Want to know more about the intersection of social media and creativity in building vibrant, inclusive communities? Dive into this engaging conversation with Jen Joyce, Head of Marketing at Making Co, the groundbreaking social marketplace app for makers, crafters, and artists.
From the rise of small creators to the influence of celebrity crafters, the power of social media in championing women and BIPOC-owned businesses, and the internet’s role as a third space for expanding connections amidst a pandemic, Jen explores it all. This fun discussion, peppered with personal guilty pleasures and a shared love for creative hobbies, underlines the value of community, diversity, and creativity in the rapidly evolving maker space.
Be on the lookout for:
- The surprising power of small creators and the sense of connection and inspiration they bring
- Why the “beautiful community of diversity” is so important in the maker space
- How celebrity promotions can actually turn audiences away
- The concept of a “third place” where people find community, and how the Internet became that space during the pandemic
- What happened to one notable crafting community when tech investors tried to change it (“No, you can’t just come in and make money from us. You have to know this space.”)
- The ever-evolving role of social media in fostering connections and amplifying diverse voices
About Our Guest: Jen Joyce is the Head of Marketing for Making, the first social marketplace app made for makers, crafters, and artists — by makers, crafters, and artists. She is also the host of Making’s podcast, Making Conversation, which celebrates making in all its forms. Prior to that, Jen worked at WONGDOODY as their Senior Social Strategist, led social marketing at a fintech company, and was the 31st employee at Uber (and the brains behind the famous #UberKITTENS campaign that led to hundreds of cat adoptions, thousands of dollars donated to local shelters, and millions of impressions on social media).
Episode 39: Jen Joyce
Danielle Wiley: Welcome to The Art of Sway, the podcast that uncovers the power of influence and its impact on all areas of our lives. I’m your host, Danielle Wiley. Each week we’ll explore the many facets of influence through candid conversations with industry insiders, from brand marketers to social workers, educators, leaders, and more. Let’s dive in.
Danielle Wiley: Jen Joyce is the head of marketing for Making, the very first social marketplace app made for makers, crafters, and artists by makers, crafters, and artists. She’s also the host of Making’s podcast Making Conversation, which is a celebration of making of all kinds. Before all of that, Jen worked at Wongdoody as their senior social strategist, led social marketing at a FinTech company and was the 31st employee at Uber and the brains behind the UberKITTENS campaign. That campaign led to hundreds of cat adoptions, thousands of dollars donated to local shelters, and millions of impressions on social media.
Danielle Wiley: She was featured in Forbes and has been asked to speak at over 20 conferences and events. Jen lives in Seattle with her partner, her dogs, and her 21-year-old cat. If she’s not traveling, she can often be found knitting or working on one of her many favorite crafts and watching bad TV, enjoying the lovely Pacific Northwest, but also traveling as much as possible, spending time with her little family and lifting heavy weights for that extra serotonin boost.
Danielle Wiley: You know those times you meet someone at a party or at some kind of work meeting and you just instantly get that they are your kind of people? That’s how I felt when I met Jen Joyce about four years ago when presenting to her agency in Seattle. She is smart. She is funny. She is a dog lover and an amazing knitter, and I am thrilled that we are still in touch years later. Jen has moved on from her agency job to the job of her dreams, and it was so great to catch up with her and hear all about it. Enjoy.
Danielle Wiley: Okay, we’re on. Hi, I am so glad you agreed to come on. I’m very excited to catch up with you. It’s been a while.
Jen Joyce: I know. Thank you for having me. This is great.
Danielle Wiley: Yeah, yeah. So I shared your bio at the beginning of this, but I would love to talk to you about your career journey so you can fill everyone in yourself, because when we first met at, I think it was like a luncheon, or maybe we brought donuts, cupcakes, I don’t know. Some of my colleagues and I came in and you were running social media and content strategy for a big fancy ad agency in Seattle overlooking the water, the big fancy ad agency thing. And now you’re head of marketing for Making, which is a social marketplace app for makers, crafters, and artists, which having followed you on Instagram for a number of years, I can tell that that’s your dream job, but I would love for you to share just more about that passion and how you got from here to there because it’s kind of like a dream career trajectory from the outside looking in.
