For fresh-faced companies it’s always a hustle to establish roots within an industry and to make their unique brand voice heard. The ability to control social in-house not only allows a brand to let their creative genius fly, it keeps a finger on the pulse of performance as the company continues to scale.
When starting out on a new endeavor, everyone needs a little support. Finding and forging the right partnerships to expand reach and grow can be tough. We get it. Whether it’s a cross-brand collaboration, influencer marketing, agency contracts, or even the people you hire—what works well for one brand, may fall flat for another. The ability to adapt your strategy as you scale becomes intrinsically important when you’re small, yet mighty. 💪
Growth was a huge focus for Chelsea Dinkins when she joined the herbal wellness brand as Marketing Director last fall. Hailing from Hawaii (but living in Denver) she was ready to get back to the beach—so naturally this Miami-based company was a good fit. 🏖
With a goal to reach 10K followers sitting on her to-do list, Chelsea helped Gryph & IvyRose decide to step away from outsourcing social to an agency, and bring it back in-house where the team could own their social strategy and authentically engage with their online community.
A big switch?
The right fit?
We recently had the pleasure to sit down with Chelsea and chat about bringing Gryph & IvyRose’s social in-house, the changes she implemented to hit 10K, and the differences of working in the corporate world vs. a startup.
1. What led you to your position at Gryph & IvyRose?
I’d always wanted to work for a startup, but had only worked for really big companies. My husband and I were looking to move to Miami. Side story: I lived in Denver for two years and loved being able to snowboard and go to the mountains, but felt that it was time to get back to the beach. The Marketing Director position at Gryph & IvyRose popped up for me when I did a job search, and I emailed them immediately because it felt like a perfect fit. I have a one-year-old, this is a children’s company, it has beauty and supplement lines, and natural health alternatives—this is completely up my alley! Spoiler: it ended up working out, we moved to Miami last September, and have been here ever since.
2. What’s your favorite thing about working for Gryph & IvyRose?
I think that the most important thing at any job is enjoying who you work with. We have a small office, and everyone here is awesome. It’s really exciting and interesting, going from working at a bigger company to the size of our small team. At a bigger company you’re constantly thinking, ‘What did we do last year, what are we going to change, and what will we improve for this year?’ Because we’re so young, everything we do is from scratch, and we are doing it for the first time—it’s exciting and challenging at the same time. It’s also an added bonus to work for a company that makes products that my two-year-old can use.
3. What tips do you have for someone making the jump from the corporate world to a startup?
- 1. Since I didn’t have a ton of experience with how startups work, leaning on my resources and my network of people has been really helpful in making this transition and figuring out where to focus my time and effort. I’ve probably had a gazillion information-gathering calls with people in the startup world.
- 2. It’s really hard to find good partnerships. A lot of the bigger companies are working with agencies, and we do too in a different capacity. It’s super important to find strong partners, but challenging to find the right ones. You go through talking to so many to understand which ones align with our brand and our size and strategy. Some agencies may be great, but they may be great to help a $5 billion company, they might not be great to help a young company.
4. Your team was working with an agency, and now you’re doing everything in-house. What has that switch looked like for you?
Because we’re using Dash Hudson as a platform it hasn’t been as challenging to make that transition back in-house. It’s really beneficial to have Dash Hudson because it gives us more flexibility in scheduling last-minute posts, responding in real-time to customer questions and comments, and ensuring the communication is on brand. We have a super-talented, Gen-Z-er and "Jane of All Trades," Morel Malcolm, that manages our social media in-house. When consumers reach out to brands via social, they really want to hear back in real-time, so its great to have someone managing that constant communication and also bringing a young, fun and exciting perspective to the types of content that we should post & help us stay on top of what is trending in the social world. Having Dash Hudson makes it easy to plan things out weeks in advance, constantly monitor effectiveness and engagement, analyze what our competitors are doing, and prioritize which influencers are impactful for us.
