Angie Batis Durant, started her brand Miss Lucky Pony 15 years ago, growing her loyal community of enthusiasts for “excellent pretty things”. In this Q&A, we spoke to Angie about how she uses Instagram to expand her community. This month she’s one of three winners in our ongoing monthly competition Instagram Heroes, highlighting the best of business and creative talent. Angie also shared some advice for budding content creators, and encourages the pursuit for following accounts you love.

What inspired you to go off on your own, as an independent entrepreneur and creating your own brand Miss Lucky Pony?

The fact that I own my platform and I can create and share whatever I like has really made me want to try to put as much effort and love behind Lucky Pony as possible. Having this little brand and its channels allows me to share everything that I love in my own time, which makes me really happy.

Tell us how the brand has grown since and what the journey has been like for you. Well, I have had my blog now for over 15 years! Shoo! So it has been a part of and an extension of me for a very long time! It’s been amazing to see where I started with it, which was pretty much a whole lot of posts about ceramic animals and antiques haha to where it is now and how it has spread out onto other channels like Instagram. I’ve loved every part of this strange little journey, I mean it does have its ups and downs and it does require a lot of love and effort, but it’s worth it because I get to connect with cool people and I get to create things that I’m proud to put my name on 🙂

This isn’t just a delicious, aesthetic Instagram feed or website of pretty things. What does Miss Lucky Pony represent?

I hope to others I represent a person who really does love sharing all sorts of things from my life, whether it be my kids dancing, a recipe for something loaded with all the good things in life like sugar and chocolate, glimpses into my home, my love for all things local, art, design and my teeny tiny obsession with funny memes.

Your Instagram is fun, authentic, diverse and engaging. How do you use the platform to grow your brand and build a community? Thanks for the kind words 🙂 By always sharing things that I love and that I think my community will love and appreciate too. I never do things on my channels that are out of character for me, I always work with brands and people that I like and believe in because I always want the stuff that I put out there to feel like it’s really coming from me.

Do you have any tips for local brands just starting out – both in terms of their product or offering, and how they go about marketing this?

 My tip for local brands starting out is don’t be shy to reach out to people you follow and like on this platform and ask if they’d like to try your stuff out for a little shoutout! If you believe in what you’re making, get it into people’s hands to try 🙂 You don’t need people with 100 0000 followers to talk about how great your stuff is, someone with 5000 followers might just have more impact on their community than the bigger fish out there. Collaborate with other local brands so that their followers get to know you and vice versa.

My other tip is to try to be as active as you can on your channel, when people land on your page give them a reason to want to hit the follow button. If things like taking photos is not your forte then try to make a plan – Barter a deal with a photographer, phone a friend, we all have one that knows how to take a photo 🙂 Use stock images, download a course on how to take better photos, there are loads of them out there.

What’s something 10and5 readers may not know about you as a person?

 I love to vacuum and I’m super competitive in board games! 🙂

What can we expect from Miss Lucky Pony in 2021?

Any projects or collaborations to keep an eye out for? Man, I’d love to be on a cooking show! Hahah! Is there anyone out there reading this that wants to put me on TV 🙂 I’ll bake for you, all the time!

Submissions for June are open! Apply here.

Between 10 and 5