We turned ONE!

Celebrations are in order!

(Left) Social Media Coordinator Victoria Morales and (Right) Tricia Chen in pieces from  SOTP The Label  and  Donna Zhong Official . Photo by  Ashley Gallerani Photography .

(Left) Social Media Coordinator Victoria Morales and (Right) Tricia Chen in pieces from SOTP The Label and Donna Zhong Official. Photo by Ashley Gallerani Photography.

Around this time last year, Tricia Chen, @happilyeverstyle, wanted to create something that would combine her influencer experience and passion for helping independent brands share their stories and break into the U.S. market — thus Once Upon began on May 1, 2018!

To properly celebrate our 1-year anniversary, we sat down with our #bosslady, Tricia, to talk about the journey and inspiration behind Once Upon, favorite moments so far and what’s to come in the future.

Read on to learn about the agency’s journey and what to look forward to this year.

Congratulations on 1 year of Once Upon! Let’s backtrack a bit - what inspired you to start the agency?

My background is in PR & Marketing and Crisis Management, so when I moved to New York, I initially wanted to start a bilingual PR agency, with aims to assist Asian brands establish presence in the U.S. However, as the marketing scene continues to evolve, I decided to pivot towards social media and influencer marketing instead.

I like to support independent designers and believe influencer marketing is currently the most economical and efficient way for small brands to enter the U.S. market. So that was one of my greatest motivations to create Once Upon.

Starting out as an influencer yourself — how has it been working on the other side of influencer marketing? Has there been challenges?

Because I also work as a content creator, I understand the hard work, time and effort that goes into a photo, a caption, a blog post etc. The experience helps me appreciate the work!

At the same time, it also helps me understand how some influencers put in very little work into creating content for some brands sometimes. So I only really suggest creatives who are professional, with good work ethics in the industry to our clients. I remind our team to avoid working with brands who take advantage of influencers, and vice versa; we want to establish a good relationship between brands and content creators.

I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge, necessarily, but helping brands understand how influencer marketing works, and the amount of work that goes into creating content, usually takes the most time and explanation. However, it is worth the trouble because once brands and influencers establish a relationship, it really is a win-win situation!

Hajra from  @hajra_aaa  styles a cashmere sweater by our client  W. Cashmere .

Hajra from @hajra_aaa styles a cashmere sweater by our client W. Cashmere.

Our client GLOD Jewelry’s earrings featured by Ivanka from  @ivanka.dekoning .

Our client GLOD Jewelry’s earrings featured by Ivanka from @ivanka.dekoning.

A photo shoot planned for  Maggie Wu Studio  celebrating Women’s Day.

A photo shoot planned for Maggie Wu Studio celebrating Women’s Day.

What moment have you been the most proud of so far?

The very first time we received an email from a content creator who requested to be on our list for future collaboration opportunities! Why? Because this meant that the brands we represented were attracting people in the industry! Initially, we would spend a lot of time reaching out to people, trying to introduce the brands to them, get them to work with our clients etc., so it was so nice to receive interest from others – to me, it meant we were moving forward towards the right direction! It may seem like nothing to many, but it was a small win for me!

What do you enjoy most about working with your current clients?

I enjoy coming up with different ways to deliver and communicate brand messages to the audience! I also love thinking about how to create certain content for the brands so that their products would stand out or make a better impression. The creative side of the job is really what excites me and gets me looking forward to Mondays.

What makes Once Upon different from other marketing agencies?

I believe what makes Once Upon different from other digital marketing agencies is our determination to establish real connections with our clients and the influencers we work with.

We personally know over 85% of influencers in our network and our goal is to reach 100% as the number of influencers on our list increases. Having real relationships mean a lot to the work we do. Despite being a digital marketing agency, our goal is to highlight communication and share brand stories online in hopes that you will share them offline and in person. By having real bonds with our clients and influencers, the brand stories are authentically shown and shared organically through social media and during in-person interactions.

What are you feeling now that we’ve hit the 1-year mark?

At the one-year mark, the greatest feeling I have is sense of gratitude! I’m really grateful for the opportunities our current and past clients have given Once Upon, as well as all the influencers who have supported the agency and represented brands. Without everyone’s trust and encouragement, Once Upon wouldn’t have gotten this far.

Where do you see the company by the time of the 2nd year anniversary and what goals do you hope to accomplish?

Social media marketing changes by the day; maybe in 6-months-time, people will be using Instagram, Pinterest or other social media platforms differently. My goal is to be sure Once Upon grows the same way the industry does — rather than growing in size — because we need to utilize the latest tools and platforms in order to gain the right audience for our clients!

I hope when we turn 2, Once Upon is being recognized as an agency that initiates creative campaigns, helps brands achieve their goals, and delivers great results!

Stay tuned for more content on our Instagram and Pinterest pages. Thank you for supporting and growing with us!

The Once Upon Team