For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Jency Abarca, Owner of Vyb3!
VYB3 offers hip hop fans a platform and brand that represents their love and passion for this musical and cultural entity. We want hip hop enthusiasts to have their own stamp in the world through a brand that they could relate to and that understands and respects the history, culture and legacy hip hop has created and continues to create.
Our girl Sabrina interviewed Jency about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
Our first blog post was in January 2016, and the brand followed shortly after in October 2016. The first apparel item we sold were winter toques, which sold out within two hours of its release.
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9-5 and start VYB3?
I have not shied away from working a full-time job, I work a full-time and part-time job and sort of cram in some time to work on VYB3 after work. I feel like I’m living the ambition and hustle that is heavily embedded in hip hop culture and music; this community gets there’s out the mud so to speak. Meaning we put in the work, blood, sweat, and tears into our craft/vision and make it happen!
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
What I love most about being a boss babe, is either seeing or hearing women and men fall in love with my vision, with something I created. Hearing them tell me, “You’re going to be Toronto’s version of Diddy or Angie Martinez.” These are big names in hip hop, people I grew up watching – so that, seeing people’s face light up when they see my vision growing and expanding, being told that I inspire others to tap into their light, that to me is super rewarding.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start VYB3?
I think one of the biggest challenges I have had to face is being questioned or quizzed by men on my level of hip hop knowledge. I’m constantly having to defend my top 5, or questioned on who I know and how much I know – it’s a constant thing.
As a female in a heavily dominated male industry, we are always going to have to grind twice as hard to prove we have rightfully earned our position and voice in hip hop. As if we have to constantly ensure everyone that we are there for what we know, not who we know. It’s something that I knew existed but even so, when I experienced it – it still caught me by surprise.
5: What is one thing about working in the fashion industry that people would be surprised to learn?
In order to survive while building a clothing brand, you have to be a crazy creative and crazy believer in what you are creating. Your vision has to be your partner the first couple of months/years, think about how much time, energy and effort a relationship requires and then decide if it’s for you because that’s the truth behind the glam.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
Yes, I absolutely love Instagram. It’s been such a great tool to build on and it’s fairly simple. Just select a great image, upload, and caption. I saw the majority of our traffic by consistently posting blog pieces, interview videos, new design ideas, and hip hop-related content. Instagram gives businesses the opportunity to really build an intimate relationship with your followers and have them follow the journey behind your business while also adding in cute little extras such as a GIF, questions, a quiz and more to make it more of an interactive experience for your customers.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
I studied public relations (shoutout to my Humber squad) so I learned about the opportunities and success that social media can bring to anyone or anything. I saw how cost-effective it was to run a social media campaign versus a major billboard campaign, let’s just say. I learned how you can build an online presence, just by simply pitching yourself as the brand and it requires as little as $10 if that. Social media is something that is free, and its logistics is fairly easy to follow – you can see what is trending, you can see how popular a certain hashtag/keyword is, all these things are free for any creative/business to follow and incorporate into their marketing strategy.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
The use of social media has expanded VYB3 from being a blog no one knew about, with only 195 viewers, into a movement for hip hop heads of now 1580 loyal followers/viewers. We doubled our followers in just a matter of 7 months from only 456 followers when we first started our profile to where it is now. We have made almost all of our sales from the use of Instagram, people taking pictures with our products and sharing them, then tagging us so we can share, using our hashtag. Social media has been our greatest marketing tool and it has cost us under $100 to invest in sponsored ads.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
I would suggest identifying who your audience is, and then begin tracking the accounts they enjoy – see what you may be able to incorporate into your social media presence. I would also suggest being interactive, like showing the dirty grind behind the vision. People love seeing go-getters for one of two reasons: to see them fail or to see them succeed, either way, they’re watching though and that’s always a plus baby!
A Little More About Jency Abarca
Jency Abarca is a public relations graduate from Humber College. Before she began blogging, she was actively participating in open mics in the GTA as a spoken word artist.
Connect with Jency
Know Any Voss Babes?
Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!