Fashion and beauty influencer and entrepreneur Georgia Portogallo shot to fame on social media with her down-to-earth content on style, beauty and life in Yorkshire.
She said: “I had been studying business at college for six weeks but I spent most of my time scrolling through social media learning about business instead.
“I decided to leave college, but I had no clue what I wanted to do and I had £10 to my name and my parents said to follow your dreams.”
Social media had been becoming increasingly popular and it was something Miss Portogallo enjoyed so she started investing her time posting online.
“People started following me on instagram and I built up followers and started to earn money off the back of my posts,” said Miss Portogallo.
The social media star now has over half a million followers across tiktok and instagram as well as running her own business from her “Selfie Centre” GPL HQ in Scunthorpe.
Miss Portagallo, who sometimes works up to 18 hours a day added: “People don’t think that it’s a proper job but it is.”
Starting her business from bed to building an empire
She began to diversify her revenue streams from sponsored collaborations alone by writing her own ebook on how to make money off social media and later setting up her own agency to support other influencers.
Miss Portogallo said: “I spent every night on my bed writing my ebook on my phone for weeks and weeks.”
Following perseverance and the success of her ebook, Miss Portagallo then launched the agency to help more people monetise their social media.
“I now help people build their social media following through online courses, programmes and we get clients collaborations with big brands.”
People often misjudge the young entrepreneur who has managed to buy a house, employ a member of staff and bought her first car - a Range Rover wrapped in pink.
“Because I am a girl and I have done well, people think it’s your parents,” said Miss Portagallo who focuses her energy on building a community of women online through her content.
“A lot of people are quite judgey but I focus on my own game.”
That game has led the serial entrepreneur to write more e-books, create online courses, programmes and webinars which she has sold alongside her revenue as an influencer in her own right.
“You have to work so hard at it, you really have to put your all into it to do well.
“I have literally learned to ignore trolls and we have a support system for clients because you have to be your best self to be on social media,” said Miss Portagallo.
She prides herself on trying to help other people online as her followers are always asking questions on building a business online as well as wanting fashion advice.
“I’ll reply to comments from people asking for business advice and I even buy people an outfit from brands if they’re struggling to afford one.”
Miss Portagallo said that by being authentic and a nice person, she has managed to build up a community of followers who see her tiktok account as their ‘safe space.’
It is this passion that has led her to back anti-bullying campaigns, creating viral videos on social media promoting causes and championing influencers of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.
“I recently was asked to present my first fashion show with Simply Ladies,” said Miss Portagallo who works closely with the female empowerment brand to recruit diverse models for her campaigns.
The Fashion Festival Carnival which she presented at was “all about embracing who we are. Loving our bodies just as we are, just because we’re not Love Island acceptable,” said organiser Carron Cummings of Simply Ladies.
Miss Portagallo added people get an unrealistic idea of body image and think you become an ‘influencer’ overnight due to Love Island but actually the profession takes a lot of graft.
What’s next for Miss Portagallo who started her six figure business from “nothing”?
Having already bought her dream car, owning her own house which she shares with her fiance, travelling the world with her work and running a successful empire - what’s next for the underestimated 21-year-old from Scunthorpe who started her business from nothing?
“I am going to keep working hard, building my community and getting more businesses to know about us.”