CC/16 - The Road to 1k

Jon Wheeler

Man with camel in desert

As Clouds & Cups crosses over the thousand follower threshold, I thought it appropriate to reflect upon the Instagram journey so far. I set up this account on the evening of 29th June 2018, just shy of a year ago. Official launch day came 15th December, almost six months later. To be completely honest, I didn’t have anything slightly resembling a direction when I first created the Instagram account. My strategy was to take a bunch of photos here and there and upload them as I saw fit. A little finesse is now employed, which is hopefully apparent to those viewing. The first product I began promoting was the embroidered keychain, selling them through DMs before the website was even up and running. Not long after came the debut Don’t Feed the Screens (SS/18) collection. It feels like a lot has happened since then, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem all that long ago either. A couple more tees have dropped since, and suddenly this account is already a year old...

One of the most interesting aspects of growing this following has been meeting and talking to you all. Without coming across too wanky, it’s really the human connections that make growing a brand so interesting, especially in the early days. I’ve met a lot of people on this road so far, both online and offline. Regardless of where/how I’ve met/interacted with you, it’s always a pleasure to have a chat and exchange some words. You really can learn a lot from talking to anyone - it’s one of the most valuable things we as humans can do. Small brands are blessed with this ability to interact and engage very intimately with their audiences. I want to be able to cherish this for as long as possible - it’s great to be within arm’s reach of you all and vice versa. I really feel as if I am the brand and this brand is me. Small labels are gifted with this incredibly personal element that big brands, like NIKE for example, simply don’t have. I’m really enjoying this process because of the ability to have such a close relationship with you all. Be ambitious, but don’t be in a rush to grow up too quickly. Don’t focus entirely on the destination - the scenery is there for you to enjoy. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.

I'd like to give a big warm thank you to you all. I remember making a post many months ago celebrating the hundred follower mark. Almost a year on, here we are ticking onwards passed one thousand. I should note however, that no matter what you’re doing, Instagram numbers should never be your sole focus. That’s not a healthy obsession, and I could write an entire book about that. In fact, that’s what the entire debut collection was based on (see here). While you shouldn’t obsess over numbers like this, they are useful indicators of general growth. Like I said when I broke a hundred followers, any milestone, no matter how small, is a milestone. Celebrate all your wins because that's what will keep you going forward. Thank you to every single one of you one thousand followers. I appreciate you giving Clouds & Cups the time of day. It’s a project very close to my heart, so I’m really thankful that you've all taken an interest in it. You’re a truly loyal audience because the support and encouragement I’ve received has been so genuine and heartwarming. I’m very lucky to have you all on this journey. I’ll be working my hardest to make sure it’s the best possible experience for you. Onwards, and upwards.

JW


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