Whether posting your OOTDs is your full time job, or just the terrain of your ‘boyfriend of Instagram,’ this new app is about to make life, or at least locating your next scenic backdrop, a whole lot easier. Conceptualized by Canadian influencer Emma Rose Leger and co-founder Justin White, SCOUT is a platform to discover spots near you which have been recommended by ‘Scouters’ aka content creators. When you’ve found a place that looks like it will make your heart skip a beat, you can unlock the coordinates (and shooting tips) for $1.99—which means the user who uploaded it to the app receives a commission in the process too. The Daily caught up with Leger post-launch to hear how it started and how it’s going…
What’s your backstory? When did you become a full time creator?
After high school, I knew I wanted to pursue fashion but wasn’t sure exactly which avenue yet. I graduated from a program based on fashion & business and it really helped me figure out what I wanted to do. For the social media class, I was required to create and post actively on a blog. I ended up falling in love with it and continued to do it post-fashion school. Once I realized I could monetize my creative efforts, I began to negotiate brand deals and eventually was able to quit my 9-5 and the multiple odd jobs I worked at the time. Ever since then, I’ve been a full-time content creator!
What do you love about being based in Vancouver?
Vancouver will always be my home because that is where my closest friends and family reside. Besides that, Vancouver has (in my opinion!) some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces, beaches, and forests—I genuinely love being outdoors and by the ocean. I feel lucky to be based in such a beautiful part of the world!
What are some of your most Canadian traits?
I definitely say “sorry” a lot for no reason. I know it’s cliché to say, but, I do. Sorry. I also love poutine!!
Tell us about the initial idea for SCOUT. How long has it been in the pipeline?
The idea of SCOUT came about a few years back, when I was traveling the world and spending most of my time on trips scouting beautiful backdrops. Although part of me loves scouting locations, it can be super time consuming, tedious, and not to mention expensive when you’re Ubering everywhere in a new city. I knew there needed to be a tool for the industry to help streamline this process and make it easier for anyone to find unique spots in different cities. So SCOUT’s co-founder Justin White and I decided to make it happen and in 2020, we hired a team of developers to bring our vision to life. The project was in the pipeline for two years before finally launching May 11, 2022. Since then, we’ve seen 19,000 downloads and over 21,000 locations have been uploaded to the app. We are so excited for what’s next!
Is this your first time conceptualizing a tech product? What were some initial learnings?
This is my very first time entering the tech space—I had never done anything like this before. I have experience in launching several fashion and lifestyle projects, such as my multiple clothing collections with Beginning boutique, Nordstrom, and Call It Spring, but this is my first tech venture. I would say that our biggest learning curve has been working with a large team of developers and navigating the developmental process. There’s also a lot more to consider when running a mobile app. For example, clothing and other products are one-time purchases whereas with an app you’re hoping your users are constantly coming back to try out new features and explore new content. Navigating this challenge is a wholly new and exciting experience for me!
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In a nutshell, how does it work?
Gone are the days of aimlessly driving around, wasting time, energy & money to find the right location and backdrop. The SCOUT App streamlines the creative process of endlessly searching for new & exciting spots when traveling to unfamiliar cities or places, or even in your home city. Beyond its core functionality, Scout provides an incentivizing platform that rewards you for curating and sharing unique locations. Scouters receive a commission each time a user ‘Unlocks’ your location – monetizing the creative effort that goes into finding worthy locations.
How does it work?
Users browse their home feed for local and international public locations posted by their favorite Scouters. Users can use the explore page to scout public locations for shoots and/or upcoming trips and curate their favorite spots in advance, saving them valuable time, money, and energy. Once they’ve selected their perfect location(s), users can ‘unlock’ the exact coordinates to the location, in addition to tips provided by the Scouter—i.e. the best time to shoot, lighting conditions, parking situation, etc. Unlocking the location will also allow the user to engage in the comment section of the post.
How does it feel now that it’s live?
