For a long time, we’ve been really inspired by new creatives. People who are doing cool things, growing, creating and making things their own. We came across Maddy Corbin and Bryce Journey and loved their work ethic and how they incorporate each other into their working lifestyles. Maddy has been building her creative community from a young age, starting a ‘kids news’ WordPress at the age of 10. Since then, along with her partner Bryce, she has gone on to be a full-time self-branding educator and social influencer. Working with your other half we imagine, has it’s pros and cons, and we wanted to know more about just how they do it… and how they make it work.
We chatted with Maddy and Bryce and heard more about what it is they both do, how they started working together and their secret to a successful relationship and business.
“One of the biggest things when you’re working with your partner is that there are two people, which means there are two opinions. You need to have that communication in place to make it the best it can be. Keep things separate, but not too separate. Don’t allow too many personal things to affect the work. Basically, communication!” – Maddy Corbin & Bryce Journey
Taylor Magazine: Tell me about you and what you guys do?
Maddy Corbin: I basically call myself a content artist and a blogger – the reason I call myself this is because I try to really build content, as well as blog. But I feel like nowadays, blogger can cover so many different things and so that’s why I’ve been going more as a content artist recently.
Bryce Journey: What I do is all the brand outreach – so I’m the project manager and the photographer. Obviously, I shoot photos but I handle all the brand relations and organise all of our collaborations as well. I keep everything in check and provide content!
Taylor Magazine: So how did you guys basically start the Maddy Corbin brand – how did it come around and when did you decide that you wanted to work on it together?
Maddy Corbin: I had worked with a lot of businesses around here doing creative services and social media, content creation or photography. As I was doing this, at the time I was at college for a semester and I slowly started putting the processes that I had learnt working with other businesses into my own photos. I ended up wanting to share more of myself and realised that building a personal brand is all about being flexible with what you’re doing. A little over a year ago, Bryce and I started hanging out and working together a bit more – he would shoot a photo for me once or twice a week and I started realising that he was someone I could really go to for taking photos. So gradually, he started taking on more work for the brand, and here we are!
“My favourite thing is being able to work alongside Maddy. She makes it so much fun, and it brightens my day being able to work with her, create things and bounce ideas off each other.” – Bryce Journey
Taylor Magazine: Talk to us a bit about the Maddy Corbin brand as it stands just now and how it has evolved to become so many different things?
Maddy Corbin: Other than a few brand collaborations, I really think that the mentorship was one of the bigger things that I did. Essentially, this is because I went to college for one semester and studied PR Journalism – I wanted to learn about business, to become a better writer and use this in my work. While I was at college, I realised that I had actually learnt a lot through working for other businesses and had a lot of self-education already.
There are so many places out there that are going to tell you the same thing, so I wanted to create something where I can sit down with someone, they can talk to me about what they want to do and I can tell them things that worked for me and things that didn’t. This way, they can get advice from someone that has had the experience through working for a variety of brands. This took off at a really successful rate and I had some great feedback. The only reason it’s not running right now, is because of time! The brand has developed in lots of different ways and we’re now talking about having an educational series, a video course, etc. I want to make sure that I’m able to be personable and am able to work with all kinds of different people.
The mentorship was definitely the first thing that started the brand off – the more I started shooting for myself, the more brands were interested. I was never looking for free products or anything, I was just wanting to create content, and the more I did that, the more brands were contacting me. The collaborations really started evolving in the last year and I’ve refined the process of this too.
For the presets side of things – I had used VSCO for a really long time but sometimes you couldn’t have full control over the edits, so I moved into Lightroom and really found the edits I liked on this. Lightroom is really great and you can customise an image to exactly how you want it – so once I had really found the edits I liked I saved them as presets, so you can copy and paste, save them as edits, etc. I thought, ‘well, why don’t I release my own presets?’ and got my followers to send me some of their photos. I tested them out on their photos and got some really great feedback, and that is when I started selling them! They’ve been really popular – mainly because I tried to do them in a more affordable way and did a flash sale, because it’s more about people creating rather than actually selling. I’m trying to evolve the brand in a lot of different ways, but just not rushing into anything!
