8 Successful Brands on Instagram

Instagram is rapidly growing from a medium for sharing photos with friends to a marketing essential for businesses. We compiled a list of successful brands to follow on Instagram for inspiration to utilize the platform to its full potential. Each account has unique qualities that are key to its branding and social media marketing success. 

successful brands on instagram - Lulus

1. Lulus uses a variety of shots to appeal to their followers but their most successful posts are flat lays. Flat lays inspire the user to imagine how they will wear an outfit while showcasing products.

successful brands on instagram - Target Style

2. Target Style keeps their feed bright, engaging and approachable. While showing products and inspiration to their followers, they also do a great job responding to comments and connecting with users who include their hashtags in posts.

Successful brands on instagram - LaurenConrad.com

3. The LaurenConrad.com Instagram is bright and colorful with tons of inspiring lifestyle photos. They have done a great job branding the account with overall cohesion by using similar lighting and filters to create a warm, inviting glow in every photo.

successful brands on instagram - Fresh Beauty

4. Fresh‘s Instagram is full of beautiful product shots that brilliantly incorporate the product’s natural ingredients to show it in a creative, eye catching way and educate and engage their audience.

Successful brands on instagram - Steve Madden

5. Steve Madden‘s Instagram utilizes portraits and flat lays to show detailed closeups of their shoes and how to wear them. They use bright, popping colors and simplicity to grab the attention of their followers.

Successful brands on instagram - Dwell Studio

6. Dwell Studio uses a lot of bold colors and bold designs to grab the attention of viewers. Their photos are very clean cut, bright and detail oriented to help keep the viewer’s attention while they look around the photo.

Successful brands on instagram - Joie Clothing

7. Joie Clothing appeals to their audience by using bright and happy photos to enhance their mood and use models that are natural looking and easy for viewers to relate to.

Successful brands on instagram - Design Love Fest

8. Bri Emery does a great job of branding her Instagram page for her blog, Design Love Fest, with filters and like colors while engaging with her followers and other bloggers to create a creative, inspiring online community.



Boss Lady: Wendy Buiter

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with artist Wendy Buiter. She shares with us her insights as an artist and business woman and how she continues to create unique and inspired pieces of art.

Boss Lady Wendy Buiter | Social Stylate

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a Dutch artist living in Rotterdam, a metropolitan city in the Netherlands. I am a single mother with two children, four and six years old. Twelve years ago, I founded a company in a niche market in cosmetics and fashion; a booking/staffing agency with an extensive academy. After successfully managing this company for years, it was time to pursue another dream; as a businesswoman/entrepreneur developing a profitable brand making and selling custom art pieces!

2. What prompted you to create a collection of illustrations?
I have been drawing and painting ever since I was a little girl. When I began as a full time artist, I created many works on stretched linen canvas with acrylic and oil paints. I ultimately wanted to create fashionable art and discovered that using a wide range of mediums on a large, heavy paper gave me the look of which I was searching. This resulted in the creation of my signature style. I think my illustrations are an extension of myself, playful and inspired by contemporary haute couture and fashion photography, depicting elegant, yet powerful women who exude confidence.


3. What is the process like creating an illustration? How long does one painting usually take?
My head is filled with ideas for new works and series of works. I always start by making a selection of the images I feel like creating. If I am inspired by a particular photograph then I allow the image to resonate in my mind, giving my creativity some space to interpret this image. The art that I create, is really a reflection of ‘me’ and how I see the world in a fabulous way!

I work with many different mediums such as crayons, watercolors, acrylic paint, and markers. Working with all these different mediums together makes a really nice and interesting structure.

Usually I work for 1-3 hours on a large 70x100cm painting. Sometimes I put the piece away for some time to finish it later. Working longer does not necessarily mean the work is better, sometimes my best work is created in just 45 minutes!

4. What kind of places did you travel to internationally to get your biggest inspirations for your art?
I used to work as a flight attendant in my early and mid-twenties for some years so I travelled internationally often and was fortunate enough to see many different places in the world, other cultures and meet so many people. Paris will always be my favorite city. I just love the sophisticated atmosphere. I am drawn to and inspired by the art and fashion of the city of lights.

