Mindy Parisi is a mother, wife, teacher and the creator of Finding Silver Linings, a blog focused on living an upbeat, creative lifestyle. Launched in 2010, the blog features style inspiration, recipes, do-it-yourself projects, crafts, beauty tips, the occasional cocktail recipe as well as curated content. Mindy describes it as a hub for people looking for ideas and inspiration for living a passionate life. Mindy’s content has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Oxygen magazine and Food and Wine magazine. You can learn more at findingsilverlinings.net or connect with Mindy on Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat and Pinterest.
Tell us about the beginning days of Finding Silver Linings as well as some of the first steps you took to establish yourself as a blogger…
Sure. So it all started when I moved into my new house. So it started kind of to keep my really big Italian family informed at the same time because my family was – they all wanted to hear what was going on first. So ‘oh I didn’t know you redid the floors” or “you were doing your cabinets why didn’t you tell me” so it just started to be really just I’m gonna – we redid a lot of things ourselves so it was kind of like a DIY home blog and I posted whenever we made adjustments to the house and I included pictures and even step-by-step tutorials for other people who might be in the same boat because we didn’t have a ton of money.
My husband and I are both school teachers so nobody goes into teaching for the money so we did a lot of DIY and I just figured if I couldn’t find this information on the internet maybe somebody else might want to find that information so I just put it out there because I saw a need. That’s really where it started
Your about page states you are currently working on a book, can you tell us a little bit about that?
It’s definitely kind of in the middle I wouldn’t say it’s all the way at the beginning and I’m not anywhere near the end. I just kind of want to compile everything because I’ve been blogging for eight years so there’s a lot of recipes, DIY projects things like that and I kind of had them organized on my blog via like a page or a menu but I figured it might be kind of cool because I’m so visual anyway just to compile it into a book and just put my best self together, you know, just to have just like a resource.
I don’t want it to read like a narrative I want it to be more like a resource kind of like “oh here’s a cool recipe if you’re entertaining and company just drops by” like quick, easy things or “what am I going to do with this couch I kind of want to reupholster it but I don’t even know where to start” or simple as you just want to make some curtains or you have a window that needs curtains and you want to do it yourself because you can’t find the right dimensions simply little tricks and life hacks just to kind of make things easier. So more of like a resource not so much a narrative.
When would you say your “ah-ha moment” was in terms of influencer marketing. In other words, when did you determine that becoming an influencer would be beneficial?
Well I will say that I didn’t monetize until about three years ago so I was blogging for five years just as a creative outlet. I’m an art teacher so I need to keep getting things out that’s just my way of creative expression I guess and after getting married, having the kids I didn’t have a lot of time to do anything for myself or make art. So whether it was through a creative recipe or redoing a piece of furniture so like I said I started to do it just for the love of it and as a creative outlet. And I started to see a lot out of my peers and other bloggers that I was kind of friends with and they were doing all these cool like brand partnerships with maybe a paint company and they would redo their living room o a style blogger that was hashtag ad these are my new shoes and I’m like, you know what, why am I not doing it.
I mean it start to become more of a why not, you know, again teaching doesn’t really cut it all the time and if I have the platform already I figured why not. But I only partner with brands that I see fit for my audience like I get pitched quite often, daily, a few times a day actually however, if it’s a brand that’s not really geared toward my audience or my targeted viewer or reader I don’t do it because it has to make sense. The integrity of the blog and keeping it geared just toward my audience and my specific reader is of the utmost importance.
What have been some of your favorite brand partnerships to-date?
Yes. So there’s a couple. There’s one brand it’s actually a lipstick and eye shadow cosmetic company called, Nude Envie and this woman got in contact with me who was a founder. She was just kind of starting out which I love a boutique brand, it’s female founded, her family comes from the cosmetic industry, she’s very knowledgeable, and it’s kind of high-end in which my reader likes, they like a splurge. I feel like when I write I write to one person and this person has a name, it’s not a specific person but it’s totally my targeted audience. I know what she does for a living, I know what kind of music she listens to, I know what she likes to splurge on so makeup happens to be one of those splurges and when it’s female founded and it’s boutique, it’s done really well, yeah.
The founder is Isabel Madison, she’s wonderful, but I felt like that was a great fit. Even the packing was on brand looked great on my website, looked great on my Instagram, and one other brand I would say is Jay Lu Bags. The company is not even existent unfortunately but again it was a female founded brand and we also found each other through Instagram because of the Hashtag silver linings. So her bags all had silver lining on the inside. She was actually the first brand that I monetize with because of that reason. I never thought I mean I considered it but I didn’t go out of my way. She kind of found me and I was so pumped when she contacted me was like “ I can’t believe there’s a blog that fits perfectly with my purse brand and female founded again. She really supported female athletes, female empowerment, that whole vibe which I love, and it fit perfectly with our brand as well and we’re actually friends now which is crazy.
How do you balance your daily schedule when it comes to managing your family, your blog, writing your book, your career as a teacher and being an influencer on top of it all?
It’s a lot of juggling. I’m a creative person my brain is in ten thousand different places at once, I thrive in kind of under pressure. So it’s I wake up, I get my kids ready, it’s crazy but if I find a moment in the day where there’s like a little like a life hack like I’m really trying to embody my brand. So if I have a moment say on my lunch break I’ll type up a post or if I come across a brand that sends me some product and I use everything that I’m sent and I only post the thinks that I like because as I said earlier the integrity of the brand is the most important but if I find that I really like it I’ll take pictures while I’m doing my makeup in he morning getting ready for work so I’m creating content as I go.
It’s not – I’m not one of those super organized people that has an editorial calendar and I have a photographer following me around because for my life it’s not real. So a lot of my photos are iphone photos or a self-timer or it’s a lot of real life but I also feel like at the beginning when there was such a boom of bloggers they all had these really editorial, beautiful photos but I feel like now it’s more of like a nana influencer, micro influencer scene and I feel like that realness, that kind of grittiness, and that everyday reality is what kind of engages people. So throughout my Instagram story during the day there might be my son hanging off my leg like, you know, running around and I’m like, you know, I’ll snap a picture be like this is what it is, you know, and other moms my age can relate.
What are some goals you have as a blogger and influencer for the second part of this year?
So I mean like I said I’ve been doing it for about eight years so I know that around the end of August I really start hustling to get things together for Fashion Week because it’s kind of snowballed into that. So I have to pitch different PR companies and sometimes hotels will give a media rate but I like to shop around for the best rate and the best location. If certain brands want to collaborate and dress me then that also needs to be pitched and worked out so I start that I would say August start doing that. Like I kind of know like alright about a month out if you do it too early it’s not good cause they will forget about you but if you do it too late things are filled up. And also let me think.
Also gift guides I would say I do maybe about a month out. So certain brands will pitch for example Father’s Day for the past month products have been coming in and like sometimes I’ll put together a gift guide that has sponsored posts and sometimes I won’t because sometimes the things that are coming through just aren’t worth it or I don’t think that my reader would – it would resonate with them. But so usually like a month or so out – like I said I’m really kind of scatterbrained, I’m creative, and I’m not organized, I don’t write things down and say okay I’m going to start my gift guides in June and have things ready and reposted and planned I just work on the fly, I really do.