Taylor Magazine: It seems like you guys work on so many things, so rather than work on more and not be able to manage, it’s better to do the things you’re working on really well. What were you both doing before the brand developed?
Maddy Corbin: I ran Luxury 45, which is a bath and body company I’ve been running since high school, as I have skin condition called psoriasis. In my senior year of high school, I ran photography and design hub LLC Wisconsin & Gold. When I graduated, I already had a few boutiques that were interested in me working for them, and so I worked two or three and essentially took a semester off – I wasn’t planning on going to college at all but I reached a point where I felt really distant from people my age. That really got to me but around a week into college, I realised that it wasn’t the reason I wanted to go to school and just understood that it wasn’t going to excel me in any way. I did go for the whole semester, but as that venture ended, I focused on creating a personal brand, finished up all the creative work I was doing for the brands I worked for, I was doing as much creative work as I could and pushed my brain before I got out of college.
I didn’t have a huge following when I started to go full-time – I had around 10k at that time. I went full-time because I was so passionate about it and I had a goal and could see where it could go.
Bryce Journey: I basically had no ties to photography and once I graduated, I got a job in a local grocery store and was working there from around 4:30am – 12:00pm. I started talking to Maddy, we started taking photos, and she realised that I had a keen eye for photography and creating content. It was hard at the beginning, because I just felt like I was clicking a button. I would get home, shoot photos for Maddy until the evening, send emails, so I wouldn’t go to bed until like midnight almost every day for around 4 months.
After that time period, I decided to take some time away from the grocery store and dedicated a lot of my time to improve her brand, because as she was growing, there was so much more work and she really needed help keeping track and doing the behind-the-scenes stuff. I eventually quit my full-time job at the grocery store and now, I work full-time with Maddy.
Taylor Magazine: You hear a lot of people working with their partners, but I think it’s really nice that you guys just thought ‘this works’ and it wasn’t a stressful decision… It’s really inspiring! When did you realise that this could be a career you could earn an income from?
Maddy Corbin: I think I had started the brand just a little bit before we started properly working together, one of the first brands we shot for was Urban Outfitters, which is such a big brand and one of my favourites. When we started to see brands reaching out and were really interested in working with us, that was when we realised. For Bryce, when he started seeing the growth from his work, it made him more comfortable to leave his old job and focus on this full-time. We’re still learning about the growth process though!
Taylor Magazine: There are a lot of influencers and bloggers on social media. What do you think it is about your style, your feed and your partnership that makes you stand out?
Maddy Corbin: I never want people to think that what I’m doing is for money, or that I’m trying to sell you a product. This is my art-form – putting effort into the photos we shoot. Also, I’m 20 which makes us stand apart from others I think. Just how passionate we are about it, too. I share all of that – because this is what we do. I’m trying to show you that this is who I am, this is who Bryce is and this is where we’re trying to go. I think that’s what makes the audience more intrigued.
Taylor Magazine: And Bryce, with the photography and management side of things, what is it for you that has been the most exciting part?
Bryce Journey: Originally, as I said before, I had no ties with photography. For me, outside of work, my big thing was always video games. Once I started taking photos for Maddy and seeing the growth and potential that she had, and the brand had, I really started to see it. I realised that I could make this a career and help her take this brand to the next level and beyond. When I started working more with the brand and everything, it inspired me to work harder. When I went full-time with her, it’s been so great – it’s changed everything. It’s great to create, and show off what things we can come up with for everyone.
Taylor Magazine: How do you select the brands/people you work with?
Maddy Corbin: For me, it’s definitely looking for brands or products that I would buy and want to share with my audience and things they would be interested in. A lot of times, we’re reached out to by the brands themselves. When we look for brands, I’m always looking for things that my followers will appreciate.
Taylor Magazine: And talk us through a standard day for you?
