“Budget was an important consideration,” the women reflect. “We have similar taste, so we would text and share images of items that we found and loved. Before many purchases, it was a screen grab and a message saying, ‘Have you seen this anywhere else for less?'’’
Gill and Ingram’s mission to source stylish products at a discount has ultimately morphed into an Instagram account called "Follow the Find." The page boasts nearly 70,000 followers and features near-daily posts chronicling “savvy” and “splurge” lookalikes, which are easily accessible to shop via the LikeItToKnowIt app and via the pair’s blog.
We spoke with Gill and Ingram to learn more about the journey behind "Follow the Find," the most popular products featured, and their thoughts on an influx of spinoff accounts.
How 'Follow the Find' Began
The idea of sharing finds with others began as a Google document to see if the pair could collect enough content. From there, the duo started creating images, bought a website domain, and started an Instagram account.
"Once we hit 1,000 followers, we decided to keep it up," they note. "It was, and is, a creative outlet for each of us, who work corporate full-time jobs that are unrelated to the interior design industry. Running 'Follow the Find' is our version of binge watching TV to wind down from the day—although we occasionally do that, too.”
Running 'Follow the Find' is our version of binge watching TV to wind down from the day—although we occasionally do that, too.
On the Page’s Popularity and Success:
“We have a handful of influencers to thank for sharing our account, which really helped to drive exposure," they explain. "We like to think that our authenticity and consistency are what help to keep people checking back in with our page. We have posted five to seven days a week for almost three years now, and we’ve always published our finds—plus a few extras—on our website."
Gill and Ingram’s goal is to stay true to their own sense of style and keep it interesting for their followers. "We don’t want them to miss out on a sale from an affordable source or a high-end retailer—we believe that our followers are the people who shop and appreciate both of those places," they say. "With that, it is interesting to look back and see how we’ve evolved personally in what we like and are shopping for. Our site and Instagram have grown with us as we’ve matured and settled into our own unique styles."
A current concern for the pair? Too many ideas and not enough time.
"We have really learned to focus on our brand and what our followers love, versus getting distracted by the trends and focus of other influencers in the home space," they say. "Looks for less are where we started and is what keeps people engaged, so we always keep those posts as our focus.”
What They Enjoy Most About Running the Account
“Our favorite part of this account is our ability to encourage everyone to ‘shop smart," Gill and Ingram say. "You don’t have to impulse purchase or blow your budget to have the home of your dreams. We so enjoy the feeling of getting a great deal on something that we love. We feel proud to walk through our own homes knowing that we created a space that’s personal to us, but was also built in a smart way. A little bit of work upfront is totally worth the reward of spending wisely and building your dream space.”
We feel proud to walk through our own homes knowing that we created a space that’s personal to us, but was also built in a smart way.
On Followers’ Feedback and Favorites
“We love to see our finds in real life," the pair says. "It’s not possible for us to buy every single thing that we share, so it takes a collective effort to keep our followers informed, and our followers do not disappoint. They aren’t shy about sharing what they purchased, loved, and what they would change about some of the items."
With that said, Gill and Ingram feel like they have the nicest followers in the world. "They seem to appreciate our account as a service that they can refer back to when they start to tackle rooms or designs in their own homes," they say. "We also get quite a few messages asking for solutions to particular scenarios. These keep us on our toes and usually result in a future find to be shared with the broader audience.”
How They Determine Items to Feature—and Which Perform Best
"Follow the Finds" features a mix of items that are either practical and versatile, or unique pieces that feel like statements without the hefty price tag. "We like to share a good mix of function and style and to keep it interesting with the item type," the pair says. "If we’ve shared a rug on Monday, we like to share lighting on Wednesday and a dining table on Friday. That way, the reader always has something different to capture their attention."
For example, the brand Serena & Lily is incredibly popular right now, so "Follow the Find" gets a lot of requests for savvy alternatives to their items. Sometimes, they can successfully find alternatives, but other times, they will recommend that follows wait for a sale on a truly splurge-worthy piece.
"That way, the reader finds the look they love, does the research to confirm its unique and special, and maximizes a sale to ensure they spend wisely," they note.
Wayfair, TJ Maxx, Amazon, and Etsy are the most popular retailers on their page.
"We’ve found that our followers really jump on a good deal or truly unique, special pieces," they state. "Anything with free shipping and a convenient return policy also helps to convince shoppers to take the plunge. Also, affordable accessories is one of our most popular categories with readers, as it’s a quick and budget friendly way for them to update their spaces."
On Their Personal Design Styles
“Our personal styles are generally classified as ‘new traditional’ and include antique pieces that we’ve found over the years, and bright, fresh colors for pillows, curtains, and bedding," the pair says. "We love neutral rugs, pastels, brass, subtle acrylic elements, and fun, geometric lighting.
"We don’t pretend to be design professionals, but we like our readers to know that with a bit of digging, they can find decor with a curated designer feel, even if hiring a designer is not in their budget," they say.
How They Partner With Small Businesses
Gill and Ingram created an "Artist Spotlight" series that lives on their website, as they are always asked about original artists and have a way to share them through the site—while also doing so regularly through giveaways.
"We have found so much joy in working with these women and love sharing their stories and their talent," the pair says. "We usually try to snag a mini or print from each one as well to affordably grow our own collections."
On the Rise of Spinoff Accounts
“We feel there’s room for everyone to succeed—certainly there are many people who have a knack for finding looks for less in the home space," the pair notes. "The format that we designed for our content, back in 2018—as well as the idea of sharing graphics and collages—wasn’t super popular on Instagram at the time, so we do feel like we were a bit ahead of the curve in that regard. Now, it is definitely more commonplace in the home and fashion influencer space."
Gill and Ingram feel that if someone is willing to highlight their own sense of style, develop their own templates, and build a brand that reflects something they enjoy, they want to encourage that.
"If someone thinks that sharing ‘savvy versus splurge’ is a quick way to make money, they might find it’s a bit harder than they think," they note. "We love motivating people to shop smarter when it comes to home décor online, and if creating spin-off accounts is a side effect of that, we’re all for it. In addition to our full-time jobs, we both have new babies, so our plates stay pretty full.”