You see them on TikTok, Instagram and other social media channels. But it’s not all silly dances and challenges, it’s a big business and there are entrepreneurs, based in Tampa Bay, making big money by it – in an ongoing series, Tampa Bay Business and Wealth is finding these Tampa Bay social media influencers and telling their stories. Take notes Boomers, Gen X and elder Millennials. They know what they’re doing more than you might think. — Jo-Lynn Brown, TBBW managing editor.
It was a chance encounter, in a local restaurant, for Tampa-based Youtube star, and influencer turned serial entrepreneur, Jaclyn Hill that reaffirmed her passion for entrepreneurship. She spotted two women wearing her namesake Jaclyn Roxanne jewelry pieces, and introduced herself, resulting in an instant connection, compliments and mutual appreciation.
With her warm signature personal touch, and glam makeup tutorials, Hill, who is now 32 years old, rose to fame in 2010 with more than 589 million views on Youtube as well as a loyal audience of over 14 million followers on social media.
After high-profile collaborations with Kim Kardashian, Becca Cosmetics and Allure, Hill decided to expand her reach beyond her makeup brand, Jaclyn Cosmetics, to launch an influencer-driven marketplace iminit.com, a jewelry brand, Jaclyn Roxanne, and, most recently, a third venture, the comfort lifestyle collection Koze.
While entrepreneurship involves risks and uncertainty, especially in the competitive influencer space, Hill felt a calling to start her own business from the time she was a young girl.
“Ever since I was young, I wanted to do something in the beauty and fashion space. Not only do I love makeup, which is what ultimately opened many doors for me, but I also wanted to be a fashion designer,” says Hill. “I think that what we wear is such a great expression of our personalities, so I don’t think anyone close to me was surprised when I expanded into fashion and accessories.”
Since childhood, Hill says she was particularly interested in creating her own jewelry line, inspired by a set of pearls her grandmother gifted her when she was 8 years old.
“I made up my mind, a few years back, to start making arrangements and setting aside money to launch Jaclyn Roxanne because having complete creative control over my next brand, and manifesting my own ideas, was so important to me,” Hill says.
Along her rise to success, and fame, Hill gained knowledge on lessons about consumer preferences, navigating a crowded marketplace and creating a brand that makes women feel beautiful, she says. With every new venture, she has sharpened her business savvy and listened to feedback from her fans and followers.
Jaclyn Roxanne was inspired by her personal jewelry collection. She had an idea in mind, to recreate pieces at a lower price, that subscribers have complimented her on in past videos and social media posts. From everyday classics to trendy statement pieces, women could enjoy stylish jewelry at affordable prices.
While the premise for Jaclyn Roxanne started with accessibility in mind, Hill envisioned her namesake jewelry as a vehicle to celebrate how accessories enhance self-expression for women.
“My brands are always designed with the end consumer in mind,” she says. “I want them to wake up every day and feel powerful, and beautiful, because using my products simply enhances their inner beauty.”
As evident by the success of Jaclyn Roxanne, Hill’s intuition about creating an accessible jewelry line that was an extension of her style paid off. Launched in November 2021, this was the first brand that Hill built from the ground up and financed herself without any outside partners or investors. She says she feels this company was symbolic of a new era of independence and achievement as a female founder.
Hill continued her entrepreneurial momentum with the launch of Koze, the second addition to her portfolio expansion from beauty to fashion. Koze is a comfort collection with a mission of self-love. The brand’s motto “Be Kind to You” serves as a gentle reminder that all women can benefit from the feeling of being surrounded by warmth and love.
“Anyone who knows me, or follows me on social media, is aware of my obsession with coziness,” Hills says. “My favorite moments are the ones when I’m with my family and friends, at home, lounging around. I wanted to create a collection that truly feels like a warm hug but also looks great on everyone, which is why I wanted to include my family in the campaign.”
With over a decade of experience of being a beauty mogul and, now, a serial entrepreneur, Hill has learned how to build beauty and fashion brands with memorable messages that resonate with her fans and followers.
An astute businesswoman and influencer, Hill knows the rigorous business and financial acumen required to compete for women’s attention with beauty and fashion products. ♦