Jen Joyce: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think that it is a good spot to go all the way back, and I won’t take too long with this part, but I was somebody who, when I first started going to college, I thought I wanted to be a high school theater teacher, and then very quickly realized that I am not the person to do two different degrees at the same time because that’s what you had to do to become a high school theater teacher. And so I did not know what I wanted to do with my life at that point. And of course, this was quite a while ago at this point, but I then picked up and moved to Seattle and started working for a hotel in downtown Seattle. And I’m going to go all the way back to 2009.
Danielle Wiley: Oh, boy. We need a sound effect.
Jen Joyce: Yes, I know.
Danielle Wiley: Like a back machine.
Jen Joyce: Yeah. So as I said, I was working for a local hotel in Seattle. It’s called Hotel Max. And at that time, I was the entertainment sales manager. So I’d worked my way up to that position. And one day the president of Provenance Hotels came to me and said, “You’re the creative one, so we want you to try doing this social media thing for the hotel.” And at that point, I was like, “MySpace forever. I’m never going to get on Facebook because that’s what my mom does.” And there was no Instagram, that wasn’t even a thing at the time, and Twitter was still very community focused versus what I feel like where it’s gone, which that could be a whole nother podcast. We won’t dive into that at this point. So I just jumped in and started doing it, and within six months, I was running all of the hotels’ social media and throwing events and everything like that.
Jen Joyce: And then from there, I got an email one day from a woman named Michelle Broderick, and she had been to some of the events that I had thrown and followed the hotels on social media. And she was like, “Hey, there’s this startup that I just started working for, we’re launching in Seattle, and I want you to be the community manager. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s called Uber.” And I had taken an Uber in San Francisco the year before, and it was this magical thing where you open up your phone and you push a button and this fancy black car rolls up and then you just get out of bed.
Danielle Wiley: Do you remember that? It was mind-blowing. Now it’s like, “Oh God, I got to call an Uber.” But it was mind-blowing.
Jen Joyce: And so I joined Uber very, very early. So I was employee 31 and launched the third city, Seattle, and went from community manager to marketing manager to a bunch of different things. We always wore a lot of hats, but we had to get really creative with everything. And so I think that that’s really where I got a big chunk of my learning. Everything I’ve done is learn as I go and be open to what the universe is going to give me. Because even with Making, which I’ll get there in a second, but I was asked, “Hey, can you take over this podcast?” I was not a podcaster. I’d been on podcasts, but I had never done it myself. So jumping in and just going and running with it. And I think that that’s something that a lot of people, especially in marketing, if you can do that, you thrive really well in baby startups.
Jen Joyce: So anyways, I did community management for a long time, and then I had so much fun with UberKITTENS, that was my baby. I don’t know if you remember UberKITTENS. I’m sure some people are like, “That was so long ago. Why do you still talk about it?” Well, just because it was so much fun that I got to have this idea that was wacky and wild and turn it into a marketing campaign.
Danielle Wiley: Well, I know about it because I know that you did it so my memory’s refreshed.
Jen Joyce: So basically what UberKITTENS was was on National Cat Day, you would be able to open up the Uber app and there would be a kittens option, and we partnered with local shelters in each city. The fee was $30, and all of that went back to the shelter, and essentially a car with three kittens would show up to your office that you requested to, and you would get a 15-minute playtime, and there would always be a shelter representative along with an Uber representative. So the kittens, they were our top priority. We always had a couple of people each year being, “What about the kittens?” And it’s like, “Well, if they need to rest, then we don’t bring them into the office,” or we’d take the car offline or whatever. But it ended up being this big thing. I think the biggest highlight from that was seeing Grace Coddington from Vogue holding an Uber kitten. And it was a Vogue article, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, that came from my brain. And now Grace Coddington is holding this kitten because of something…” It was just life made moment.
Danielle Wiley: I feel like we’ve gotten away from that’s the dream. You have this idea and it goes viral, but in the, ideal, ideal, not only does it go viral and social, but you also get earned media, traditional earned media out of it, which is what you got. And I feel like we’ve gotten away from even having that as a dream.
