Steffanie Rogers is a mom of four who wears many hats.
She has a certificate in special education, a flair for style and fashion, and a passion for supporting small businesses.
When the Instagram social media app first launched Steffanie decided to use it to share photos of her life and growing family with those around her – she had no idea, in a few years she would have a whole community of people sharing his trip.
âI’ve always been a creative person and got bored very easily when staying home with the kids – and after my son was born in 2012, I started on Instagram.
âI started a small business online when the app first started, but decided I didn’t like owning a small business. “
Support small and local purchases
Steffanie realized that one of her biggest passions was supporting other small businesses in Mandurah and posting content about the products she used and loved.
âI’m a big fan of small shopping, helping other moms, and creating content for small businesses,â she said.
When her little corner of the internet began to grow, Steffanie discovered that an audience of thousands of people interacted with and enjoyed her content.
âI’m a hyperactive person at home – the internet has given me a bit more purpose and stuff to fill the day with and has given me other people to talk to.
âI jumped on it when it wasn’t a thing – there was no such thing as an influencer or a content creator. I was doing it for love, I was buying things for little kids – j loved shopping online and supporting small businesses in Mandurah.
“With the children, I was going to find a nice cafe to have a coffee and that was our adventure of the day.”
Steffanie started partnering with local businesses to create content, which generated an additional source of income for her and her family.
“Especially when I help my family earn money, it’s nice, it’s nice to feel that I am doing good in the world.
âI have four kids, Layla (12), Jameson (9), Lottie (7) and Pearl (3) and they are obviously my ‘why’.
“This is why I get up in the morning and want to do well by setting an example, making money and pushing myself – and because I had them so young, I feel like fall into it a bit. ”
‘They are my why’
When Steffanie gave birth to her fourth child, Pearl, her online community grew even bigger and with even more intent.
âWhen I was 18 and 19, I got a certificate in Special Needs Support at TAFE. I always wanted to be a teacher but I didn’t like college life so I decided to go to TAFE instead.
“When I finished I immediately found a job in an Autism Early Intervention Unit which was pretty much my dream job – loved it and still do it for a while. in time to relieve me.
âI have always seen the mothers of these children and had so much admiration for them and their parents. There are a lot of extra appointments and support they need, which sometimes includes behaviors that are difficult to understand. school. ”
Steffanie’s youngest daughter was born with an attached spinal cord, a neurogenic bladder, and a rare genetic condition called 2q37 deletion syndrome.
âThere are only about 250 documented cases worldwide of 2q37 deletion syndrome,â Steffanie said.
âFrom day one point Pearl had to have spine surgery and tests – she had to have catheters every day for her first two years of life and antibiotics – we had never experienced any of this. and it was a different trip. “
Friends and family gathered around Steffanie and her family to make sure Pearl could make all the dates she needed.
“Everyone in the family had to rely on other people – we had to have friends pick up the kids from school so we could go to Pearl’s appointments in town.”
During this process, Steffanie’s online content began to include information about Pearl’s condition and the support systems required by the condition.
âI saw it as another ‘why’ – as to what I should post out there,â she said.
âMy content was about children and inclusion and it was already my passion before – I have been on both sides as a teacher and a parent.
“Pearl made me want to talk a little more about it, speak for her and be her voice.
“If I wasn’t going to be that person, who was? It was already my passion and she fueled it.”
When Steffanie started using hashtags associated with Pearl’s conditions, parents started contacting her to share their own experiences.
âSo many parents have sent me messages – people from other parts of the world tell me their children are going through the same things.
âI used hashtags for people to find me and a mom messaged me who had a child with the same deletion as Pearl – she messaged me and said ‘I’m still pregnant. and they found out the genetic deletion, how are you doing and how are you doing so well? ‘
“I told him everything was fine – yes, it’s tough with appointments and trips to the hospital, but you have to choose to sink or swim for your kids – and we’ll choose to swim.”
Pearl made me want to show it a little more, speak for her and be her voice.
Steffanie also includes information on finding the right pediatrician, parent groups, and other resources for children with additional needs.
“It’s cool to feel that I can help, however small it may be, I’m happy to be there.”
The future of “influencers”
With Steffanie’s Instagram audience reaching over 11,000 followers, she said it continues to be a slow burn and an organically-run process.
âIt’s been a slow process, but that’s to be expected when something organic happens – you can’t expect your subscriber count to increase overnight when you do things organically without buy subscribers.
âI have a great group and a supportive community – it’s about the community and the followers that you surround yourself with and stay away from the drama.â
When asked what advice she would give to anyone looking to navigate the social media world as an influencer, Steffanie said it’s important to find and focus on your ‘why’.
âStick with your why and find out if you’re not sure at first.
“Don’t let anyone bring you down – some people just don’t get it and will try to tone down your glow by saying it’s silly, but don’t let them.”
For now, Steffanie is focused on creating content for existing and emerging local businesses and spending conscious time with her family.