Updated: Aug 10, 2021
Meet Cara Irwin, Founder of Goldalamode
Cara Irwin is an influencer, content creator and blogger specializing in interior, DIY, and lifestyle content. And she invites her followers into that work while sharing about her emotional and physical healing journey living with both Lyme disease and Epstein Barr.
We got to chat with Cara about how she began partnering with big brands, how she creates authentic connections to followers, and what advice she has for other Babes In Business who are navigating similar emotional and physical health challenges while building their brands.
So, let’s dive right in!
Get To Know Cara
Hi Cara! Can you tell our readers a bit about you and your work?
I currently work as an influencer and blogger. I work with brands to promote their products and events. The other side of what I do is creating lifestyle content for readers.
I want to help people live happier and healthier. I started posting strictly about home decor and have now moved into lifestyle and wellness. I’m healing my emotional health but also working diligently on healing Lyme disease and Epstein Barr. I want to be completely open about my healing so it can help others.
Some things I have been thinking about while I begin to feel better include possibly opening an online store and learning more about spiritual healing like reiki and yoga that people can work into their lives and homes. Then maybe when I’m healed I’ll write a book.
And when you were little: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Is that anything like what you do today?
When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. I do have a lot of animals now. So I guess I still love animals! I have 3 dogs, a cat and 11 chickens!
So, we’ve got to ask: Where did your handle, the name Goldalamode, come from?
The name of Goldalamode came to me when I first started my Instagram. I really had no idea it was ever going to turn into anything so it was purely for fun.
I was going through a phase of spray-painting everything gold because we were on a major budget after buying our house. I used to spray old frames, vases, whatever! So Goldalamode meant gold trends or gold fashion to me.
Partnering With Companies and Growing A Following
You’ve partnered with some pretty big companies and brands. How did those partnerships begin?
My first big partnership was with Home Goods. They reached out to me. I’d say it took a couple years for me to really learn about taking partnerships and making money at it.
Most of the partnerships I take on are through PR companies or influencer marketing platforms.
You’ve got 60k+ followers. Have you lost/gained followers throughout this process and what has that process been like?
I have definitely lost followers here and there. It’s a lot harder now to gain followers on Instagram.
When I first started, if Home Goods reposted me, I would get around 900 new followers. The reach used to be much higher even for big brands. If that same company posted me now, I would get around 70-100 new followers.
The process of gaining followers has slowed down and has more so turned into an authentic relationship with followers.
Taking Followers Behind The Scenes and Staying True To You
Your followers feel so connected to you because you’re truly honest with them about your life. How did you cultivate that connection with the people who follow you?
I think the most important thing to know when growing an authentic relationship with followers is that you just have to start.
It feels really awkward at first because of the fear that people may not accept or like the “real you” but when you be yourself the right people show up.
What challenges have you dealt with as you show followers your “behind the scenes”?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve gone through when showing my followers my true life is feeling like I’ve overshared or peeled a piece of me away.
I think a lot of us grow up thinking we shouldn’t tell family secrets or talk about emotions because we will look weak. It can be a very awkward feeling sharing the things you’ve only known how to hide.
Have there been benefits or drawbacks to getting real with your followers?
I think one of the drawbacks to being real with followers is that there’s an off-growth phase. You start to lose followers who only came to your account for the perfect squares.
But I think it will pay off in the end.