Instagram is so much more than a platform for cute dog pics, hilarious memes, or your best #throwbackthursday. With over 500 million active users daily, the potential to be seen is enormous and for some, Instagram is now an integral part of their day-to-day lives. We may be a small place, but Jersey has some incredible people using Instagram as a creative outlet to showcase their passions, make a difference and even pursue their dream careers. We interviewed the people behind some of our favourite local accounts to find out about the important role this platform has to play in their lives.

Grace – @gracehurrypilates

 71,600 followers

I started my Instagram account 3 years ago to document my life and progress as a Pilates teacher and practitioner, and because everyone else in the industry was doing it! For the first year, nothing really came of it other than some free activewear. In the second year, I began to meet some of the lovely friends I’d made online in ‘real life’ and I realised the networking value Instagram has as opportunities started to arise. Thanks to the online exposure from Instagram, we have a buzzing Pilates studio in St. Ouen and I have had the chance to guest teach and run Pilates retreats internationally. Now in my third year of running the account, I am able to enjoy the real life benefits of Instagram!

 

Steph – @bigworldsmallpockets

 47,900 followers

I became a travel blogger because I wanted to inspire others to explore our incredible planet and Instagram is an amazingly powerful tool to do this. Unlike my written articles, which offer more practical advice, the visual impact of Instagram allows me to tell more of the personal story of my global wanderings. It creates a window that enables people to peer directly into my travels and read behind the scenes insights and incidents that come from backpacking in some pretty off-the-beaten-track spots. From Ethiopia to Sudan, Lebanon to the West Bank, I use Instagram to shed light on the real, personal experiences I have in these very different destinations.

 

Mae – @maegabriel

 33,600 followers

Mae Gabriel is an influencer based in Jersey with +33K followers on Instagram and has been featured in New York, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand and Australian magazines ranging from travel, interior and lifestyle. Her Instagram feed features her son Hayden in the cutest of outfits and her love of interior styling as well as her delicious food. Both Mae and Hayden are brand ambassadors for some well known brands and online shops including The White Company.

“It’s a lovely feeling when people often say that I inspire them and get asked locally and worldwide for tips and advice on interior styling and where to source items for the home and small business interiors.”

 

Monica – @madness_monica

18,600 followers

Instagram is an important part of my everyday life; it’s a place where I can share my passion with others. It’s like some kind of portfolio of my life; a new edition of a photo album. I’d like to prove that the most important things in life are those short and sweet moments, the ones we often don’t appreciate. Instagram has allowed to me to develop as a person, but the best part is that it’s only a small detail in the big picture. It’s the people we meet along the way that mean the most: my virtual interactions have developed into real life relationships and I’m amazed by it – there will be more coffees happening soon!

 

Mark – @markfoxphoto

 11,700 follwers

Travelling is my love and photography & video work is my life, and as of November 2017, I combined the two and created my ideal. Instagram started off as a sideline for my travel shots but inevitably it became the perfect catalyst to inspire people to get out and see the world. Growing to over 10,000 followers this year meant I had the pleasure of chatting with some incredible people from all over the world; some of which are charities I am going to be working with to raise awareness for their cause. My next long-term project will be documenting the lives of the indigenous people in the Himalayas, Serengeti and the Amazon. I can’t wait!

 

Andreia – @labonneviehome

 17,400 followers

I started my Instagram page in 2017 when my other half (Flavio) and I bought a run down 1930s house that needed complete renovation. We spent a year renovating the house, completely by ourselves, and turning it into a home – it took a lot of blood, sweat and tears but that is what makes it so special! I started my page as a way of sharing renovation and home decor ideas, giving honest reviews of different products I had tried and answering any questions anyone had about my home. I’ve gained a loyal following of amazing like-minded interior enthusiasts and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far! This led to me start my interior blog www.labonneviehome.wordpress.com and also collaborate with many interior related businesses.

 

Becky – @jerseycowgirl

 8,200 followers

Farming for me is more than just a job – it’s my passion. I originally set up my Instagram to share with friends and family what farming is all about, but now I’m reaching a global audience, educating non-farming followers and sharing ideas with like-minded professionals, Instagram has proven to be a great communication tool. Due to a wider range of career opportunities and little education given in today’s school curriculum, my generation is growing further removed from agriculture. As a blogger, I advocate how farmers strive to provide the nations food to the highest standard of welfare, while achieving the highest nutritional value. Sharing my knowledge, farming practices and current agricultural issues gives people a real insight of the industry from a farmer’s perspective.

 

Claudia – @glowingclaudia

 16,300 followers

I use Instagram to promote and share my journey having recovered from an eating disorder. I use the platform to help others who need support by trying to set a really good example. Having obsessed over calories and weight for the past 4 years, recovery feels amazing and I have made so many memories and eaten a great number of things I used to strongly avoid before. I also reach out to vegan companies to help expand veganism by marketing their products and brand, as well as cooking my own recipes as I’m a big foodie, hence why my Instagram is covered in delicious food! Maybe one day, I’ll open up my own business, who knows?

 

Mikela – @mikelaanderson

 6,400 followers

When I first downloaded Instagram it was just an app I used to add filters to my photos and take pictures of my food. It wasn’t until I gave birth to my first son that I discovered an online community that would actually be a lifeline for me in more ways than one. I use Instagram to fulfil my creative flare, but to also share the raw reality of being a parent – the darker moments amongst the happy. As an individual who has suffered with mental health issues, battling depression, anxiety and PND, I share in the hope that anyone else having a bad day may take comfort in knowing they’re not alone. I want to use the platform to be real and to offer support and kind words to anyone who may need it.