Have you ever used the Instagram shopping feature?
“Some days I end up scrolling through Instagram and purchasing a new pair of sweatpants from a random page. I don’t even have to know the seller since I can easily direct message them,” said sophomore Julia Steiger. “I like to be able to support small businesses even if it’s just by buying a hoodie.”
According to business.instagram.com, “70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery.” Instagram has developed a business and marketing forum to shop for new, chic products and to “drive awareness, increase customers and share your story among a highly engaged audience.”
As Instagram businesses have grown in popularity, some students have taken it upon themselves to create and build brands through their own social media platforms.
Junior Emily Zizzadoro started selling clothes during her senior year of high school through her Instagram account @emilyzcloset.
“I wanted the cute trendy clothes, but I didn’t want to spend too much money, so I just went to Hobby Lobby and made it myself,” said Zizzadoro. “Seeing people wearing them at their schools has been really rewarding.”
Other students launched their Instagram businesses during quarantine.
“I started Mademelov clothing in the summer and sent it to a couple of TikTok influencers, and then I blew up,” said sophomore Amy Steidle.
Steidle has an entire team that goes into building Mademelov. With the passion and help of her friends, sophomores Victoria Bautz, Maeve Fowers, Angelica Tarsia and Jackie Vallee, she has created a substantial Instagram business. The Instagram account @mademelov currently has over 1,000 followers and over 100 likes on most of her posts.
According to business.instagram.com, “87% of people say influencers have inspired them to make a purchase.”
As simple as it may seem to create an Instagram business, some students say that it takes the same amount of hard work and dedication as any other job.
“I didn’t expect it to be as time-consuming as I thought,” said freshman Isabella Costanza, owner of the handmade mask company The Custom Corner. “I had to communicate with clients and show our product before they bought it.”
According to Forbes magazine, “opening your own business is often a learn-as-you-go process. But, the more smart decisions you make early on, the better chance your company has for success.”
Although creating an Instagram business does not come without difficulties, some students say there are benefits as well.
“My favorite part has been getting feedback from happy customers and seeing the love I get to share with my products,” said freshman Sydney Barone, owner of CountryCoze. “Hearing back from how much our customers loved their gifts was a gift to me.”
Despite the good and bad aspects of Instagram businesses, Instagram makes some people’s dreams accessible by making it easy to create and sell products.
“I always wanted to be my own boss,” said sophomore Alaina DeRose, owner of Adjewels. “Don’t be scared to start. It’s going to be hard at first, but eventually, by word of mouth and social media, you learn as you go.”