Maddy Corbin: We don’t live together, so we will start separate with computer work: Bryce will be responding to emails and doing management work and I’ll be figuring out and planning our day ahead. Around late morning/early afternoon we’ll get together and take photos. We live in a good area where you can take photos in a few different places, after that we’ll find some time to eat, and then plan stuff together. We’ll do some posting, blog posts, we might have a meeting with my younger brother who is our video editor and end in some more computer work. A busy day!
Taylor Magazine: What would you say is your career highlight or a moment you are really proud of so far?
Maddy Corbin: Ohhh… I don’t know! A lot of them will be related to the bigger named brands we’ve got to work with, so Urban Outfitters etc. I’m always looking towards what’s next so I’m not good at sitting back and patting myself on the back but the first few travel collaborations were cool as well!
Bryce Journey: Basically… everything! More of the big brands was amazing because it allowed more people to see what we do and what we create. The travel side is amazing as well, it’s opened up so many more doors. Through travel, you’re able to create more and it has given us more exposure.
Taylor Magazine: What is the best thing about what you do for you both?
Maddy Corbin: For me, it’s getting to work with so many brands and being able to create content for so many different types of brands, but still be individual at the same time. We can work and connect with so many different kinds of people, but still stay as the Maddy Corbin team.
“We can work and connect with so many different kinds of people, but still stay as the Maddy Corbin team.” – Maddy Corbin
Bryce Journey: My favourite thing is being able to work alongside Maddy. She makes it so much fun, and it brightens my day being able to work with her, create things and bounce ideas off each other.
Taylor Magazine: On the other hand, what is a challenge for you both?
Maddy Corbin: Allowing the comparison game to get to me! It’s so easy to compare to other people and what they’re doing – that’s one of the hardest things. It’s important to not allow that to get to you – focus on what you’re doing and what you’re creating.
Bryce Journey: For me, if I reach out to brands and they say no, it’s the thought ‘what could I have done to secure them better’ for example.
Maddy Corbin: One of the biggest things when you’re working with your partner is that there are two people, which means there are two opinions. You need to have that communication in place to make it the best it can be. Keep things separate, but not too separate. Don’t allow too many personal things to affect the work. Basically, communication!
Taylor Magazine: We’re all about self-care and simple living. What do you guys do to relax and wind-down?
Bryce Journey: When we relax, we hang out, plan for the next day, have a nice meal.
Maddy Corbin: It’s just about being able to switch off work mode, but still being able to find inspiration. I also love watching a TV series, so I always make sure that I have one to watch!
Taylor Magazine: What has been one of your favourite projects you’ve worked on recently?
Maddy Corbin: Definitely the most recent one we did with Urban Outifitters! That was our favourite because it’s a bigger brand, it’s one of my favourite brands and I loved shooting the products and integrating them into my life.
Taylor Magazine: What has been a favourite place that you’ve travelled to and been inspired by?
Maddy Corbin: Definitely New York City! We stayed in Times Square, which was crazy but being in New York City and being part of all the energy really inspired me. There are so many different parts to the city!
Taylor Magazine: Next steps for the Maddy Corbin brand?
Maddy Corbin: Short term goals is to put out regular content. We work on Instagram, the blog, YouTube, etc. I want everything completely organised with regular content! I want that processed, put together and completely finalised. Long term, is to travel more, putting out the educational series, evolving the brand into what we want to share and audience growth. The big goal is 100k!
“I would really just say keep an open mind, be true to yourself and really just hone your passions and follow them.” – Bryce Journey
Taylor Magazine: And what advice would you both give to your 16-year-old self?
Maddy Corbin: Honestly, because I was so involved in business and creating at such a young age, I truly believe that is what has helped me grow this brand and enable me to be where I am now. I would tell her to follow your passions, continue pushing those because the time to do it is when you’re young.
Bryce Journey: I would really just say keep an open mind, be true to yourself and really just hone in on your passions and follow them. The biggest question for me in high school was ‘what am I going to do?’ I didn’t know – so just realising how much there is out there for you is so important.