09/02/2017
with LABELS // Buy Swap Sell.

Words by

Fashion Journal

Hello there and welcome to part three of our investigative series, We asked Facebook admins why the hell they do it.

As the snappy title so eloquently suggests, here we ask Facebook admins why they do what they do. 

So far we’ve spoken with Brooke Marks of the elusive HIGH END and Jacinta Nest of the rapidly-growing My Stuff = Your Stuff. Both interviews have proven informative, revealing that neither admin is a crazy person, despite volunteering hours of their time to a seemingly thankless and unpaid task.

Next up, we quiz Katelyn Gabriel Adelaide-based group,
LABELS // Buy Swap Sell. Katelyn has been a clever chicken, growing her Facebook group to become a successful market for local labels in South Australia. Demand for the Labels Style Markets is high, with attendees known to camp out early to be first in the doors.

Naturally, we hit Katelyn with 100 burning questions. Here’s what she had to say.

How much time do you dedicate to admin-ing per day?

It really is hard to say. With 23,000 members we get a lot of posts to approve or decline. 

I would have to say around 30 minutes solid each day, that’s with the help of my other administrators. 

How did you turn Labels into a market?

From day one I have always been very passionate about local business in the fashion industry. I love local labels and boutiques, as opposed to big outlets in SA. I wanted to create a platform for local fashion enthusiasts to get involved and gain exposure and further boost sales. Creating the markets was an extension from the online group into a hub for all things trending.

Do you think there’s much potential for Facebook group admins to grow their groups into a business?

The possibilities are endless with a creative imagination, drive and a good following.

Was it always on the cards for you to grow Labels into a business?

Yes, when I started the online group I knew it had some serious potential. After a year of running online I then launched the first LSM [Labels Style Market]. We started in a church hall in Blackwood. I was surprised to find girls had camped out early just to be in line first. For each market, I have worked hard to drive the market to new levels and to improve, not only the following, but the on-trend quality of the boutiques and labels present. 

Any plans for bigger growth?

Absolutely. This is my full-time career in my eyes. My markets keep me on my toes and for each one, I work very hard to improve further growth. 

What’s your day job? Has the growth of Labels impacted your work in any way?

I am a full-time mother to Hunter and Winter. Hunter turned five in December and Winter one in Feb, they both keep me very busy.  My days consist of a laptop, market applications, lists after lists, and meetings with local boutiques and labels about their involvement for the next market.  I am also currently working on my own label, Len. The Label. Let’s just say I drink lots of coffee.

Hardest part about being an admin?

Absolutely nothing is hard about being an admin. It is time-consuming and all the rest, but that’s the realistic side of running an online group with thousands of members. I love seeing all the bargains for sale, so it’s a huge plus being an admin. Labels Buy Swap Sell is a one-stop-shop that never sleeps. 

Best part about being an admin?

The best part is seeing what’s for sale before everyone else (wink wink). Also, being kept up-to-date with what is currently trending and in-style is handy. My whole closet came from the online group and it is forever changing as I buy swap and sell.

Do you consider yourself semi-famous? 

What’s famous these days? Everyone in Adelaide knows each other. The great part is I'm normal, there is no sass up my sleeve. I love that people I meet connect with me well. The most uncomfortable part about the fashion industry is being made to feel intimidated. 

Has anyone ever bribed you to be accepted in the group?

No, all are accepted.

How do you deal with dodgy buyers/sellers? Is there a process?

Luckily enough, with thousands involved in the group, I actually don't get too many complaints about dodgy buyers or sellers. With any complaints we assess everything carefully, we ask for screenshots and conversations, and then approach each situation individually and carefully without offending anyone. Ninety-nine per cent of the time we get a great result and problem solved. 

Have you ever had a brand/business/authority say what you’re doing is wrong?

No, I have never actually had bad feedback about the online group. Most boutiques and labels love it as it really gives them exposure. I once posted a particular top up as wanting to buy (WTB) and within a week, everyone was posting WTB with this top. Lots of girls seek direction and with the right waves, you can give great exposure to up-and-coming businesses. 

Illustration by Twylamae.

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