“Starting something on your own gives you motivation and passion to drive your success.”

Emily Helm, 25, Style Blogger

When package after package began arriving to Emily Helm’s Greensboro home, her mother started to wonder.

“One day, my mom was like, ‘Oh my gosh! You have another package. You need to stop shopping!’” Emily says. “I had to then sit down with her and explain that this is actually a business.”

In her blog, Life With Emily, and its associated social media sites, she shares photos of her personal style, favorite beauty finds and bits and pieces of her everyday life to more than 66,000 followers.

The packages – not a result of a shopping addiction – were products sent to her for free to promote to her loyal followers.

The 25-year-old Greensboro native abandoned a 9-5 job in property management to become a full-time style blogger and entrepreneur when she realized she was spending as much time on her hobby as her career.

“Starting something on your own gives you motivation and passion to drive your success,” she says.

Because of her large following, brands such as Kendra Scott, French Connection, Old Navy and GiGi New York, are constantly reaching out to Emily to feature their products on her blog. In order to make money, Emily uses RewardStyle. RewardStyle allows her to link out to shopping sites from the blog and earn commission if readers purchase items through her link. She also receives a fee from the brands for the promotion.

“Each collaboration is ultimately different depending on the brand and what product they are looking to promote,” she says. “Sometimes, it’s a new style of denim, a new spring collection, or an affordable home décor collection.”

Her degree in communications and public relations from Appalachian State has helped her to learn what people like and how to choose her demographic and cater to them. “The more I did that, the more I narrowed down my market, ”she says.

A typical workweek for Emily is 40-60 hours, including the weekends.

Emily finds aesthetically pleasing locations in Greensboro for her photo shoots with UNCG photographer, Brian Speice.  Often she uses spots downtown. “I take advantage of what [Greensboro] has to offer – the cityscapes and vibes within the city,” she says.

They’ll often shoot 10 outfits in a day. “Many people don’t realize the behind the scenes that goes into it,” she says. “It’s a lot of trial and error and finding what your audience will best respond to.”

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