- Fashion influencer Rebecca Wattenschaidt transformed her love of fashion into a career path that didn’t exist until recent years.
- ¿Quieres leer esto en español? Haga clic aquí.
Uncomfortably pregnant while trying to keep up with her 5-year-old daughter, Rebecca Wattenschaidt quit her job as a high school business teacher and took up blogging.
“I’ve always loved fashion, so I would share my outfits,” she says. “It kept me from getting in a slump and forced me to get up and get dressed.”
Her brand “Mommy In Heels” was conceived in 2012, and over the next decade, it’d grow into a full-time job as an influencer.
“Something like this career didn’t even exist as an option when I was deciding what to study in college,” the 40-year-old says.
Finding her aha moment
After her second daughter was born, Rebecca decided to parlay her love of fashion into a business. She opened Elizabeth & West Fashion House in downtown York in spring 2013.
As the boutique grew, Rebecca’s online Mommy In Heels brand began to evolve.
“I have always struggled with my weight,” Rebecca says. “I’ve been anything from a size two to a size 14 and everything in between back and forth numerous times. I’ve starved myself, binged, I’ve taken diet pills.”
But then around 2017 she started getting messages from her followers. One told her how she never used to wear certain outfits because she wasn’t the right size, but seeing Rebecca wearing it gave her the confidence to try it. Another told her she wore a bathing suit and swam with her kids because Rebecca inspired her.
“That was my aha moment,” Rebecca says. “I can help women who struggle like I do.”
Rebecca focused her brand on one message: love yourself and dress for yourself, not for anyone else.
“I realized that when I’m gone, my girls won’t be like, ‘Do you remember how much cellulite mom had,’ or ‘Do you remember her back fat?’ They’ll remember how Mom made them cuddle with her.”
By 2019, Elizabeth & West was doing more sales online than in store. Her brand partnerships were also growing. In the fall of that year, with the birth of her third daughter, Rebecca realized it was time to close the storefront and shift her focus completely online.
“I find myself having to explain what I do all the time,” she says. “It’s more than just posting selfies.”
Rebecca develops her brand’s creative and messaging, shoots and edits photo and video, navigates contracts, and oversees the overall continuity of her brand. She’s also working on creating her own clothing collection slated to come out later this year as a part of one of her brand partnerships.
Through every outlet, she strives to keep her message authentic.
“It can mess with you when you only see the perfect, curated feeds online,” she says. “I still have really shitty days where I pick myself apart, but I tell my followers and I try, regardless of how I’m feeling that day, to compliment myself on at least one thing.”