Updated: Aug 26, 2019
How many brand Ambassadors do you know of locally? When you see someone's face can you automatically associate them with a brand? Or, do we just know the owners of these brands as the face of their own product? When I started writing this piece, I had to answer these questions for myself. Locally, when I think of someone's brand, I either picture the logo first or the owner. Rarely, do I associate any models with that specific brand whether it is fashion or photography.
Originally, I was just going to write a piece about Thailia Rodrigues (Thaichology) who was the last model I shot in August 2018 before I left for training in September. Thailia is a design specialist, and social media marketer. She also works with the Caribbean Center for Boys and Girls and is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Thailia is an outstanding model and an active member of her community, and you should visit her page (linked above) to learn more about her and her ventures. I'm looking forward to working with her again. She's also been featured in local newspapers such as St. Croix Avis numerous times for her volunteer work.
When I see Thailia lately, I immediately think of Territory Six, which is also the brand she wore during the shoot. According to the company "Territory Six is the homeland of self expression for free spirited souls. It is the go to source for unique handcrafted, tribal, ankara style/beaded footwear and accessories. Our designs encourage individuality and creativity with artistic expressions fit for confident and enlightened beings setting their own limits and trends." I wondered, while writing this, if she was the face of this brand.
If you don't know, a brand ambassador is a person who is hired by an organization or company to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so help to increase brand awareness and sales. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanor, values and ethics.
Predominantly, a brand ambassador is known as a positive spokesperson, or a community influencer, appointed as an internal or external agent to boost product or service sales and create brand awareness.
Her accessories--mainly the large black earrings with palm trees--were from territory six, but the top is from "The Mixed Boutique," and the gorgeous skirt was a gift from a friend from the Denver Black Arts Festival. She was also wearing hair from Eumosha's Hair Bar. Monique Crump, leading lady behind Eumosha says "Eumosha' is not just a boutique but a comfy environment where a woman can unwind, relax and feel great about herself while shopping with confidence." The boutique is one of those brands where the owner is essentially it's own ambassador.
For the record, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with not having a BA (I refuse to type it out anymore), I'm just wondering why, for the most part, our local brands don't have much. We have a lot of talented models, but they're rarely used in anything. Our models are essentially building portfolios to be used outside the territory because we don't even put our models on something as simple as a flyer. They aren't being marketed.
Thailia's shoot was for such a reason; marketing. She was supporting a boutique where her photo would be featured on the website. The shoot's location was down by the boardwalk in Christiansted. We shot near Fort Christianvaern, in the Gazebo, and on the dock.
I'd love to see more events where women like Thailia are on the cover.
But I digress.
This piece really came about because I'm still in the process of redesigning my own brand and I'm thinking that maybe it's about time I choose a Brand Ambassador myself.