Although Toronto sometimes feels small and relatively quiet (especially when your Instagram feed constantly reminds you of how bustling say New York or Copenhagen seem to be) it's precisely its size that allows for this small world feeling.
I discovered our latest muse, Margaux Zanetti, through Toronto photographer and fellow Neophyte muse, Emily Battaglini. The two are friends and creative partners, redefining content creation in the city. What drew me to Margaux - beyond the clean and carefully curated aesthetic - was her vulnerability. Not only does she share daily on her Instagram account, but she also writes on beautiful personal essays and her website and shares more of her life and interests via vlogs on YouTube. After following her for a while, I reached out for a feature. She was so kind to answer some questions and share her faves (she already has a couple of them...) at the end of the Q&A.
MARGAUX WEARS A PEARL PARTY BARRETTE
NEOPHYTE JEWELS: Describing you as a multi-hyphenate creative would be accurate but I want to know - how do you describe yourself?
MARGAUX ZANETTI: Hahah I feel like that’s one of the toughest questions to ask someone to answer… I’m the Community Lead and one of the Partners at Counter Culture Agency, as well as a content creator, which I use as my creative outlet outside of work.
NJ: Could you talk about your day-to-day looks like?
MZ: I usually wake up around 6:30-7, depending on whether I’m going to the gym or not. I stretch, get ready for work, prep my food, and drink some tea. Then, I head to the office and get my work day started. No day is the same, but part of my tasks include social media management, influencer pitching/negotiations, and campaign management.
Evenings are spent either at events, the gym, out for dinner with friends, or just relaxing at home with my sister and my two cats.
Weekends are for content creation and catching up with friends.
MARGAUX FOR CAROLINE HERRERA. VIA @MARGAUX.ZANETTI
NJ: You've teamed up with some really cool brands, like Carolina Herrera, Aritzia and Club Monaco to name a few. What does the creative process look like? (from agreeing to collaborate all the way to actually executing and sharing the content?)
MZ: When I work on paid campaigns with brands, I like to feel 100% prepared and that starts with finding inspiration. I love using the ‘Saved’ feature on Instagram, as well as Pinterest. Then, depending on what the shot is going to look like, I decide who I want to shoot with. My friend Emily (@embattaglini) has been amazing to work with for content (I’ve done a lot of the Carolina Herrera content with her, as well as the Club Monaco campaign last year).
I usually shoot outdoors or at restaurants/cafes. However, in the winter, we have to get more creative indoors…
Once I have the content and it’s approved by the client, I use UNUM to plan my feed and make the sure the content fits.
NJ: Could you talk about your role at Counter Culture Agency?
MZ: My official role at Counter Culture is Community Lead, but being a small team, you end up wearing multiple hats, from intern to CEO.
Mainly, my role consists of building up our relationships with creatives in the community, as well as working with brands to execute influencer programs.
NJ: It's almost redundant to repeat that the industry has made a massive pivot in the past few years - a lot of which is due to Instagram, and the way it allows for non-traditional advertising. As someone who works in that industry, what can you tell us about where you see it going?
MZ: Instagram has really created a platform made for digital marketing. From swipe-ups in stories, to shoppable items in posts, influencer campaigns are getting very versatile. I think that a lot of brands are starting to get more creative with their campaigns and the way that they use the influencers to reach their goal.
When influencer marketing started, it was very cookie-cutter and the guidelines were pretty strict in terms of content and caption messaging. Now, a lot of brands are starting to understand that content needs to feel authentic and at the end of the day, they have to trust that the creator knows what will resonate with their audience best.
NJ: Where do you see it in 5 years? And where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MZ: I think that Instagram is still going to be around in 5 years; it’s a really strong platform. My hope is that the algorithm starts working to creatives’ advantages, because I know that a lot of people are getting discouraged with the lack of growth and engagement.
As for myself, I’m not quite sure! I feel like who you are at the beginning of your 20s, versus at the end, is completely different (I’m almost 24!). I would love to grow Counter Culture and expand the team and the work that we do, as well as grow my own community.
NJ: What is the most important professional lesson you've learned so far?
MZ: “We’re not saving lives, don’t stress out.”
It can be easy to freak out as soon as something doesn’t go as planned, but I’ve learned that mistakes happen. You just have to learn how to deal with them when they do come up.
NJ: Do you have any projects that you're excited to be working on (and can share)?
MZ: I am working on a side project but can’t quite share yetttttt - you’ll find out in 2020 ;)
NJ: What are you a neophyte at?
MZ: Being a ‘real’ adult!
SHOP MARGAUX'S FAVES: