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Social Collective


Incubator/Accelerator | Alive

About Social Collective

The Social Collective aims to provide an interactive means for conference attendees to meet and network with one another in a safe and secure environment before, during and after any conference or event. The white-label product/service offering includes branding of the conference social network, integration with existing registration and e-commerce systems, data migration, site archival and Twitter, Flickr and Facebook integration.

Headquarters Location

733 North Danville Street

Arlington, Virginia, 22201,

United States

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Latest Social Collective News

The Influencer Version of Business School

Nov 18, 2019

The Influencer Version of Business School Our Social Collective helps online notables like Camila Carril develop their own brands. From left, Scott McKenna, the chief executive of Our Social Collective; Mr. McKenna’s sister Stacey, who conceived the idea for the London-based company; Valerie Bungener Relmy, an Our Social Collective employee; and Kay Ganesh, the company’s global head of public relations, influencer relations and partnerships.Credit...Tom Jamieson for The New York Times By Jessica Bumpus Nov. 18, 2019, 5:07 a.m. ET LONDON — In September 2018, Camila Carril expanded beyond an influencer’s standard work of paid partnerships and endorsements to introduce her own brand, an eponymous jewelry line inspired by insects and surrealist art. The Brazil native described the launch party, held at The Bloomsbury Hotel during London Fashion Week, in a recent interview — and noted that, among the 22 friends and fellow influencers who attended to support her, there was a combined following of at least 20 million in the room ( she alone has 146,000 Instagram followers ). Ms. Carril, 31, confessed later in an email: “I cried when I found out people were actually buying our products. I couldn’t believe my eyes when a customer bought almost all the pieces in one go.” The mastermind behind her venture? Our Social Collective , a London-based company founded in 2017 that helps influencers turn their posts into businesses. It now has five ventures operating with the company’s guidance and, while it doesn’t disclose sales, Ms. Carril’s brand leads the group. “The whole business idea in the beginning was built on the basis of: We want to create something authentic,” said Scott McKenna, the company’s chief executive. “We want to help influencers not have to chase the next photo opportunity or paid deal. That was the gap we saw.” His sister Stacey, a graduate in product design from Central Saint Martins in London, conceived the idea. She had a disheartening foray into the furniture business but a piece of jewelry on Instagram caught her eye and, after returning home to South Africa, she asked a jeweler to replicate it. “When I went to pick it up, my mum said, ‘You should put that on your website,’ which I thought would be a bit strange with the furniture,” said Ms. McKenna, a founder of the company. But she realized she could get promotion online by giving the jewelry to friends with large social media followings (for example, she knew an influencer from the British reality television show “Made in Chelsea”). Or, Ms. McKenna said, “we could create products that they would want to sell!” After that epiphany, she teamed up with Kay Ganesh, formerly with Burberry in V.I.P. relations and business development. Then her brother became involved, and Dylan Finch, who works in banking, agreed to advise them. Ms. McKenna and Mr. Ganesh spent months in China and Turkey getting their heads around manufacturing processes, and they researched options. “We’re all hustlers,” Mr. Ganesh said, “we’ve all taken respective big risks to do this; I didn’t know if it was going to work, if I was actually going to be jobless.” Now with the title of global head of public relations, influencer relations and partnerships, he was sitting behind a circular conference table at Our Social Collective’s headquarters, an airy office-cum-studio in the Ladbroke Grove neighborhood of central London. The shelves lining the exposed brick wall behind him displayed a range of Ms. Carril’s colorful jewelry. Her collection became their first venture. As Mr. McKenna said, “The influencer space is really strong on accessories.” Image Camila Carril wearing pieces from the jewelry line she introduced last year. Ms. Carril’s brand leads Our Social Collective’s five ventures in sales.Credit... And the four partners had developed what they felt was a distinctive model . “Everyone is making products and putting influencer names on it but no one was really bringing them in and saying, ‘What do you want to make?’” Mr. McKenna said, adding that the business is continuing to grow even though some say influencers’ clout has begun to dwindle . There are other influencer-based brand groups. Revolve debuted in 2003 in Los Angeles and has become widely known for its influencer network, and using its hashtags to generate clothing, accessories and beauty sales. (In June, when it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the business was valued at almost $1.5 billion.) And Revolve recently introduced Song of Style, its first long-term, in-house influencer collection, by Aimee Song, who boasts 5.4 million Instagram followers . Ms. Carril, who has been an influencer for 10 years, said that having her own brand always was in the back of her mind, but she didn’t have the know-how or a support team to make it happen. (Influencers generally have made money through paid partnerships, which tend to be one-offs and can take as long as six months to negotiate, with no guarantee of a payday for either party. ) So when Our Social Collective approached Ms. Carril, she said, “I thought it was a great idea because I was able to decide everything.” The collective’s vetting process for a new influencer business is about the person and his or her social media numbers, Ms. McKenna said — but also the numbers of their friends (recall that 20 million in the room). “From the get-go,” Mr. Ganesh said, “we all agreed we wanted it to be a collaborative process and not just hashtag ad, a real partnership from the core where we’re all invested equally.” The four founding members are shareholders in Our Social Collective, which, in turn either has shares in the five brands or completely owns them. The partners “really want to incubate and be the springboard for these brands,” Mr. McKenna said, so the products will be sold outside the collective’s virtual walls and eventually the labels will outgrow the need for its support. Highlights this year have included the sunglasses brand So Shady being introduced at Harvey Nichols and Ms. Carril’s line appearing on the online luxury retailer Luisaviaroma. Why is mass-market jewelry successful online? It is accessible, affordable, democratic in sizing and lends itself well to Instagram tiles and selfies (close photos of an adorned ear have been Ms. Carril’s best draws). Her best-selling pieces include colorful ear cuffs at 35 pounds ($45) — she has been called the “cuff queen” and is known for wearing several at a time — and the Aurelia bee earrings at £65. Mr. McKenna said the company’s research showed costume jewelry sales have been booming. High-end brands like Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Chloé and Fendi, he said, “are tapping into costume fashion jewelry because people are turning over the other stuff they buy much more quickly.” For Ms. Carril, jewelry was an obvious business choice for another reason. “People order lots of stuff online to try at home and then send it back — I do it myself — and I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to afford that,” she said. “The best way forward would be jewelry because you can’t return it for hygiene reasons. It’s an easier market to handle.” She said it has been especially exciting to see someone wearing one of her designs: “I was wearing my earrings and this girl came up to me and said, ‘Oh, my God! I have those earrings, they’re by a designer called Camila Carril.’ And my friend said: ‘She’s Camila!’ “It was so amazing that someone else knew the brand!” Advertisement

Social Collective Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Social Collective's headquarters?

    Social Collective's headquarters is located at 733 North Danville Street, Arlington.

  • What is Social Collective's latest funding round?

    Social Collective's latest funding round is Incubator/Accelerator.

  • Who are the investors of Social Collective?

    Investors of Social Collective include LaunchBox Digital and Dogpatch Labs.

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