The process of turning a hobby into a career has been made increasingly possible with the development of social media. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs can't afford to pay for reviews, which can make social media marketing difficult. But, those who have successfully marketed their own products, some even right here in Baton Rouge, have taken the term “self-starter” to a new level.
Grace Fiorenza - @glows_2_geaux on Instagram
When the 26-year-old Beaumont, Texas native, Grace Fiorenza, needed extra cash after moving to Baton Rouge, she turned to something she saw a need for: convenient and affordable spray tanning.
“I got spray tans back home all the time,” Fiorenza said. "But, when I moved to Baton Rouge, I had less money to spend on things like that and a lot of the salons here charged a lot.”
She said that the inconvenience of having to make an appointment during their business hours when she was working a nine-to-five job made it that much more difficult for her. But, the solution came to her in the form of an idea to start her own traveling spray tanning business.
“My mom helped me buy the equipment and I created an Instagram and Facebook page to promote myself,” Fiorenza said. “I packed up the tools in my trunk and started making appointments all across town.”
While a spray tan may seem like an unnecessary need, Fiorenza said it's something many women use to feel better about themselves. She has received countless "thank-you's" and due to the quality of her work, clients recommend her service to their friends.
Now, in her second year of business, Fiorenza said she truly is running a side business, in addition to her day job. She acknowledges the hard work for what it is, but said she loves being around people and having something to work toward.
“Making these women feel good about themselves for a good price is what I’m here for,” she said. Her strong voice and bubbly personality make her the perfect candidate for a business where you have to develop a strong bond with clients.
Her prices are less expensive than the average salon and her winning smile, infectious laugh and interest in her clients bring her to the forefront of the self-starter industry in Baton Rouge.
Danielle Kraft - @xdaniellexmua on Instagram
Danielle Kraft is yet another woman with a mission to uplift others. Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Kraft moved to the Red Stick three years ago, and has been a professional makeup artist for six years.
Since moving here, she quit her corporate job as a professional makeup artist trainer for makeup superstore, Sephora, and has become her own boss.
“My boyfriend told me to quit and pursue my own business full-time,” Kraft said. “He encouraged me by saying that if I want this to work, I have to go all in. So, I just went with it and began my own thing."
For the last year, she has had a permanent spot in the Perkins Road tattoo shop, Black Torch Tattoo, as a microblader. Microblading is a meticulous technique growing in popularity among women to shape or reshape their eyebrows. In addition, she is a makeup artist for formal events, weddings and even just nights out on the town.
After making an Instagram page to show off her work, her clientele grew.
“It is all purely by word-of-mouth, so that's why it's important to me to be able to give these girls quality work and quality materials, so they will keep coming back and telling their friends,” Kraft said, mentioning that some of her clients come to have their eyebrows treated after losing them in chemotherapy treatments or from suffering with alopecia.
Of course, there are many more women in the Capital City who have made names for themselves through Instagram blogging and have broadened their horizons. Some popular Instagrammers around town are Taylor Jacobs and January Hart Rizzo. Both women blended their killer fashion sense and passion for interacting with people to produce accounts @gracefullytaylored and @januaryhartrizzo, respectively.