Entrepreneur: Alexa Hornshuh
Tilt: College life and Gen Z trends
Primary Channel: TikTok (1.2M)
Other Primary Channels: Instagram (10K), Snapchat (7K)
Time to First Dollar: 1+ years
Rev Streams: Brand partnerships, clothing line
Our Favorite Actionable Advice:
- Ignore online bullies: Alexa chooses to cancel out the mean comments and focus on the positive ones.
- Create collaboratively: Her TikTok audience asked for and then gave input on colors, pieces, and more for Alexa’s first clothing line.
- Hire a professional: Alexa hired a business manager who has helped her take a more strategic and profitable approach to her content business.
At first glance, Alexa Hornshuh seems like a typical 18-year-old living her best college life. But there’s a reason why she has 1.2M followers on TikTok and sold out her first clothing line on TikTok within hours of its release: Alexa is super relatable to a Gen Z audience and confident AF.
Ever since she was a little girl, Alexa would cheer, dance, and record videos for her family. So when TikTok became popular, she was a natural at creating content for the short video platform. Like many TikTok teens, she started her channel to connect with friends and film entertaining lifestyle videos out of pure enjoyment.
Choosing a content niche
Alexa didn’t choose her content niche; her content niche chose her. As a college student who lives that #DormLife, she naturally has access to friends/roomies to collaborate with. Whenever she wants to film a group dance, she doesn’t have to go far to gather people to make it happen.
Alexa describes her content niche as “lifestyle,” where basically anything trendy goes. She posts a lot about beauty, fashion, family, and friends. Her goal wasn’t to have a curated feed or stick to content strategy — it was all about in-the-moment posting.
Growing a following
In high school, she created a dance trend that a lot of TikTok users recreated. She also tries to block out the noise of people saying, “Do this trend or do that trend,” by staying authentic and doing things on her own terms. Also, because she’s super spontaneous, she’s able to jump on trends quickly.
As people commented on how much they loved her videos, she gained the confidence to keep doing it. “It’s nice getting feedback from other people about what they think of your videos,” she says.
However, she doesn’t always get positive feedback. She has been bullied in high school and college for her videos. One time, she went to a local restaurant, and the guy at the counter told her he’d need to disinfect everything after she left and made fun of her videos. Even with some hate, Alexa is confident and loves what she does. She focuses on the positive feedback and her fans while canceling out the negativity from haters.
Hiring an agent
In December 2020, Alexa hired an agent to help her come up with a TikTok strategy and manage her brand deals. Now she posts at least twice a week and plans what her videos will be about in advance.
“I definitely take this as a job seriously. I’ve definitely seen growth (by implementing a strategy),” she says. In September, she was at 1.1M followers, and last month she was at 1.2M – an almost 10% jump in 30 days.#TikTok star Alexa Hornshuh had a big audience when she hired an agent to help her come up with a strategy. It's worked, growing her big audience even bigger. #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
Starting a clothing line based on TikTok audience
After Alexa took TikTok more seriously, she asked her audience what they wanted to see. Since her followers love her style, they asked for a clothing line. Over the course of a few months, she asked them about their favorite colors and types of clothing. The result? A 12-piece clothing line she created with her agent.
In August, the week before launch day, she promoted it, and the 1,000 pieces averaging $48 each sold out in 30 minutes. “It performed so well. It did awesome, and I think it was true to me.”
Doing brand deals
But Alexa isn’t just promoting her own stuff. She loves working with small boutiques and supporting their businesses. Sometimes, she’ll even post about a business for free just because she likes them so much. One time, she went to a local boutique store where she bought her prom dress and filmed everything she bought in a “fashion haul” TikTok. The owner called her and said she sold out of the many styles after people watched her video.
She’s worked with Princess Polly, Hello Molly, Invisalign, Fashion Nova, and Olaplex. She also has turned down a few brands that she was excited to work with because they wouldn’t pay her rate. Her biggest brand deal was $2.4K for a few sponsored TikToks.
Planning for the future
What’s next for Alexa? She’s planning a YouTube channel with videos requested by her followers. From easy college meals to fashion hauls, she’s up for the challenge. Alexa would also love to do a commercial or reality TV.
About the author
Bonnie owns Word of Mouth, a content agency specializing in social media, content marketing, and editorial writing. She's written for Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Coveteur, Man Repeller, Health.com, and more. She loves wearing fanny packs and laying in the fetal position.