Wendy Buiter Boss Lady


5. Why is fashion and beauty the center of your focus? What makes it so interesting to you?
I am innately drawn to beauty, partly from my background as a make-up artist. I am attracted to cosmetics, make-up and beauty images. I just love to create a gorgeous face with the features that we all are so drawn to and always linked to fashion with a touch of luxury. I think this is what my fans are just as attracted to also, they love the images I create because it’s what they desire, want to have, want to be like! I also have a lot of men in my fanbase that love my creations, so although my art depicts women it also appeals to men.

I show my students at the Make-Up Academy a movie titled The Miracle of Face | What’s Beauty?. It is about the golden ratio and about eyes and lips etc. everything that makes us attractive to others.

6. How would you describe your own style and how is it incorporated into your work?
I would describe my style as playful, bold, vibrant, feminine, charming with a touch of luxury. My beauties reflect confidence, independence and razor sharp style. They embody the power of global femininity and their versatility to transform from basic beauty to bombshell.

Wendy Buiter Boss Lady

7. What is your biggest challenge as an artist and creator of your own business?
Growing a profitable business making and selling art! Also, I want to fascinate people with my art and trigger their own creative side. I want to pass on my knowledge to others so they can do what they love and I can guide them on their path of being a successful artist. To do so I have begun to share my experiences, my business acumen, and my knowledge through downloadable guides, books, and online courses. Aspiring artists can learn from my mistakes and find inspiration from my personal journey. Most artists are very creative, but business wise there is room for growth. I want to offer insights on how to be a commercially, driven, goal-oriented, savvy business women.

8. If you could make a painting to hang in any celebrity’s home, who would it be and what would the painting look like?
Leonardo DiCaprio, definitely! I know he is a huge art lover and keen collector of fine art, but he is also a very active environmentalist. In addition to being a successful actor, he is an advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. As a vegan for years myself I support his active role in this world endeavor and I believe he is an important role model. I would love to see my painting “eye for Fashion” in Leo’s home. I hope he reads this and will call me soon to come and get it! 😉

Boss Lady Wendy Buiter | Social Stylate

9. What message are you trying to portray through your paintings? How do you do so?
I want people to ‘feel’ and experience fashion, beauty, and sophistication through my paintings. I want my artworks to bring joy every time the owner gazes at it hanging in their home.

10. Where do you want the Wendy Buiter brand to be in 5 years? 10 years?
I want my brand to be internationally recognized, a household name. Ultimately, I would love for respected galleries to showcase my work. I would also love to collaborate with high-end interior designers including Eric Kuster, Phillip Stark or Piet Boon. I want my art displayed as decoration in private residences, fine restaurants, and boutique style hotels. In terms of fashion, I would welcome the opportunity to partner with brands such as Dior, Chanel, Prada, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Giambattista Valli and others!

I’m dreaming of a white city-style mansion/villa where I can have my atelier to work on my art, my gallery and where I can live with my children.

I also want to inspire and coach other artist so that they can pursue their dreams just like I have done.

I have a goal, I have a plan and I’m working on it every single day!

More on Wendy Buiter

Website | Instagram


Boss Lady: Mary Holmes

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with artist and designer Mary Holmes, creator of zonnebloem one-of-a-kind pieces. Mary talks about the goal of her bohemian inspired line and the ups and downs of running her own business.

Mary Holmes zonnebloem sitting and playing with shells

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
Growing up in Wilmington, DE as one of eight children, I was always very curious and looking for ways to express myself creatively and that drive to create never faded. During college, I actually spent a year in Europe, which gave me a lifetime’s worth of creative inspiration.

Over the past year or so I have been designing and creating a variety of up-cycled clothing, fabric and lace dream catchers, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and home décor including framed ink drawings and homemade antique tin candles. Through my brand I try to encompass my own aesthetic and bring to life my love for the unique, bohemian, free spirited individual.

2. What prompted you to start your own business? How did the name “Zonnebloem” come about?
Going into college, I didn’t at all have a clear vision of what I wanted to do or ‘be’ when I graduated; I just knew I wanted to work with my hands and continue creating.
Zonnebloem [n.] – Dutch for Sunflower [my favorite flower]

During my time in Europe, I fell in love with the Dutch language. And since that time played such an important role in my creative inspirations, tying it in with the name of my business only felt right. It also serves as a personal reminder of all the beauty I got to experience while traveling.

