1. Who are you, what do you do, and how did it all begin?

I'm Cassie, owner and maker of all things at Let's Put a Bird On It. I make wood wick, soy, vegan candles with funky little animal topped lids. I started making candles as gifts for the holidays seven years ago. It became something I did for fun as a hobby while working in Visual Merchandising for a large, well known department store. I was one of many to lose their job during a massive slew of lay-offs in the beginning of 2013 so I decided to put everything I had into this hobby/passion of mine and thus, Let's Put a Bird On It was born! I started out with an eclectic little Etsy shop, then began landing wholesale accounts and now my candles are carried in about 30 stores across the US, as well as online!

2. Where can we find you on social media?

My favorite social media outlet is instagram (you can find me @letsputabirdonit) I love posting behind-the-scenes photos and letting my followers in on my process. Instagram has also been a great tool for me to connect with fellow makers. I love keeping up with other kick-ass handmade brands! I also have a facebook page: www.facebook.com/HeyLetsPutaBirdOnIt. Pinterest is a great tool as well, you can find me there as Cassie Katlyn.

3. What is your favorite hashtag?

I've got to say, the hashtag I get the most response from would be #vegan but I love #smallbiz  + #handmade 

4. Why do you use social media?

It keeps me involved with customers on another level, connects me with awesome people that have similar lives to me, and keeps me from talking to myself while working alone all day! Really though, I have made some rad "handmade" friends through Instagram and I've gotten to connect with some some of my repeat customers from all over the US.

5. Which tools do you use for creating or posting content?

Sometimes I'll e-mail myself one of my studio photos to post to mix it up, but most of the time I just shoot an iPhone photo of what I'm doing- nothin' fancy!

6. What effect does social media have on your business?

Social media is HUGE for me. It helps me keep connected with people who enjoy my products, update them on new scents / styles and get feedback about all aspects of my brand. I don't know where I would be without it. I've even landed a few wholesale accounts through instagram.

7. How do you measure success on social media?

Actual engagement. When I post something and I get a bunch of weird likes from people who just go through hashtags liking things to gain followers, that means nothing to me. When I post something and I get a bunch of responses through comments, or I notice a spike in Etsy views and sales- that is a success!

8. What aspect of social media do you find most challenging?

It can SUCK YOU IN. It is no joke. There have been countless times that I have gotten consumed with Instagram only to look up and realize I'm been hunched in a strange position standing in the middle of the hallway for 20 minutes when I was supposed to be just walking to the other room to get something!! 

9. What makes you find another brand back?

If I find them inspiring, unique and real.

10. Which brands have social media you admire?

I love following a mix of indie brands, small businesses, and bloggers. I love the funny quotes and cards that @lula.mae (awesome indie shop in Pasadena, CA) posts and I also get inspired by posts from @frankiemagazine, @honeyandthehive, @flora.forager, @vozcollective (rad, handmade painted wooden jewelry), @jaxkelly (gold dipped crystal studs), and @wrenbirdarts (ridiculously cute/hilarious embroidered napkins and what not.)

11. Any advice for other brands just getting started on social media?

Never be ordinary, keep it fresh! Let people in on your process and engage them with lifestyle photos. Don't just repost your etsy photos. Try not to make it feel like "BUY BUY BUY" and more like, hey what's up-- this is what I do and I'm super proud of it. You can buy it here---> 

Also, the number of followers you have DOESN'T REALLY MATTER. Just focus on your brand and growth, everything will fall into place. Don't let yourself get burnt out trying to gain followers, it will happen naturally. :)