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6 of the Best Instagram Businesses That Started Small

The only thing better than being successful is knowing you started from scratch and made it there through your own efforts – and perhaps with a bit of help from a free online photo-sharing app.

That is the story of these six courageous individuals who built their brands using Instagram. Four took a scary leap of faith by leaving their corporate jobs, two started everything as a hobby, and all of them became successful in their own right.

Check out how their following jumped to from just a few to thousands, and helped create the success they’re enjoying now.

Incidentally, you should know that you can kickstart the growth of your business or boost the results of your marketing campaigns by buying high-quality Instagram followers for your account. You can even purchase likes and comments for your posts to improve your engagement levels.

So, whether you’ve just started your own business or you’ve been operating for quite some time, you probably understand the power that Instagram has to expand your market. Keep reading to get inspired by the stories of these real people who chased their dreams and made it big through Instagram.


Inspired by the spiralizer– a kitchen tool that cuts vegetables into noodles– Ali Maffuci started making dishes for her Type 1 diabetic mother and posting them on Instagram. Soon, strangers started following her, and what began as something she only did for fun became a full-time source of income for her.

In an interview with Elle, she recalled commenting on posts with #inspiralized on them. That’s how she found most of her initial followers. Nowadays, she also links her Instagram account when she makes guest posts on other people’s blogs.

Ali has since quit her job and turned her passion for healthy cooking into a career. She founded the company Inspiralized, created her own Inspiralizer kitchen tool, and published a cookbook she now sells on her own website.

To date, she still gets offers from brands and features their products in her kitchen. She said “I have about 2 million monthly page views on my blog, but businesses seem to value my Instagram followers more.”


At the time of writing, the Inspiralized Instagram account has 161,000 followers and makes $50-70K a year just off Instagram.

You too can base your ideas off existing products in the market and rebrand them in your own unique way. If you’ve done that and you’ve been on Instagram for a while but not much is happening yet, consider buying followers and engagement to boost your marketing efforts.

Rachel Makes It

Rachel Dunston of Rachel Makes It made it on Instagram in just two years. Rachel Makes It is a custom cake business grown solely through Instagram.


This mom of 3 now receives orders faster than she can make cakes. Every month is fully booked, a month in advance.

She started with only 500 followers for the first three months that she was posting daily. Cakes can’t be shipped, so she targeted local followers and followed the followers of entrepreneurs in her area. Now she has over 6,000 followers and is well on her way to more.

Chris Ozer

When Chris Ozer discovered an iPhone app called Instagram in October of 2010, he didn’t know that he would soon embark on a successful new career.


Before he became a professional photographer with an impressive clientele that includes Google, Facebook, Nike, and Samsung among many others, Chris jumped from one career to another until he landed a desk job which he held down for five years.

One day, with just a few photo shoot commissions and the savings he had, which could only last about three months, he left that job and never looked back. He is now a highly-sought lifestyle photographer in the US.

It all started when he signed up and posted his first photo on Instagram the very first day it was launched. It soon became the outlet for his photography hobby. His following increased as his photos got better, and the rest is history.

When Instagram placed him on the suggested users list, his following became massive. Now he has 644,000 followers and a thriving business.

Marnie the Dog

The touching story of Marnie the Dog started spreading on Instagram during Shirley Braha’s downtime at work. Shirley, who adopted Marnie from a shelter, never thought Marnie would become an Instagram sensation when she made the account.


Shirley soon left her job at MTV and now makes a living selling pictures of Marnie that she makes into calendars. She also made a photobook that she is selling on her website, along with mugs, greetings cards and other items with pictures of Marnie on them.

The 400 followers she made the first month has now grown into 2M followers in just 4 years. Yes, Marnie The Dog has over 2 million followers.

Her secret? She listened to her audience and kept posting the content that resonated with them. That cute dog definitely gave her an edge, though.

Shirley now earns more selling pictures of her dog than she did in her previous full-time job. Her beloved pet has also captured the hearts of netizens and many famous celebrities.

If your faith in humanity isn’t restored by this owner and her dog’s story, we imagine it would at least restore your faith in Instagram and what it can do for your business, especially if you include buying followers as a part of your marketing plans.


Sophie Lee launched Geo-Fleur only as a side project while she was working full-time back in October 2014. When she lost her job in May 2015, she re-evaluated her goals in life and ended up taking Geo-Fleur to a new level.


She first made a terrarium for the wedding of a friend who didn’t like flowers. A friend of a friend saw her work and that got the ball rolling. After showcasing her products on Instagram and encouraging clients to use hashtags, she was able to grow her market to reach not only the UK but also the US and Australia.

Her Instagram account, Geo_Fleur, now has over 86,000 followers and 75% of the time, new clients first learn of her business from Instagram. To date, she gets three-quarters of her orders from Instagram. In fact, she got orders from the Tate Institution – her biggest client so far – via Instagram.

Follow The Lita

Lita Lewis was nursing a broken heart when she decided to go back to the gym, and started sharing her training on Instagram. Her dull and boring schedule in the past, of going to work and coming home to sleep, cannot compare to the exciting chaos she enjoys these days.


Nowadays, contract-signing with athlete’s agents, launching a line of sports apparel, developing a reality TV show, and partnering with popular sport brands are normal features on her calendar.

After sharing her diet and training on Instagram for only a year, her followers increased from 1,000 to 60,000. Lita quit her job and concentrated on hosting boot camps and selling training packages online. She used Instagram to advertise, and the attention (and money) started pouring in.

Now she has 424,000 followers and Instagram continues to change her life for the better.

Jumpstart Your Success Now!

You too can achieve the same success. The key lies in building your followers and your credibility.

Explore the exciting possibilities that buying high-quality Instagram followers can bring to your business. Keep your eye on the prize and keep the stories of these people in your heart.

Stay inspired, today and always!


Image credit: BeamingNotes

Date: January 31, 2017 / Categories: Case Studies, Marketing, Tips, / Author: Pamela


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