Back in 2018, Hana Martin did not suppose that a lot of TikTok. Then a comparatively new title in social media, the app was merely a method of her sharing humorous movies that she had filmed with her associates, having arrange an account as a bit of a joke.

Fast ahead to now, nonetheless, and that joke has turn out to be one thing actually extraordinary. Today, at simply 19, Hana is one of the app’s brightest stars, with millions of individuals from throughout the globe watching her movies and some of the world’s greatest brands determined to work with her.

It has been a outstanding journey for the teenager from Cowbridge, who made the powerful determination to drop out of college throughout her A-degree yr with the intention to pursue TikTok full time. While it has not been with out its challenges, via arduous work and perseverance, she has cast a profession that many her age may solely dream of.

Read extra: The Welsh individuals discovering fame and fortune on TikTok

Despite dealing with criticism from these who doubted her at the begin of her new profession, Hana has proved all of them flawed and gone on to turn out to be one of the hottest TikTokers in the UK, with her life-style, fashion and make-up movies incomes her over three and a half million followers on the app. As effectively as the invitations to fashion reveals and glitzy movie premieres, her movies have additionally led her to work with excessive-finish brands such as Moncler and Marc Jacobs, whereas she has additionally just lately signed for tv and modelling companies.

Having started posting on TikTok at 15, Hana couldn’t think about then that simply a few years later she can be the place she is right this moment. But after realising the app’s potential, what started as a passion rapidly turned one thing a lot, a lot larger.

“At that time, TikTok wasn’t the cool thing to be on like it is today,” she defined. “It was nonetheless transitioning at that time from [which it absorbed in 2018] and not many individuals knew about it. So I started posting a few movies with my associates and did not suppose something of it. It all started as a joke, actually, which I believe is most likely the case for a lot of individuals.

“After a whereas, a couple of the movies I posted started doing relatively effectively and picked up fairly a few views. It was then after I thought that I may do doubtlessly do effectively from it and started to contemplate that it may turn out to be a passion, and even probably a profession for me.”

During the summer time holidays, Hana started to review TikTok in larger depth. The app, which permits individuals to create, share and uncover brief movies, has over one billion customers worldwide, making it one of the hottest social networks in the world, behind the likes of Facebook and Instagram.

While singing, dancing and lip-syncing movies lengthy dominated the platform, a huge vary of consumer-generated content material from comedy to fashion and even ear wax removing is shared on the app day-after-day. Central to how TikTok works is a consumer’s personalised ‘For You’ web page, a curated feed of movies which the app’s algorithm decides chances are you’ll need to watch primarily based in your pursuits and previous interactions.

“I started taking it extra critically and posting a bit extra typically, principally particular results make up and issues like that. ” said Hana. “I checked out movies on my For You web page and noticed what was trending and going off that to comply with these traits. After that, issues actually started to choose up and my movies started to do effectively.

“I had started properly during the summer holidays, and by the time I went back to school, I had around 10,000 followers. During my GCSE year, I got up to around 200,000. When I started, not many people knew about the app, but then I began to show up on people’s FYP page and word got around the school, so that was that.”

Despite receiving some stick in school for her movies, Hana shook it off and stored persevering with TikTok. Before too lengthy, her self-perception started to repay, as her hovering reputation on the app noticed her invited to the first of many glamorous occasions, on this event by fashion model PrettyLittleThing.

“It was so exciting,” Hana recalled. “It was the day before my GCSE Physics exam, and my parents drove me up to the PrettyLittleThing headquarters in Manchester. I was given a label that said I was an influencer and that felt really surreal. I got back at 2am the next morning and was sitting my exam at 8am, it was all a bit mad.”

Hana mainly posts lifestyle and fashion content on her account but also stays ahead of many of the biggest trends on the app

© Hana Martin / TikTok: @hanamartinx
Hana primarily posts life-style and fashion content material on her account but additionally stays forward of many of the greatest traits on the app

As she ready to sit down her AS ranges, Hana hit one other important milestone as she reached a million followers on the app. However, whereas her examination prep was hampered by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, her on-line profile was about to achieve dizzy new heights.

“The pandemic was clearly not a nice time, however it was large for social media,” she stated. “Everyone was on their telephones a lot extra and people actually started discovering TikTok throughout that point. It was an escape from actuality and a strategy to take your thoughts off issues whereas having fun with individuals’s movies.

“I undoubtedly grew the most throughout lockdown, I used to be getting tens of 1000’s of new followers a day, it was insane. I used to be posting a selection of completely different movies, however ones with me and my pet mantis actually blew up, and I used to be getting hundreds of views. In phrases of followers, I used to be at a million earlier than lockdown and by the finish I used to be near having three million, which is loopy.”

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Having cemented her place as one of the UK’s hottest creators, and as her classmates started to return to highschool after lockdown was lifted, Hana knew she had a very tough determination to make. With her A-ranges forward of her and a military of on-line followers to entertain, she had to decide on between sticking with training or making TikTok her full-time job.

Hana's account

© Hana Martin / TikTok: @hanamartinx
Hana’s account

The “once-in-a-lifetime” alternative was, of course, far too good to go up, and so Hana dropped out of college to pursue her promising new profession. While she admits her household, who now dwell in Porthcawl, had been initially sceptical, they got here to assist her determination having seen how passionate she was to make a success of her blossoming on-line profile.