It’s a huge accomplishment! Probably one of the biggest in my career. I don’t think people realize how complex it is to create an app from scratch—it has been one of the biggest undertakings of my life. The response so far has been incredible. I always knew that people would love the idea and I almost didn’t realize how many people actually needed this.
Tell us about your recent launch trip.
To create a successful launch, we sent eight influencers and myself to two of the biggest—and highly Scout-able—cities in the world, London and Paris, for six days! It was such a great way to create major social buzz and connect with a diverse group of influencers from around the world. Each creator Scouted both cities and posted their unique locations on the app to share with their engaged followers.
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What are your top three pieces of advice for influencers looking to pursue content creation full time?
It might sound cliché, but my biggest advice is to just start, now. The thing I hear most from individuals who want to make this a career is that they’re “too scared to start” or “think it’s too late”. I don’t think it’s ever too late, there’s always room for more and the industry needs fresh faces and ideas. I always say that being afraid is just one degree away from being excited! The next best advice is to be consistent. If you’re looking to make content creation a full time career, it will take your full time focus! Once you start, it’s your time to show your creative side and I suggest finding a consistent content schedule. Finally, be yourself. You’re putting yourself out there and people want to know who you are. Show your quirky side and don’t be afraid to just be you!
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Where do you find ideas for content/posts?
I pull inspiration from all-over, whether it’s from other creators on Instagram, TikTok, and even Pinterest! I find my best work comes from when I travel to new places too. And now, with SCOUT, it has made it so much easier to execute that content. I am having so much fun unlocking different creator’s locations and going there to shoot!
Let’s talk fashion. What are five brands you’re currently obsessed with?
Just five?! That’s tough for a shopaholic! I love a lot of brands so I love shopping on LuisaViaRoma, SSense, and Farfetch to be introduced to brands that I otherwise may not know about. A few of my favorite smaller businesses right now are Heavy Manners & Bare Minimale, which are some of my go-tos for cute summer outfits!
Favorite summer trend?
Flip flops. I know this is a random trend, but I love the fact that flip flops are considered fashionable now and you can elevate them with any look. They are so comfy in the summer! Plus, you can go high and low. I love styling my Havaianas and I recently invested in a pair of Chanel flip flops.
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Trend you can’t wait to see the back of?
Clogs. I don’t think I’ll get into them, but call me out if I change my mind.
Top investment pieces recently?
I recently purchased a vintage beige Chanel backpack from the ’90s. I absolutely adore it. I wear it almost everyday and it’s also become my mini travel bag! I get so much use out of it.
Pieces that are always on your wishlist?
I love collecting bags and shoes and I love purchasing vintage items, so I always keep my eyes out for unique pieces to add to my collection. Right now, I want to get a fun and colorful mini Chanel cross-body for summer.
What’s your biggest dream for the future of SCOUT?
My dream is to continue to see the app grow, evolve, and continuously be updated to be an app that can truly help the industry grow for content creators. My biggest dream is to see people making a career out of SCOUT—with a commission earned for every unlock, there is a huge potential for anyone with a creative eye to make this a source of passive income. As for Justin, he is definitely more technically-inclined and has a goal of getting 100K+ users on the app within the year. He’s also focused on making the user experience on the app to be as smooth and efficient as possible. His biggest dream is to see thousands of users on the app daily, not just because of the functionality, but simply because it is a joy to interact with, everyone loves a clean and responsive mobile app. Apart from helping individuals find beautiful locations and harbor an amazing community, there is so much more to come for SCOUT… and it’s just the beginning!
What’s your biggest career dream in general?
Besides SCOUT, my personal brand is still top of mind and some career goals right now include attending one of the major fashion house shows during fashion week, becoming a long-term ambassador for a brand I truly love and support organically already, and moving to a city in Europe for a year to see where that could take me, career wise and personally. And continuing to grow my community in the same way I always have, genuinely, organically, and true to me!
Download SCOUT from the app store here.