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Daisy Braid on creating consistent content, evolving your brand, and being confident in yourself

Creative Business
min read
In this article

Daisy Braid aka DIY Daisy is a content creator, textile artist and author based in the Gold Coast in Yugambeh country. Daisy is a self-taught sewist known for her colourful, creative style that combines handmade clothing with fairly made and second-hand fashion.

In this episode, you'll learn how to know when you're ready to get branding help, the keys to confidence when filming yourself for social media, what strategies you can use to create consistent content, the things that are working right now to grow brands on TikTok and Instagram, how to expand your brand to new interests while staying on brand, and so much more.

Welcome to the show, Daisy! The people who are listening will have heard a little bit about you, what you do, and what you are up to in the introduction but I would love to hear a bit more about how you have got to where you are now.

My first question is, have always been a creative person?

Yes, I have always been a creative person and I can thank my parents for being so encouraging and supportive of expressing my creativity. If you didn't know Hollie, I'm a twin and so my twin sister and I are the firstborns of my siblings. There are four of us and ever since we were babies out of the womb, Mum and Dad have always encouraged us to be creative by showing us how they are creative.

My mum was a chef and she had a cafe restaurant which we grew up around. And my dad does everything, but he also built our house. We grew up in the house that my dad built and for my whole life up until now, it is still in renovation. So we've always seen people doing, and creating, and building, and cooking, and all sorts of things.

From an early age, Mum made sure we went to art class to see what we wanted to do as our creative form of expression. Dad would sit us down and get us to paint model airplanes or build a crystal radio. They were always teaching us not to say that you can't, you can do anything. So we’ve never really felt like (I say “we”, it’s a twin thing) we can't do anything. So I'll just give it a try and that's been something in the way that I was brought up to just give something a go, use my initiative and figure out something.

In high school and university, I always had some form of creative expression. It used to be photography and music, and then it slowly developed. I always had an interest in and a love of fashion and I wanted to be a fashion designer. Somehow everything that I've done has led me to where I am now.

I love the idea of don't say you can't. I think that is such a good attitude to have and there's never such a thing as you can't. You can always find a way, you can figure it out, or you can at least give it a try. Even if it doesn't work out, you can at least say that you have tried. And I think that having role models around you to show you that it's possible to have a career or to have hobbies, it must have been so good to have that around you to show you that that's something you can do, or that is a possibility.

Even now, I'm sitting in my Auntie's house and shop in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. She's a plus-size fashion designer, and I'm sitting surrounded by all of her clothes. That's what she does in her career. She's been doing it for 30 years. So I've always been watching people in my family just go for it. There's a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, and so I think that's inspired my dream to be something of my own and do my own thing.

I love that. You said that you were involved in or interested in photography. How did that then turn into doing sewing and materials and textiles?

It's actually really funny.

In high school, there was Home Economics, but in Home Economics you would do cooking or you would maybe sew some pyjama bottoms. I could already sew at that point so I thought that I would do art. I asked if I could borrow a sewing machine from the Home Economics room, bring it into the art room, and then for my projects I would make a clothing collection. I would photograph it on my friends and then I would submit a look book, or a group of photos as my finished work and write a rationale and write an artist statement. That's how I was doing art at school because I wanted to figure out a way to make it all make sense.

I didn't need to learn how to make a pair of pyjama bottoms as I already knew how to sew because I'd figured it out on my Grandma's old machine and I already knew how to cook because I learned that from my mum.

My art teacher was very cool and we had an amazing art room. She was super supportive and she was like however you do it, do it. She accepted my alternative way of submitting my assignments and I was still getting to do what I wanted to do, which was to make clothes and photograph them. I wanted to be a fashion designer. I was like look at me, I'm making my own collection.

I was inspired to do photography because my twin sister was doing photography. And she's still an amazing photographer. I finished high school and went to University, and I kind of forgot about what my creative expression was going to be. There was a period when I didn't do photography. I was 18 and at that stage of going out so I had a little hiatus from expressing that creativity and then I slowly came back into it as I finished university and started going out into the world.

