April 11, 2022

Fashion Merchant Turned Marketing Strategist: The Story of Sarah Crum

FILED IN: About Me

Hey Bestie! I am so so happy you found your way here. Over here we are all about community and lifting each other up. If that’s what you are looking for, you are in the right place! I wanted to give you baddies some background on my life and how I went from a fashion merchant for a plus size fashion company to a marketing strategist specializing in Pinterest, blogging, email marketing, and Instagram for badass wedding creatives. Buckle up, it’s a wild ride!

Where It All Began

So let’s start off at the beginning (sort of). Before I was even born, my dad started his own home building company. Which as a young kid seemed sooooo cool. No one else’s dad had their own company so my dad must be pretty freaking cool, right? As I grew up I began to see the struggles of owning your own business first hand. Endless work, sleepless nights, and lots and lots of stress. Granted most of this stress came after the housing crash of ’08. So a lot of the stress was out of his control, but it still made me want to steer clear of owning my own company.

fashion merchant turned content marketing strategist

Fast Forward to Fashion

Let’s fast forward to college. Picture this: an eighteen year old woman with no clue what she wants to do in this world. Sound familiar? The fact that we expect 18 year old’s to know what they want do with the rest of their life is WILD to me. Since I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, like any respectable woman I decided “Why not go into fashion?” I found out buying clothes was an actual job and it’s called fashion merchandising. Buying clothes with someone else money? Sign me TF up.

So I went to school and majored in Marketing and Fashion Design. I was still a little intrigued with entrepreneurship so I went ahead and added on a minor in it, just in case. After graduating, I got a job at a plus size fashion company as an assistant merchant for dresses. Which, SCORE! Getting a job in the field I wanted felt like such a deal no matter the salary.

I started working and quickly realized how much of a deal it wasn’t. I was working 10-15 hours a day, being yelled at by my higher ups at every turn, and realized I was being paid a salary about $10k less than any other assistant merchant in my city. When I talked to most people about it, almost all of them agreed with me it was ridiculous but it was just something you get with corporate America. So I stayed.

fashion merchant turned content marketing strategist

The Day I Realized “This Ain’t It”

I worked this job for 3 years with minuscule yearly raises, one promotion, and minimal recognition. The exact moment I came to my breaking point was August 2, 2021. My boss slacked me and said we needed to have a meeting. The next morning we chatted and she informed me that the 7 days of PTO I had taken so far that year was a “problem” and if I took PTO for the family vacation I had booked the next week, I wouldn’t have a job. She told me “this wasn’t the right place” for me if I took the PTO. I promptly had a mental breakdown and hopped on a call with the HR rep.

I had given three years of my life to this company. Early mornings, late nights, and weekends all given to this company, and for what? I essentially missed three years of my daughter’s life to be a good employee. And my boss would fire me for taking a family vacation. That’s the moment I woke TF up and realized this was a business. And this business couldn’t give a damn if I lived or died.

fashion merchant turned content marketing strategist

So What’s Next?

The week after my family vacation, that I was forced to work on, I started applying for jobs elsewhere. After way too many interviews, I realized that most fashion companies had the same exact culture I was coming from. I couldn’t get myself to take a leap that was going to land me right back where I was.

That’s when I found Jess Hawk’s TikTok. I was laying in bed on a Sunday morning ready to start a full day of pulling reports for this job I hate when I scrolled to “just one more” TikTok and there it was. The answer I had been waiting for. After seeing her TikTok, I quickly watched every other TikTok she had on virtual assistants and then headed to her Instagram to learn more. I immediately bought her “Fast Track to VA” guide to figure out how I could start myself on this business journey.

fashion merchant turned content marketing strategist

The General VA (Not Yet a Content Marketing Strategist)

It honestly felt like I had found the Holy Grail. I had always wanted to own my business, but was scared away growing up with an entrepreneur. After working in corporate America for 3 years, I knew that the struggle of owning your own business was so much better and more rewarding than the pain of being under appreciated and under utilized in the corporate world.

I started out as an hourly general VA and found a lot of success there! Especially with the help of Lily May’s masterclass and coaching program. Lily really helped me find my footing in the industry. She taught me the fundamentals I needed to know before I could soar. Right after Lily’s coaching program ended, I started Jess Hawk’s Digital Creative’s Academy (DCA).

The Bada$$ Content Marketing Strategist

DCA is where I really started to soar. I found the bada** content marketing strategist I was meant to be through DCA. I started to feel confident enough to stop looking to others and start looking within to figure out how I wanted to grow my business. I found a love for Pinterest and blogging and all things marketing. Which makes total sense since I have a bachelor’s degree in it! I also niched down to work with wedding creatives during this time. I love being creative and that’s definitely what draws me to Marketing, but I am also super analytical and love following the numbers.

I have found such joy working with wedding creatives. A fourth of it is probably due to my (*fingers crossed*) engagement this year, so there is definitely a part of me keeping up on trends for my own wedding. BUT the other three fourths is due to the fact that wedding creatives started their businesses because they love love; NOT to be stuck coming up with social media strategies and figuring out the exact right keyword to please the Pinterest algo or the SEO gods.

I like to think of myself as helping to round out my clients’ businesses. They come to me with these fabulous photos and I make sure the world sees them.

Now You Know!

From Fashion Merchant to Content Marketing Strategist

So that’s most of it! How I went from being a fashion merchant to a content marketing strategist. It has been such a fun journey so far, and I can’t wait to see where we go in the future! Thanks for following along. I truly appreciate each and every one of you for being here. If you have any questions or relate to this at all, DM me on Instagram! I would love to hear your story or answer any question you have.

Interested in working with me? Let’s chat!

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