Jen Joyce: Yeah. Well, I think that there’s a level of, oh, how do I say this? Okay. I think a really good example is if you think about a platform like Twitter and how back in 2009, ’10, ’11, in a few years after that, I’ve met friends from Twitter that are still friends today. I was able to throw meetups through the Twitter community that we had around the hotel and even Uber Seattle. That was how I connected with the community was through Twitter. And now that feels so different because it’s gone a different trajectory. And I think that there is the same thing with certain marketing, news now feels so, I don’t know if bleak is the right word, because that feels really sad, but it kind of is, right?
Danielle Wiley: Yet accurate.
Jen Joyce: There’s not a lot of feel good stuff that you see in the news or that you hear in the news if you’re listening. And so it almost feels like the clickbait has taken over. And so people who are doing marketing campaigns maybe aren’t thinking about that as much as they used to. They’re thinking more about the social media aspect of their community sharing because there’s a bigger chance of that happening than a news organization coming to pick something up, which is a bummer. But things shift and grow, and maybe that will end up coming back as something that we can have a goal for.
Danielle Wiley: Well, everything’s cyclical. Yeah, we were just reminiscing about eighties and nineties fashion and the return of shoulder pads.
Jen Joyce: Okay, well, I love a good shoulder pad in a blazer, and it makes me feel powerful and I can walk into any boardroom and just be like, “Here’s what’s happening. Here’s the deal. You’re all going to listen to me because I have shoulder pads.”
Danielle Wiley: Exactly. If you add in the black pantyhose and white pumps, we know something’s taken a crazy turn.
Jen Joyce: That’s fair, yeah.
Danielle Wiley: Okay. So you go to Uber and you do UberKITTENS.
Jen Joyce: And then it was just Uber became more of… It lost its let’s have fun and just throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks and get creative. And it definitely became more of a traditional company. And again, it’s a trajectory that happens with everything kind of when it comes to the startup to the next level. So after that, I had a brief moment in FinTech and worked for a company called Simple. And then I realized that I just wanted to expand my experience a bit more. I had been a social media manager. I had done all of this marketing, but I had done it for companies that I had this passion for and cared about. And it was a scary thing for me to ever think about working for an agency because you don’t know what you’re going to be working on. It’s assigned to you.
Jen Joyce: So also working at Uber, especially in the beginning, it was 60 to 80 hour work weeks, and that didn’t really let up at all. So thinking about working at an agency was scary for that reason too, because I had heard lots of horror stories of working a lot. And then it was the fear of what if I’m working a lot on something that I don’t have that passion behind? And so I ended up just looking at what was available for jobs. And all of a sudden Wongdoody popped up. And listeners, if you’ve never heard of Wongdoody, Mr. Wong and Mr. Doody came together and made an agency. So I always have to say that because people are like, “Wait, what is that name?”
Danielle Wiley: Say that again.
Jen Joyce: So I had actually known people who had worked there for several years. And it’s funny because as a community manager, at some point, Uber had launched a product that would help people expense their rides if it was with the business. So we were doing a lot of office visits and getting people excited about that. And I had visited Wongdoody way, way back in the day. And so it was interesting going in for the interview, but I ended up working as their social strategist.
Jen Joyce: And I absolutely love that agency. Everybody that works there is so wonderful. The creativity that comes from how Tracy Wong runs that agency is beautiful because he’ll bring everybody in into a room for brainstorming, even the front desk person because everybody has good ideas. And so something that I took away from that was that exact thing. When we first started Making, there were more people that work there than do now as startups go, things ebb and flow, and bringing everyone together for a brainstorm was definitely something that I took from there. Anyways, I’m going on a side quest, but I do that a lot. I have ADHD. And so I learned a lot from working at Wongdoody, not only from the people, but just being able to think of things in different ways for industries that maybe you don’t have the biggest passion for, and you have to learn to find what that is within that space.
