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Turning Passion Into Profit

For the last decade, we have first-handedly seen the impact of social media influencers. Whether it be on Instagram or Youtube, content creators have successfully found a way to monetize their life and personal interests. On top of that, mainstream influencers have been getting paid thousands of dollars to promote other brands’ products. However, in the last few years, we have seen a shift in the content creator industry. Influencers are no longer sticking to one or two platforms, rather they are bringing their interests to the next level and creating their own business from it. The most notable industries influencers are getting themselves into are fashion and beauty. Influencers such as Marianna Hewitt and Negin Mirsalehi have done just that. Their ardor is embodied in every product of theirs as they immersed their interests in fashion and beauty into successful businesses and paved the way for other influencers to do the same.

Beginning her online presence in 2012, Negin Mirsalehi is one of the original fashion influencers that has taken the fashion world by storm. Pursuing a master’s degree in marketing, she started out posting outfit photos on Instagram then transitioned into running her own blog[1]. To this day, Negin is still one of the most recognized fashion influencers on social media, racking in $20,000[2] per sponsored post and over 7 million followers. She has appeared in numerous fashion magazines and has worked with some of the most luxurious brands out there. All in all, Negin has built a very successful career for herself. However, Negin’s passion for beauty does not stop there. She has always been known for her gorgeous hair, and in 2015, Negin launched her own hair-care called Gisou. She co-founded the brand with Maurits Stibb – her boyfriend – and ever since they had the idea to create this company, they have been the only investors to maintain full control of the brand[3]. At their initial launch of their fan-favorite Honey-Infused Hair Oil, it quickly sold out. Today, Gisou is estimated to make over $10 million in sales[4] and is projected to grow even bigger as each year continues. Negin still continues her online social media presence, but is now splitting her time with running her own business. Her interests in fashion and beauty have unraveled many opportunities since the start of career, but her aspirations are not slowing down as she continues to expand Gisou with new hair and lifestyle products.

Launched in 2018, Summer Fridays had quickly become a cult favorite in the beauty and skincare industry. Co-founded by Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores, their initial launch only sold one product – Jet Lag Mask. While it was a big risk showcasing only one product, Marianna and Lauren strongly believed in the success of this product – and they were right. Jet Lag Mask set the bar for the future success of the brand with predictions of $4.8 million in sales in 2020[5]. While Marianna’s focus has shifted towards Summer Fridays, her career did not initially start there. Marianna started out as a beauty influencer on Youtube, as well as being a TV host[6]. She would regularly post makeup and hair tutorials and would share that with her followers on Youtube, Instagram, and her blog – Life With Me. With her love for beauty and an understanding of the shifting market, she launched Summer Fridays towards an audience that had similar needs like hers – amazing products with clean ingredients[7]. Marianna is another perfect example of ardor because she successfully monetized her passion for beauty and has built a successful business out of it. Not only does she continue doing well on her social media platforms, but her company also continues to thrive each year with products being sold out in Sephora throughout the US.

Written by Kimberly Pham


[1] Morris, Olivia. “Negin Mirsalehi Reveals the Real Story behind Her Successful Beauty Brand Gisou.” Emirates Woman, 13 June 2021,

[2] Quezada, Veronica. “Inside the Fabulous Life of Negin Mirsalehi, an Instagram Influencer Who Makes $20,000 for a Single Post.” Money, 2 Dec. 2017,


[4] Moore, Kristina. “Designer Spotlight: Beauty Influencer's Honey-Bee Hair Brand, Gisou, Develops Family Formula.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Dec. 2017,

[5] Santoreneos, Anastasia. “How Two Women Started a Multimillion-Dollar Company in Their 30s.” Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo!, 2 Nov. 2020,

[6] Shacknai, Gabby. “How Influencer and Beauty Guru Marianna Hewitt Is Inspiring the next Generation with Her New Podcast.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 20 Nov. 2020,

[7] Venison, Alexandra. “Meet the Duo behind Cult Skincare Label Summer Fridays.” Vogue Arabia, 27 May 2020,

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