OnlineShop Apparel How Much TikToker Earns From Lifestyle Brand With 3 Million Followers

How Much TikToker Earns From Lifestyle Brand With 3 Million Followers

How Much TikToker Earns From Lifestyle Brand With 3 Million Followers post thumbnail image
  • Sooraj Saxena has almost 4 million followers on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • He makes videos focused on self-love and expression, incorporating South Asian elements.
  • Here’s how much he’s earned from an apparel line he created based on his follower’s comments.

Sooraj Saxena said he hit a low point when a brand that owed him money ghosted him. He’d already completed two projects for the company of a planned series, and was excited about the prospect of the six-figure deal, he recalled. He messaged the CEO of the company several times, but never heard back about it.

“It was rock bottom, so it was at that point that I reevaluated my life and decided I needed to take my personal brand more seriously,” the California-based creator said.

That experience was part of what prompted Saxena to pivot his production company SHVKTI, which he launched in 2018 to help other brands create content, into a lifestyle brand. One of its main focuses is apparel, and its first collection dropped in August 2021.

While Saxena started growing his online presence through Instagram and YouTube, he said TikTok was a true game changer. He started posting on the app in early 2020 to share stories and beliefs that were meaningful to him.

“It was a form of therapy, to express myself and share what I was going through,” he said. “The pandemic launched me into an inward journey of thinking about the stuff I needed to work on internally, and TikTok was a way to hold myself accountable.”

Saxena quickly became known for his high-quality videos, all of which he shoots, edits, and produces himself, that depict him rapidly pouring chai from a teapot or kettle into a cup while singing along to lyrics of a Bollywood song, or using an Indian instrumental sound, usually accompanied by proverbs or quotes about self-awareness or self-acceptance captioned on the screen. A lot of the concepts of his video focused on South Asian culture, but Saxena said he broke them down in a way where people of all backgrounds could understand.

“Pouring chai is a representation of pouring into yourself, of lifting yourself up,” he said.

His followers gave him the idea to rebrand his company and launch an apparel line

Saxena’s online growth was gradual and steady — in December 2020, he accumulated 100,000 followers, which slowly grew to 250,000 in August 2021. As he started becoming more popular, Saxena expanded his content, sometimes incorporating popular English songs into his videos.

Today, the South Asian American creator has a combined following of almost 4 million followers across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. He’s also the sole person responsible for conceptualizing, producing, and delivering products from his SHVKTI apparel line.

He credits his online audience with the concept, explaining that when he started gaining thousands of followers, people would DM and comment on his videos saying how much they loved what he was wearing and that they’d wear something similar to the captions he projected on screen.

“My thinking was, if I can leave an impact in the digital world with my quotes, why can’t I do that in the physical world?” he said.

He launched his first fall collection that same month, and by December 2021, the company made $32,470, based on documentation verified by Insider. The sales steadily rose, and in the past year and a half, SHVKTI apparel brought in $258,223 in revenue, leaving a 30% profit margin of $77,467. Currently, the inventory includes shirts, hoodies, pants, hats, and tote bags, which feature captions like “thriving in chaos” and “no need to rush.” Most customers are based in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Saxena uses TikTok and Instagram to announce new collections and always wears her own designs

Since his apparel collections went live, he’s been using social media to drive sales, always wearing his creations in videos, linking to the website, and creating promotional content, like when he announced his fall/winter 2022 collection was live.

“It’s been well received because people see that it’s not just the clothing, it’s the intention behind it,” he said. “A lot of people will buy it because they really believe in affirmations or slogans, or they’ve been through the ups and downs with me on TikTok and want to support my work.”

As of today, the apparel collection is a one-man job. When an order is made, Saxena is notified through the website, choosing the garment and uploading his slogan or design, coordinates with a printing service to finalize the product at a fulfillment center and packages it up to be delivered to the buyer. He enjoys working on his own and has kept production relatively small so that he has time to focus on other creative pursuits. Although he first gained popularity through his chai pouring videos, he’s pivoted his content to short forms and skits that he wrote himself.

“I’m always testing out what works and what doesn’t with my followers,” he said. “‘I’ve discovered through them that my niche is high-end storytelling content, so I feel like I have a very strong personal brand now.”

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