Jen Joyce: So then during that time, I had started a little side thing, a little side agency with my partner that was social media consulting, just for a little bit of extra income. And we were thinking like, “Oh, maybe one day this will be our thing, then we can travel and yada yada.” But then one day I got an email from Ashley who is Making CEO, and she was like, “Hey, do you want to do some consulting for us? Basically, we’re creating an app for Makers.” And I was like, “Okay, this sounds really cool.” So I ended up-
Danielle Wiley: And she knew you from your Instagram. So your Instagram account is knitpurl?
Jen Joyce: Yeah, yeah. My Instagram account is knitpurl.
Danielle Wiley: So you are a maker yourself?
Jen Joyce: Yes. I’m a maker myself. I’ve been knitting for a very long time. I learned in my early twenties, and I actually knew her and David. So David is her husband and business partner from the Hotel Max days. So they used to come to events that I would throw, and we just kept in each other’s orbit and following each other and all of that. And it’s funny because when she was like, “Okay, we need somebody to come in for marketing,” apparently David was like, “I know the person.” And talked about me. And so we started working together. I started on just a project of what an overall strategy would be for the social accounts that are going to be created for the app. And essentially she just said, “Hey, I really want you to work on this with me.” It just feels like this was meant to be, the universe brought us together for this reason. So now I am working for Making.
Danielle Wiley: Amazing. And you want to share a little bit about what you guys do?
Jen Joyce: Yeah, for sure. So Making is the very first social marketplace app for makers, crafters and artists by makers, crafters and artists. I think that’s a big piece of it because I know there are people out there that are creating things that they themselves don’t understand the ins and outs of what it’s like to be in this industry. There was actually some weird drama about these two tech guys who tried to come in and make a thing of knitting.com and make all of this money off of it. And, I don’t know, just Google “tech bros knitting.com” and you’ll see all of the backlash that they got. But the community was like, “No, you can’t just come in and make money from us. You have to know this space.”
Danielle Wiley: I love that there was backlash, because we’ve had the same thing in the influencer marketing space. It was probably around 2015, 2016, there was this crazy influx of tech bros getting funding because they’re like, “Influencers, that’s a thing. There’s money to be made.” And I wish there had been more of a backlash from the community.
Jen Joyce: Yeah. I feel like those people find their way out regardless. The passion will always bring the people to the forefront.
Danielle Wiley: Most of them are not here anymore.
Jen Joyce: Sorry, bye. So there are two parts to the app, essentially. We launched the social part at the end of… God, what is this? We’re in 2013, at the end of 2021, so essentially with that, you can track your projects, you can post updates to the feed, there’s chatting and some other cool stuff in there. And then the other part of it is the marketplace, which as of right now, we’re still in beta. So you can sell your PDF patterns, you can teach classes, and you can list services. And then eventually, once we’re out of beta, people will be able to come on and sell their finished goods and supplies as well. So if you dye yarn or if you crochet sweaters or tops or whatever, then you can come on and sell from there. But the whole idea-
Danielle Wiley: I need someone to sell fixing my mistakes. If I could just take my project and send it to a little fixer fairy person and then they’ll send it back to me to finish, that would be-
Jen Joyce: Well, it sounds like we might need to spend some time on Zoom, because I can help you with those things.
Danielle Wiley: Thank you.
Jen Joyce: But the whole idea is as of right now, every social app is built to make money for the people who have created it. How many times do you open up Instagram and you’re targeted with something that you’re like, “I don’t give shit a about this.” Sorry. I don’t know if I can-
Danielle Wiley: You can swear all you want.
Jen Joyce: Okay. I should have asked first, but that’s fine. Thank you. The targeting, it’s not always great. And then there’s the other side of that where there’s this beautifully diverse population of makers, and only certain people are elevated on the platform. And so within our community, basically the first thing that we did as a team was sat down and wrote out all of our values, and they’re all human rights based and about diversity and inclusion and ensuring that everybody feels welcome and comfortable as long as you’re respecting others.
Jen Joyce: So building an entire platform on that is our way of saying, “Okay, this person who maybe is not uplifted on other social media platforms, is starting on the same field as this other person who is.” And especially with the big marketplace that starts with an E rhymes with schmetsy, it is so hard to find actual handmade items. And the people who are working so hard on these businesses and putting so much of themselves into these products are getting lost in dropship stores, shops. And so it’s taking all of this and putting it together and giving people these opportunities that they may not feel right now. And that’s our North Star. That’s why we’re doing this.
