Who else loved getting a peek into Anastasia Casey’s workday schedule yesterday?! I’m already implementing some of her tips and feeling so inspired to give my own routine a redesign. It’s true, redesign applies to more things in our lives than rooms in our homes! Anna is back today and we’re having a virtual sit down with her for our Haven Maven series. This Austin-based boss babe, Founder and Creative Director of The Identité Collective, is so inspiring and she has some incredible tips for us today—including how to grow an organic, engaged Instagram community. Let’s dive right in!
What is The Identité Collective and how did it come to life?
The Identité Collective was born out of necessity. I was working as the director of marketing for a luxury real estate firm here in Austin when I was offered an amazing role at a local lifestyle brand. After my boss found out about the job offer, I was fired, and she contacted the brand that offered me the job. They retracted the offer and I was left without any options.
It was the scariest, hardest decision I ever had to make, but I knew I didn’t want to work for someone else ever again. Looking back, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m not sure I would have ever been brave enough to make the leap on my own.
What do you love most about your job?
The best part of my job is helping someone else’s dream become a tangible reality. So many interior designers started their business as a passion project. To help them turn their passion project into a lucrative career is an incredible honor.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in getting The Identité Collective to where it is now?
Learn to say no. I’ve gotten myself into a handful of predicaments, saying yes to projects that weren’t the best fit. I was too eager to “book” to be discerning enough to turn down projects I didn’t love. Every single one of those projects I took on turned out to be nightmare projects. And after every one of those projects booked, a more appealing, dream client came along that I had to turn down because of timing. Be patient, wait for the right projects, and understand that booking more isn’t always better.
If you could go to lunch with ANY kick ass boss lady, who would it be?
Shea McGee. I don’t know another business owner who has grown her vision so fruitfully and with more grace than Shea. Her kindness and transparency are only rivaled by her hard work and style.
What advice do you have for others who are launching a new brand or business?
Don’t wait! I know it can feel SO overwhelming right now, with all these “algorithm” changes and so many people that seem like they’ve already made it. But there is always room for more talent, more creativity, more services. Don’t wait for things to be perfect – you’ll figure them out along the way. Spoiler alert: No one ACTUALLY knows what they’re doing.
What is your top tip for growing an engaged community on Instagram?
Consistency is key. Consistently sharing original content that has been well curated is what performs best for continued, powerful growth. Invest in a photographer every few months to capture beautiful images – it’s an investment that will catapult growth faster than any fake followers, paid ads, or bots could ever bring.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
Being selected as one of Honeybook’s 20 on the Rise! Over 3,000 designers and creatives were nominated by their peers and their panel selected me as one of 20 designers to watch. Not only was it an immense honor (because there aren’t a lot of awards when you own your own business), it was particularly special because so many colleagues thought to submit my name. Nothing beats that.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Luck is by design.
Three of your favorite things:
Breakfast tacos, stiff + wide brim hats, sail boats
Instagram accounts you’re currently crushing on:
Three apps you can’t live without:
Trello, A Color Story, Slack
Favorite way to treat yourself when the work week is DONE?!
We have this fun thing here in Austin called Master Pancake Theater – you listen to 3 stand up comedians comment during old movies while you’re served dinner at your seat.
Beats usually playing in your studio:
Photography: Madeline Harper