“At the finish of 2020, I used to be nonetheless in class, and I’d accomplished my AS ranges and got my grades, however I used to be doing every part from dwelling. People did begin going again into college however I had already made the determination to do business from home for TikTok anyway.

“But at that time I used to be placing 50% into my A-ranges and 50% into TikTok. So I knew I needed to make a determination, it was both going to be one or the different. Either I used to be going to totally commit to highschool and training and have TikTok as a passion, or I used to be going to take this as soon as in a lifetime alternative to work at making it my full time job.

“Ultimately, my GCSEs were good, my AS levels were good, and I knew education was something that I could always go back to. I had never really known what I wanted to do or what direction I wanted to go in, but I knew I had to take this opportunity.”

Her large determination was to repay, as simply a couple of months later, she was in a position to transfer out of her household dwelling and get her personal place in Reading, aged simply 17. Now residing in London, she is reaping the advantages of her daring transfer, each personally and financially, incomes large cash via numerous model offers and serving to to advertise music labels’ newest releases.

“Without going into too much detail, it’s extremely financially beneficial for creators,” she says as dialog turns to cash. “It’s crazy the kind of money that people invest in TikTok and social media as a whole. Having started early on, I’ve seen how brands have started interacting more and more with TikTok, as it’s the best place to be in order to reach younger audiences.”

The 19-year-old gets invited to world film premieres and a number of other glitzy events

© Hana Martin / TikTok: @hanamartinx
The 19-year-previous will get invited to world movie premieres and a quantity of different glitzy occasions

The listing of excessive-finish brands desirous to work with Hana is a lengthy and spectacular one. Among the greatest names are Moncler, Marc Jacobs, Rayban and Nivea, with these type of offers additionally permitting her to stroll crimson carpets and sit alongside catwalks at some of the world’s most prestigious occasions and pursue different alternatives that she may solely dream of as a youngster.

“London Fashion Week, that one hundred percent stands out for me as one of the highlights,” she recalled. “I saw it as a kid and thought that it was so cool, so to be there in the front row and having items gifted by designers was just incredible. I’ve attended movie premieres too, in fact the first one I went to was for House of Gucci, and I was walking the red carpet straight after Lady Gaga, Jared Leto and Adam Driver. It was so surreal.”

“I’ve been flown out to Barcelona for a fashion show, that was absolutely amazing and I’d love to do more of that. My goal now is to travel a lot more, and be invited to these kind of events around the world. I’ve also just signed with a modelling agency and a TV agency which I dreamed about when I was younger, so there have been so many of these crazy opportunities all from TikTok.”

There is, of course, fame to take care of too. “I get recognised out and about and on the whole I enjoy it,” she added. “It’s good to speak to individuals who discover me and it’s a actually nice feeling to listen to that they like my content material or that I’ve impressed them to do one thing related.”

“TikTok is quite an odd thing in that your career is largely just numbers on a screen. You can sometimes forget that there are people behind them, so meeting fans and being able to put faces to those numbers is something I really enjoy too.”

However, whereas she admits that there are usually not many downsides to her job, Hana is aware of that her journey to TikTok stardom has not all the time been clean crusing. As effectively as the strain of being on digital camera and judged by millions on a every day foundation, assembly the calls for of an ever-rising viewers on a continually altering platform has additionally proved difficult.

It will be arduous to suppose of unique content material concepts each single day, and I’ve actually needed to work at my content material to get to the level that I’m at,” she stated. “I’ve labored on make-up appears to be like which have taken between seven and 10 hours to do, content material that I’ve filmed over a couple of days, content material that I’ve needed to plan upfront and spent a lot of cash on as effectively.

“There will be heaps of positives however feedback will be very damaging too. Obviously I’ve chosen to be a creator and be in the public eye and I’ve to just accept some of the negatives that include it, however having individuals remark in your look or simply hate on you for no purpose in any respect is not good regardless.

“Your mental health can also really be affected too, especially if your video doesn’t hit a certain number. That probably sounds so silly and it can be hard to understand if you’re not involved in it, but it’s real and it has a knock-on effect on a lot of creators’ work.”

Hana says she has

© Hana Martin / TikTok: @hanamartinx
Hana says she has

Having solely simply turned 19, and with ambitions to transition from the cellphone display to the large display, the world of TikTok and past actually seems like Hana’s oyster proper now. While she has been supported alongside the method, nonetheless, she is aware of greatest of all that none of what she has achieved would have come with out her self-perception.

“I have absolutely no regrets about my decision,” she stated. “I’m so glad that I went with my intestine and adopted it and labored at it. It’s a full privilege to have the ability to have this as a profession and it is unimaginable the quantity of alternatives which have come via it. Just to have the ability to be put on this place is superb, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“When I instructed individuals I used to be dropping out of college to do TikTok, fairly a few had been sceptical and I acquired a lot of backlash as there is a lot stigma around being a college dropout. But I’ve by no means seen that as a damaging factor, in reality it’s accomplished me wonders.

“I’ve done myself proud and proven a lot of people wrong at the same time. It feels good.”