Ninah / @ninah.co
Full Name: Ninah Andrea Caquias
Occupation: Personal style influencer / content creator
Social Media Presence
How did you initially decide to become an influencer? What was the motivation or transition? I have always loved expressing myself through fashion and personal style. And have been obsessed with how the publishing industry has changed with the rise of social media! As a child I wanted to grown up to be a fashion or beauty editor. In college my friends would ask me why I wouldn’t post on Instagram or share where I got things from. At that point I made a decision to be intentional about what I post and what I wanted to do within the influencer sphere. It’s been almost two years now, and here I am!
When you first started, did you have a specific goal in mind for what you wanted to come out of having this platform? How has that goal changed since then? I didn’t know anything about the industry except for what I saw my favorite influencers and bloggers doing! Basically, my initial goal was to simply put myself out there even though I didn’t really know what that would look like or mean. The goal has since changed because the vision for what I want to do has became that much bigger!! Otherwise, I still want to inspire my social community to stick to being themselves, follow their dreams, and know that anything I can do they can do! Life is not perfect nor easy, but with hard work it can be oh so rewarding!
Do you have a specific message you want your followers to get from following your platforms? I really want them to know they’re capable of their dreams and that the first step to elevation is self love and improvement. I didn’t always feel the best about my appearance, my voice, or what I had to offer. But the difference between me and someone else is that I fought to change that. If there was something I didn’t know how to do I researched how to do it! You don’t become confident, successful, or even fashionable overnight, you learn and improve and transform! I want them to recognize that in most cases what holds them back isn’t this invisible glass ceiling, it’s their lack of recognizing that they have what it takes, and taking the steps to move forward!
How would you describe your personal style? How has it evolved over the years? I’d describe my personal style to be very classic. I’m an avid thrifter and rather buy timeless pieces rather than something fast fashion has deemed “trendy”. I also take inspiration from everywhere! If I find a look I really like I’ll try to recreate it with things I already own! As for how my style has evolved, I can say that although I have loved fashion since I was very young I was always afraid to dress how i wanted to around my friends and young people my age. My family has always been pretty used to me dressing however I pleased, no matter how quirky that may be.
What/who is your main source of inspiration when it comes to fashion? This one is difficult for me because when I was growing up I was homeschooled, I never really had very many friends to dress up with or “dress like” or other outside influences other than my mom and she has great taste. I really just wore whatever I wanted and was never really told anything, that kind of just grew, and I still just wear whatever I want. I will say that I had a subscription to every fashion magazine you could think of and was a huge fan of Eva Chen who was the EIC of teen vogue at the time, I remember really wanting her job like at 13 years old. I met Grace Coddington (Creative Director of Vogue) when I was 17 and just loved that she never did her hair, she never cared what anyone else was wearing she just had killer taste and presence.
As a stylist and fashion influencer, what is your criteria for putting together a foolproof outfit (for yourself or a client)? Clothing makes me really happy, and to be able to bring a few pieces together to create an outfit is a thrill to me. It has a way of changing my mood and prepares me for whatever might happen that particular day. It also has the ability to make me feel really bad about myself when I don’t feel comfortable in what I’m wearing. It is of utmost importance to me to feel good about what I am wearing so I’d say that’s the biggest criteria for when I’m putting together an outfit, I want to feel great, and I want my clients to feel really great about themselves.
Are there any specific trends you are loving / hating? I think really great style is truly timeless. Some of the things that are currently on heavy rotation for me are things I bought ten years ago! I just really wish people would follow less trends because they’re all such predetermined “industry trends”… Like the market is all planned out way in advanced and as someone who works in the industry and follows trend forecasting, it can get a bit old. With all that being said, I’m loving that jewelry stacking is back “in style” and there is a lot less emphasis on matching… Like who cares! I will wear polka dots with plaid and tie dye all in one outfit if I feel like it! But I guess that is what sets me apart, I will shamelessly dress with bows in my hair to a business meeting.
As an influencer currently enrolled in college, how do you manage to stay organized? Are there any tools/tricks you use? It hasn’t been easy! Often times I’d find myself putting my content before my education, my passion, before my homework. Many of my professors have been so understanding of why I’d have to miss a class to attend an event or meet a deadline. Some of them even follow me and have rooted me on from the very beginning! The best thing to do is keep an open line of communication between you and your professors. Ask them for advice as well because they are consumers with opinions too! You never know who they might be able to connect you with! I’d also advise to be very transparent with your audience, you are young which means your audience is probably even younger… we have to remember that we have a responsibility to be a positive examples to our audience.
Speaking of tools, what’s been your favorite feature on The Plug? I love that The Plug now allows you to create a proposal right from the site… It saves me so much time and energy, and it also takes so much pressure off of negotiating with potential brands.
Do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking of starting down a similar path as you? My best piece of advice is to definitely make sure you are passionate! I LIVE for what I do, as well as the fashion industry as a whole. From the very beginning I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of as well as knew the potential for it to not be lucrative. If you are in it for the recognition or the “free perks” (fyi nothing is actually free) you are in the wrong business. At the end of the day a job is a job, it is work… I also want to make it a point to say that I have came so much farther, faster, due to the fact that I have great people skills!! Something many of my peers lack is simple manners. I recognize when people are exceptionally kind, treat me with respect, and remember my name. Little things like that make a difference, we should all strive to make the people and companies we encounter feel special.
Behind the Curtain
What’s something people may not know about you from just following your account/ Do you have a special talent? A lot of people just think I model and don’t realize I’m actually creating the content. With the exception of my lovely IG mom who takes all my photos, it’s otherwise a one woman team. Hair, makeup, outfits, locations, negotiating contracts, that’s all up to me to prep before something gets posted on social media. Another thing people may not realize is that I have been blogging since I was 15! My first blog was called “The Satin Rags”. I never really told anyone about it except for my online community, so the industry as a whole is not that new to me. It takes major effort to make things seem like they happened overnight but if we count those blogs I used to have that would add up to almost 8 years of evolving to this point now!
*BONUS* Is there anything else you want to share with The Plug Community about your journey or your story as a creative? I really would like to share how important the relationships you create as a creative are… Connections are everything, whether that is as simple as connecting to your audience or intentionally reaching out to people on the message boards on The Plug or through DM. Everyone is in the same boat and nobody knows everything but with each others’ help we can get that much farther. Build your network and you’ll realize this community is much smaller than you think. I also believe it’s really important to realize you aren’t as “unique” as you think. True connection is in your ability to relate to people. We are all really alike and we need to learn to take more advantage of that. Show your audience that you are just like them, you just kept going, and pushed harder, and got through some of the same things they’re dealing with, that is where true inspiration lies.