Danielle Wiley: I’m jumping ahead a little bit, but it’s fine. I would love to talk about the role that social media can play in helping to elevate women-owned businesses, BIPOC owned businesses. I feel like there’s a lot of power there to even the playing field or give people a shot that they might not have had before. And it sounds like that’s core to the values of everything that you guys are doing.
Jen Joyce: So I actually have a really good example of this, and it was done on Instagram, but I will say a few years ago, there was a big eye-opening moment for the Making community about the fact that everybody’s highlighting white women, but there’s this whole beautiful community that nobody is even talking about. And if you think about people who knit and crochet, you probably are going directly to, “Oh, Grandma Mabel is in the corner with her knitting needles and all of her friends, and everyone is old and white.” That’s probably what a lot of people think when they think about knitting or crocheting. But there’s this beautiful community of diversity that really it was this awakening of, “Hey, y’all we’re here. We need to be included in the conversation and we need to, again, have that same level playing field.”
Jen Joyce: So I think that through lots of learning, and as a lot of us have had through our lives, but I think especially through 2020 as well, there was this emergence of more brands of diversity, which was fantastic. And I think one of the beautiful things was the communities that were created around this practice of diversity and celebrating it. And one of the people who is very vocal and proud of standing up for human rights and everything, her name is Adella, and she owns LolaBean Yarn Co. She’s constantly uplifting other people. She’s always fundraising on Instagram for different organizations. She is always the voice for this, I wouldn’t say the voiceless, because if you have an organization, you’re always trying to get out there. But she’s definitely the one who’s lifting everybody up. And she’s also at a point in her business that she wants to open a storefront.
Jen Joyce: So basically what happened was there is a yarn shop called Magpie, and they ended up saying, “Hey, we’re going to do this fundraiser for Adella because she does this for everybody else, but would never do it for herself, never.” The last thing she would want to do would be ask money for herself, right?
Danielle Wiley: Right, right.
Jen Joyce: And so they just started going and they were on lives, they were posting all the time. They asked other people to share it. I shared it on the podcast. I shared it on our Making social media. And Adella ended up reaching her goal within five days because of the community all coming behind this person who is amazing, and not only makes an amazing product and beautiful yarn, but is so much about uplifting the community around her that everybody was like, “Okay, now it’s your turn.” And she met her goal in four days and they continued to raise for her because opening a storefront, it’s a lot.
Danielle Wiley: So she wanted a brick and mortar.
Jen Joyce: Yes. So she’s been doing everything out of her house for a very long time. Her husband, Jimmy, is also very active on social media. I love them both. I actually got to finally meet them in person a couple of weekends ago, which was amazing.
Danielle Wiley: And we’ll link to them and to all of this on the show notes page.
Jen Joyce: Awesome. Great.
Danielle Wiley: Shout out all you-
Jen Joyce: Yes. She’s been so involved in the community, but also just working her butt off to create this beautiful brand. And the fact that so many people in the community saw that it was now her turn and gave and then passed it on. That’s one of my favorite… I don’t know. It just happened, so it’s maybe fresh in my mind, but that’s my favorite maker, feel good moment of how everything was-
Danielle Wiley: Well, I’m kind of a knitting newbie. It’s hard to say fast, but when you discover one of these communities and you discover this world, it feels like the secret world that you’re uncovering. And until a couple, probably until COVID, I didn’t know that there were small makers dying yarn. I didn’t know that that was a thing. And then different types of needles and just everything. There’s so much community there. And COVID was awful, but one of the things that was great were the ways that communities came together online and you could find your people and learn about others. And I feel like a lot of that is sticking with us even now that we can go back and go to an actual knitting circle at a local store and be with people live, which is wonderful. But it’s nice to still have that community online.
