Name: Kelsey FloydBusiness: Kelsey Floyd Pottery, which sells hand-crafted pottery and ceramics.Founded: October 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Personal Instagram account: 760,000Business Instagram account: 41,400Business TikTok account: 409,300Success metrics: Floyd hit nearly $5,000 in monthly sales in July 2022, documents verified by Insider showed. This fall, her pieces appeared in the 1000 Vases exhibition in Paris, France, which showcases the work of independent artists.Backstory:Kelsey Floyd started pottery as a hobby during COVID-19. She had always loved art, so during lockdown she a potter's wheel and clay. By October 2020, she had four pieces she wanted to sell. Since then, Floyd has expanded her skill set and product line, specializing in designs that feature chains made of clay and unique vase shapes. Through my social media, I've learned that when I have a passion for something and try to make it into a quick business opportunity, it's something that I easily lose interest in, said Floyd, adding that she started the hobby without the pressure to monetize it. However, once she felt comfortable with her work, and the fulfillment that came from selling her first piece, she continued crafting and marketing collections. Advice on turning a personal social media presence into a business: Prior to launching Kelsey Floyd Pottery, Floyd had grown a robust social media following around her lifestyle content — often sharing about her son, personal style, and travel experiences. Floyd first gained her following on Instagram, when it was still relatively easy to grow, she said. That foundation is what helped initially her grow her business. Today, she encouraged new creators to use TikTok. TikTok has helped so much because I get to be vulnerable and that's what people like, Floyd said. If you are a small creator or you are trying to start your own small business, it's the best way to do it.Name: Jessica GregsonBusiness: Luxe Home Decor Ltd., which sells hand-crafted home decor.Founded: October 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 117,000Business TikTok account: 285,600Success metrics: Gregson booked £62,288 in sales ($71,401) between January and July 2022, documents verified by Insider showed.Backstory:Gregson launched Luxe Home Decor during the pandemic when she discovered TikTok videos of creators using clay resin to create home decor items. She liked the items she saw online, but while researching how she could make them herself, learned how damaging the material was to the environment and people's health.She eventually found eco-friendly materials and launched her brand. Her first sample, which she gave to her grandmother for Christmas, gave her the confidence to sell other designs.I didn't have Instagram and I didn't have TikTok, so I just put it in a few groups on Facebook Marketplace and the response was just unbelievable, she said. She later took her business to Instagram and TikTok.Advice on turning social media connections into worldwide audiences:When Gregson originally shared her business on Facebook Marketplace, she intended to sell only to local groups. But, after weeks of traveling around Manchester to hand deliver the items, she decided to expand. I didn't want to be delivering door-to-door, I wanted to send worldwide, she said. That decision prompted her to start an Instagram account, in the hopes of building a following around her entrepreneurial journey. There were floods of messages, from countries that I've never heard of before, requesting if I shipped worldwide, Gregson said. It's really important to take advantage of these global platforms if you want your business to grow, she said. The international customer base has been a huge factor in expanding her business for the last few years. Name: Madeline RonzoniBusiness: Happy Rugs, which sells artistic, custom-made rugs Founded: September 2020 Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 285,000Business TikTok account: 905,000Success metrics: Ronzoni surpassed six figures in revenue in her first year, documents verified by Insider showed. This number comes from a combination of sales and social-media-brand deals.Backstory: When the pandemic hit, Madeline Ronzoni was a senior at Bentley University, in Massachusetts, studying marketing. While interning for a company's social-media department, she discovered a talent and passion for creating TikTok videos. Shortly after starting a TikTok account to showcase her punch-needle hobby, which is a form of embroidery, she was flooded with questions from viewers interested in buying her rugs. People just loved the content. They loved the rugs, Ronzoni said. That's how I decided to start a business. Today, Ronzoni is the founder of Happy Rugs. She's upgraded to using a tufting gun to make crafting rugs faster. She works with clients to create both custom and ready-made rugs, and she collaborates with brands such as Nike, Vans, and Bank