Inspire your Instagram: The Empowering Side Effect Of Posting Your Own Home

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Two years ago, I started posting pictures of my home on Instagram.  Prior to this, I had been a regular user (in a non addictive way) of the platform, using it to post arty looking pictures of my food, my kids and glasses of Prosecco.  Lots of glasses of Prosecco, if I'm honest, and fair few cocktail shots.  I had a friend, Emma, who was also on Instagram and we were always making up 'hilarious' hashtags to accompany our posts.  These mostly involved penile shaped cacti with faces and animals wearing clothes (we were particularly fond of cats in Victorian bonnets).  Anyway, after several months of hashtag use such as #cactuscalamity, #sombreropenis and #whengoodkittensgobad, I realised that the use of hashtags could open viewing of your posts to more than one similarly comedically minded friend.

 My previous Instagram niche prior to posting interiors.  You can buy this hat, btw.  Credit:

My previous Instagram niche prior to posting interiors.  You can buy this hat, btw.  Credit:

I started decorating the rooms in our new house, one by one, and in January 2016, I began joining in with a hashtag game which I'd discovered completely by accident.  It was #mystylephotochallengeand it gave you a prompt every day with a different subject, be it a colour, an activity or a style.  For me, it was the entrance to a whole new world. I realised that whatever the daily subject of the prompt, I was relating it to my home interiors.  I'd always been completely interior obsessed and I soon started posting regular home styling shots.  Hashtags meant that other people outside of the hashtag group could also see my posts and by maximising the hashtags and taking a good photo, my following shot up.  After starting #mystylephotochallenge with 35 followers, by March I had 800 and by December of the same year this had grown to 20k.  I gave up my job, I started blogging about styling your home, running workshops and before I knew it, I had a brand new, full time career.  Bloody hell.

But I'm not alone in this jump from hashtagging erotically challenged succulents to concentrating full time on social media based output.  There's loads of us.  From small brands who have built their business completely on the platform, to Insta friends who have paired up to start a creative business, to aspiring interior designers who have finally been able to fulfil their dreams, Instagram has been an enabler for people with a creative lean to fully reach their potential and in some cases, completely change their life focus.

Take my business partner and friend, Dee.  When we met (in a totally non Tinder style way) on Instagram whilst taking part in #mystylephotochallenge, her role was Project Manager in a large financial company where she had been for 25 years.  After a year of growing her following, she took a years sabbatical to see if she could focus on a career change and in November, she was finally able to say sayonara to her old job and concentrate full time on her interior design business.  

Or my friend Julia, who has a small business called Suburban Salon.  She'd been making beautiful stools (no pun intended) in sheepskins and mongolian fur from her home - Instagram enabled her to take this a step further and now her order book is full to the brim and she's expanding her product range.  And what about Katie and Amy, who met at one of our workshops and teamed up to create No House Rules, a networking event company based in the North Of England with the aim of bringing similarly interior minded people together?  There are countless stories of people changing their life to focus fully on things that they have always dreamt of doing.  And it's all through Instagram.

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