In 2014, Boston native Antoinette Rodney incorporated her business, The Word Changes and launched oneWord, a line of clothing and accessories designed to empower and inspire. She is mission-driven with a belief in the power of words to reveal purpose and ignite change.  Each item in her line features a bold graphic of one word, such as “hope” and “inspire.” “I started The Word Changes because I wanted to make an impact on humanity,” says Rodney. True to her mission, she donates two-thirds of her profits to charities that work to fight child hunger and encourage higher education among young adults.

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Rodney sells primarily through her website. Having quality photos of her products is critical to sales. “I was spending a lot of money on getting products shots for my brand. Products shots required a studio rental, hiring a photographer, models, stylists, makeup artists and not to mention my time on site the day of the shoot.” It occurred to her that cellphone camera technology has come a long way, giving most people the ability to take excellent photos.

Rodney placed an ad seeking aspiring models who would be willing to take photos of themselves in oneWord clothing. Rodney reasoned that models have the style sense and makeup skills needed to best present oneWord clothing. “The deal was that I would send them my shirts for free, and they would style them creatively with their clothing and accessories.” More than 250 responded to her ad including well-established artists and an actress. “I have been able to gain a group of diverse eclectic photos of people, wearing my products that represent the world we live in. This is perfect for my brand since I aim to make an impact on humanity.”

The photos she received were of good quality. Most of the participants sent her more than she asked for. “I am sure they sent me the shots that they considered to be a good reflection of themselves,” says Rodney. She paid these models for their work in exchange for a signed release. In addition to product photos that built on her brand, Rodney calculated that she had reduced her cost of product shoots by 60 percent.

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This article was written by Gillian Burdett of for CBS Small Business Pulse.

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