It takes a strong mental foundation to allow others to see your unfinished entrepreneurial story. Many business owners limit what they share publicly in order to craft what they think is a perfect image.
At a weekly event called “Fashion Speak Fridays,” Small Business Trends spoke with Alissa Chapman, a live streaming personality building an audience by letting others see her journey unfold. Chapman shares the ups and downs of what it’s like to put one’s brand out into the world of live streaming.
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Alissa Chapman grew up in a small college town in western Massachusetts. Her creative nature manifested in original clothing creations from an early age, and when she moved to New York to study fashion design at The Fashion Institute of Technology, she was finally in her element. In 2011, she went back to FIT to study entrepreneurship.
Studying business in the context of fashion helped round out a dream set of skills and afforded her a broader perspective that allowed her to run her own namesake label. Her collections began with dresses after an internship working with the late Oscar de la Renta whom she admired greatly and was a long-time inspiration. Her collection has evolved into a line that includes separates, jeans, accessories and jewelry. All of the pieces she designs are created on the premise that fashion should allow the wearer to bring a little bit of cinema fantasy to real life.
Building A Brand on Periscope
Small Business Trends: What would you say to others thinking of building a brand on Periscope?
Alissa Chapman: Starting your own label is not for the faint of heart. What I’m currently doing with Periscope is broadcasting different projects, showing my clothing line and directing people to Instagram. I refine my broadcasts to create a mood I want associated with my brand. The value of Periscope for building a brand and the future of Periscope cannot be looked at separately. Right now, you can’t search by category. The value of good content blended with real-time connection hasn’t been fully figured out yet. It hasn’t been figured out by Periscope’s founders, and it even hasn’t been figured out by the top broadcasters.
But Periscope is not the end-all-be-all of social media. Periscope is an amazing way to directly connect with your audience. It certainly contributes to branding, so in that sense I understand it. At the same time it has the most unpredictability in controlling one’s image because bullying and sexual harassment comments become part of the content.
When it comes to my fashion line, I am my brand, whether I like it or not, especially on Periscope. Whatever I do and whatever content I create on it will be associated with my clothing line. The mood I’m in, my values when I choose to share them, even the music I listen to, for better or worse, will be associated with my brand. It’s important for broadcasters to also be viewers. When broadcasters do things that bother me, I always try to make sure I don’t repeat those mistakes.
Small Business Trends: What positive effects might a brand get from using Periscope?
Alissa Chapman: A huge benefit to Periscope that I’ve recently experienced is the ability to connect with new people. For broadcasters, it’s also important to connect with other broadcasters in real life. Facebook is very closed off. It’s all about who you already know, whereas Periscope gives you the ability to make new and meaningful connections on a personal level. I met Katya Bychkova through Periscope and we hit it off right away. Our shared love of fashion and beauty is what we bonded over, and navigating Periscope while it’s still so new has given us the opportunity to team up and figure out how to best approach social media. We do fashion-themed joint scopes on Periscope.
Small Business Trends: Any thoughts on using live streaming platforms not named Periscope?
Alissa Chapman: For the moment, Facebook Live might have an edge over Periscope when it comes to content that expires and issues of harassment. Live streams on Facebook are archived and stay on the timeline. Bullying also seems to be less of an issue on Facebook, even though you can broadcast publicly and not just to your friends.
Small Business Trends: What sites can people go to to find out more about your work?
Alissa Chapman: I’m at AlissaChapman.com and I’m on Instagram as AlissaChapmanCo.
Images: Alissa Chapman
This is part of the Small Business Trends Livestreamed Livelihoods interview series featuring sessions with today's movers and shakers in the livestreaming world.More in: Livestreamed Livelihoods