InstaFamous: it’s a real thing.
It’s what happens when someone reaches a critical mass of followers on Instagram (IG). The number that defines this critical mass is debatable, but 209,000 – the flock of followers garnered by Cobb sisters Morgan “Scooby” and McKenzie “Kissie” Smith (picture below) on their IG feed Hippie_Kids – definitely puts them safely in the land of the InstaFamous.
It has also landed them free products, resort stays and corporate partnerships with Macy’s, Cactus Water, Method soap and more. At just 22 and 19 respectively, Scooby and Kissie (it’s nicknames forever for these two) have found themselves not only with thousands of fans, but also with a legit business on their hands.
“Kissie started the Hippie_Kids Instagram when she 16 and I was 18,” says Scooby. “We would photograph different fashion pieces and post them, or Kissie would post things that inspired her. The followers just kept growing and growing.”
Stairway to Heaven
What started as a fun pastime turned more serious when products started arriving on their doorstep. “One day I walked into the kitchen and Kissie was opening all these packages that a company had sent her to post about. It was like a birthday!” retells Scooby. “That’s when we thought, ‘Hmm, maybe we should seriously see where this goes.’”
Where it’s gone is into a realm neither girl could have predicted. They have been hosted at destinations in Key West, invited to far-flung locales like Bali (trip pending), and been contracted by major retailers who are willing to shell out marketing dollars for the hippie sisters to give their products the magic touch.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Their success has also ignited an entrepreneurial fire in Scooby and Kissie, who reasoned that if these companies could harness Hippie_Kids’ following, maybe they should do the same. In November 2014, the girls introduced clothing brands and jewelry (made by Scooby) on hippie-kid.com. They separated the two businesses on IG – keeping Hippie_Kids as its own lifestyle feed and launching Shop Hippie Kids to showcase their wares. “The feel for our line is beachy bohemian with a modern 70s flair,” says Scooby. (Think crocheted tanks, bellbottoms and, yes, even a bit of macramé.)
Following that theme, the girls recently recruited their first employee: Daisy, the 1977 Volkswagen Westfalia bus. “We take Daisy to festivals, and she really draws people in,” says Scooby, who credits their “very supportive parents,” Kim and Mike, with verifying the girls’ business transactions, including checking out the bus before they purchased.
Go Your Own Way
The sisters are quick to clarify that life isn’t all festivals and freebies, either. “Maintaining our business is real work,” says Scooby. “In the beginning, it was hard to know if we should keep doing this. Sales would dip or things would stall. But each time I prayed about it, an opportunity would come our way. I kept having faith, really trusting in God.”
About that: “Yes, we have a firm faith foundation. People think because we’re ‘hippies,’ it means we’re pot smokers or something. We’re not,” Scooby corrects. “But, being hippies does mean we’re non-judgmental and approachable. People will come up and talk to us because they relate to us. It’s an interesting way to disciple people.”
On that note, it’s obvious that being “InstaFamous” hasn’t uprooted these girls. “We’ll see where this takes us,” shrugs Scooby. “We know that right now, this is 100 percent what we’re supposed to be doing.”
SOURCE | Follow Shop Hippie Kids and Hippie_Kids on IG; visit hippie-kid.com.