Jen Joyce: One hundred percent. And if you think about it, there’s this idea of the third place. Your first place is your home, your second place, typically before the pandemic was your office. And then the third place is where you have your community. And that could be several different places, the music venue, the yarn shop, the record store, the coffee shop, whatever. But there’s always that third place where you find community. And within the pandemic, that third place was replaced with the internet. And so you were able to make this even larger community than you could ever have had before across the country and meet these people online. And everybody was being so creative, not just makers, but everyone was being so creative of how to expand their own space with jumping on lives or having special events online or all of these things.
Jen Joyce: There’s going to be no way of just closing up shop with that afterwards. Sure, we’re able to now gather together and I can meet up with my friend at the coffee shop or grab a glass of wine and knit in public. That feels okay again, mostly, but all of this big giant world of makers that I connected with through the pandemic, through making a TikTok and finding a community there and all that, that’s not just going to go away.
Danielle Wiley: And I think there’s a need for both. I went to a pottery class for the first time last night and I’ve watched so much great pottery throw down. I’ve seen so many pots being thrown. You still don’t know what the hell you’re doing when you sit down at the wheel with your hands on it. So it was nice to do it and try it. And then the woman showed me what to do, and ran through it really quickly. But I left thinking, “Okay, I have to go back.” And find all the YouTube people showing me in slow motion how to do this and watch it over and over again so that when I go back, I’m that much better. There’s something to be said for being able to take control of your learning in that way and supplement it, and then also have people you can ask questions to outside of that little finite two hour period where you’re in a crowded studio.
Jen Joyce: Yeah, one hundred percent. And there is so much on the internet around all of these things, and that’s partly why we wanted to try and do classes. Being an early startup, that platform is definitely something that we’re going to be working on enhancing as we’re building the app. But there’s also just so much out there that to have this one stop shop of you open up the Making app, and not only do you have this beautiful community, you get all this inspiration from the social feed, you can then click through.
Jen Joyce: Eventually what this is going to look like is, let’s say I’m knitting a pair of socks and I have the pattern and the yarn, all of that information connected within the project. I post an update to the feed and I’m like, “Look, yay. I just turned to the heel.” And somebody is like, “Ooh, I really like that yarn.” They can click into the post, click into the project, and then they’re taken to the yarn maker’s store, add to cart. Done. So it’s, again, this idea of community, I keep saying rising tide kind of thing. We’re all supporting each other while building this sense of, “Hey, look at these socks that I’m making.” And maybe some people who don’t knit get inspired by the progress I’m making, but then the person who does Knit wants that yarn and goes and purchases it from this other person who is working really hard on marketing. But then I’ve also helped a little bit, right?
Danielle Wiley: Right. I didn’t share this question with you, so I have confidence you’ll be fine.
Jen Joyce: Thank you.
Danielle Wiley: We’ve talked a lot about smaller creators sharing work and inspiring each other. What do you think about more celebrity people inspiring folks to make and create? I’m thinking about Michelle Obama talking about how she’s always knitting now, or Julia Roberts talking about it. I’m just curious to know your opinion on the big mega stars inspiring folks, and then also these smaller ones who we want to elevate and are oftentimes even more inspiring because it feels more attainable. I can’t presume to think I’m going to have a life Julia Roberts just because I sit down and knit the same thing.
Jen Joyce: Wouldn’t that be wild? Oh my gosh, I’m going to make this sock.
Danielle Wiley: We have the same birthday.
Jen Joyce: Oh my goodness.
Danielle Wiley: Maybe a little bit.
Jen Joyce: One step closer. Pick up those needles. I think that it is wonderful when there are mega celebrities that also create, especially with knitting and crochet, just because I’ve been a knitter for so long. But I think that if Michelle Obama were to join Making today, of course, I would literally die and then I would come back to life, and then I would be like, “Michelle Obama, please come on my podcast. It’s called Making Conversation.” And I would fan girl to the End of the Earth.
Jen Joyce: However, I think that there’s a space for that, but it’s not the main event, if you will. I think within the community, there’s just this level of we are alike because we do this thing. You might have kids, I might have not, and you might be older, and I might be younger, or I might be older than you, and you just picked up crochet and you’re making all these amazing designs, and I knit, but I know that feeling that you’re getting, I don’t know. It’s this sense of community where relying on a big celebrity to bring awareness isn’t necessarily necessary. That came out weird, but you know what I mean?
