Holly Valentine is a 26-year-old social media influencer, businesswoman, and model who uses her success as a testament to empower women worldwide. Her career in business began when she decided to accept a marketing position at a renowned marketing agency, her dream job at the time. Holly knew how valuable this opportunity could be, and she couldn’t turn it down despite having to leave college in her junior year to do it. Holly credits her career with the agency for teaching her valuable marketing skills as well as giving her insight into the world of business management. She didn’t realize it at the time, but every skill she learned she would later implement in her various roles as a business owner and social media star. Holly began working with influencers in her job, as a big part of her role was pairing talent with relevant campaigns. When Holly learned how much money social media influencers had the potential to make, she quickly began to wonder if she could become one herself.
It wasn’t until Holly was fired from her dream job that she decided to pursue a career as a social media influencer. At the time, Holly had nothing to lose, so she began implementing the knowledge she had learned in her marketing job towards her own social media platforms as an experiment to see if she could scale. Despite not having any prior experience as a model, she was confident in her ability to learn fast and quickly adapted. Holly’s bubbly personality and jaw-dropping looks shine bright in her content and have captured the attention of over 1.5 million loyal followers worldwide. Although it’s only been two and a half years since Holly began her influencer journey, she has already accomplished more than many people do in a lifetime. Like many other successful entrepreneurs, Holly has encountered countless challenges along road to success. She shared that her biggest struggles with becoming an influencer were managing her time, being consistent with her content, and learning to deal with the many different personalities on the internet. People are often surprised with how much work goes into managing multiple platforms and the content requirements it takes to keep them all running and growing. When asked about getting fired from her first job, Holly boldly stated:
“Getting fired from my previous marketing job was the best motivation I could have ever asked for. Proving people wrong is such a big motivator for my success, and that was exactly the push that I needed to really put myself out
there and believe in myself.”
It was on a trip to Napa that Holly and the now co-owner of her business noticed how some beverage industries were slow to tailor their brand to new markets, more specifically the youth-coming to legal drinking age. Through this realization they saw an untapped market, and out of their idea to innovate new market trends, a company was born. Their beverage company would revolutionize wine for young adults, and they would tailor their products to the newest trends for millennials. For Holly, becoming a business owner required her to adjust her thinking as an influencer, as she typically creates and posts content she deems suitable; however, the beverage business requires following strict guidelines and government regulations in every decision made. Her beverage brand quickly found success which she attributes to a great team, as well as the brand’s vast product line. The company thrives on over delivering on quality for the price, and includes an extensive line of wine, beer, and whiskey. Being a beverage company which spans across three different categories has significantly helped to differentiate the brand from competitors in the industry.
Holly has achieved success beyond her wildest dreams as an influencer and businessowner, but she has also encountered a lot of judgement and adversity as a model entering the business world. Holly recognizes the disparities among women in business as well as the stigma of models who turn into entrepreneurs. She says:
“I’ve always led with the idea that if you do good work then you will get the respect you deserve regardless of your background. I don’t keep my Instagram a secret and I also don’t let it be the focus at the company unless its relevant to what we are working on.”
Holly believes it’s important that people respect women for expressing their confidence as a woman and making money from it as opposed to scrutinizing them for investing into separate businesses. Holly is living proof that if you work hard and persist despite the nay-sayers, you will be accepted in the workplace regardless of your background. She hopes her story inspires women worldwide to believe in themselves enough to go forward with confidence and live the life of their dreams.