What exactly does it mean to be a top Pinterest pinner? Toronto’s very own Paula Coop McCrory is not only a visual arts and music teacher and mother of three but also one of the top 30 pinners on Pinterest. With a following of over 4 million, McCrory’s one-time online hobby has turned into a veritable secondary career, allotting her high profile speaking engagements and coveted gigs covering fashion weeks. We caught up with McCrory to find out more about her fascinating 21st century lifestyle.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
Travel is my meditation. Art, film and fashion, my passions – and I find solace in the water. I adore the early morning, am a foodie at heart, and am fascinated by the world of social media.

How did you evolve into becoming a “top pinner”? Did you expect such a big following?
A hobby became a career. In no way did I foresee any of what the last year has brought. I was introduced to Pinterest just over two years ago when I was on maternity leave with my third child. I was keen to find anything that would allow me to healthily escape and feel connected to the outside world. After confessing this to a girlfriend, she asked if I had heard of Pinterest. I had not. She invited me to join (which was necessary in Pinterest’s early days) and I began pinning. The fact I could pin from anywhere, at any time, was fantastic. I suddenly had access to a world based on taste and endless photographic images, 24 hours a day. To me, Pinterest is the closest thing to a diary I will ever have. I pin because I love it. Having over 4 million followers is amazing and unexpected and I am thankful for the support.

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What kind of things can people expect to find on your Pinterest board?
My personal motto when pinning is simple: I pin what I love. I have stayed true to this from the beginning. I look to art, design, fashion, food, travel and photography. My boards are a direct reflection of who I am and what I love.

What unique personal and professional opportunities have come to you thanks to your success with Pinterest?
I’ve been fortunate to work with brands such as Madewell, J. Crew, AllSaints and Uncovet. I’ve also had an opportunity to attend Toronto Fashion Week, speak at BlissDom Canada and the upcoming MomPreneur conference, consult on campaigns, write for fashion outlets, attend blind tastings and openings, conduct workshops, lunch + learns, and meet people who are incredibly supportive.

What advice do you have for aspiring pinners?
Be yourself. Don’t be shy. Make sure your boards reflect who you are. Support other pinners – it’s all about sharing and acknowledging what other pinners are doing. Keep it fun.

Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, my blog and Facebook.