Emily Schuman is one of the original fashion bloggers, having launching Cupcakes and Cashmere in 2008, and has since grown the blog into an aspirational, girl-next-door lifestyle brand. Schuman’s reach has expanded to count 1 million monthly visitors on her blog, three licensed product lines, and two best-selling books. Schuman’s newest venture is partnering with Digital Brand Products to launch her own e-commerce platform, where fans can shop a curation of her favorite products alongside Cupcakes and Cashmere branded items.
“I spend a lot of time online and felt that a truly curated shopping experience didn’t exist, especially for my type of aesthetic,” Emily Schuman said. “It’s gotten to a point where there are so many options in the marketplace that it’s overwhelming. We all lead hectic, busy lives, and people just want someone they trust, and whose taste they admire, to simplify things and show them the best of the best. I’ve been curating my favorite finds on my blog for nine years and will continue to do so – it’s just that all of those things will now also be available in one place.”
With her new e-commerce site, Schuman plans to keep the merchandise limited to 200 items, ranging in categories of home, fashion and gifts inspired by the Cupcakes and Cashmere brand aesthetic.
“Our brand has always been infused with a personal connection to my life, from how I dress, to what I eat, my thoughts on motherhood, and the site will have a similar layer of intimacy,” Schuman said. “We want to make this shopping experience feel like you’re getting suggestions from a trusted friend, not simply a brand. And similar to my blog, the site will feature a variety of lifestyle categories since what you wear is just as important as how you design your home.”
Schuman’s Cupcakes and Cashmere brand has evolved in many ways from the day she launched her blog nearly ten years ago.
“We’ve taken a very deliberate approach to changing our brand from strictly a content business into a multifaceted company, but I feel a large part of that success has to do with our background and previous work experience,” Schuman said. “I didn’t have any initial goals for Cupcakes and Cashmere when I started it in 2008, but my husband and I both come from the advertising and media industries, and once we noticed trends with our audience and content, we realized there was an opportunity to explore a new business and effectively monetize our traffic. Once the influencer space began to mature, we felt there was an overabundance of voices and wanted to find new ways of carrying our brand into new channels. This began with design collaborations with established companies, which provided some legitimacy for our small brand, and later paved the way for expanding into our own product lines. We’ve never taken the quick or easy money and while advertising trends come and go, we’ve tried to build a company with diversified revenue, so we’re buffeted against shifts in the market.”
For Schuman, it’s important to stay connected to her core audience through her multiple platforms and brand expansions.
“We have an amazingly loyal and connected audience and that’s due to the personal nature of our company,” Schuman said. “With that connection comes the expectation that our readers can reach out directly and receive a response and I take that expectation very seriously. At times it can get overwhelming, but I spend an inordinate amount of time on every social channel and try to personally respond to every email that comes in to my inbox. I feel every product we create carries that personal touch as well, from the cut of a dress, to the hang tag, everything we make is a means of connecting with our audience and making them feel part of the Cupcakes and Cashmere community.”
As for those looking to launch there own lifestyle blogs today, Schuman advises that authenticity is key.
“Start it for the right reasons,” Schuman said. “Back when I first began Cupcakes and Cashmere, a career in blogging wasn’t really a thing, I simply shared things I was passionate about and other people took notice. I think that level of authenticity is the cornerstone for whatever you create. Beyond that, develop a unique voice, take high-quality photographs, have a clean site layout, post often, and interact with your readers.”