Entrepreneur: Indy Blue 

Tilt: Travel lifestyle content evolved into a fashion business  

Scene: Instagram (263K), website, YouTube (132K), merch store

Snack Bites:

  • Indy gained a following for her travel-focused videos.
  • Her audience grew exponentially with her year-in-travel recap in less than three minutes.
  • Indy expanded beyond her content business, using her popularity to grow a fashion brand.
  • She chose a separate brand identity for her clothing that doesn’t connect with her Indy Blue name.

Why We Stan: Though not an official exit strategy, Indy grew her content business (and audience) to the point where she could pivot to launch a fashion brand on which she spends most of her time today.

The Story of Indy Blue 

India Blue Severe, notable now as Indy Blue, wanted to create an internet presence since she was little. As she writes on her blog: “At the tender age of 11, I laid the first brick of my empire with, “Miss Indypendent’ – a lifestyle blog – (a branding genius since 2008).”

But Indy really kicked off her audience growth in 2016 when her recap of her year’s travels video caught attention. She continued to capture interest with her aesthetic videos and goofy adventures with her friends.

She started a blog, Who Is Indy Blue?, and a presence on Instagram and YouTube. She continued her travel pursuits for several more years, adding video-editing workshops, vlogs, and blogs to her business. More recently, she has become known recently for her merchandise brand – Lonely Ghost.

Building a merch brand

Using her content-based audience, Indy launched her clothing line. As she explains, “Fashion to me has always and will always be my passion and No. 1 focus.”

Originally titled Indy the Label, Indy opted a year later for a unique brand unrelated to her personal name. “Indy The Label always felt temporary anyways. And while I’m so proud of every single item we dropped in that time period, it did feel a little ‘Jake Paul-ish’ to walk around town wearing my own name on my shirt,” she explains on her merch site.

Indy Blue grew her travel and lifestyle content brand to the point where she could follow her No. 1 dream and start a fashion line. #Stan #ContentEntrepreneur Click To Tweet

The Lonely Ghost name came from a series of impromptu thoughts while traveling. She explains, “I came across a picture of a ghost with the word ‘LONELY’ scrawled across the bottom. Ghosts have kind of taken over my life since we launched the brand, so I naturally screenshot any ghosty inspo, and this one was cool. It had a cool vibe. I couldn’t get it out of my head. ‘Lonely Ghost.’”

Transitioning to a clothing business

Now, Lonely Ghost is Indy’s main focus. Although she continues to publish Indy Blue blogs and keep up an Instagram presence, her merchandise brand has grown into physical stores and large-scale events.

Regardless of the rebrand, the name change did not stifle her success. Lonely Ghost has grown over 400% since its first year, and Indy continues to grow the brand’s extensions.

The success was rooted in a lot of aesthetic choices. “People want an experience, not just a T-shirt,” Indy tells Forbes, “We realized that by creating a ‘post-able’ brand, we’d never need to spend a penny on influencer marketing which we haven’t.”

Above all, Indy wanted her brand to cultivate sustainability and inclusivity. “I wanted to create something that everyone could participate in. Clothes that made you feel good about yourself. Phrasing that welcomed positivity and interaction,” Indy says.

About the author

Janie Eyerman is a strategic communication student at The Ohio State University. Although she has strong interest in meteorology and geology, she grew up with a passion for writing, words, and sharing stories.