Kimberly Balance sells vintage luxury bags through her online store, KIMMIEBBAGS.
She also hosts live shopping shows on TikTok, Instagram, and Whatnot.
This is Kimberly’s story, as told to reporter Lakshmi Varanasi.
In May 2020, I was running an agency that staffed brand ambassadors at marketing events. The pandemic was in full swing, no one was going to events, and my business took a halt.
So I decided to take a chance on myself.
I studied fashion in college and had a passion for luxury goods. I had been seeing ads for three free months of Shopify, so I opened up a store for luxury consignment accessories. That’s when KIMMIEBBAGS was born.
My first year was slow. I didn’t sell many bags or bring in much revenue.
About 10 months in, I was ready to shut down my business. I made a TikTok video about how I was preparing to close shop due to lackluster sales — and it went viral!
My followers shot up from a few thousand to close to 20,000. That February alone I sold 40 bags.
Now, I run the company with a team of four other people. I have close to 80,000 followers on TikTok. Last year, I sold over 2,500 bags and earned $1.3 million in sales. I’ve already brought in $2.1 million this year.
I also do 2 to 3 live shopping shows a week across TikTok, Instagram, and the live shopping platform Whatnot.
So, yes, I’d say I’m a full-time live shopping host.
A Day in the Life
Around noon each day, my team and I begin sorting through our emails. If we have bags we need to ship out to customers we start packing those.
Then, I start working on any content I need to post on TikTok. Being a live-shopping host means I moonlight as a content creator, too.
If I have a live show planned that day I start preparing to go on air.
My TikTok shows, which air around 8:30 pm twice a week, usually draw at least 1,000 viewers. My last show brought in 51,000 viewers.
On Friday afternoons, I host a lunchtime show on Whatnot where I usually get a few hundred viewers. It’s largely a work-from-home crowd winding down for the weekend.
Once in a while, I also host smaller, intimate shows for about 50 of my VIP customers on Instagram.
Since I’m a consignment business, people send me their bags, and I give them a cut of the profit. I also pay Whatnot a platform fee and give them a small cut of the profit. On Instagram and TikTok, I air my shows for free.
Shows are fun because we usually have giveaways. Sometimes, a consignor will agree to have me start the bidding for a bag at just $1. I ended up selling a small, vintage Gucci bag once for $200.
Those who buy bags from me have been tagging themselves under the hashtag #KimmieCrew. That’s helped me build a vibrant, online community of vintage, luxury bag lovers.
Through the TikTok algorithm, I also draw in viewers who are curious about luxury fashion but don’t have much exposure to it.
It’s unreal how many people come to my shows and tell me that they didn’t know the proper name for a Louis Vuitton bag and were too afraid to ask.
My goal is to build an inviting community and ensure no one feels any type of way for not knowing about Gucci or Louis Vuitton. There are no silly questions in my shows.
One question I receive often though is “How do I practice to become a host?”
You have to learn to talk to yourself on camera, with no one looking back at you, and no response.
There’s a quiet air, but I love it.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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