What Brooke Wore almost three years ago. The girls in my office inspired me to start it. I was always the fashion girl, and people would always ask me what I was wearing, so a good friend suggested I put ootd photos on my normal Instagram account. However, I thought maybe it was becoming annoying, so I made What Brooke Wore.
That is great that you had a blog already! Did you ever write before you started a blog?
Yes, I was a print journalist and moved to London the week the GFC hit, so I could no longer get a job as a journalist. Instead, I worked at Harrods. When I came back to Brisbane, I got a job in marketing and PR, and started my blog about two years later as a way to keep writing.
When I was in London, I did lots of things. I went to a garden party at Buckingham Palace; I went to the Running of the Bulls in Spain and even Wimbledon. When I came home, I did nothing. In London, there was always something to do--you go out to dinner or the pub after work. I was trying to make the most of everything, and when I came home, I just sunk back into life. After being in corporate PR for two years, I wanted to start writing again, and I thought if I made a blog about my bucket list it would prompt me to do more.
I did have a question that I was going to save for later, but while we are on the topic of London, I am going to ask now. I saw that you’ve met Prince Harry? How did that happen?!
My friends and I were out at a nightclub in Kensington, and one of my flat mates lost her coat check ticket. We had to wait for everyone to leave and get their coats so she could prove the last one was her coat. My friend Carly and I were standing in an empty club at like 3am. We were tired; we were over it. Next thing I know, a tall, handsome redhead came out amongst a group of people. It was Harry! He came over to us with one of his bodyguards. He said, “Hey girls. How was your night?”
He was with Chelsea. It was after a rugby game. We were both speechless. I rarely shut up, but I had nothing to say. He is all kinds of lovely.
Now back to life as an influencer… I know you have a full-time job as well as working as an influencer. Is it ever hard balancing the two roles?
I work four days a week, which does make it easier because it gives me one day to do my freelance work, my blogging, and take photos, so it is not too bad. I am lucky that I have worked for organizations that have appreciated this side of my work and acknowledged it is a big part of me.
I would love to be an influencer, but I am so busy that I am not sure if I could put in the work.
It is a lot of work. All of my friends understand this since they have seen me doing it - getting my Instagram count to 20k was hard work.
How was your follower growth?
It was all organic. I feel like I chugged along, but when I hit 10k it started to jump a bit bigger. I was single pretty much the whole time, so I’d spend hours on Instagram each night. That is what people don’t understand. And it takes numerous shots to get the right photo, and I am fussy because it is my face. I want stuff to look nice.
Engagement is important too, right?
Yes, it is hours of interacting with people online. A lot of girls that I have met in this online world have become close friends, so now we have a group chat that we are in constantly.
So back to journalism…how is it different to what you are writing now?
Professionally, I am a storyteller, but I always told other people’s stories. I was never in the story. It was weird for me to write about myself. When I read my first blog posts, I cringe a little. They were all a little too formal. Now, people say I write like I talk.
I’ve been reading from your blog, and I was thrilled to see a dating column. I’ve yet to interview someone who incorporated this into their content. How did this come about? I think it is really cool. Based on the pictures, I made the assumption your dates know the night could end up in a blog post. Am I right?
I have written about people I date. However, I don’t refer to them by their names. I tend to write about situations that happen, but I don’t tend to out them.
Right. You wouldn’t want to expose people.
Yeah because then no one would ever want to date me! I did write a blog about being dumped by text message, but I don’t believe the guy ever saw it. He didn’t read my blog. I also wrote a post about being flown to Las Vegas to see the Foo Fighters for a second date.
Was it spontaneous?
He invited me to a rugby game for our first date, and he flew to the US the next day. Once he had landed, he called to tell me that he had booked me a flight to Vegas to meet him and his friends and see the Foo Fighters. It was maybe ten days between the first and second date. And, I did have a massive panic attack during this period. I was like this is a bad idea!
But what a great story!!
I know you spotlight other fashion influencers on your blog. Can you explain to our readers what Five on Friday is?
This column showcases the journalist in me. I have this great platform and figured I should show off people I know, businesses I work with, and anyone else that I think will be interesting. I have featured other influencers who are friends of mine. It is cool for me because I get to learn more about them.
This is very similar to our Inside Influence series on the Scrunch blog!
How do you make the decisions about what brands to work with?
I only choose brands that I align with. And of course, I must like them and they usually always involve clothing. For me, it is really important to have a say in items that I feature. I want to stay true to myself and my own personal style. I don’t want people to see me on the street and think to themselves she is nothing like she is online. So, I like to work with brands that understand this.
Well, being honest and truthful is an influencer’s bread and butter or else they may lose their following. Have you ever declined a partnership?
I have declined some opportunities that have come through, both directly from brands or agencies, even through the team Scrunch. Sometimes it is a timing issue, and sometimes it just doesn’t fit my style.
Of course, and you don’t want to jeopardize your audience’s trust.
Have you set any goals for your blog/ content for 2018?
Not specifically, I would like to head overseas again soon. I do have a long list of stories and posts I’d like to do. It’s just hard finding the time to make them happen. I’d also like to get out and organise drinks or a catch up with some of the women who follow me – we send so many messages back and forth, it would be great to meet them in person!
Where would you travel to?
I actually don’t have any plans. New York is always at the top of my list but I am totally open to suggestions. Somewhere tropical would be nice — just to sail off into the sunset and find a beautiful beach somewhere.
Okay, It's Scrunch Time!
NYC or LA?
Favorite designer brand?
J Crew! No, Yeojin Bae. Oh, I don’t know.
Whenever you are feeling lazy or don’t want to leave the house, what are you wearing?
White denim shorts and a striped t-shirt. 💯
Top Travel Trip
If you are traveling alone, hire a travel photographer. It is the best thing I have ever done!
It was a pleasure catching up with Brooke, and I could have talked with her the entire afternoon. To keep up with Brooke, be sure to show her Instagram, and show her some love!