5. Is there more collaboration happening across teams now?
Yes, definitely! Before it was probably once a week at most, that we were scheduling time with our agency. We didn’t have as much clarity into what we were posting for the next week or what our feed would look like in the coming two, three, even four weeks. We left it up to them to post as they saw fit. It’s so nice to be able to look at it more holistically and plan things out now. Even when it comes to content, we’re better able to utilize our founding team. One of the founders is an experienced herbalist, and if we want to talk about an ingredient that a lot of people may not know about, we can tap into his knowledge and execute on that opportunity.
6. A lot of people from the outside looking in may not realize how marketing and social departments are so intertwined. How do your teams work cross functionally on a daily basis?
Social media is how we’re reaching so many consumers, it’s where they really learn about our products and the brand, especially being a young brand that people don’t see in stores every day. We’re starting to branch out to larger retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, but we’re still sold in mostly boutique shops, or online. Social media is one of the biggest drivers to our website, and since bringing social media in-house, it has become much easier to work together and tie it into our overall marketing strategy. It’s a lot more seamless to say, ‘We’re going to run this promotion this week—let’s schedule it across our social channels, paid marketing, as well as the newsletter, and let’s have something on our website.’ Managing all of our digital marketing means that we can make sure we are reaching our consumer across every channel at the same time, which is the most effective.
7. You had a huge goal to hit 10k followers—which you have officially surpassed! What are some key things that have helped you get to this point?
At first we were working with macro-influencers which was helpful, but lately we’ve shifted to working with micro-influencers. I find micro-influencers speak more genuinely about our products. For us, it feels more authentic partnering with micro-influencers and that has helped drive up our followers for sure. It’s challenging as a brand to get consumers to engage with you. We talk about this all the time—even myself personally—that generally we’re liking and commenting on our friends’ posts and not necessarily on a brand’s. We want our customers and followers to think of Gryph & IvyRose as a friend. Doing giveaways with like-minded brands has really helped us get our followers excited to engage with our content and share it on their own channels.
8. You mentioned you have a two-year-old and love using the Gryph & IvyRose products on him—what are some of your go-to’s?
The body oil for sure—I use it on myself as well as my son. It has this light, yummy, juniper-citrus scent. It’s a lighter body oil and it absorbs really well. Our founder, who developed this product, says the oils have a smaller molecular composition so that they absorb faster and don’t feel greasy. I also love the Forceshield Immune Support—I use that for both of us too. It’s an herbal elixir and helps with preventative immune support by keeping your immune system strong so that you get sick less often. We put my son in daycare when we moved to Miami and he was getting sick constantly, because new city = new germs. Then we started using the elixir and it definitely helped.
9. We’ve talked so much about shifting gears so we have to know…you grew up surfing in Hawaii—how easy was it to make the switch to snowboarding in Denver?
I actually found it super different. When you’re surfing, your weight is more on your front foot. I feel like the shifting of that weight is so different so it felt like it was harder for me to learn. I don’t know how hard it is for everyone else, but I felt like I was doing it backwards! Everyone was like, ‘Oh, it’ll be so easy for you, you’ve surfed you’re whole life!’ I was like ‘No, this is not easy!’ 😂
10. Lastly, our favorite question…what’s your favorite Dash Hudson tool?
I really like the library tool. Because we’ve been doing micro-influencer programs, I love how it uploads all of the UGC and then all we have to do is search for it. It’s surprisingly accurate. I think if I were a computer and you were to be like ‘shampoo’ I would say, ‘I don’t know which one is the shampoo? Anything with a plastic bottle?’ But it’s impressive how accurate it’ll be in actually differentiating between bubble bath vs. shampoo. Searching for a specific color is great too, especially for holidays. We have hundreds of images in the library tool now so being able to search what we’re looking for in a certain post is amazing.
To shop Chelsea’s favorite products and melt over some of the cutest Gryph & IvyRose fans, follow along @gryphandivyrose. If it’s some good surf tips you’re in need of, check out our girl @chelseahjohns.
Header image: @gryphandivyrose
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