of America on advertising campaigns. Brand deals and custom orders have allowed Ronzoni to take Happy Rugs full time since graduating last summer. Advice on the business launch: Ronzoni started selling her products before she had a finalized business plan. She didn't have packaging, tape, or note cards to write thank you to her customers. She suggested that other entrepreneurs should prepare themselves for potential growth earlier than she did. I don't regret that because I had to take advantage of the demand, she said. But if you're creating a business and you don't necessarily have that demand yet, make sure you have all your branding and website up.Additionally, Ronzoni said one of the hardest decisions to make as a business owner was to invest in expensive equipment. But it might be worth the money. If a business owner wants to get a new tool, spend that extra amount of money if you're able to, she said. It will pay off in the end.Name: Laura RowanBusiness: By Larow, a nail salon based in Biddulph, United Kingdom.Founded: November 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 39,500Business TikTok account: 579,900Success metrics: In 2021, Laura Rowan averaged 30 clients and four figures in sales each month, documents verified by Insider showed. Backstory:Laura Rowan joined an online manicurist training program in July 2020 and slowly started taking clients later, when the COVID-19 lockdowns in her area lifted. By November 2020, she was posting about her nail process regularly on social media. However, as the UK imposed more lockdowns and she could no longer see customers, she pivoted her focus to building her social platform. In February 2021, she reopened her services but continues to focus efforts on her digital following. Advice on using different platforms for different purposes: To build a following, Rowan posted one or two videos per day, she said. It didn't just happen overnight, she said. Rowan also analyzed responses to her posts to see what worked and what didn't, to further dictate the direction of her content. On TikTok, she finds posting more relatable content — like doing her mother's or boyfriend's nails — to be the most exciting to viewers. On Instagram, she posts detailed photos of completed client nails, she said. They're all such different platforms, so you've got to really manage your time quite well, Rowan said. While she's found clients across many forms of social media, TikTok is the platform that's brought her brand deals, she said.Name: Tillie DixsonBusiness: That1Studio, a hair salon specializing in braids.Founded: December 2021Follower count at the time of writing: Business TikTok account: 417,000Business Instagram account: 3,651Success metrics: Dixson booked just shy of $30,000 in sales in her first year of business, according to documents verified by Insider. What's more, her income has increased month over month since opening her own studio in 2021.Backstory: Tillie Dixson enrolled in cosmetology school in 2019 and, after graduating in 2020, she worked in a local salon in Indianapolis. However, since her beauty school curriculum focused heavily on the business side of the hair industry, she was eager to open her own studio. In December 2021, she officially opened her private salon suite.Additionally, Dixson has grown her social media presence and has more than 400,000 TikTok followers. Her videos explain how she washes, cuts, and braids hair along with behind-the-scenes peeks into how she runs the business. It was vital for her to grow online to both find clients and share her expertise with followers. Her videos helped her to build her personal brand as a braider and connect with people from around the world who aren't able to become in-person clients, she said. Advice for building a brand based on customer experience: As a service provider, it's crucial to give your customers the best experience in your studio, she said. While her brand is popular on social media, her customers are typically generated from word-of-mouth referrals. Because of this, she must ensure clients feel comfortable, she added. While some founders believe they have the right to charge what we're worth, no matter the price or clients' reaction to the cost, Dixson believes fostering positive rapport with clients is vital to keeping a business sustainable. Don't forget that your client is number one, she said. The biggest thing is to invest in your client experience.Name: Lisa AndreaBusiness: The Financial Cookbook, a personal finance blogFounded: February 2021Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 13,200Business TikTok account: 168,300Pinterest account: 88,900Success metrics: Since launching in February 2021, Andrea has increased her revenue to $8,000 each month consistently, based on affiliate marketing, paid partnerships, and products sold on her site, documents verified by Insider showed. Backstory: While working in marketing at a Big Four financial institution, Lisa