Written by: Matthew Fong
"I was amazed...because it meant that something I had been working hard on was actually getting noticed on a professional level...; it’s been an educational and fun Instagram journey!"
What was intended to be a fun side project ended up leading to professional collaborations and benefitting Iris' career path.
Iris Wong is a fifth-year student pursuing a major in IAT and a minor in Print and Digital Publishing. Iris runs and manages her Instagram account, Guacarons, showcasing her food exploits. What started as a fun side project, ended up being more successful than she ever imagined. She describes herself as a self-proclaimed “foodie” and a strong believer in “the camera eats first.”
With initial intentions of attending Emily Carr for Graphic Design, what made Iris choose SFU was the variety of knowledge that SIAT had to offer. As someone who was leaning towards visual design, she wanted the space to be able to explore other options. Since starting IAT major, she has never looked back!
The name “Guacarons” is inspired by Iris’ love for Guacamole and Macarons. What was intended to be a place to show family and friends photographs of food now boasts a following of more than 3k followers; she never intended for Guacarons to gain such traction. She was amazed by the attention her account gained considering the “big audience for this type of content, but…an even bigger amount of people creating the content.” Clearly, she made her account at the right time with the right decisions to break the mould.
With such success, this opportunity helped her land her first co-op position with SFU’s International Service for Students as a Design and Marketing Coordinator.
“While I had plenty of design experience from school, I had never taken any marketing courses, but I talked about my experience with social media marketing from creating Guacarons in my interview. I think they were really intrigued by it; all the effort I put into it and my commitment to a project that wasn’t just a class assignment, having it under my belt really made the difference.”
Iris has also participated in a number of collaborations through Guacarons. Currently, she has an ongoing sponsorship with Fresh Prep Vancouver. When asked about her first sponsorship, she was talked about how excited she was to gain the opportunity to try new thing and to collaborate with a company that wanted to work with her.
“I had been running Guacarons for around two years when I got my first invitation to become an Influencer for Tangoo. I was amazed by the opportunity because it meant that something I had been working hard on was actually getting noticed on a professional level. I’m really grateful for all of the opportunities that have come to me through Guacarons; it’s been an educational and fun Instagram journey!”
Iris hopes to collaborate with other companies and intends to improve her food styling photos as she is posting more of her home-cooked meals. With school work being a top priority, she still finds time to curate her content; which she describes as “really fun, but…a lot of effort.” She hopes to find more time to dedicate to her Instagram to continue building her page.
Despite loving food, Iris mentioned that she is secretly a really picky eater; avoiding foods such as cheese, pickles, and pork (excluding bacon). She does, however, enjoy being adventurous. In the near future, Iris plans to go to Korea. What she’s looking forward to is trying San-nakji, live octopus that has been cut into small pieces, served as is.