So you went to university for something completely different?

Business and marketing.

Ah, right. So it came back around later on. When you started to get back into sewing and find your love of that again, how did it eventually become a business and become DIY Daisy?

It must have been 2016 when I moved to Auckland and I was working for Twenty-Seven Names in the shop in Newmarket. One day I saw a job come up for the fabric store as their Media and Design Manager and I thought, ooh, that's kind of what I studied at uni. So I applied for that job and I got the job working in the head office.

The job was to write blogs, marketing, and social media. It was when influencer marketing was just beginning so this was the first time I was introduced to influencers. We had brand ambassadors that we would send fabric to and they would write a blog post, or they would make a post, or they would basically promote the fabric store but just through making their clothes and showing the fabric.

I thought one day maybe I could do that but I never took it seriously. I said to my co-worker, wouldn't it be funny if we were sewing bloggers and I was called DIY Daisy and you could be called Needlepoint Nicole? Yeah, obviously we had great ideas back then. It didn't work out for her but I was like, okay, maybe this isn't a funny joke and maybe I can do it. I’d make my boyfriend at the time take photos of me in my outfits and I started posting them.

It wasn't a business at first, it only became a business in the last couple of years. At first, it just started as a blog, a place for me to share what I was making, and then I started sharing projects, and sewing tutorials for free. There was no money involved for a long time. It wasn't until 2020 around COVID time that I started doing content creation for brands and doing things in exchange for money.

DIY Daisy (Daisy Braid) Author of Sew It Yourself

Tell me about the branding journey of DIY Daisy in terms of design, but also in terms of did you think about anything strategically in terms of your audience.

Initially, I wasn't thinking about branding because I didn't know where it was going to go. I knew that the way I photographed there was a certain theme or a style that I wanted to keep consistent but it was just lo-fi photos on my phone camera and I didn't have a logo, or anything like that.

I then moved to Tokyo in Japan and one day at work when I had a bit of downtime, I decided to make a logo for my website. I knew that I wanted it to have a flower because obviously, Daisy is a flower. And I wanted it to be something colourful, joyful and something that feels cute but not childish.

I borrowed my co-worker's iPad and I hand-drew this flower and a face. I then took that and turned it into a vector in Illustrator. I played around with the colours and the sizing. My original logo is the most simple form of what my brand mark is now. So the flower with a face - the eyes, the nose, and the mouth spelling out DIY.

I just knew I wanted it to have a smile. I love smiles and I love flowers. So I was like, let's combine that but do something interesting with the eyes and the nose. And so my original logo is what my logo is now but just now my logo is way better.

That’s amazing! So when you’re working with these brands, how do you keep things on brand for you while also managing what the brand wants as well?

I only accept content creation work if they are willing to work with my idea.

I've had opportunities to create content for brands but they want it to be a certain way. They want UCG content creation and I’ve had to tell them that's not what I do. I am DIY Daisy and I'll make content that works in with my content. It has to make sense, it has to provide value, and it has to align with what I'm known for. I've learned to only work with people who let me have creative freedom. Not complete control, but it has to make sense for the DIY Daisy brand.

I think that's a really good boundary to have. And you're not only creating content for brands but you create content for yourself on Instagram and TikTok with 82k followers on Instagram and 52k on TikTok. Not that followers on those platforms matter, but it's pretty impressive. What do you think has worked for you in terms of building and growing your brand?

I think something that I've always tried to do is have a way to shoot my photos with consistency. I love consistency and when something seems out of place, I'm like, Oh, what's that doing there?

I started dabbling in this idea last year with a content series. I’ve seen others do it online. I tried to start it last year but I was too busy, a bit frazzled, and a bit distracted so I'm trying again this year.

By starting a series, people can get invested in what you're up to and they want to see what's happening every month or every time you post. They want to see an update and so by starting that series, you're hooking people in. They're not necessarily subscribing but they're keeping an eye on what you're up to and they're waiting to see what's happening next.