Danielle Wiley: Yeah, no, I get it.
Jen Joyce: It’s the smaller creators that you feel connected to. And then of course, if you hear, “Oh my gosh, Michelle Obama is knitting now.” You’re like, “That’s cool. We do the same thing.”
Danielle Wiley: Yeah.
Jen Joyce: We can do the same thing. But, I don’t know, the connection, maybe it’s years of working in marketing and realizing that giant influencers is no longer where it’s at, like giant, giant. You know what I mean?
Danielle Wiley: Well, I felt like it’s the ulterior motive of me asking that because even starting Sway Group, a big piece of it started because we were doing this program for Huggies, and they hired Tori Spelling, and then, not to compare Tori Spelling, but they hired Tori Spelling, and then they hired a bunch of mom bloggers, and she was making five figures for this one hour appearance. And they were making three figures for this one hour appearance. And you could see Tori wasn’t going to talk to anyone who was coming there. She wasn’t going to engage with people. No one presumed to think that she was buying her own diapers for her baby and that they could… There was just that connection and engagement wasn’t there the same way it was with these other people who weren’t being paid enough for what they were bringing to the table. So, I’m super passionate about elevating the smaller people. I also agree with you if Michelle Obama does hear about Making, you have to get her aboard to your podcast.
Jen Joyce: Michelle Obama, if you hear this, firstname.lastname@example.org, please send me an email. But I also think that we’ve become smart about influencers as a community, not stepping outside of taking off my marketing hat and putting on just my like, “Hey, I’m Jen Hat.” If I see a celebrity posting about something, I’m like, “How much do they get paid for that?” And even though influencers deserve to get paid, no matter what level they’re at, there’s just this level of trust that goes out the window in a way when somebody has millions of followers and they post about something and it’s clear that they were paid for something. But I want somebody who I trust and maybe Michelle Obama is the wrong example because if Michelle Obama was like, “I love this yarn,” I’d be like, “Okay, maybe I’ll go check that out.”
Danielle Wiley: She’s too likable. We have to-
Jen Joyce: Oh, yeah. I would be like-
Danielle Wiley: Like Kim Kardashian.
Jen Joyce: First of all, that would probably never happen. I don’t think Kim Kardashian would pick up knitting needles, but if she were to post about yarn, I’d be like, “What? You were definitely paid for that.” All of them are.
Danielle Wiley: Paid for all of it, yeah.
Jen Joyce: But it’s a difference in trust with somebody who is clearly making a lot of money to talk about something versus somebody who is possibly making a lot of money to talk about something, but they’re also within that field already or they have that passion already.
Danielle Wiley: It’s different. So speaking of being influenced, we are ending every episode this season with a new question, which is, what is the last thing that you, Jen, personally were influenced to buy, read, or watch?
Jen Joyce: Okay. So I read this question that you had sent me, and I was like, “Oh no, I have to be honest about this, don’t I? This is not my proudest moment.” Me and my friend Chelsea and a couple of my other friends were really into Bravo shows. And I had been told by a couple of people that like, “Ooh, if you really like that world of reality TV.” And I like it because I can shut off my brain and I can do other things and I don’t have to pay attention to it. I think people who enjoy reality TV understand that.
Danielle Wiley: Yeah. It’s a different type of binging because you don’t have to-
Jen Joyce: You don’t have to think about it.
Danielle Wiley: It’s the ability to multitask while also binging.
Jen Joyce: Exactly. Which is perfect for my ADHD brain, right?
Danielle Wiley: Yeah.
Jen Joyce: I can have that on and I can be knitting or I can be working on something for work, and it’s mindless not writing something up, but the little stuff that you can do with other things in the background. So a few people were like, “Okay, Jen, I think it’s time. You need to start watching Vanderpump rules.” So I did. And like I said, this isn’t my proudest moment or my proudest answer, but here’s the thing. I have taken all of the spoilers that are out there right now about the scandoval, which I don’t know if you know anything about this. I know nothing.
