Save The Paw: Interview with Jason Wong
How he amassed millions of followers for his clothing brands through Instagram & Tumblr.
Jason Wong is one of the most successful influencers on the interwebs. He lives for style, animals and all things Trendy. Amassing over 1.4 million followers across Instagram and Tumblr, he’s grown both his clothing brands, Fifthtee and TrendyCo, into full fledged businesses.
HOW DID TRENDYCO GET STARTED?
So back in high school, in my sophomore year a friend introduced me to Tumblr. And at that time, it was a very different environment from what it is today. It was more art focused, people used it for aesthetic photos, for creativity. As of right now, it’s turned into mostly comedy. Back then, there was a lack of platform for artists to really showcase their work and capitalize on it. I remember saying, “a lot of these things on Tumblr would look great on a t-shirt.” So I went out and started a shop that revolves around everything trendy on Tumblr. We decided to put whatever meme, graphic, etc. was trending on a t-shirt and thought maybe people will like it.
HOW DID YOU GROW ON TUMBLR?
A lot of influencers are on Tumblr, it’s a great community for everyone to help each other out. There’s a huge community and all the influencers know each other, helps gave me an advantage in promoting. I asked them to check out and review our stuff. At one point, we had the entire force of the influencer user base helping to push everything out. We tried to create a sort of what I call an organic hype. Getting your friends to reblog your stuff, getting your name on everyone’s dashboard. Even if they don’t buy it, they’ll hopefully remember our name. Next time they see it, they are more likely to buy it because they know us.
MY FAVORITE THING WAS THE EMOJI PILLOW
Haha that was trendy at the time, it was an easy sell. If you’re not grasping the right trend at the right time, your resources just go to waste eventually.
WHAT’S NEXT? TELL ME MORE ABOUT FIFTHTEE
So on tumblr I have a blog called Animal Factbook. Basically The Onion for animal facts. That got really popular, got about 100,000 followers in a month ½. We got nominated for a few awards. How can we use this to make money without being spammy? We wanted to sell merchandise, but we didn’t think anyone would want to wear “animal factbook” on their back, I wouldn’t do it. How can we translate our passion for animals and my background in ecommerce and fashion into something meaningful for what we believe in?
I believe animal welfare is important and now we have the power to help solve that. That’s what Fifthtee was born from.
Tumblr gave us the award for most viral blog of 2015. Got published on Mashable, Buzzfeed once. We also got nominated for ‘Best tumblr blog’ from ShortyAwards (social media awards). I mean we didn’t win it but it’s alright, whatever haha. Still feels good.
HEARD YOU GOT SOME OTHER PRESS RECENTLY…
Haha the makeup tutorial? The idea was to market the brand to the largest audience without any money. We really didn’t have any cash; we were putting in every dollar of our own money. We didn’t have $1000’s of dollars to pay influencers to post on IG or Tumblr. So how could we make something viral and showcase our content? We asked my friend to do a special makeup tutorial for us. It got bigger than I expected haha.
TELL ME A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE CAUSE BEHIND FIFTHEE?
We’re trying to “save the paw”. We’re actually filming this weekend at a local shelter. We want to emphasize that there are thousands of animals being put down, these animals are just as good as any other animals in my opinion. I don’t think people understand the magnitude of how many animals are put down or bred just for money, why put down something that loves you so much?
We want to get this message out for the holidays. We want to make sure that if people get animals as gifts, they are ready to be pet parents. We’re collaborating with local non-profit organizations to empower more young people to take action in their community. Expose them to help out animal shelters. Give them the proper resources to do what is meaningful to them.
HOW DO YOU PLAN ON USING INSTAGRAM AND BETTR FOR FIFTHTEE?
Bettr is great for Instagram and Fifthtee. I’m putting in more effort now to maintaining my Instagram because there is a bigger market and more interest right now. Better user engagement than any other platform right now.