I think that's been helpful for my engagement last year because I wasn't consistent and I wasn’t creating content in the way that I used to. And I guess I can't either because the algorithm has changed so I'm just trying out some new things. I tested out a few things last year to see what worked, and what didn't. So I started a content series, and I've seen my engagement increase heaps.

Last year made me feel like I had to figure this all out again because I was at a point where I felt like, am I going to stop being DIY Daisy? Am I going to stop creating this content? What the heck am I going to do? I was like, am I quitting? Am I logging off?

But then I spoke to some of my closest friends and my partner and they said to me, you can't stop, that's literally who you are. People want to see what you're doing. I just needed a little bit of a shake and a metaphoric slap across the face. When they said that to me I just thought, I can do it but I'm going to have to set myself a plan.

So I've set myself a plan, I've signed myself up to a series, and I'm going to try and stick to it.

I love that. I know that you're doing the hexie Quilt. Is that the series you're talking about?

Yes, that's one of them. That started unintentionally. But yes, that's a series now.

It’s the year of DIY so every month I have a different prompt and from that prompt, I will make one project for my gallery wall. But, I'll let you in on a secret, I will also be making projects based on that prompt for other areas of my house too. This is the other series I’m doing. I pitched a book last year and it got rejected but all of the ideas that I had for that book, I'm going to share as free content.

Why not! You made the ideas so you might as well use them for something else.

I thought if I spread it out over a year, I'm not putting too much pressure on myself and I can do one project a month or I can do three projects a month. And that way, it doesn't feel so scary to try and stick to it. So all I have to do is at least one project a month and if I share it, then I'm consistent and hopefully, people will want to hang around and keep seeing what I'm doing. Maybe it will inspire them to make something too or it will inspire them to try quilting a hexie quilt?

I'm excited that my initial goal when I started is still happening. People are still getting inspired or they're getting motivated to try something new and try sewing or try DIY.

I got inspired to make a hexie flower so I'm only one step there but you inspired me already!

DIY Daisy hexie flower

You seem to be posting consistently and sharing lots and showing what you're making and thinking and doing. So how do you think of your ideas and document them and what is your process to get them from idea to Instagram or TikTok? What does that look like for you?

I have my list and so that's something that I refer to now and then, but I guess I have my calendar too. On the calendar, it has the prompt for each month and then I have the project ideas from that prompt. So in the month or a couple of months leading up to that prompt, I will start gathering materials, making notes, and practice a script in the car, or the shower, or just walking around my house. I practice what I'm going to say in a Reel or a video because I don't want to spend three hours filming. I want to do it and try and get it done in one or two takes. So I have notes on my phone. I'll sometimes have a document where I type out a little script and then I practice the script in the car.

And that's sort of what I'll do first, and then when there's a day where I'm able to film in the afternoon when I finish work or on the weekend, I'll set myself up to work on as much content as possible, and get it all banked for the week or the month. Then I just slowly drip it out.

Nice, that's such a good way of doing it. I like the idea of practicing a script because sometimes I get to recording something and I'm like, what am I going to say? You seem very confident filming and photographing yourself and I was curious if you have any tips for people who maybe aren't very confident filming.

Practice before you get behind the camera so you know what you want to say.

Some people are okay with just going off the cuff but for me, I need to be efficient because I don't have all day to film one video, and that's also a very long time to spend on one short 30-second or minute-long Reel.

Another one, make notes. I'll have bullet points or notes breaking down what I want to achieve in whatever I'm trying to say and practice it.

Then make yourself feel confident. I feel most confident when I have a little bit of makeup on when my house is a little bit quiet, so I don't have to ask anyone to be quiet and set my space up. I make sure my space is clean and then I'm ready to go. So I always set myself up because like everyone else, I have my insecurities and sometimes I do get behind the camera and then I'll see the footage back and I'm like, oh my goodness, my eyebrows are uneven or sometimes I look at myself in the recording and I think, oh, I don't like how I look today. Sometimes I'll film for an hour and then I have to do that all again tomorrow because I just don't feel confident.

I've learned to accept the fact that that's what I look like and I can't change how I look. I can add a little bit of makeup though to feel a bit more confident and so that's what I'll do.

