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Life & Work with Brooke Carman of Pickens

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Carman.

Hi Brooke, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I began sharing restaurant reviews in a local Facebook group for fun. It was a great creative outlet for me after battling breast cancer because I’ve always enjoyed trying new places.

A couple of months into that, someone from that group messaged me, suggesting that I start a blog of my own. I was hesitant about it at first, thinking that it would fail after multiple attempts at starting a blog previously.

One day, I just went for it, called it The Pickens Foodie, thinking that only my family and friends would follow it. After a month of consistent posts, word of mouth, and page shares from the businesses I wrote about, The Pickens Foodie grew fast. I heard from folks that have lived in Pickens all of their lives and never knew that a place existed until they saw it on The Pickens Foodie.

Off the Grid Greenville discovered my blog early on through Instagram and began mentoring me, even featuring me on their site a couple of times. That mentorship helped me sharpen and improve the quality of my content.

Last year, I was voted Best Social Media Influencer in the Greenville News Best of the Upstate Awards, which is still crazy to me because I had only been running the page for seven months up to that point.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has been a smooth road for the most part. The biggest struggle that I’ve encountered is learning not to let negative comments affect me personally.

Luckily, most of the people that follow The Pickens Foodie are very supportive and encouraging but I do come across the occasional mean person every once in a while. I understand that not everything I post will be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s ok. I also recognize that I will not be everyone’s cup of tea because I have a bit of a quirky, eccentric demeanor.

I’ve also met other bloggers like Pimento & Prose, YeahThatMomGvl, and EasleyToday through The Pickens Foodie that have become my friends and help me stay afloat whenever challenges come my way.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I go to different local restaurants in Pickens County and surrounding areas to help promote local businesses by sharing my experiences on The Pickens Foodie.

It’s always great hearing from business owners that their place got slammed the next day because of my posts. I also love getting feedback from followers that they tried a place for the first time and enjoyed it.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I’ve always said that when The Pickens Foodie stops being fun, I would stop doing it. I’m not sure what the future holds but I will keep trucking along for the greater good.

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