December 6, 2021

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by: admin

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Tags: influencer, Mail, Mandurah, Parenting, Rogers, Steffanie

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Categories: Special Needs Parenting

Steffanie Rogers on parenting, being an influencer and following your ‘why’ | Mandurah Mail

MY WHY: Steffanie says her children are her motivation. Photo: Amy Maree Photography.

Steffanie Rogers is a mother of four who wears many hats.

She has a degree in special education, a flair for styling and fashion, and a passion for helping small businesses.

When the social media app Instagram first hit the market, Steffanie decided to share pictures of her life and her growing family with her closest circle – she didn’t know that in just a few years she would have a whole community of people on her Trip would have.

“I’ve always been a creative person and I got bored quickly when I was at home with the kids – and after the birth of my son in 2012, I started Instagram.

“I started a small business online when the app first launched, but decided I didn’t like being a small business owner.”

SHOP LOCAL: One of Steffanie's passions is helping small, local businesses.  Photo: Delivered.

SHOP LOCAL: One of Steffanie’s passions is helping small, local businesses. Photo: Delivered.

Support for small and local shopping

Steffanie realized that one of her greatest passions was helping other small businesses in Mandurah and posting content about the products she used and loved.

“I’m a big believer in small shopping, helping other moms, and creating content for small businesses,” she said.

As her little corner of the internet began to grow, Steffanie found that an audience in the thousands was engaging with and enjoying her content.

“I’m a hyperactive person at home – the internet has given me a little more purpose to fill the day and some other people to talk to.

“I jumped on it when there was nothing – there was no influencer or content creator. I made it out of love, bought little kids’ items – I loved shopping online and helping small businesses in Mandurah.

“With the kids, I found a cute café for a coffee and that was our adventure for the day.”

Steffanie began working with local businesses to create content that would provide an additional source of income for her and her family.

“Especially when I help my family to earn money, it is nice to have the feeling of creating something good.

“I have four children, Layla, 12, Jameson, 9, Lottie, 7, and Pearl, 3, and obviously they are my ‘why’.

“They’re the reason I want to get up in the morning and do well by leading by example, making money and pushing myself – and because I had them so young I feel like I fell for a bit.”

“You are my why”

When Steffanie gave birth to her fourth child, Pearl, her online community continued to grow, and with even more intent.

“When I was 18 and 19 years old, I took a certificate in special education at TAFE. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, but I didn’t like university life, so I decided to go to TAFE instead.

“When I finished, I immediately got a job in an autism early intervention unit, which was pretty much my dream job – I loved it and still do it on occasion as a relief.

“I have always seen the mothers of these children and have admired them and their parents so much. They need a lot of extra appointments and support, which sometimes includes difficult behaviors in school.”

Steffanie’s youngest daughter was born with a tethered spinal cord, a neurogenic bladder, and a rare genetic condition called 2q37 deletion syndrome.

“There are only about 250 documented cases of 2q37 deletion syndrome worldwide,” said Steffanie.

“Pearl had to be operated on and tested from day one – she had to have catheters and antibiotics every day for the first two years of life – we had never experienced anything like this and it was a different journey.”

JOY: Steffanie says that Pearl's journey inspired many of her followers.  Photo: Amy Maree Photography.

JOY: Steffanie says that Pearl’s journey inspired many of her followers. Photo: Amy Maree Photography.

Friends and family gathered around Steffanie and her family to make sure Pearl could keep all the appointments she needed.

“Everyone in the family depended on others – we had to ask friends to pick up children from school so we could make appointments for Pearl in town.”

During this process, Steffanie’s online content began to contain information about Pearl’s condition and the support systems that condition required.

“I saw it as just another ‘why’ – what to put out of there,” she said.

“My content was about children and inclusion and that was my passion before – I was on both sides as a teacher and a parent.

“Pearl gave me the urge to bring this out a little more and speak for her and be her voice.

“If I didn’t want to be that person, who was it? It was already my passion and it fueled it.”

Find connection

When Steffanie started using hashtags related to Pearl’s illnesses, parents reached out to her to share their own experiences.

“So many parents have written to me – people from other parts of the world tell me that their children are going through the same thing.

“I used the hashtags to help people find me and a mother sent me a message that had a child with the same deletion that Pearl has – she sent me a message and said, ‘I’m still pregnant and they discovered the genetic deletion, how are you? and how are you so well? ‘

“I told her it’s okay – yes, it’s difficult with appointments and hospital trips, but you have to choose whether to sink or swim for your kids – and we will choose to swim.”

Pearl gave me the urge to bring this out a little more and speak for her and be her voice.

Steffanie also provides information on finding the right pediatrician, parenting groups, and other resources for children with additional needs.

“It’s cool to feel that I can help, as small as it may be, I’m glad I’m here.”

The future of influencers

With Steffanie’s audience reaching over 11,000 followers on Instagram, she said it continues to be a slow burn and a process that happens organically.

“It’s been a slow process, but that’s to be expected when something organic happens – you can’t expect your following to grow overnight if you do things organically without buying followers.

“I have a really good group and a supportive community – it’s all about the community and the followers you surround yourself with and stay away from drama.”

When asked what advice she would give anyone who wants to act as an influencer in the world of social media, Steffanie said it was important to find the “why” and focus on it.

“Be true to your why and find out if you are not sure at the beginning.

“Don’t let anyone get you – some people don’t get it and will try to dampen your shine by saying it’s silly, but don’t let them.”

Right now, Steffanie is focused on creating content for existing and emerging local businesses and spending mindful time with her family.

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