Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariel Cornel.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mariel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, I attended Catholic high school and middle school. There, I never had a choice over the way I looked or conducted myself; it was always under the jurisdiction of someone else. I always got in trouble, hours and money spent on detention (they would start charging us money if we started having too many bouts of detention) and I was always on the verge of earning demerits for pushing the dress code. It was to the point, schoolyard duties would follow me around campus to ensure I was complying with the rules. I never liked being told what to do nor did I like having to dress like others. I was always looking for a way to stand out.
As an avid reader, I quickly developed a knack for writing – clearly I was looking for outlets to express myself (other than the extracurricular activities I was involved in. It wasn’t enough.) I combined my penchant for writing and desire to stand out via fashion together, not knowing it had the potential to become a passion.
August 2012, Polydeux was born with my best friend from high school, Regina. Eventually, I took it on and after a rocky start of changing partners, I realized that I was the only one who was fully and completely about making this blog into something more. I didn’t see the full potential of it until I met Justin, a photographer I had found through Explore on Instagram. At the time, I was looking for a photographer to work with regularly that fit my brand and non-existent budget. A couple months into working with Justin, we became business partners and then a couple.
Since then, Polydeux has been on a steady rise and has become a hybrid of our tastes and perspective. Together, Justin and I work with brands who sponsor us to storytelling their message through visual and verbal content. We’ve had the opportunity to work with Nordstrom, Google, Lucky Brand, Tesla, Sephora and more. I’ve never been more blessed to be able to build my own brand from the ground up, choose who I want to work with, how, where and with the person, I love most!
Has it been a smooth road?
Never. If it was a smooth road, I’m sure everyone would be successful overnight. A lot of struggles are still things I deal with on a regular basis, but the constant challenge is what motivates me to work harder so I can grow more with my brand.
There are always financial struggles and scheduling conflicts (I work a 9-5 so balancing time for my brand is something I had to work towards mastering). Justin and I, sometimes have disagreements when our visions for the brand don’t line up or when it comes to making certain business decisions. It’s not easy, but we learn and after 3+ years of working together, it gets easier to navigate the waters when bigger obstacles come our way.
Struggles I face deal with figuring out the next move, constantly trying to understand what’s working and not working, trying to learn new skills, debating on timing for certain decisions and project development. I also struggle with issues on a surface level – comparison, feeling like I’m not enough, number discrimination, not landing campaigns, jealousy, feeling stuck, etc. Just because I head a brand, doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t get upset over the same issues others do.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Polydeux story. Tell us more about the business.
Polydeux is a platform that combines the visual talent and creative direction of my in-house photographer, Justin and my style, voice and management to inspire others to improve their lifestyles. We specialize in contemporary fashion and lifestyle content creation.
What sets us apart from other bloggers is the depth, quality and perspective we give in our photos, my edgy yet elevated style and the multifaceted lifestyle that give our voice something to talk about. We’re very proud of the amount of work and dedication we put into our brand that gives Polydeux a clear definition. While other bloggers may take mirror selfies or tripod OOTD’s, we focus on evoking emotion, conveying messages and giving the traditional outfit pic more substance with a story, passion and editorial elements.
Most of all, we’re proud to have built this brand to where it is now by ourselves. We’re proud to be working with household names and to live a well-connected, well-traveled life because of what we do. It feels really good to be able to connect with others and reach certain goals with something that was initially just a passion project.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I’ve developed a love and hate relationship with the industry. I love it because it’s always fluctuating. It’s a beast we’re always learning how to tame as a community via different strategies and angles but I hate it because as soon as a solution is derived, it doesn’t work anymore. It’s a constant cycle that will never have a concrete answer.
When I first started out six years ago, there were no tutorials or guidance on how to navigate blogging as a career; nor did anyone even know it was a career. Nowadays, everyone is teaching a workshop and most of the articles have the same tips so there has definitely been a change. In that evolution, there has been an increase in saturation and brands who use to pay out in huge amounts to everyone are decreasing the range of their radar, making it even harder to land certain campaigns.
I predict that the industry will become gradually more stable and now that it seems that blogging is an established career option, brands are starting to take it more seriously. Because of companies’ shift in focus, the marketing industry has taken a huge hit and department stores and magazines are retracting to e-comm-only ventures. With these changes, I hope that it will encourage bloggers to work harder and be more creative in their craft. I also hope companies interested in this avenue of advertisement will do their research and take their influencers more seriously. There are so many politics regarding content creating, so I’d love to see more organization or laws implemented that will protect brands and bloggers alike. Even more so, hopefully, the stigma around influencers, discrimination and comparison cease to exist in the next couple years.
- Website: www.polydeux.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/polydeux
- Facebook: facebook.com/polydeux
- Twitter: twitter.com/polydeux
- Other: youtube.com/polydeuxx