An Instagram account is inspiring many dads and moms to dress their children very well without spending too much money and, that’s not all: It’s making a lot of people fall in love.
The Mini Style Hacker was born in February 2014 when Collette Wixom, mother of two boys (and now expecting the third), was enchanted by the style of some fashion children on the internet and decided to dress her as boys fashion as them but with affordable prices clothes.
Between a picture and another, Collette dresses her boys with looks inspired by celebrities and the result, of course, is the cutest. The pieces chosen to copy even the big celebrities are most often found in department stores and at the sales rack.
We were super curious about Collette’s experiences in this world of Instagram and we’d love to know about her purchases, inspirations, tips etc.
We get in touch with her, which agreed to answer our questions. The result was a super fun interview , full of tips and cool stories that you can check bellow.
FK: How did you came up with the idea of making the Mini Style Hacker?
Collette: I came up with the idea for Mini Style Hacker out of pure necessity. A friend showed me a couple posts of “fashionable kids” on instagram who happened to be wearing very expensive designer brands. I loved the way they looked but knew that some of those looks were simply out of my toddler’s price range. So, I decided that I would recreate some of my favorite looks on a budget. I began looking at a lot of men’s fashion influencers and celebrities for inspiration. I was proud of how closely the outfits I put together resembled the original look that I decided to post side by sides. I had no idea that people would respond the way they did. Within a few months, my instagram account had reached the tens of thousands and has been growing ever since.
FK: At which moment did you realized that Mini Style Hacker’s Instagram and blog were a success?
Collette: I realized that MSH was a success when it “went viral”. I would wake up every morning to emails from some of the biggest news outlets and brands in the world, wanting to speak with me. It still feels surreal, nearly three years later.
FK: Do you think that it has a formula for a Instagram account and a page in the Internet work? What tips can you share with our readers?
Collette: I believe that authenticity is the key. The photos I share of my boys are truly them just being themselves. Most of the photos are taken before school around our neighborhood. We very rarely have elaborate or planned photo shoots because it is just not enjoyable for them, which makes it a nightmare for me. They are not models and I usually only snap about 5-10 pics per outfit before they are rolling around in the dirt and that’s fine. It is only fun for me when it is fun for them.
FK: By entering into Mini Style Hacker Instagram, soon we noticed the phrase “You don’t have to be rich to have style!”. How do you choose such nice clothes at affordable prices? Do you make a research to find good prices, already know which stores to go …? How does it work?
Collette: There are actually tons of brands out there that make cute and affordable clothing for kids. It is very easy to take an inspirational outfit and find similar options at a lower price. I shop at all the big name kid’s stores that your would find in your local mall. The difference is, I usually buy basic pieces from these places. I don’t really go for the over embelished, character graphic tees, etc. I also find a ton of unique smaller brands on instagram. There are so many amazing brands that you probably wouldn’t find at the mall. These are the brands that I tend to look to when I want to stray from the basic wardrobe staples. You can find these brands frequently featured on my instagram. Some of my favorite brands are Nununuworld, Appaman, Haus of Jr., Vinginio, Milk n Soda, Florsheim Shoes, Dr. Martens.
FK: Do you have a favorite store?
Collette: My favorite big brand stores are Zara, CottononKids, Old Navy, H&M.
They have adorable kid’s stuff!
FK: What tips can you give to those who want to make findings at a good price?
Collette: Always check the sale rack! You would be surprised how many of my boy’s basics were found there.
Always look for a coupon code when shopping online! You will almost always end up saving money if you just look.
Wait for holidays throughout the year. All brands, even smaller ones, have sales throughout the year. These are the times to take advantage of lower prices!
FK: In the Mini Style Hacker Instagram we see lots of pictures of your little ones imitating celebrity looks. Which one was more fun to imitate?
Collette: Every celebrity look we imitate is fun. The boys always end up making me laugh in the process. The looks that involve props are especially fun for me. I love to use a bicycle instead of a motorcycle or an animal backpack instead of an adult bag. I think it makes the picture more authentic and makes me smile. I really don’t believe in trying to make children into adults. Kid’s don’t carry around briefcases, drink coffee or drive cars. I always keep those things in mind when I am copying a picture. I try to remember how many eyes will potentially see the picture and make sure to keep it real.
FK: Is there a celebrity look you really wanted to imitate but still didn’t?
Collette: I have a folder on my Pintrest board (@ministylehacker) where I pin looks that I have done as well as eventually want to imitate. There are many on there that I just haven’t gotten to yet. During the school year it is more difficult to set up these types of pictures. Our schedules are so busy with school, homework and sports that I just don’t want to add another thing on to an already busy day for the boys. The summer and school holidays is when we have more time to play and take hilarious pictures.
FK: Did some curious story already happen with you? Like be stopped on the street, some celebrity get in touch…?
Collette: Yes, the boys have been recognized many times while we are out. When it first started happening, I was a little scared. It really made me realize how many people were actually seeing my photos. I always keep that in mind when posting. With that said, everyone who has ever approached us in public has been incredibly kind.
FK: What are the plans for the Mini Style Hacker from now on?
Collette: I plan to keep doing celebrity “hacks” as well as boys fashion. With a new baby boy on the way, I will now have three little men to dress.
Mini Style Hacker has slowly been moving from just a kid’s fashion account to more of a family lifestyle and fashion account. With the release of Instagram Stories I have been able to include random day to day stuff that the boys and I do together.
Compulsive reader, tv series addicted, pet lover and probably the most curious person in the world.
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