Social media personalities or better known as “influencers” have earned a bad reputation for being “easy money”.
Many people see them as individuals in business just for free events and products, but many tend to miss the fact that there is actually a lot of hard work (letters, meetings, tons of drafts) behind the scenes producing a single post .
The fact that their social media feed is carefully curated with pretty pictures of travel, delicious food, and cute OOTDs is part of their branding.
In addition to making a living from advertising on social media, some of them are entrepreneurs themselves.
From F&B to cosmetics, there are six influencers in Singapore who are also bosses of their own businesses.
“Blogger Queen” Wendy Cheng, better known as Xiaxue, is famous for her plastic surgery and controversial opinions.
She also runs her own e-commerce business that sells false eyelashes called Plastic Cosmetics. Their cheeky slogan is “It’s not plastic surgery, it’s just makeup!”
Photo credit: @plasticcosmetics via Instagram
The special thing about their false eyelashes is that they come with a magnetic eyeliner so the eyelashes can easily stick to it. This means no more messing around with messy eyelash glue!
Your false eyelashes come in different flavors – from dramatic, wispy eyelashes to natural eyelashes that are more subtle and suitable for everyday use.
In their latest Christmas collection, Plastic Cosmetics has also introduced a new range of waterproof and smudge-proof felt-tip pens that can also be used to adhere eyelashes to the liner.
2. Tammy Tay
We’ve already introduced you to Tammy Tay, who, when she was young, ran her own blog shop called Ohsofickle (which is still her online nickname).
Her online fashion store became hugely popular as she even opened her own boutique, which has since closed.
In 2014, Tammy decided to take Ohsofickle off because she was unable to model or source clothes due to her pregnancy (she was pregnant with her firstborn Elroy at the time).
She later took over her mother’s interior design company called Imagine from SK66.
Photo credit: @ficklebeauty via Instagram
Now Tammy runs a skin care business called Fickle Beauty. It sells the “best clean, ethical skin care brands with products that use only scientifically-based ingredients” and has a point of sale that offers facial and eyelash treatments.
Fickle Beauty is also expanding to include a “pampering studio” called fickle +, which will be opened soon. There will be a beauty bar for men and women offering services such as head spa, hair wash and blow, Gua Sha facials and eyelash extensions.
3. Andrea Chong
The young mother Andrea Chong is one of the most popular influencers in Singapore and works with well-known brands such as Superga and Love, Bonito.
She also runs her own company called The DC Edit. You run a website for women that is “dedicated to the independent, curious, and adventurous.”
Its content focuses on everyday conversations and “good insights” into beauty, fashion and lifestyle. It also shares career-related content as well as organic perspectives on various topics.
The site also has an online shop that sells various The DC Edit collections. The latest collection ‘In Our Roots’ includes porcelain pieces from Belle of Pottobelle.
4. Daryl Aiden Yow
You probably remember Daryl Aiden Yow best for his infamous copyright saga.
He emerged strong from the scandal and learned from his mistakes – he captured footage of his photoshoot behind the scenes and is now using his strong Photoshop skills to his advantage.
Daryl recently got into F&B and opened his own bakery business called Absolutely Batter last December.
“It took a lot of time and, above all, courage to embark on a journey of baking,” he said in an advertising post on Instagram.
Photo credit: @absolutelybatter via Instagram
It may be due to his amazing photography skills, but Absolutely Batter’s Instagram feed is so droolable. It offers treats like cookies, cupcakes, and hearty snacks like garlic cheese bombs, zai’er chips, and strips of seaweed.
For the upcoming Chinese New Year, Absolutely Batter is also selling “dough bundles” so you can get your festive treats as a set.
5. Christabel Chua
Social media darling Christabel Chua (@bellywellyjelly) started her company three years ago.
The name is called kāi and is derived from the Chinese character 开 (kai), which translates as “open”. It is also used in the word 开心 (kai xin), which means “happy / happy”.
“We want to make lifestyle items that you can use every day and when you look at them you feel inspired, happy and carefree,” Christabel once told Vulcan Post.
Her debut collection consisted of cute fruit bags inspired by her shopping trip in Australia.
Photo credit: @ iamkai.co via Instagram
Since then, Kāi has expanded its range of lifestyle products, including annual planners, notepads, onigiri bags, stickers, bucket hats and socks.
6. Jessica Loh
Jessica Loh is a blogger who became a baker and previously ran her own cake shop.
Called Shiberty Bakes, it offered bespoke cakes, baking classes, and dessert tables for events. It was very popular but has since ceased operations in 2018.
Jessica now runs another company called Jexa Gems that specializes in bespoke gemstone jewelry. Customers should be able to “radiate joy, love and happiness” through “positive crystal energy”.
Screenshot of the Instagram story by @jexagems
All necklaces, rings, bracelets and even earrings are made from “100% real stones and crystals,” the brand claimed in one of its Instagram stories.
Monetize fame and follow
With such a strong following on their social media platforms, it’s not surprising that they want to use their fame to market their business.
Lots of celebrities do the same – many have made the leap from showbiz and entertainment to the corporate world.
While fans and followers can help increase sales and traction in the early days, they’ll only come back – and build a truly loyal following – if they think the product or service on offer is good.
As the saying goes, a good product will sell itself.
Featured image source: @xiaxue, @ohsofickle, @dreachong, @darylaiden, @ iamkai.co, @shiberty via Instagram