After being crowned Miss South Carolina USA and placing in the top five at the 2013 Miss USA pageant, Charleston-native Megan Pinckney found herself with a growing social media following and a desire to be a guidebook for others. Fast forward a year later, and Megan caught a case of cabin fever thanks to a South Carolina snowstorm. In an effort to keep her followers interested and fulfill a long-time dream of creating a website, Megan launched Shades of Pinck — a blog showing others how to live a luxurious yet affordable lifestyle. Today, Megan has grown her website into a full-fledged career and accumulated more than 33,000 Instagram followers. What started as a way for Megan to share her love of fashion and beauty has turned into a platform where she not only connects with her community but talks about important topics like registering to vote. We’re pleased to introduce our newest FACE of the South, Megan Pinckney!
When did you start your blog, and what inspired you to do so?
My blog kicked off in 2014. It happened because we had a snowstorm in South Carolina, and we never have snowstorms. This particular one was pretty bad, at least for our standards, so everything was shut down for about three days. I had cabin fever, and I was like, “What is it that I’m going to do?” I had been thinking about starting a website, and that was the moment where I said, “I have nothing else to do. Now is a great time to start this website.”
The reason behind it was because the summer before, I had competed at Miss USA as Miss South Carolina. That was in 2013. After that competition, I had an influx of [social media] followers, but by January, people had started to fall off. I then started asking myself, “How can I keep people interested?” and that was how [the blog] started.
How has your background led you to this point? Have you always been creative?
I began modeling at a really young age. I can find comp cards from the ’90s of me being a child model, so I’ve had experience on set and as talent. Then in college, I studied fashion merchandising. While they definitely weren’t giving social media techniques, I was taught how to prepare a retail store. I used a lot of that knowledge for a virtual concept. I look at it as a virtual magazine that is based on fashion and lifestyle.
During my time as Miss South Carolina in 2013, it really was a different world. At that time, my Miss USA class was the very first class to really incorporate Instagram. We all had something like “MissSouthCarolinaUSA” as our handles. That was where we shared updates on where we were volunteering, the sponsorships that we had, our experiences, and clothes. It’s funny because if you would have told me back then that my experience would have snowballed into content creation, I don’t know that I would have been able to put my mind around it.
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You’re not one to shy away from talking about current topics (i.e. Black Lives Matter, the importance of voting, etc.) in your blog posts. Why do you think it’s important to use your platform to talk about subjects like these?
First and foremost, it’s important because I’m not a one-dimensional character. I’m a human being and things affect me too. I think that’s what’s part of what attracts my audience to me — this feeling like they get the opportunity to get to know me. [Suppose] I can change someone’s perception or educate them on a topic because it’s coming in a luxurious lifestyle way and they don’t feel like it’s being force-fed down their throat. If you can trust me enough to have an opinion on what color lipstick looks best, then you should trust me enough to know that if I’m providing you a website to register to vote, that it’s the real website and has real information.
What is your favorite part about being a content creator?
It’s definitely the relationships I build. I have had a chance to not only meet local creators, other like-minded individuals and get a real sense of my community, but I’ve also been able to build relationships with the men and women (but especially women) behind brands I’ve always admired — like right now I’m working on something with Kendra Scott.
In addition to your collaboration with Kendra Scott, what else can we expect from you in the near future?
I would love to see Shades of Pinck transform into a lifestyle book that I’m actually currently working on. It’s going to have a lot of my Charleston roots and childhood, and how that has been affected by many generations before me and how it’s made me into the person I am today. I’m also working on a fun collaboration with Show Me Your Mumu that is going to go live this spring, so I would love for everyone to keep an eye out for that.
I’m always constantly involved. While I have been lucky enough to make my blog my business and make content creation a career for myself, it’s not the only thing I do. I’m extremely involved in my community, especially the arts community in South Carolina. I feel like I have my hands in something at all times.
What is your best piece of advice?
My best piece of advice is to just start it — whatever “it” is. I look back at me starting my blog in 2014, and I would have had no idea what it could have brought for me. It was something I had thought about for well over a year at that point, and my only regret is I didn’t start sooner. Obviously I look back at those old posts, and I’m like, “Wow, that content is not good,” or “Wow, those blog posts aren’t even worthy of sharing at this point.” But it’s the fact that once you begin something, you can get better at it. I think so often we wait until the perfect time or until we’re ready, and that’s not how life works. You just have to start and figure it out as you go.
Aside from faith, family and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
A good book, a camera, and a pair of good sunglasses.
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