Instagram is a huge source of inspiration for me. I have always been a big believer in supporting and promoting local creators, and I am so excited that Instagram has grown into this incredible online community that brings people of all backgrounds, geographic locations, and trades together.
I love scrolling through these accounts and watching these people who are pursuing their dreams by running their own businesses, doing what they love, while also sharing the joys and struggles of entrepreneurship. Following them encourages me to pursue things I’m passionate about, be the best version of myself, and live my best life.
I also love adorable animals, because who doesn’t? Stalk the people I stalk:
Kalin Scheik aka @stemsandsprigs & @sweetwaterlavenderfarm
Kalin is my absolute favorite Instagram account to follow—she is total girlboss goals. She left behind a full-time job with benefits to work for herself (with her husband Matt) and run her own lavender farm and flower business out of Petoskey, Michigan. Kalin is passionate about supporting other entrepreneurs and is all about promoting businsses she loves through her account.
She’s so creative, fun, and real and is always planning the next cool event like yoga in the lavendar, flower workshops, gather series dinner parties, and a tiny house. I am making it a mission to attend one (or all) of these things in the next year. I highly recommend following her daily updates through her Instagram stories on the Stems & Sprigs account.
Hana Brewster aka @quietclementine
Hana runs Quiet Clementine, a store full of colorful, geometric patterns painted on ceramics. She makes home decor, jewelry, and jewelry storage. Her products can be found online and in select stores. Follow her on Instagram and subscribe to her email list for updates. I think Hana’s products are so beautiful, unique, and creative—they’d make the perfect gift for any occasion!
Aleksandra Zee aka @aleksandrazee
Aleksandra is an Oakland-based woodworker building large and small scale intricate wooden wall hangings, headboards, and table tops. She does commissioned pieces, shows, artist residences, and workshops. You buy pieces from her online shop here.
Some of her work is featured in the swoon-worthy Airbnb rental called The Joshua Tree House (@thejoshuatreehouse). Her feed is a beautifully curated and filtered glimpse into her creative rockstar life.
Zai Divecha aka @elektrasteel & @zaidivecha
Zai is a Bay Area metalworker. I first saw Zai’s work at Harmonic Brewing (@harmonicbrewing) in San Francisco and immediately had to start stalking her online (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, blog, Vimeo, email newsletter…).
I love following her work because Zai is an insanely talented badass who studied at Yale, is a dedicated cyclist, and left her job in marketing at a tech company (like me!) to do incredible metalworking. Talk about living life to the fullest! We also both had our engagement rings designed by the same San Francisco jeweler, who is also Instagram-stalk-worthy and uses some of Zai’s work in his shop: @labijouteriesf.
Jolie Ankrom aka @becomingjolie & @brimpapery
Another girlboss who loves to show behind-the-scenes looks at her life with her husband and two kids, Jolie always keeps it real. She reminds her followers that although she has a beautiful house, family, and business (Brim Papery stationery & gifts), her life isn’t always as perfect as the ‘tiny squares’ (as Kalin from Stems & Sprigs says) makes it appear. She’s extremely talented, honest, and enjoyable to follow.
Megan (& Mike) Gilger aka @freshexchange
I’ve followed this husband and wife creative team for years through their time in Raleigh, NC and now in Traverse City, MI. Their mission to live and create intentionally inspires me, and their posts are always informative and refreshingly honest, much like Kalin and Jolie’s brands.
They discuss marriage, becoming parents, working for themselves, traveling, buying, decorating, selling, and building homes, what they’re currently into (clothes, books, etc), and creating—they do client work and make and sell their own fonts and images. I made their delicious ‘ultimate spring’ avocado toast recipe earlier this year and loved it.
Cincinnati Zoo aka @cincinnatizoo
Fiona is a world-famous hippo (#teamfiona), the first Nile Hippo born at the zoo in 75 years. She was born six weeks prematurely in early 2017, about 25 pounds underweight, and was the first Nile Hippo to ever be captured on an ultrasound image. The zoo staff were able to milk her mother Bibi, analyze the composition of the hippo milk, and help tiny baby Fiona grow into the strong and healthy hippo she is today. She is a worldwide sensation due to her social media following, and now even has her own show on Facebook!
In addition to these accounts above, I’m extremely proud of my talented sister Olivia Venuto (@voyagelettering) and cousin Megan Van Sipe (@lilacsaloon). They’re two of my closest friends in the world, and I remember when they both were inspired to start their brands and work hard on their crafts, toward their goals. It makes me so happy to see people doing what they love, and motivates me to continue pursuing creative projects.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts to stalk? Let me know in the comments!