Andrea saw a gaping hole in financial education, particularly for women. From investment opportunities to saving for the future, many women aren't taught the basics of financial planning, she said.In response, she launched a blog called The Financial Cookbook to answer those questions. Today, her brand has 14,000 newsletter subscribers, 2 million monthly Pinterest views, and 265,000 followers across her social-media platforms. The things I coach and talk about on The Financial Cookbook are things I actually do in my life, which is why I had the idea to start it, said Andrea. The Financial Cookbook is a place where women can go to learn all the things they should have taught us in school, it's all of the recipes for success.Advice on promoting your business across platforms: The Financial Cookbook is active across Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. But Pinterest has been the most helpful for business growth, specifically for garnering website clicks, Andrea said. The platform is a search engine that can help generate 20 million impressions a month, she added. Name: Talia TaxmanBusiness: clr shop (pronounced color shop), which sells handcrafted throw blanketsFounded: February 2021Follower count at the time of writing: Personal Instagram account: 25,500Business Instagram account: 60,900Success metrics: Taxman booked six figures in 2021 and expected to reach seven figures in 2022, documents verified by Insider showed. Backstory: Before the pandemic, Talia Taxman was better known by her stage name, Rodes Rollins, the sing-songwriter who had almost 20,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. When COVID-19 prevented her from touring and performing in person, she leaned into other creative outlets and began working on her design and graphics skills. Taxman wanted to make something that combined her artistic passion with functionality and noticed her friends accumulating throw blankets in their homes. Today, she's the founder of clr shop and digitally designs prints that are turned into custom throw blankets by her weaving team in North Carolina.Since its launch, the brand has been featured in GQ and Elle magazine.Advice on combining personal and business social profiles: It's worth it to combine the two, Taxman said. At first, she separated clr from her role as an entertainer, but that left her burgeoning business faceless. It wasn't until an introductory post six months into the business that Taxman notified her friends and clr shop followers that she was the artist behind the brand.It did boost the following on both sides, Taxman said. It helped with the clr shop story and with creating more brand trust. Additionally, authenticity was the No. 1 factor she advised other entrepreneurs to focus on in building their brands.That's the cool thing about using social media to get your business out there. It adds that human element to it, she said. I hope that it makes my pieces a little bit more personal, that the customers know it's just me and my team getting it over to them.Name: Shaunna DavisBusiness: Jétom Ldn, which sells affordable luxury vegan handbagsFounded: August 2021Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 2,009Business TikTok account: 38,700Success metrics: Davis sold more than $14,000 worth of items in her first four months, documents verified by Insider showed. Backstory: Shaunna Davis lost her mother, the self-proclaimed queen of handbags, in 2020. In an effort to create a lasting memory of her mother and start something for herself, Davis launched Jétom.While Davis still holds a full-time job as a personal assistant, she works on Jétom every evening. Most days, she's awake until at least 12 a.m. She prepares and packs orders, which she drops off after taking her son to school the next morning. Davis initially turned to TikTok for launch tips from other small-business creators. It was a bit of a rocky road in the beginning because I didn't know what I was doing. I feel like most small businesses don't, Davis said. That's where TikTok came in. I got a lot of my business tips from there.Davis quickly turned TikTok into her main marketing tool. In the four months since launching Jétom, Davis has created a number of viral videos, including one that showcased her and six of the bag designs, which received 1.4 million views. The video, which was shared in September, led to an increase of more than 1,000 orders month over month compared to August.Advice for taking the leap: If you don't start, you're going to regret it, she said. I could have started this a whole year ago, and Lord knows where I would be right now if I just got up and did it.TikTok inspired Davis to take action as a business owner. The pandemic is a scary time to start a business, but it's also the perfect time to start something for yourself, she said.Name: Delsy GouwBusiness: Memorial Day, which sells hand-crocheted hats and accessoriesFounded: November 