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Top Small Business Influencers


Top Small Business Influencers

Discover the top small business influencers and their inspiring journeys. Learn from entrepreneurs like Lezlie Karls, Monica Grohne, and Melinda Emerson.


1. Lezlie Karls, Co-Founder of Mid-Day Squares


Lezlie Karls, Co-Founder of Mid-Day Squares

Lezlie Karls is the co-founder and CEO of Mid-Day Squares, a company that has revolutionised the health bar market with its unique approach to creating delicious, clean, high-protein afternoon snacks. With a background in fashion and a stint in New York, Lezlie shifted her career path towards entrepreneurship, driven by a passion for health and wellness. Alongside her husband, Nick Saltarelli, and brother, Jake Karls, she has built a brand that stands out in the competitive food space.



Key Contributions ⭐

Lezlie's most notable achievement is the creation and rapid growth of Mid-Day Squares. Despite initial rejections from major grocery store buyers, her determination led the company to sell directly to consumers online, resulting in a brand that has garnered a loyal following. Her innovative approach to online taste testing and direct customer engagement has been pivotal in the brand's success.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Lezlie Karls embodies the spirit of innovation and resilience in the face of adversity. Her journey from fashion to founding a successful health food company is inspiring for small business owners, especially those in the food industry. Her insights into entrepreneurship, brand building, and navigating the challenges of starting a business with family are invaluable.


Links 🔗


Lezlie Karls' story is a testament to the power of perseverance, creativity, and the importance of direct consumer relationships in building a brand. Her innovative approach to the health food market and her ability to disrupt traditional retail models make her a must-follow for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, health and wellness, and the business of food.



2. Monica Grohne, founder of Marea Wellness


Monica Grohne, founder of Marea Wellness

Monica Grohne is the visionary behind Marea Wellness, a company dedicated to providing education, community, and whole health solutions to women in all phases of their hormonal lifecycle. With a focus on natural and science-backed solutions, Monica and her team aim to address the root causes of hormonal imbalances and symptoms. Her journey into wellness was fueled by personal experiences and a desire to offer women better health solutions.



Key Contributions ⭐

Monica co-founded Marea Wellness to tackle the challenges women face due to hormonal imbalances. The company offers a nutritional solution developed into a drinkable format, making it convenient for modern lifestyles. Monica's work emphasizes transparency, education, and community support, empowering women to take control of their health.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Monica Grohne stands out for her commitment to addressing women's health issues with innovative, natural solutions. Her approach to wellness is holistic and science-driven, making her insights and products invaluable for anyone looking to improve their hormonal health. Following Monica offers access to a wealth of knowledge on natural health solutions and the science behind them.


Links 🔗


Monica Grohne's work with Marea Wellness is revolutionizing how women approach hormonal health, offering solutions that are both effective and convenient. Her dedication to transparency and education makes her a leading voice in women's wellness, providing valuable resources and support for those navigating hormonal challenges.



3. Zara Saleem, founder of Delhicious Body


 Zara Saleem, founder of Delhicious Body

Zara Saleem co-founded Delhicious Body, a vegan skincare brand that stands out for its innovative approach, combining Ayurvedic principles with modern, playful branding. With a strong passion for natural skincare and a background in The London School of Beauty & Makeup, Zara, alongside Zak Ismail, turned a modest investment into a thriving business​.



Key Contributions ⭐

Delhicious Body is known for its "Delhicious" scrub and a range of skincare products catering to various concerns like dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. The brand went viral on TikTok, growing organically to over 200,000 followers, and tackled challenges like rapidly selling out due to unexpected viral success​.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Zara Saleem's journey from starting with a £250 investment at her kitchen table to managing a 50,000 person waitlist is incredibly inspiring for small business owners. Her creativity in marketing and ability to leverage social media platforms for brand growth make her a valuable figure in the entrepreneurial community​.


Links 🔗


Zara Saleem's story is a testament to the power of innovative ideas, strategic social media use, and the growing interest in natural, ethically produced skincare products. Her brand, Delhicious Body, is not just a business but a movement towards more conscious consumption in the beauty industry.



4. Mayssa Chehata, founder of Behave Candy


Mayssa Chehata, founder of Behave Candy

Mayssa Chehata's career spans various roles, from coordinating projects at Uber to a director position at SoulCycle, before founding Behave Candy. Her entrepreneurial spirit and practical approach to problem-solving have significantly contributed to her success in the competitive candy industry.



Key Contributions ⭐

Chehata's Behave Candy has carved out a niche in the health-conscious candy market with its low-sugar, keto-friendly gummy bears, appealing to adults seeking guilt-free indulgences. The brand's innovative use of natural ingredients and strategic social media marketing, particularly on TikTok, has propelled it to viral success.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Chehata's journey from the corporate world to founding a successful startup offers valuable lessons in leveraging professional experiences and social media to build a brand. Her ability to navigate the challenges of the food industry and respond to market needs with creative solutions makes her a compelling figure for aspiring entrepreneurs.


Links 🔗

  • Instagram (click here)

  • TikTok (click here)

  • LinkedIn (click here)

  • Eat Behave Website (click here)



5. Jane Lu, founder of Showpo


Jane Lu, founder of Showpo

Jane Lu, also known as "The Lazy CEO," is a celebrated entrepreneur and social media influencer renowned for founding Showpo, an online fashion empire. Transitioning from a corporate job to entrepreneurship, Lu has made a significant mark in the e-commerce fashion industry, showcasing her expertise in digital marketing, brand development, and business growth strategies.



Key Contributions ⭐

Lu's journey from quitting her corporate job to starting Showpo in her parents' garage is a classic entrepreneurial success story. Showpo is recognized for its rapid growth, innovative social media strategies, and strong brand presence among millennials and Gen Z. Lu's contributions extend to her work as a "Shark" on Shark Tank Australia and her educational efforts through "The Lazy CEO's guide to starting & growing an online business" masterclass.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Jane Lu's transparent sharing of her entrepreneurial journey, combined with practical advice and insights, makes her a valuable resource for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Her success with Showpo, coupled with her engaging content on entrepreneurship and business growth, provides both inspiration and actionable knowledge.


Links 🔗


Jane Lu's ability to blend humour with insightful business advice, her innovative approach to online retail, and her commitment to empowering other entrepreneurs through her podcast and online courses make her an influential figure worth following for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, e-commerce, and personal development.


6. Sarah Ashcroft, founder of SLA The Label


Sarah Ashcroft, founder of SLA The Label

Sarah Ashcroft is widely recognized for her influential presence in the fashion and lifestyle industry, primarily through her blog "That Pommie Girl" and her social media channels. She has built a significant following by sharing her style advice, fashion tips, and lifestyle content. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to launch her own fashion brand, SLA The Label, focusing on quality, style, and accessibility.



Key Contributions ⭐

Sarah's journey in the fashion world began with her blog, which quickly catapulted her to social media stardom, amassing a substantial Instagram following. Her brand, SLA The Label, showcases her keen eye for fashion and understanding of what the modern woman desires, making waves in the ready-to-wear sector. Her work extends beyond fashion design, including collaborations with major brands and appearances on digital platforms.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Sarah's deep understanding of personal branding and digital marketing in the fashion industry sets her apart. Her ability to connect with her audience and transform her personal style into a successful brand is both inspiring and instructive for small business owners in the creative and retail sectors.


Links 🔗


Sarah Ashcroft's evolution from a fashion blogger to a successful entrepreneur exemplifies the power of leveraging social media and personal branding to build and grow a business. Her journey offers valuable insights into the digital marketing strategies that resonate with today's consumers, particularly in the highly competitive fashion industry.



7. Phoebe Greenacre, Holistic Therapist, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, and Business Coach


Phoebe Greenacre, Holistic Therapist, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, and Business Coach

Phoebe Greenacre combines her vast experience in the business world with her expertise in holistic healing to empower women in their entrepreneurial journeys. With over 15 years in the business and startup sector and more than seven years in holistic therapy and yoga, Greenacre brings a unique blend of skills to her coaching and therapy practices. She is the founder of The Self Care Space and co-founder of Silou London, showcasing her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to wellness.



Key Contributions ⭐

Greenacre's holistic approach to business coaching involves integrating somatic therapy with intuitive business strategies, helping her clients achieve personal and professional growth. She is dedicated to helping women become "consciously alive" and share their unique gifts with the world, emphasizing the importance of spiritual entrepreneurship.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Greenacre's mission to fuse personal well-being with business success sets her apart in the entrepreneurial landscape. Her focus on somatic healing, mindfulness, and sustainable business practices offers invaluable insights for small business owners looking to align their work with their personal values and well-being​.


Links 🔗


Phoebe Greenacre stands out as a guiding light for entrepreneurs seeking to blend personal development with business success. Her holistic approach provides a roadmap for building a business that not only thrives financially but also contributes positively to the owner's overall well-being and fulfillment.



