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Inspiration

October 11

Born on Instagram: How Entrepreneur Katie Sturino Built Her Personal Brand

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA

For entrepreneurs across the globe, Instagram offers a wealth of resources and inspiration to turn their passion into a business. Born on Instagram is a new series spotlighting brands that have used Instagram’s tools to build community, explore creativity and shape culture — forming the foundation of their success.

First up: say hi to entrepreneur and content creator Katie Sturino (@katiesturino), who founded Megababe Beauty (@megababe) and authored Body Talk, an illustrated guide-meets-workbook about how to embrace your body and live your best life. She’ll be going live with Gracie J from The Editorial Nail (@theeditorialnail) — another business born on Instagram — this Wednesday, October 13 on @instagramforbusiness to chat about how Instagram is a cornerstone of their business success. (Update on October 11, 2021 at 12:00PM PT: Instagram Live date changed from October 14 to October 13.)

Katie Sturino poses in a floral dress

Ahead of their conversation, Katie opened up about how she got to where she is today. Back in 2011, she was one of the first people to make their pet internet famous. As an early adopter of Instagram, she leveraged its tools to make her beloved Toast of @dogmeetsworld go viral. She then went on to cultivate that success by building her own personal brand based on instincts and rooted in being your most authentic self, two values that resonated with her audience on Instagram. And through growing that presence and community, Megababe and all of Katie’s other business ventures came to fruition.

How did your journey start?

I worked in PR for several years until I was featured on the fashion blog Man Repeller and heard from women who were happy to finally see someone their size represented in fashion. I felt compelled to start my own blog, The 12ish Style, to make women everywhere feel more comfortable in their bodies.

Hailey Bieber and Katie Sturino wearing similar outfits

An example from Katie’s #SuperSizeTheLook content series

When did you start developing your personal brand?

I've always been conscious of my personal brand, even before the internet. What started as a career in PR to help small businesses shifted into something even bigger. At my core, I've always wanted to be a champion for women and their businesses.

How do you feel your business was born on Instagram?

Without my dog [the late Toast of @dogmeetsworld] being Instagram-famous, I wouldn't have been featured on Man Repeller and wouldn't have started The 12ish Style or Megababe! I have Instagram to thank for everything!

What’s changed about using Instagram today?

When I started, Instagram was about aesthetics — showing off the perfect outfit or breakfast spread. Today, it's a lot more powerful because it's about education and connection. There's also a greater expectation for authenticity, which I especially appreciate because I've always been authentic on my account.

When it comes to creating content for your feed, what's your approach?

I have three consistent series — #SuperSizeTheLook, #WearThisBut and #MakeMySize — that anchor my monthly content. Everything I post, I post with the goal of empowering women. I want them to get dressed however they choose and feel their best.

#WearThisBut videoPlay Icon

An example from Katie’s #WearThisBut content series

How do you juggle the various projects you run on social media?

I've got a great team around me that keeps everything running. Details, admittedly, are not my strong suit, and I'm lucky to surround myself with people who are more detail-oriented.

Any specific anecdotes that had a significant impact on you or your business?

Not a specific anecdote, but I will say that I check my DMs every single day for anything business-related. I'm constantly networking on Instagram, much more than I am on email or any other platform.

And any advice for businesses?

I'll say it again: network! Build relationships with other brands and use your platform to educate people about your brand.

Looking to learn more about how Instagram can help you push your brand’s creativity? Browse our Instagram for Business blog for more inspiration, and follow @instagramforbusiness to watch Katie’s live chat with The Editorial Nail’s Gracie J on Wednesday, October 13.

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA