Type to search

Influencer Noelle Downing Talks Life and Work in the Hudson Valley

Share
Garments from the Little Millie clothing line. Photo courtesy of Zulily

Noelle Downing rose to social media stardom with content about design, food, and travel. Now a new mother, she’s released a clothing line for moms and babies.

When social media became the primary platform on which we access information and entertainment, a new profession emerged: the influencer. Influencers can specialize in a range of topics—from parenthood to fitness to haute cuisine—but are united in their commitment to sharing a slice of their lives with followers.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)


Hudson Valley resident Noelle Downing began as a lifestyle influencer, sharing her acumen for design, her love of food, and her experiences as a traveler. A throughline of her work is body positivity, and many of Downing’s followers look to her for words of kindness and confidence in this vein. Yet, in recent months, the prevalent subject of Downing’s social media presence has been her daughter, Ever.

noelle downing

Noelle Downing and her daughter, Ever. Photo courtesy of Zulily

As a recent Hudson Valley transplant, Downing finds inspiration for her creative ventures in the natural landscapes of the region. This is on full display in her latest creative venture, a clothing line for moms and babies now available through the retailer Zulily. Downing worked on the line with fellow influencer Jessica Nickson, developing a selection of clothing that is equal parts functional and adorable.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Downing to talk motherhood, creativity, and—of course—life in the Hudson Valley!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

In Conversation With Influencer Noelle Downing

Across all your ventures, it’s clear that you have a keen creative eye. Do you have a background in the arts?

I don’t. But my mom, actually, was an art and dance teacher, and I feel that’s just in my DNA. I’ve been into photography from a really young age, and then that turned into other things like social media and videos and design.

Interesting! Where do you find yourself looking for inspiration?

Everywhere. There are constantly things online that are inspiring me. Honestly, you know, Hudson Valley magazine inspires me. I buy it a lot. I love interiors—it’s my obsession. Now, as I get older, I really look to nature [and] going to museums. Living in New York, there’s so much inspiration in [every] corner.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

One aspect of your online presence is body positivity. When did you begin to talk about body image? How has it been received by your followers?

I probably started talking about body positivity five or six years ago. And that’s a big reason why a lot of the people that follow me do follow me, ‘cause they were either inspired by that or looking for that in social media. Looking for people to follow that they felt reflected them or looked like them.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)


I started talking about it because I wished that I had someone when I was younger—especially in the years when you struggle with body image, like in high school—to look up to that was a similar size to me. I’m not a model size, but I’m not plus-size; [I’m] kind of in this weird in-between area.

It’s amazing because there are so many people fitting into that gray area, now, because of the body positive movement. When you walk into any store, for the most part, you’re going to see more inclusivity on all fronts, which I think is a big part of the body positive movement. It’s really cool to see.

noelle downing

Garments from Noelle Downing’s Little Millie clothing line. Photo courtesy of Zulily

You recently worked on a clothing line with fellow influencer Jessica Nickson geared towards moms and babies called Little Millie. Can you tell us about that?

I’ve been a fan of Zulily for a while and, when I found out I was pregnant, I ordered some of their stuff. Honestly, the fabrics Zulily makes [are] insanely soft, insanely affordable. I love the fits, I love the little details they [include]. And especially for those first few months, you just want things that are really easy for changing diapers, for middle-of-the-night feeding, and Zulily hit all those marks for me, so I was really excited to make a collection with them.

Everything is adorable, and the prints that we created are literally the cutest thing. A lot of it is [inspired by] upstate New York [and] the Hudson Valley.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

Are there any pieces from the collection you’re especially excited about?

The robes that match with the print for the baby are my favorite, and the woodland print and mushroom print are my two favorites. Anything in those prints, I’m absolutely obsessed with, and I put my daughter in [them] all the time. I love matching with her!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

Speaking of motherhood, why did you choose to begin raising Ever in the Hudson Valley?

My husband and I got married in the Hudson Valley in 2019 at Battenfeld’s Christmas Tree Farm in Red Hook, and we had some other events around that time in Rhinebeck, so we were really familiar with the area. We just fell in love with it. It’s stunning. It’s beautiful. We fell in love with the community.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

What does the word “influencer” mean to you?

This is such a hard question; every day, you’d get a different answer. They’re influencing your daily habits, they’re influencing what you’re discovering. The word “influencer” means—to me—what I’m bringing into someone’s daily life.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

Your followers have gotten to know you through pictures and videos on your social platforms. Do these profiles accurately represent who you are, or does something get lost in translation?

Some things definitely get lost in translation, even if I wish that they [didn’t]. That’s a big reason why I like meeting people that follow me, ‘cause—obviously, with meeting anyone—you get a more authentic, real experience. I try my best to be myself as much as possible, but there is so much more to me than what you can see online.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

Plenty of people strive to be influencers. What’s the secret to actually becoming one?

Consistency, and figuring out what you want your voice to be, is so important. Maybe you’re family-oriented and you really want to talk about that. Maybe you want to focus on fashion, maybe interiors—whatever it is, really hone in on that. The market’s so oversaturated, if you’re not showing up all the time, you might get lost, whereas if you’re consistent, you’re connecting with people on a regular basis.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Noelle Downing ✨ (@noelledowning)

What’s next for you, Noelle?

Focusing on being the best mom I can be is what’s next for me. It’s crazy how much having your first baby can change your life! Spending quality time as a family has become so, so important to me.

Related: Social Media Influencer Natalie Zfat on Freelancing and Being Bold

;
No thank you

Keep a pulse on local food, art, and entertainment content when you join our Hudson Valley newsletter.

Hudson Valley Best Restaurants

Get the Hudson Valley Best Restaurants Guide for FREE!