8. Allison Ellsworth, Co-Founder of Poppi

Allison Ellsworth, Co-Founder of Poppi

Allison Ellsworth co-founded Poppi, a prebiotic soda brand, alongside her husband. Inspired by personal health challenges, they created a delicious and health-conscious soda that includes apple cider vinegar, known for its health benefits, without compromising on taste. Their journey from a homemade remedy to a successful business is a testament to innovative thinking and perseverance in the face of adversity.



Key Contributions ⭐

Ellsworth's pivotal role in Poppi's development and branding has led to the company's explosive growth. Her unique approach to combining health with enjoyable consumption has redefined the beverage industry's standards. Poppi's success story, including overcoming supply chain challenges and experiencing viral success on platforms like TikTok, showcases Ellsworth's entrepreneurial acumen and ability to adapt and thrive.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Allison Ellsworth's journey is inspiring for small business owners looking to make a significant impact in the consumer goods sector. Her ability to leverage social media for brand growth, coupled with her innovative approach to product development, makes her a key influencer in the entrepreneurial and wellness communities.


Links 🔗


Allison Ellsworth's work with Poppi highlights the intersection of health, wellness, and entrepreneurship. Her story is a valuable resource for those interested in starting their own business, particularly in the competitive food and beverage industry, offering insights into branding, product development, and leveraging digital platforms for growth.



9. Melanie Masarin, founder and CEO of Ghia


Melanie Masarin, founder and CEO of Ghia

Melanie Masarin is the driving force behind Ghia, a brand that seeks to redefine social drinking with a focus on non-alcoholic, natural beverages inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle. Her background includes significant roles such as Head of Marketing and Creative Director at Dig Inn, where she honed her expertise in branding and consumer experiences. Melanie's vision for Ghia was born from her desire to offer inclusive, sophisticated drink options that cater to everyone, including those who abstain from alcohol for health or personal reasons.



Key Contributions ⭐

Melanie founded Ghia with the ambition of taking back the word "drinking" from alcoholic connotations, introducing a line of non-alcoholic aperitifs inspired by her Mediterranean roots. Her work at Ghia is notable for its emphasis on inclusivity, allowing even pregnant women to enjoy sophisticated beverages without alcohol. Before Ghia, her leadership at Dig Inn significantly contributed to the brand's creative direction and market presence.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Melanie's approach to reimagining the beverage industry sets her apart. She champions the idea that social drinking can be inclusive and free from alcohol, without compromising on taste or the social experience. Her insights into branding, consumer experience, and wellness are invaluable for small business owners looking for innovative ways to engage with their audience.


Links 🔗


Melanie Masarin's journey with Ghia reflects a deep commitment to inclusivity and innovation in the beverage industry. Her leadership and creative vision offer a fresh perspective on social drinking, making her a key influencer for small business owners in the wellness and lifestyle sectors.



10. Marie Forleo, Entrepreneur, Author and Host


Marie Forleo, Entrepreneur, Author and Host

Marie Forleo has established herself as a powerhouse in the realms of personal development, entrepreneurship, and online education. Her multifaceted career spans being an author, life coach, and host of MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast. Forleo's approachable and actionable advice has garnered her recognition from thought leaders like Oprah Winfrey, who named her a thought leader for the next generation.


Key Contributions ⭐

Forleo is the founder of Marie Forleo International, B-School, and the author of the New York Times bestseller "Everything is Figureoutable." Her work is centered around empowering individuals to achieve their greatest potential, both personally and professionally. Her platform combines insights from her diverse experiences in business, digital marketing, and personal development, providing a comprehensive resource for anyone looking to improve their life and business.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Marie Forleo's unique blend of business acumen, creativity, and holistic life advice makes her stand out. Her content is not only motivating but also provides practical strategies for overcoming personal and professional obstacles. Her emphasis on the belief that "everything is figureoutable" resonates with a wide audience, making her insights particularly valuable for small business owners and entrepreneurs seeking growth and clarity in their ventures.


Links 🔗


Marie Forleo's holistic approach to business and life coaching, combined with her engaging presence on multiple media platforms, makes her a key influencer for anyone interested in personal growth, entrepreneurship, and effective communication. Her work offers a blend of inspiration and practicality, ideal for small business owners looking for both guidance and motivation.



