Champions for Good: Statusphere’s Kristen Wiley & Theresa Joseph

Statusphere partners stand in black jackets and teal shirts against a teal and white flowered background.

Statusphere helps brands scale their influencer marketing efforts, through shipping monthly boxes of high-end products to social influencers in exchange for sharing photos of the products with their followers. Get to know Statusphere’s Founder & CEO Kristen Wiley and Chief Operating Officer Theresa Joseph as they share their advice for conquering the influencer space all while keeping social good in mind.

Question: How have you worked with the Ad Council? What campaign(s) have you supported and what was the project you worked on with us?

Theresa Joseph: In June, Statusphere partnered with Ad Council to spread awareness of the Love Has No Labels movement. Love Has No Labels is a movement to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and end bias — to spark positivity about unity and love. As an Orlando-based company personally affected by the Pulse tragedy, this message is near and dear to us.

Q: Social good ads pull at our heartstrings. What social good ad has made you cry or stand up and cheer?

TJ: I really loved Always’s “#LikeAGirl” campaign. It brought to light how stereotypes that we think are harmless are actually very damaging. Plus, they showed some pretty fierce little girls that demonstrate what it really means to act “like a girl.”

Q: How do you or your team integrate social good into your work, or how do you think your brand is making the world a better place?

Kristen Wiley: One of our core values as a female-founded company is to always find ways to help support other women. Because of this, we have made it a goal at Statusphere to have at least one female-founded product in every box that we ship, and we are proud to say that over a quarter of the brands we have worked with are female founded. Since we have a network of all female influencers, it makes sense that we show them opportunities to work with products created by people like them.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for brands to have a corporate social responsibility plan in the world we live in?

TJ: In today’s business world, corporate social responsibility has become a necessity in order to connect with your audience on a much deeper level. The face of today’s consumer is changing quickly, and more people want to see businesses take responsibility for how they impact communities and use their influence to improve the world, not just focus on money. It’s one thing to have a fundraiser or volunteer day at your office, but it’s so much more to have social impact rooted in your business as a core tenant and integrated with your annual planning. Many companies are still trying to figure out how to measure the effect of their social efforts on their brand growth, but we do know it’s working.

Theresa Joseph Quote Card

Q: What was the greatest piece of advice someone gave you, and how did it end up helping you?

KW: During college my professor told me that starting a blog would teach me more than a college course, so I started it that night. This seemingly random side project forever changed my life. It led me to working with brands and agencies, and it taught me how to build a personal brand. It even led me to amazing job opportunities that I could’ve never dreamed of and is ultimately what led me to starting Statusphere.

Q: What age would you want to meet up with your former self, and what advice would you give to that younger you?

TJ: I’d meet my 18-year-old self and tell her to take a year off before starting college to travel the world! I was in such a hurry to start my degree but looking back I would’ve taken advantage of that flex time in my life. Or at least to take a semester abroad in college. Once you start working or enter the “real world,” it’s much harder to take months off to explore different countries and cultures. Life is too short. Also, I’d have to break the news that a degree in Finance won’t be that exciting…

Q: If you were giving a commencement speech to this year’s college graduates, what would you want them to know?

TJ: As a student I thought I had a clear vision on what I wanted from my career and how I’d get there, but reality turned out to be way different! I felt unsure about my path upon graduation, but a mentor told me to embrace the uneasiness I was feeling and pursue what felt right in my heart, which is what led me to Statusphere. So now I tell students to hustle, take risks, keep an open mind, and try as many internships and jobs as necessary to gain some core business skills and discover what you truly love doing. It’s probably NOT what you thought it would be — and that’s perfectly okay.

Q: If you were giving a commencement speech to this year’s college graduates, what would you want them to know?

KW: The week I decided to start Statusphere, I also received a job offer of a lifetime. I had one week to decide if I was going to have my dream job (and salary) or start a company that never existed. After a week of not sleeping, I finally talked to a friend who asked, “Which one will you regret not doing?” Instantly I knew my answer, and the next day I turned down the job offer. Although starting a business has been the hardest thing I have ever done, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, and thinking that I almost missed out on this experience is crazy to think about. Because of this, I would tell any college graduate to take risks and always ask yourself “Will I regret not doing this in 10 years?” If the answer is yes, then make sure you do it.

Kristen Wiley Quote Card

Q: How has your organization improved or innovated the digital landscape in the last year?

KW: We help brands find influencers to tell their story in a way that brings authenticity back to influencer marketing. In a time when influencer marketing has become extremely transactional, we are working to clean up the digital landscape by putting talented content creators first so that they can promote brands that they genuinely care about.

Q: What value(s) of your organization are you most proud of?

KW: Some of our most important values include authenticity, transparency and tenacity. Our team knows that working at a start-up is hard work, but everyone approaches every day with a positive attitude. We don’t get mad at mistakes, but instead encourage everyone to share them so we can find a solution. We also think that transparency and authenticity is important when engaging with our influencers and clients. It wouldn’t be fair for us to expect authenticity from them if we didn’t show it ourselves.

Q: You’re planning a “Change the World” dinner party and you can invite anyone (living, dead or fictional). Who are three people on your list?

TJ: As an ex-NASA employee, I’d invite Katherine Johnson, a pioneering mathematician and scientist at NASA in the 1950s and woman of color. To mix it up, I’d also invite Gandhi and Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. You’ve got science, world peace and flying dragons represented in one room. What couldn’t we solve?

Q: Tell us what you hope to see more of or experience more of in the next year, using only emojis.

KW: ❤🍦🐶

TJ: ❤️✈️