3. What is the most efficient way for you to market your products? How have you been able to get the word out there about Zonnebloem?
I am still growing + getting my name out there, but art festivals have definitely been the most efficient way for me to market my products. I have at least five new festivals lined up for this spring / summer season!

I have also developed an Etsy page and Instagram account over the past few months that I hope to build up + spend more time focusing on customers through those outlets. My Instagram page has been a great way to share my newest designs and ideas in a quick day-to-day manner.

zonnebloem bronze metal necklace pendant

4. Where do you get your inspiration for your line?
Growing up I had relatives living in Arizona and cousins traveling out west so I’ve always been so inspired by and drawn to the Southwestern culture, symbolism, and its beautiful landscapes. I would love to live out there someday.

I love finding inspiration in time spent outside, whether it be hiking and camping in a country setting or experiencing the fast-paced city life of architecture, fashion design and urban artwork.

5. If you could work side by side with anyone, who would it be and why?
Wow, so many come to mind, but I’d have to say Isabella and Elizabeth, the creators of Spell & The Gypsy Collective. Little do they know, for the past few years they’ve been an important inspiration throughout the entire process of creating Zonnebloem and in styling my own life and wardrobe. If they weren’t as far as Australia, I would be knocking on their door to collaborate with them or, really, just to hang out.

zonnebloem picture frames and dreamcatcher6. What is a typical day of work like?
I knew starting a part time business so soon out of college wouldn’t be easy + a constant challenge, but there really wasn’t time for hesitations, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my time and future.

From start to finish, designing to creating, every single item within my collections is handmade by me, so getting the most out of each waking hour is key. I typically get home from my full time job, pull out my sketchbook and get to planning new dream catcher ideas, jewelry designs, + mapping out new art festival opportunities on the East Coast. I spend a lot of my time going to antique and thrift stores, fabric and craft stores, jewelry design shops, and in front of my sewing machine. In the months leading up to my art festivals I am definitely my busiest prepping and building up my inventory.

7. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced starting up your own business?
Time management!

8. Where do you see yourself going with this in the next 5 years?
I see myself moving to Philadelphia and building up my brand within the city, getting my products into different stores, and expanding my art festival route. I also know that growing my online customer base would be the next step in my goal of eventually opening my own storefront.

zonnebloem large dreamcatcher

9. Do you have a personal favorite part of your business?
My favorite part of Zonnebloem is, without a doubt, working directly with customers on personalized items.

I have been working on a line of bridal-inspired dream catchers for Jennifer’s Bridal in Hockessin, DE, so those will be on display + for sale at Jennifer’s next month which is so exciting! I have had the opportunity to design a headboard-sized dream catcher for a customer’s apartment, as well as some music related dream catchers and requests for specific styles and color schemes from customers. Building general inventory with my own inspirations is fun, but there’s something about personalizing an item specifically for someone else that gets me really excited. It’s a completely different type of inspiration.

10. Who do you look up to most in your career?
Over the past few years I have developed a long list of favorite artists who have helped push me to start something like Zonnebloem. Career-wise, the one person I look up to most is probably the curator of Moon + Arrow, Chelsea Pearce. Starting out in just a tiny shop in Philly and using inspiration from her travels and her love for vintage clothing, jewelry, and home décor, she built up an entire company + brand and continues to welcome new artists and creators into her space. Her work and passion for what she does is truly admirable.

Behind the Boss: Mary’s vision board

collage of zonnebloem inspiration
images via

More on Mary Holmes:



Client Spotlight: Somethings Unique

We are excited to be working with home furnishing and decor boutique Somethings Unique on their new website. The mother-daughter team bring their discoveries in home ‪design to customers who are enticed by their stunning selection of furniture, antiques, ceramics and decorations from around the world. Their beautiful showroom serves as a place for inspiration, allowing customers to creatively envision their homes decorated with one of kind pieces.


When Nita Burstam and Jenny Powell moved to the area they were disappointed with the lack of furniture and decor stores. So the women decided to open their own boutique and provide the community with a hand-picked selection of home furnishings. Nita and Jenny are celebrating their 11th anniversary in Greenville, Delaware.


Photos by Carly Abbott