11. Laura Henshaw, Co-Founder of KIC


Laura Henshaw, Co-Founder of KIC

Laura Henshaw is an influential figure in the health and wellness industry, known for her role as the CEO and co-founder of KIC, an Australian health and fitness app. With a mission to make fitness and wellness technology accessible, Henshaw combines her expertise in business with a passion for promoting a balanced lifestyle.



Key Contributions ⭐

Under Henshaw's leadership, KIC has become a leading platform for those seeking a holistic approach to health and fitness, offering resources from workout plans to mental health support. She is also recognized for her engaging presence on social media platforms, where she shares insights into her journey and the importance of self-care.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Laura Henshaw's approach to health and wellness emphasizes balance, making her a relatable and inspiring figure for small business owners and individuals alike. Her content not only provides practical fitness and wellness advice but also encourages followers to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams with a focus on well-being.


Links 🔗


Laura Henshaw's work with KIC highlights the importance of integrating health and wellness into everyday life, making her an essential follow for those interested in entrepreneurship within the wellness industry. Her journey from model to CEO showcases the potential for business success rooted in personal passion and commitment to community well-being.



12. Julie Stevanja, Co-Founder of Stylerunner and Wrapd


Julie Stevanja, Co-Founder of Stylerunner and Wrapd

Julie Stevanja is an innovator in the retail and e-commerce sector, best known as the co-founder of Stylerunner, a trailblazing online retailer specializing in high-end activewear and athleisure wear. With an eye for fashion-forward sportswear, Julie has expanded her entrepreneurial pursuits to include Wrapd, a B2B2C communications platform and shopping app that bridges retail brands with consumers. Her journey in the digital commerce space is marked by a passion for combining style with functionality, making premium active and leisure wear accessible to a global audience.



Key Contributions ⭐

Julie's most notable achievement is the founding of Stylerunner, an e-commerce platform that was among the first to offer a curated selection of the most stylish activewear brands to consumers worldwide. Her vision for Stylerunner revolutionized how people shop for sportswear, blending fashion with fitness long before it became a trend. Following the success of Stylerunner, Julie co-founded Wrapd, further demonstrating her innovative approach to retail and technology by enhancing brand-consumer interactions through a cutting-edge platform.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Julie Stevanja stands out for her forward-thinking approach to e-commerce and retail. Her ability to anticipate market trends and seamlessly integrate technology with fashion retail makes her a pivotal figure for small business owners looking to understand the future of online shopping. Julie's success with Stylerunner and Wrapd serves as an inspiration for entrepreneurs aiming to merge traditional business models with innovative digital solutions.


Links 🔗


Julie Stevanja's impact on the e-commerce and activewear industry showcases her prowess as a business leader and innovator. Her journey from launching Stylerunner to co-founding Wrapd is a testament to her visionary approach, making her a must-follow for insights into the evolving landscape of digital retail and fashion entrepreneurship.



13. Samantha Brett, Founder of Naked Sundays


Samantha Brett, Founder of Naked Sundays

Samantha Brett is a multifaceted professional with a dynamic career that spans journalism, authorship, and entrepreneurship. Initially making her mark as a TV news reporter for 7News and Sunrise, Samantha has also established herself as a bestselling author with nine publications to her name. Transitioning from journalism to beauty entrepreneurship, she founded Naked Sundays, a sun care brand dedicated to promoting sun safety and skin health. Her transition from news reporting to creating an innovative sunscreen brand showcases her versatility and commitment to making a positive impact.



Key Contributions ⭐

Samantha's journey from a respected TV news journalist to a pioneering beauty entrepreneur highlights her key contributions across multiple fields. Her work as a journalist brought important stories to the public's attention, while her literary contributions have included bestselling titles that span various subjects. Most notably, her establishment of Naked Sundays addresses the critical need for effective and accessible sun protection, underscoring her commitment to public health and wellness.


Why They're a Must-Follow 👆

Samantha Brett's diverse career and entrepreneurial success make her a compelling figure in the realms of journalism, literature, and beauty. Her ability to pivot from media to entrepreneurship, especially in a field as crucial as sun safety, showcases her adaptability and innovative thinking. For small business owners, Samantha's journey provides inspiration and valuable insights into brand building, market needs identification, and the importance of passion-driven entrepreneurship.


Links 🔗


Samantha Brett's exceptional transition from journalism to authorship and then to the founding of Naked Sundays exemplifies her versatile talents and her dedication to making a significant impact in every field she touches. Her story is not just inspiring for aspiring entrepreneurs but also offers practical lessons on career evolution, brand development, and the importance of addressing societal needs through business ventures.

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