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Personal Instagram account: 5,940Business Instagram account: 27,200Business TikTok account: 33,400Success metrics: Gouw's average monthly sales are more than $7,000, documents verified by Insider showed. Last year, the company sold 355 units and counted celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Ella Emhoff as customers. In October 2021, the luxury retailer Moda Operandi started selling the brand.Backstory: Delsy Gouw learned to crochet as a child, but she didn't have as much time for her hobby when she started school and work. When the pandemic began, Gouw was a full-time college student and worked for a fashion designer in New York City. Gouw's boss sent her home, where she worked a few hours a day. During the other hours, she picked up her crochet hook and some yarn, and she started creating pieces for fun. Her pandemic pastime turned into Memorial Day, a brand that's been worn by celebrities such as Rihanna, Kaia Gerber, and Bella Hadid. She quit her job with the fashion designer four months after launching her business. You really don't know who will take you where, so it's really important to say yes to every opportunity, Gouw said.Advice for staying focused on your vision: Between her launch date and today, Gouw has been through different cycles of the brand, she said. For example, she toyed with various aesthetics and types of garments, many of which she stopped creating when she realized they weren't fully in line with her brand. It's important to not become overwhelmed by everything else happening in the industry, she advised other entrepreneurs. Finding her own voice has been key to her growth and success, she added.Even within the year, I've flipped and flopped so many times, she said. I would think, 'Look what other people are doing,' but it really wasn't me.Name: Andrea NorquayBusiness: Nadaré Co., which sells waterproof jewelryFounded: November 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 66,700Business TikTok account: 97,100Success metrics: Nadaré consistently hits six figures in monthly sales, documents verified by Insider showed. Backstory: Andrea Norquay left Canada to attend Griffith University in Australia, where she studied criminology. When COVID-19 hit, she was forced to return home and worked as a food-delivery driver to make money.At the time, Norquay had recently purchased rings from a high-end jewelry brand in Canada. When they tarnished far quicker than she expected, she sent them back and requested replacements. The brand refused. Norquay took her frustration and abundance of free time and researched everything she could about the jewelry industry. I knew nothing about jewelry, but I just dove into it, Norquay said. I started contacting suppliers, ordering samples, and worked in food delivery to pay for it. Norquay booked $36,000 in sales in December 2020, documents verified by Insider showed. A month later, she more than doubled that number before sales increased by another 40% in February — numbers that Norquay attributed to TikTok. Advice on creating viral social-media content: While Nadaré sells jewelry, the company's social marketing is personal. For example, Norquay experimented with how to style videos, which typically performed well because they were helpful for Norquay's audience. This strategy leads to more engagement and customers, so take the time for trial and error when striking that tone, she said. You have to figure out what's going to draw your audience's attention, she added. While the jewelry she sells is high quality and carefully curated, her videos are often raw and unedited, and they include her own face and voice to add a personal element.Additionally, to share her content with as many viewers as possible, Norquay used both TikTok and Instagram reels, the platform's version of short-form videos. Recycling TikTok content on Instagram helped Norquay reach more than 3 million views on her Instagram videos.Name: Rayli NicholsonBusiness: Smooth Eternity, which sells lip gloss and beauty productsFounded: November 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 12,300Business TikTok account: 279,600Success metrics: Smooth Eternity sold nearly $30,000 worth of beauty products in its first year, documents verified by Insider showed.Backstory: Despite being only 19 years old, Rayli Nicholson has started multiple companies on her own. Her father is an entrepreneur, so she's been surrounded by the founder spirit for as long as she can remember. Since I was in middle school, I would actually sell makeup that I made to kids in my class, Nicholson said. Now, I'm just doing that on a bigger scale.Since the launch of her latest venture, Smooth Eternity, Nicholson has expanded her offering to include more products and changed the formula based on her clients' wants. For example, most of Smooth Eternity products are now vegan per customer requests for the brand to be more inclusive. I just want to listen to