From Influencers to Entrepreneurs: How These 5 Icons Made Their Way Into Success

Senior Manager

Breaking into the world of business is no mean feat. It’s competitive, unpredictable and challenging. So, when you already have a guaranteed consumer base that is highly engaged and dedicated to following your every move, it seems to be the perfect opportunity to start your own business.

With millions of followers spread across the globe, this is fast becoming the case for many social media influencers. Having originally started out by sharing videos, blogs or sponsored content, influencers are now leveraging their elevated presence to turn their passions into profitable business ventures. Whether it’s collaborating with a well-known brand or going it alone and launching their own empire, these well-known social media figures are finding new ways to make a living from their online fame. Now, some of the most successful businesses in the beauty, fashion and fitness worlds are the result of the hard work and vision of a social media influencer.

Paving the way for many budding social media stars, here are five of the most successful influencers who have gone from influencer to entrepreneur one post at a time.

1 - Jeffree Star

Known for his eccentric look and bold make-up artistry, Jeffree Star has stunned millions when establishing himself within the world of social media and the public spotlight. From starting a music career to becoming a cosmetics creator, beauty influencer and entrepreneur, Star boasts a total online following of more than 20 million fans.

Starting on MySpace as a musical artist back in 2006, Star frequently used the platform to promote his music. It wasn’t long until the artist’s growing fame allowed him to release his first studio album featuring award-winning major label artist Nicki Minaj. Since, he has also collaborated with global superstar Kesha, catapulting him into the world of high-profile influencers.


Starting on MySpace as a musical artist back in 2006, Star frequently used the platform to promote his music. It wasn’t long until the artist’s growing fame allowed him to release his first studio album featuring award-winning major label artist Nicki Minaj. Since, he has also collaborated with global superstar Kesha, catapulting him into the world of high-profile influencers.

As his music career was brought to a temporary halt, Star embarked on further endeavours, submerging himself within the fashion and beauty industry before founding his own cosmetics company Jeffree Star Cosmetics. He promoted his new projects on YouTube, where his following dramatically increased; now he acquires a total of 1.4 billion views and 13.6 million subscribers on the platform alone.

Since starting his e-commerce brand, companies such as Morphe have been keen on collaborating with the influencer. After helping Morphe with the launch of a new store in Paramus, New Jersey, the two have collaborated to feature a selection of Jeffree Star makeup brushes on the Morphe website. Today, he is not only the owner of a huge beauty empire, but one of the biggest names in the beauty sphere.

As he continues to develop his passion for make-up artistry and fashion, Star keeps fans on their toes with regular YouTube content as well as a range of clothing and make-up collections on his website.

Since he first found fame online, his success has grown globally and now his net worth is at an estimated $75 million.

2. Dragun Beauty

Transforming the conventional wisdom surrounding the beauty and fashion industry, this Mother of Draguns has cracked the code of becoming a unique digital superstar. To date, she has gathered over 2 million YouTube subscribers and 118.7 million views across her videos.


Nikita Dragun’s fashion career began in 2014, when she enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, California. She then went on to begin her journey to stardom when creating a YouTube channel and Instagram page, starting out as a makeup and beauty vlogger. As her fanbase began to increase, her creative perspective flourished when delivering fashion and beauty ideas to the growing public eyes.

Her high-profile image soon became attractive to brands and companies who were keen to work alongside the new influencer. As a result, she soon landed several major endorsement deals including a collaboration with Bellami Hair on her own line of synthetic wigs, and Morphe with her own lipstick collection.

One of the reasons why Nikita appeals to brands and stands out from the crowd, is her confident and expressive ideas about gender fluidity. In her posts, she often incorporates a mercurial approach to creating art that uniquely articulates her individuality.

After a year of working on her project Dragun Beauty, Dragun debuted her first independent project with two complexion products: DragunFire Skin Perfecting Potion, and DragunHeart Transformation Face Powder. Her products are delivered at a professional and affordable range, as well as being vegan and cruelty-free.

3. Jamie Laing

From reality television star to self-made entrepreneur, this social media influencer has made his way into success by using his already-established television profile to endorse his own business.

During his role on the BAFTA award-winning reality series Made in Chelsea, Laing began to carve his path towards a sweeter world. His entrepreneurial eye spotted the ineludible gap in the candy market, inspiring him to found the sweet company Candy Kittens.


Wanting to offer a larger array of tasty flavours and product diversity whilst maintaining quality, the company began producing sweets that accommodate the tastes of both the young and old, as well as the gluten-free and the vegan. This already puts their products on a pedestal as they can be enjoyed by all, making it stand out on the shelf at the local store or supermarket.

Candy Kittens has expanded its outreach by promoting merchandise on their company website, offering accessories, bags and notebooks alongside their confectionary range. The company has now received national recognition and continues to thrive within the confectionary industry.

His entrepreneurial success is by no means a surprise, considering his being the grandson of the Mcvities founder. On top of his entrepreneurship, Laing embarks on further paths to becoming a global influencer through his YouTube podcast Private Parts, acquiring 75.9k subscribers with a total of 7.9 million views across his videos. He also regularly collaborates with other influences including reality TV star Montana Brown, Tom Lucy and Luke Kempner.

4. HNB Cosmetics

Aside from the big names within the industry, smaller brands are now beginning to emerge as a result of entrepreneurial influencers. Having already established a presence on an online platform, more and more influencers are starting to launch their own brands to further their business prospects.

Amongst these smaller brands is HNB Cosmetics, founded by social media influencer Holly Boon who has a following of over 449k on Instagram and almost 40 million views across her YouTube channel.

HNB Cosmetics

Starting off with simple make-up and fashion tutorials, Holly’s popularity rose when her videos gradually caught the public’s attention. After establishing her social media presence, she went on to collaborate with nationally renowned brands such as White Fox Boutique, Pretty Little Thing and Oh Polly.

From this, she has gone on to launch her own range of products on her website, with items ranging from synthetic eyelashes and a collection of nude lip glosses, all advertised as cruelty-free with affordable prices.

5. Hunny Cosmetics

Founder of Hunny Cosmetics Imogen Hudson has followed a similar path into entrepreneurship when embarking on social media influencing. With now over 300k subscribers and 25 million views across her channel, her makeup tutorials, brand reviews and haul videos have successfully made their way into the viral list. This has effectively enabled her to take her following with her as she pursues entrepreneurial projects, further establishing her presence within the digital world.


Hudson’s empowering attitude towards female beauty and identity has been the backbone of Hunny Cosmetics as stated on the company website. Her products focus on synthetic eyelashes using faux minx and silk fibres, effectively mimicking mink whilst retaining ethical production procedures. Her company values extend to promoting 100% vegan and cruelty-free products, making it attractive for a larger audience.

What does the future hold for young, aspiring ‘influ-preneurs’?

As more social influencers transform into business moguls, the way in which brands work with influencers will undoubtedly continue to change.

Brands are no longer limited to collaborating on small-scale sponsored content and instead can reap the benefits of investing in full product lines. What’s more, influencers themselves are able to grow their career into something that stretches far beyond anything they could have originally imagined. Being an influencer isn’t just about blogging or talking to a camera, it’s now about turning passions or hobbies into serious business models that make millions.

With influencer marketing continuing to grow year on year, we expect to see many more influencer collaborations and new empires that start from small social media platforms. The question is, who is next in line to become a successful entrepreneur?

Influencer Matchmaker proudly works with a number of social media influencers who are available for brand collaborations. For more information or to collaborate them for your next influencer marketing campaign, simply fill out our online form, call 0203 9580 427 or email