Today we’d like to introduce you to Owin Pierson.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started off doing photography back on the east coast in the DC area. I would go on trips also and my last semester of undergrad I went to Ecuador and became the group photographer. After that I would post photos of my travels on Instagram and built an audience in the travel niche. I always wanted to do more work in front of the camera so gradually as I built an audience they wanted more content with me in the photos. I noticed those did better than my landscape photos I transitioned my page into a lifestyle page. I clearly remember also my the first brand that believed in me and wanted to spend me free product. I was hiking alone in Colorado and had no reception and just slipped off a rock. I was lost also and trying to find my way back down the mountain, as I was climbing down I got a notification on my phone saying that HappySocks wanted to work with me and send me free product. It was such a surreal moment for me, and gave me a lot of clarity and confidence to move to Los Angeles to pursue social media marketing because if one company believed in me I felt I could keep going. From there I just kept posting my travels along with my life dealing with positivity, coming out, my mental health journey and living life in Los Angeles. Coming out was always something I feared doing, but knew I had to do. I never really saw much Asian-American representation in the LGBTQ+ space and felt if I could build a platform that even helps one person it would all be worth it.
I actually made a Coming Out Story with my videographer friend, Jake Dahm on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtntFFMwy9I&t=1s
This video was a really freeing and surreal moment for me. It definitely helped launch my path into the content creator world and helped me share my story on a platform where I felt I could really share with 100% my own perspective.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
If I drew out a map of the road I’ve taken it would be many broken roads and multiple bodies of water overlapping the roads with zero bridges (okay that’s a little dramatic) but it definitely was not a straight path. Coming from a super religious background and thinking the 9-5 grind was it for me, made it difficult to find my footing in the world in LA and also with working through the realm of my self identity and freelancing. I made clear goals though going into LA, one being becoming my own boss in the first year living there(it took over 2 years) and traveling the world because of my Instagram. You always hear how expensive it is to live in LA and how awful the traffic is, and I would like to clarify, that that is all 100% true. I wish I listened or asked more people about all things LA before moving here. However, if you really want to make it out here you can make it work on a budget. You just have to have a hustle mentality and temporarily sacrifice basic comforts in some areas your life to maximize the networking, environment and lifestyle LA has to offer. to I’ve had instances where my rent was under $800 month/month and you always make sure you have multiple streams of income coming in. Don’t put your eggs in one basket and all that jazz because Rideshares and parking empties your pockets, fast.
I’ve also just had a lot of mishaps with relationships, both personal and business related. You meet a lot of driven people that do become friends that you can collaborate with, but you also meet a lot of interesting people along the way. I call it “one night friending” where you think you just had the best time ever with a new friend and you click instantly with them, but the next day you don’t hear from them and you are pretty much ghosted. I also feel you have to try a lot harder to maintain relationships out here. I had business partners I thought would be in my life forever, but we found ourselves at different paths that just would have never worked in the end. You take a lot of risks in the Influencer world and its interesting coming from a BA in psychology seeing the dichotomy of having your work be based on likes, comments and follows whereas before my work was based solely on my interactions in person. What I do enjoy though is your audience really sees clearly when you are doing something because you enjoy it and want to share it to them and on the other hand its clearly just for a quick buck. So checking in with yourself and the ability to be yourself is drastically heightened so you have to really be aware.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about being an Influencer & the business behind that – what should we know?
My business is my brand “Owin Pierson” on social media as an Influencer.
However I have done social media marketing and managed talent before managing and operating my own Brand. I am however working on an Owin Media website and consulting services business to expand my current influencer business.
My business is my name, “Owin Pierson” and this year I’m expanding my business to my own media website to showcase the clients and brands I’ve worked with. I have worked in marketing companies and internships focused on building other talent and influencers so its really humbling to be able to manage my own brand now and be the “talent” as well as the CEO of my own business.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have so many names to thank though in this field. My friends are the biggest supporters. In LA you find likeminded people and everyone here is chasing a dream and actualizing it in many big ways, which is super awe-inspiring. I have my LGBT Family in LA that we hangout all the time and its really cool to have a supportive group that always has your back. I also have friends who are musicians, models and actors and they are landing gigs that I feel anywhere else would be considered super epic but in LA since its always happening it gets unnoticed or undervalued. But I think its important to acknowledge those moments and be supportive of little and big goals and I try and surround myself with people who think the same. Mainly though the photographers I’ve worked with deserve are the ones I want to give a lot of the recognition of where I am today! They are always up to do collaborations and trips and its way more exciting to grow and travel with friends than on your own or hiring someone you don’t know. However, all these friends I became friends with through Instagram so it really is insane to me sometimes to think about where life is now for us all.
I highly recommend checking out these photographers based in LA/the west coast if you are a striving business owner, content creator or need a photographer for a wedding/social media content creation!
David Cano: @Damericano
Brian Terada: @BrianTerada
Brady Bates: @BradyBatesPhotography
Juliann Cheryl: @JuliannCheryl
Margaret Bienert: @APrettyCoolGirl
Tatum Lewis: @honeyphotovideo
Stephanie Vu: @Vuracious
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/owinpierson/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/owin.pierson/
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/owinpierson