everyone and hear what they have to say, Nicholson said. Tell me some advice, and I'll try my best to take it.Advice on learning from others: Use available resources, such as YouTube and TikTok, to learn from business owners who have been successful, Nicholson said. For example, she's found the online community of fellow creators to be particularly helpful for questions on brand deals, when to partner with companies, and how to scale a following. You can never have enough people telling you how to do something, she said.It was also important for Nicholson to realize that she needed to be compensated for her time working with sponsors, just like customers paid for her time making products. Business creators should ensure that partnerships are of as much value to their businesses as they are to the larger company, because oftentimes it isn't, Nicholson said.It all depends on your business, and if you actually align with the company, Nicholson added. Don't work with a brand that you feel isn't worth your time.Name: Javonnah FordBusiness: Braelake, which sells candles and wax melts — scented wax in the form of different shapes and designs Founded: March 2021Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 51,200Business TikTok account: 181,100Success metrics: Braelake booked more than $50,000 in it's first year, documents verified by Insider showed.Backstory: Javonnah Ford was laid off from her job as an operations analyst in March 2020 and subsequently stayed home with her son while he attended online school. The new schedule and lack of certainty was tough for Ford.One day, while searching Reddit, she found a thread about candle making and was inspired. She recorded herself creating candles and soaps, and she uploaded the videos to TikTok. TikTok comments flooded in, asking Ford to sell the products she showed in her videos. That demand inspired her to open an online shop. Recognizing the growth potential of her TikTok account, Ford officially opened Braelake in March. Today, Ford sells wax melts and candles in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, including some that look like food. In fact, a video of Ford's famous cereal wax melts, which look like Fruit Loops, was the first video to go viral on her page. A lot of people were interested in that, Ford said. From there, my TikTok started growing.Advice on finding what works: Record everything that you do, and eventually you'll figure out what type of content people like and what they want to see, she said. From the beginning of her entrepreneurial experience, Ford created both content and products based on viewer requests. She realized that food wax melts performed well both on TikTok and in her online store, so she continued to build that part of her portfolio.Name: Jacqueline DuboisBusiness: Jacqueline Dubois LLC, which makes and sells semiabstract paintings and printsFounded: May 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 35,700Business TikTok account: 226,300, the account has since been put on privateSuccess metrics: Dubois sold more than 6,000 orders, including both prints and original paintings. The artist's sales have amounted to six figures in total revenue, documents verified by Insider showed. Backstory: Jacqueline Dubois was a college student studying advertising when the pandemic hit, which prompted her to take a gap year and focus on her quarantine hobby: painting. Dubois is self-taught, but since finding her passion for painting abstract figures, she's created a niche for herself in the art market. When Dubois initially showcased her work on TikTok, she didn't see herself starting an art business. But when celebrity clients such as Lili Reinhart posted pictures of Dubois' creations, she got an influx of orders and increased brand awareness. That encouraged her to start selling paintings full time. I was intentional about it once I realized there was an opportunity for my art and business, Dubois said. That's not to say I was poring over analytics, but I was thinking, 'What did they like about it? How can I do more of that?'Advice on maintaining mental health as a business owner: Given her major in college, it was natural for Dubois to create a marketing strategy for herself. But social media can be tricky because it's so connected to the person behind the business, she said. Dubois suggested that creative business owners should depersonalize the marketing and advertising aspects of a business.If you're an artist trying to connect to people so badly, it can be really crushing to have this huge high and then a huge low, she said.You can't put your worth into numbers, especially given the unpredictability of social media, she said. Though Dubois reached more than 200,000 TikTok followers and understood the marketing power of her page, she took a multi-month break from the app to protect her mental health. There's definitely something to be said about the inconsistent rewards, and you don't know why you're