Danielle Wiley: I don’t watch it, but I’ve seen all the-
Jen Joyce: Yeah, I know nothing. So don’t say anything.
Danielle Wiley: I’m on Twitter. I’m on Twitter enough to know that… And there was even a New York Times article, I believe, don’t read that, laying out here’s what you need to know, which that was a little surprising in and of itself that that happened.
Jen Joyce: So I just finished season four. I was told my friend Modesto actually has a podcast about Bravo, and it’s called, It’s About Bravo. And I haven’t been able to listen to it because of the fact that they talk about this so much. But I asked him, I was like, “Okay, what seasons do I need to watch?” And he told me, “One through four, and then you can hop to 10.” So I’m about to start 10, which is where all of this happens, and then I’ll be caught up, and then Chelsea and I are going to get together to watch the reunions. I still don’t know what happened.
Danielle Wiley: The reunions are the best. I don’t watch that, but I’m a Love is Blind person. And episodes eight through 10 are torturous and terrible in every way. But you have to watch them because you have to get to the reunion, which is the best part of all of it.
Jen Joyce: Yeah. This last reunion was quite painful though, for Love Is Blind. It’s like-
Danielle Wiley: Just all the baby questions, I was like-
Jen Joyce: Stop Vanessa. Not everybody wants a baby. Okay? There’s many reasons to not ask that question. So just to make up for my answer that, I don’t know, again, maybe not my proudest, I will say that there have been so many crafty artists that I’ve seen in the Making app that maybe don’t have a story yet because we haven’t started selling finished goods. But I have never seen them on any other platform, and they just catch my eye. So I recently purchased an embroidery kit that I’ve been working on, and it’s my very first embroidery, and I’m working through it, and it’s really beautiful. The person who creates these is called Stitch Happy, and it’s like an outline of a human from the back. They have a bun, and then the shoulders have all these flowers on them. So it’s called Tattooed Shoulders.
Jen Joyce: And it’s been so much fun. So stuff like that where how many times have I opened up the Making app and scrolled and seen… I don’t know. I’m looking at a mug right now that I purchased from somebody who had been posting about these mugs that they’ve made and that they’re selling, and even though we haven’t opened the capability to sell on our marketplace yet with finished goods, I still have gone in and purchased stuff. So, that’s my real answer. My fake answer was Vanderpump Rules. Don’t judge me, people.
Danielle Wiley: It’s because you’re well-rounded.
Jen Joyce: Exactly. Exactly. I also listen to NPR and very well-rounded.
Danielle Wiley: Yeah. I had a break it to my dad the other day that I watched Survivor, and I’m obsessed with the… He’s like, “What are you watching lately?” And I was like, “Oh, survivor.”
Jen Joyce: I think that by the end of 2023, this is the year that we should not be embarrassed about what we are watching on television because-
Danielle Wiley: Or reading. I’ve been talking a ton on LinkedIn about the smutty romance novels that I’ve been reading lately. And people get passionate. That was one of the more engaged LinkedIn posts I’ve had. They’re like, “Oh, which ones? Tell me”
Jen Joyce: I haven’t made it into that arena yet. But maybe that’s next. Maybe that’s after Vanderpump Rules. After I find out what the scandoval is.
Danielle Wiley: Hit me up.
Jen Joyce: Thank you. Thank you.
Danielle Wiley: I’ll help you.
Jen Joyce: Please have a List ready for me, and then I will in turn help you fix your knitting mistakes.
Danielle Wiley: Perfect. Thank you. Well, this was wonderful, and I’m so glad I had you on and so glad I did that lunch and learn all those years ago.
Jen Joyce: I know. Oh my goodness. That was so wonderful. It’s been so fun to see how Sway has just grown and been such an important part in the influencer space.
Danielle Wiley: Thank you. Okay.
Jen Joyce: Cool.
Danielle Wiley: Bye.
Jen Joyce: Bye.
Danielle Wiley: Thank you for listening. Don’t forget to share and subscribe. Please check back next Monday for a new episode featuring marketing conversations through the lens of influence. I am your host, Danielle Wiley, and this is The Art of Sway.