And then I guess, I make sure that I'm consuming other people's content to see what's best practice for structuring a video. You want a start, a middle and an end but you might need to change the way that you edit or the kind of music that you add, things like that.

I just make sure that I'm consuming content so that I'm not getting stuck in my little mind bubble and I'm going, okay, I could try that trend, or I could try that trick, or I could try that editing style until I found how I like to edit. And I like to think of it as clean, lo-fi, and minimal. I don't like having too much going on. I just sit down and put my tripod on. Oh, that would be another thing, get a little tripod.

Great hot tip. I love that. And you mentioned trying new things. I’ve followed you for a while and I've seen that you obviously started with sewing clothes, but over the years, you've somewhat branched out into making textile art and other things with fabric. How do you balance wanting to try new things or branch out into other things while also maintaining your existing brand and the audience that's there for the things you have been doing?

The thing about that is I can only make so many clothes for myself and I'm a selfish sewer, so I don't make for other people unless it's a gift. So after six or seven years of sewing my own wardrobe developing my personal style and figuring out what I like to wear, I've got enough clothes. So I had to start sewing other things because I still wanted to express myself creatively and make things, but I couldn't keep making clothes. I also feel like if I'm always making new clothes, in essence, maybe I'm encouraging people to constantly want new clothes.

That's one part of it but I think by always having something that is part of my core niche, so sewing now and then, maybe once every two or three months I'll make a clothing item and share about that then that's how I feel I can maintain that audience of people who are following me for that reason. Then I'm also branching out and hopefully meeting new audiences by sewing new things.

But there is so much more to sewing than just clothing. So I guess I've reached my peak of clothing and I'm like, okay, what else can I do?

I like that. I think that's a good healthy balance of like, okay, I'm still maintaining the people who are there specifically for the clothing, but allowing myself space to create and try new things. I like the attitude of I'm attracting new people with this new stuff.

Yeah, hopefully! And if people don't want to see that new stuff - they know what to do.

Yep! They can scroll past. I have two last questions for you, which are the questions that I ask every single person. So my first question is, what piece of advice would you pass on to other creators who want to brand their passion?

I think my advice would be to spend time figuring out who you are.

It's so easy to look around and see what everyone else is doing, and it's so easy to copy people or to be influenced by what they're doing. I think if you want to have your own brand, and you want to stand out and be unique in some way, you have to know who you are.

Like, deep down inside your soul. You have to always be yourself. It does take time to develop your own look, feel, brand and voice and it just comes with time. Mine has developed so much as I've gotten older, and made more, and met more people and it doesn't come from just being all alone. You have to go and experience things.

I think if you're trying to be yourself and be honest and authentic then your brand will make so much more sense to people. Rather than trying to look, create content, or make the same things as other people, it will always feel like someone else.

Brilliant advice. And what is the biggest lesson that you've learned about branding your passion?

You can evolve. Your brand might not look the same as it did 10 years ago. It's okay to evolve and change. If I still had my original logo, I would hate it.

It's okay to change and try new things when you are working towards your brand and you're making your brand your own. It takes time.

Right now, this is my branding and it feels so authentically me. It feels so much like who I am right now and I think I could probably use this for the next five to ten years and it’ll still work. I can change the colours but I feel like this is going to be with me for a while, and it's going to feel like it fits. I think it's okay to change and evolve.

I always say that because we as people evolve so it would be silly if the brands that we embody or that are supposed to reflect us didn't evolve with us. I love that amazing advice. Thank you so so much Daisy for sharing your journey, your advice, your lessons and everything that you've learned along the way.

Do you want to tell the people what you have going on and where they can find you, or both?

If you're interested in sewing, seeing a girl make a quilt, or you want to get inspired by some home decor, or some colourful fashion, you can find me at Or my Instagram handle is @_diydaisy with an underscore because someone stole the name before I got to it.

Amazing! I will leave all of those links in the show notes and all of those goodies. Thank you so much, Daisy!

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February 28, 2024

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