being rewarded, she said. After all, focusing on your mental health as an entrepreneur is the only way to ensure business longevity, she added.Name: Crystal AngelBusiness: Angel Wear Clothing, which sells medical scrubsFounded: November 2020Follower count at the time of writing: Business Instagram account: 23,400Business TikTok account: 51,800Success metrics: After a viral TikTok in June that received 2.4 million views — where Angel took viewers behind the scenes of her photo shoot — she booked more than $20,000 in sales in one month, documents verified by Insider showed. Since then, the brand's monthly average in sales has ranged from $15,000 to $20,000.Backstory: Crystal Angel has held multiple professional roles in healthcare in the past few years and has worn her fair share of medical scrubs. As a self-proclaimed girly girl, the lack of affordable, fashionable, and comfortable scrubs on the market was frustrating for Angel. During the pandemic, when she was furloughed and then laid off from her job, she saw an opportunity to help the nurses and healthcare workers struggling through some of the toughest months of their careers.Today, Angel's business serves nurses, massage therapists, and other healthcare workers with her variety of scrubs — including tops and bottoms, ranging in size from XXS to XXL, in nine different colors. It can be kind of complicated, Angel said. You have to be very specific with what you want. Even today, she's still tweaking her sizing guide and perfecting the fit with every bit of customer feedback.Advice on finding your audience: The majority of Angel's business comes through social media. She initially paid for ads on Instagram and Facebook, but when she started posting consistently on social-media platforms, she realized that was a cheaper and more effective strategy. One of her methods was to focus on other small-business owners. For example, she shared videos showing her packing an order or explaining where she got her labels. Those posts helped grow her community of fellow business owners on the app. But she realized that to not only grow a following but also increase sales, she had to connect with nurses and healthcare workers through her content. She pivoted from small-business TikTok to nurses of TikTok hashtags to find her audience. Experimenting to find the audience that checked all the boxes was a game changer for Angel's business.I realized that the healthcare hashtags worked, and that showing off my product worked, she said.Name: Soph MoscaBusiness: Loungewear by Soph Mosca, which sells beach-inspired clothing Founded: April 2021Follower count at the time of writing: Personal TikTok account: 2,300,000Personal Instagram account: 259,000Business Instagram account: 4,824 Success metrics: Mosca saw almost $15,000 in sales through the first three product drops, documents verified by Insider showed. The first drop sold out in 22 hours, and the second sold out in less than 20 minutes, Mosca said. Her third drop, which includes more inventory than before, is for sale on the company website.Mosca has not released a new collection since November 2021.Backstory: Soph Mosca downloaded TikTok at the end of 2019 for fun. At the time, she was a Division I dancer at Southern New Hampshire University, and her friends encouraged her to take her skills to the app. When COVID-19 reached the US, and TikTok usage soared, Mosca saw an increase in followers every day. She found her niche with LGBTQ+ TikTok and started sharing more about herself and her personal life with followers. By the end of 2021, Mosca's 1.7 million TikTok followers gave her the perfect fan base for her newly launched loungewear brand, she said. When I was little, I used to draw outfits in a sketch pad and tell myself, 'I'm going to be a clothing designer,' but I never seriously considered it, Mosca said. But I've always had a little fire inside me to be a business owner. Mosca studies psychology and remains an online student to leave more time for her content creation and business. Today, she's active on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, and she launched a podcast called Happy Human Club, where she shares her life experiences as a 20-something.Advice on creating authenticity in your brand: Mosca is able to connect with her followers through her social content and loungewear brand because they're authentic to her, she said. She advised other entrepreneurs to focus on what's important to them when launching a personal brand.While it was sometimes helpful to have someone guiding you in a specific direction, it could also muddy your vision, she said. When Mosca started listening to herself, that's when she made the most progress in brand growth. Especially with young girls, people are going to want to tell you what to do and tell you that they think they know better, Mosca said. But as someone who has been through it, I can tell you that you know what's best for you and your business.