By Hailey Cunningham
A scroll through Hunter Premo’s online blog or Instagram page will show a satisfying feed of warm and neutral colors with photos showing off fabulous outfits and trips to charming places.
Over recent years, the unconventional career of bloggers and influencers have taken the internet and social media by storm. They have their own medium to share their voices on all things lifestyle-related. Ole Miss alumna Hunter Premo has jumped on this trend. Premo has perfected her take on this atypical profession and created a wildly successful fashion, lifestyle travel blog and brand.
Premo is a 2016 Ole Miss journalism graduate from Nashville where she currently resides with her husband, Cameron.
Premo originally started her blog as a way to share her and her husband’s proposal story with all of their friends and family. She was working full time in Nashville at the time, and used the blog as a creative outlet for the year of her engagement.
After her blog started to get more traffic, local brands began to reach out to her to partner and she soon realized she “could be on to something.” Two and a half years later, Premo has 70,000 followers on Instagram and frequently works with popular brands such as Free People and the hotel brand Marriott.
“I’m able to use my voice and my platform for good and to share my story with people all over the world,” Premo said.
Craving More Creativity
While earning her degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations, Premo says she learned how important writing is to her. She always thought she would end up working in the public relations field. She did end up with a job in Nashville in public relations, but soon realized it wasn’t enough of a creative outlet for her.
After writing every single day for four years in college, Premo went from writing emails all day and the occasional press release at her mundane job. She craved more creativity. Her blog gave her the space she needed to continue writing and sharing things she loves.
Being a Nashville native, Premo describes her time in the small town of Oxford as a “true breath of fresh air.” When she came to Ole Miss in 2012 as a freshman, she knew only a handful of people, but left with friends who now feel like family.
“Oxford will always hold a very special place in my heart and I love to go back every chance I get,” she said.
During her time living in Oxford as a student, Premo started her career in the creative journalism field as an intern for Thacker Mountain Radio Hour. It was a requirement for a public relations course taught by professor Robin Street at the time. Every week Premo was challenged to discover hidden gems with rich, local Oxford history. She was surrounded by local artists and writers every week, which inspired her and reinforced her thoughts that this creative path was the right one for her.
The blogging and influencer world is a very brave one to be in. Premo puts her private life on the web every day, writing blog posts about personal topics such as marriage, health, and family life.
Premo’s biggest influence and inspiration is her mother, Melissa Schlicher. Schlicher is a celebrity hair and makeup stylist and owns three hair and makeup businesses in Nashville. She is the full-time hair and makeup artist to Carrie Underwood and has a star-studded clientele including Olivia Newton John, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, and Lee Ann Womack to name a few.
When Schlicher was a sophomore in high school, she dropped out of school to pursue her passion for cosmetology. She and her husband have always supported Premo in professional choice to pursue her offbeat career.
Premo’s husband has also been a key-factor in starting and growing the Hunter Premo brand. The pair work together every day in a team effort as Cameron is a professional photographer and videographer. He shoots and edits all of the content for the Hunter Premo blog and Instagram. He also works behind the scenes on the accounting and financial side. The two inspire each other, they said, as they share the same passion for travel and drive each other creatively.
Gaining a Following
For Premo, she gains her following by having her audience’s trust in her words and plans to never let it go, she said. She never lets the downfalls of social media get to her head and never gets too caught up in the numbers.
“No matter if you have 1,000 or 1 million followers, serving the audience you already have is key for continuing to grow,” she said.
In order to monetize this full-time passion of hers, Premo does brand partnerships and affiliate links. Though it can be hard to get caught up in the money, PR packages and the discount codes, Premo stays true to her word that she will only feature products and brands that she loves and trusts. She is very selective in accepting partnerships because her audience’s trust and respect is more important than a brand deal, she said, even if that means turning down opportunities and lots of commission.
Over her short career, Premo has already worked with several brands that have given her “pinch me” moments. She never takes an opportunity for granted.
One of her favorite recent opportunities was the chance to work with the popular clothing brand Free People, which had always been a dream for her since she started blogging.
She is also proud of her travel partnerships with tourism boards and hospitality groups all over the country, such as Hilton, Marriott and Airbnb.
Over the years working in this creative field, Premo has learned how to deal with criticism and opinions. She always reminds herself of the quote, “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.”
“You aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s just fine,” Premo said.