In Conversation with Kaitlyn O’Donnell from Occasion Brands

[Originally published on the Dash Hudson blog.]

She’s a social media manager by day, a makeup artist by night (check out her talented looks on her personal IG @blushnbubbly 💄💋), as well as an amateur fashion designer on the side. Oh, and did we mention? You can often find her as one of the girls behind the looks on the feeds she curates!

@blushnbubbly modelling @SimplyDresses for a filming of @TheLookAllStars estimated to air in the Spring.

There’s no doubt that Kaitlyn O’Donnell likes variety, and we couldn’t wait to chat with her about what that looks like in her day-to-day, managing three different Instagram handles for Occasion Brands — @promgirlxo, @simplydresses, and @kleinfeldbridalparty.

For many girls, the concept of dressing up begins at a young age by trying on mom’s wedding dress and stealing big sister’s shoes. Occasion Brands keeps this playful spirit of dressing alive for years to come, with three separate brands for different moments in our lives — prom, homecoming, weddings, and everything in between.

In a world where everything is digitally-oriented (we’re here for it), one opportunity that continues to arise is how to connect with one another off social media. This extends anywhere from our personal lives (think dating apps, and making ‘blogger friends’) to connecting with your audience and the influencers you work with off the ‘Gram.

Enter the Occasion Brands social team. Kaitlyn and the rest of the crew wear more than just a social hat; they’re event planners too. Always concocting the next must-attend affair; their ideas build to fruition fast. One minute a concept is mentioned, and the next it’s all hands on deck to create a special moment for their fans and followers. This gives the brand the opportunity to build on those behind-the-scenes relationships in person, and generates a ton of UGC at the same time. We picked Kaitlyn’s brain to understand what goes into planning a social event and how she got where she is today. Let’s get this party started.


1. Name & Occupation

Kaitlyn O’Donnell, Social Media Manager for Occasion Brands.

2. How did you get started in social media?

I double majored in communication and journalism in college, really not knowing what I wanted to do. I thought about a career in fashion PR, or even as a fashion editor… or possibly a fashion reporter. Definitely in the fashion realm! It wasn’t until my junior year that I realized, “Wow social media is taking over and I can actually make a career out of this!” So, I went full speed ahead with all things social!

Our girl Kaitlyn looking 💯 on the @SimplyDresses feed.

3. What did you want to be when you were little?

Oohhh I actually wanted to be a fashion designer. And trust me I had all the works…sewing kit, sketch pads, markers, everything! Its funny, even nowadays I’m known for altering all of my clothes — whether it’s readjusting a hem to how I want it or changing a neckline! Only little things though, nothing crazy!

4. Occasion Brands puts a lot of focus on creating special events — like awards shows and dance challenges — that are based around social media. What kind of planning goes into that vs. a traditional event or party?

It is definitely A LOT of teamwork and planning. We always say we need to make it as Instagrammable as possible! We want to create moments that influencers, brands, and partners want to post about on Instagram Stories or in-feed. You definitely have to think about it from the perspective of getting the perfect pics — lighting, background, branding moments, everything. It’s honestly all in the details!

5. What makes a successful Instagram event?

OHHH getting all the content of course. Not only the content we capture, but the most amount of content we can receive as organically as possible is definitely a plus. A big thing is also the personal connections we’ll make. A lot of the time we strictly work with influencers online, so having the opportunity to connect with them in real life makes for a very successful event!

6. Number one tip for someone managing multiple social handles?

Make sure to stay true to the brand’s voice and demographic. Each brand we manage is completely different from the other, so you really have to make sure your content, copy, partnerships, and everything else, is aligned.

7. Favorite weekend activity?

When I’m not traveling, I love to go to a spin class or brunch with my friends!

8. What current trend are you obsessed with?

I'm loving all the 90s/retro vibes. Bring on the scrunchies, neon colors, and athleisure!

9. Where do you spend the majority of your time on Instagram?

I get lost on the Explore page for sure. There are just so many beauty videos that IG recommends for me, and I have to admit — I get stuck in the rabbit hole of scrolling!

10. We can’t resist…what’s your go-to Dash Hudson tool?

The Instagram Scheduler and Feed Preview are EVERYTHING. We love creating and curating content that is not solely about dresses, but that also includes everything else our girl loves: makeup, hair, memes, etc! So with the scheduling and preview functionalities, we are effortlessly able to manage and intertwine all of the different types of content.

There’s no doubt Kaitlyn keeps a full schedule — whether it’s pumping content into DH, squeezing in a Soul Cycle ride before Sunday brunch, or finding ways to create strong relationships within the Occasion Brands social media community. If you haven’t already, head on over to @promgirlxo, @simplydresses, and @kleinfeldbridalparty to give them a follow… who knows, maybe you’ll walk away with the perfect dress for your next Insta-worthy event 😉

Header image: @kleinfeldbridalparty

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