Imagine my absolute delight in getting to interview Christina Conlon. Christina is the upbeat, joyful gal behind the creation of DailyBarker. When she’s not pouring her heart into this community, you can find her traveling with her entrepreneur husband, training their new Golden Retriever puppy Nash, or having coffee with friends. Christina currently lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and pup.
It was such an honor collaborating with Christina. Not only did I get to virtually meet the sweetest girl I also pushed myself outside my comfort zone. I was intimidated by her account since she has such a massive following that I was a bit anxious and concerned she would’t be interested. (Don’t worry- I’m working currently on this worthiness problem). Christina inspired me because she was doing a lot of the things I was also passionate about. Things like cultivating community, educating her followers, and sharing information based of her interests.
I decided oh, what the heck and wrote her anyways. I wrote her a direct message explaining who I was and that I’d love to interview her for my female founder interview series. Surprise! She wrote me back and she sent me the most energetic email to follow up - I could feel her gregarious warmth through her words. We instantly became little pen pals and began chatting about more than just dogs.
Through the course of our email chain Christina shared with me about several tools and resources she uses to stay organized as an entrepreneur- things like Evernote (which I’m currently writing in) and Linktree for the Instagram bio link which allows you to showcase multiple links or blogs. What a blessing it is to have another gal in this space to talk with!
So, what’s the lesson here? Stop viewing people on a similar path as you as your competition. They are ON YOUR TEAM! Connecting with another female entrepreneur can actually boost your confidence. With someone else doing something similar you can learn from them and WITH them! How else do you get better and gain confidence? THROUGH LEARNING! There is enough room for ALL OF US to do what we love. I am so grateful to continue meeting such passionate, intelligent, hard working, beautiful, kind, and giving women. Real women. Such an honor. On to the interview shall we?
What is your business name?
Please provide your social media handles below (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).
Instagram (@dailybarker), Facebook (@thedailybarker), Twitter (@thedailybarker), Pinterest (@dailybarker)
Tell us a bit about your background both personally and professionally.
I am originally from Indianapolis, IN, I met my entrepreneur husband right when I graduated college and my whole world changed. Not only because I met him and fell in love, but I also met Beau ("his" turned "our" Golden Retriever). I've always been a HUGE fan of pups, but meeting Beau changed my heart in the best ways.
Before we got married, we moved to San Diego, CA and are now settling into our new home in Nashville, TN with our Golden puppy, Nash. We live a pretty crazy life (we both run our own businesses) but I'm so grateful for it!
How did you get your idea or concept for the brand?
When my husband and I unexpectedly lost our Golden Retriever, Beau, at the end of 2015, our hearts were beyond shattered. Beau was our best friend and he did everything with us. I’d find myself scrolling Instagram, seeing the sweetest pups, and some how, that gave me peace. That’s when I decided to start the DailyBarker Instagram account. It warmed my heart knowing that just one post every day on DailyBarker could help bring joy to others in similar situations — or even others who just loved seeing cute pups each day on their Instagram feeds.
Tell us more about your brand and what you do!
DailyBarker has become a collaborative community on Instagram and through our blog (dailybarker.com). On our Instagram channel (@dailybarker), I feature one photo daily from an account that has either submitted their photo or that I personally found on Instagram. Our submissions have grown significantly through the years and it has been so exciting to watch how excited the community gets when they see their photo as our daily featured photo.
For the DailyBarker blog, we have just about 40 contributors that come together to share their creative passions. Our contributors are from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia! I work with each contributor throughout the year to brainstorm blog content ideas, schedule out our yearly calendar (which is constantly being tweaked), and once the blog is live, promote it across the DailyBarker social channels.
When I started thinking about a blog, I knew it couldn't be "The Christina Show" - I'll be the first person to admit, my life is not that exciting, nor do I know everything (who does!). I thought the best option for this blog would be to create a collaborative space, where people from all walks of life could come together, share their passions and love for dogs, and encourage each other. After all, that's what the Instagram channel is - so collaboration just felt right.
Working with our contributors has been hands down, the most special part of this journey. I had wanted to start the blog for about a year, but I had no idea the great relationships I'd get from actually doing it. I ADORE (and that's no exaggeration) every single person I get to work with and am so grateful for their contributions to the community - but mostly their friendships. I just love them all.
Looking back would you do any thing different?
Yes and no! For the first 2 1/2 years of DailyBarker's existence, no one know who I was! Meaning, the community didn't know who the "person" was behind the account - that is until we launched the blog in June 2018. Looking back, I wish I would have put a "face" to the brand sooner. I'd tell my friends randomly about DailyBarker and they wouldn't believe me. So I'd have to log onto our account to "prove it". I'm sitting here laughing at all the weird looks they gave me when I'd show them.
As for the growth of DailyBarker, I've never pushed for more than I can take on and I am proud of that. It's easy to bite off more than you can chew and grow too big, too fast. I never wanted that. When DailyBarker started, it was from such a sweet place of joy, I never wanted it to turn into a stressful "to do" on my list. Until June, I was the only person who did anything with the account. Now of course, we have our contributors and a good friend of mine who tackles our blog editing and scheduling.
What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
Getting to meet and work with so many amazing people!
Share your favorite moment or moments while growing your business.
My favorite moment was the day we launched the blog - but for a few reasons! When I started DailyBarker, it was when we lost our Golden Beau. From the day Beau passed away, it took my husband and I 2 1/2 years to open our hearts and home to a new puppy. The day the DailyBarker blog launched was the same day we brought our new puppy Nash home. I wish I could say that timing was planned, but it wasn't. I felt like it was such a sweet "full circle" moment. (Looking back, I do not recommend bringing home an 8 week old puppy the day you launch something this big, but by the grace of the good Lord, I made it through, haha!)
What are some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur, you have to figure out everything on your own. I definitely annoy my poor husband when I ask him questions, but it's how I learn (by asking). I'm so grateful I have him to ask though! Even though I'm sure he wishes I would Google more things. ;)
Being an entrepreneur, you experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. One day, you'll feel like you're getting it all right, the next day (or even that afternoon), you'll feel like everything is failing. That's normal. ;) This is why it's important to be surrounded by others in the same boat as you!
Advice for other entrepreneurs or those looking to get started?
Don't be afraid to be awkward or fail (because you will in some way and GUESS WHAT, life goes on!), surround yourself with other like-minded individuals (don't walk the entrepreneur road alone, because it can be lonely), create a daily schedule for yourself and do the best you can to stick to it, don't be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone, make friends in your niche, have fun and take time for yourself every. single. day.
How do you advertise your brand?
All our growth has been organic! I haven't done any advertising for DailyBarker! Of course, that will eventually change, but I'm so proud of how far the community has come on it's own!
How can clients reach you/Collaborate with you?
You can follow DailyBarker on Instagram (@dailybarker) and send me a DM! I check every single one or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.