Who is Stanley Dru?
I’m an impulsively creative person, with a tendency to start many projects all at once! I love a bit of bedlam and I work better under pressure, however, despite sounding like I work in a whirlwind, I do keep a diary and many notepads, to create ‘to do’ lists, in order to reign myself in!
I’m someone who can’t start my day without my daily one hour run and workout (that’s my mind cleanse) and I have a terrible addiction to cereal (I’ve taught myself to use plant based milk and low sugar cereals) otherwise my gym time would just be spent working off my coco pops belly bulge!
I’m a joker & enjoy making people laugh and having good friends and family around me. Apart from the obvious (loving fashion/food/health) I think I’m just an optimistic person trying to enjoy myself and succeed in a very manic world!
How did you start on your creative journey?
I started on Instagram years ago, taking pictures of Cardiff Bay- I stayed way behind the camera lens and I felt like taking a selfie wouldn’t be right, however, I slowly began sharing more about my life, from the clothes I wore to my to the places I visited. Whilst Instagram was still quite unknown I carried on my uploading the same type of content until I decided to document my journey to get fit (and achieve at least 2 solid abs!).
Just from posting pictures of my progress I saw a huge influx of followers, with so many lovely people keeping me motivated and enjoying the change in my body. After hitting my target I started posting less gym selfies and more lifestyle shots, uploading pictures of me wearing outfits that I styled myself in areas where I lived and that’s when I saw a bigger growth, its at this point brands started asking me to work with them, which was mind blowing, I couldn’t understand why on earth someone would send me items, for free! It’s still and always will be a humbling experience.
What makes you want to get up on a morning?
I wake up in the morning and wander to the gym, when I’m running on that treadmill I get excited with the prospect of the day ahead. It sounds cheesy, but you are your own destiny, so I try to get my finger in every single pie, the law of averages suggest that you should get something back and I’ve found that is true.
One thing you’ve got to deal with is rejection and a day that you feel has been wasted. It happens, not every day feels worthwhile, but you tick it off, write your ‘to-do list’ for the next day and get on with it, don’t dwell and don’t let it get to you.
A fresh clean day is exciting to me, we’re lucky to have that opportunity to experience another day, while so many people unfortunately don’t- that’s always a huge driving force to keep my head up and maintain a positive spirit.
Ideal brand to work with down the line?
I would have said ASOS, but I’ve only recently started working with them, so that’s now ticked off my ‘wish list’! I’ve bought from ASOS for years, their own brands like design/edition/white/4505 I love and thanks to them I’ve been able to really experiment with fashion.
I hope in the future I could work with big fashion houses, but that really is a dream!! I only image Valentino contacting me to send me their latest collection, I think I’d drop dead.
Where will we see you in 5 years?
In 5 years time I hope my growth would have been substantial, we can’t be naive to the fact that social media marketing might have changed by then (you never know what could happen in 5 years) however, in a world so hung up on social media, brands will constantly need ambassadors to engage with vast numbers of potential customers & whats easier than working with influencers?
I’d hope my men’s grooming company ‘Gentlemen’s Chuckaboo’ was a successful entity in itself with a flag ship store in Leeds,that would be incredible!
Also, in a perfect universe I’m number one on the Forbes ‘rich list’. Money certainly does not buy happiness, but it can definitely but me a whole lot of clothes- and that would make me smile!
Any pet peeves?
Rude brands are a really big issue, I don’t think they realise creating content and marketing yourself is a huge investment of our time. I’ve been in a situation where brands have asked me to change the content over and over again and even ask me to increase the amount of posts compared to the original agreement.
For an easy life I sometimes just go ahead with it, however, brands still try and get even more out of you and then refuse to pay full stop. More needs to be done to look after influences and protect them from brands who exploit some of us. You’ve have to become pretty savvy and learn to stick to you guns!
My advice for aspiring bloggers & creators is to never compare yourself to everyone else (obviously look at other creators for inspiration) however, in an industry where the market is becoming pretty crowded, you need to stand out! Speak from your heart, write what you believe to be true and dress how you feel comfortable.
Don’t recreate whats trending, just be extra! extraordinary and extra you. Make your stamp and be proud to be your own person. Also, don’t give up. Things don’t always go to plan, but how can you enjoy the sun without experiencing the rain? (big love to Keats..poets will get this!) just bask in your own sunlight and network as much as you can, you can never have too many friends in this industry!