3 Innovative Instas from UNH Women to Follow Right Now

Our crew at Her Campus-UNH encourages members to find their voice. When it came to writing this week, I wanted to highlight women in my community that took an idea on lifestyle--clothing, food choices, and jewelry-- and soared, reaching hundreds of supporters on Instagram and finding their voice too! These women are: Molly Benz, Jenn Lueke, and Maggie Mollaghan--all rising seniors at UNH, which is incredible!! It goes to show that if you are passionate about something and engage in your audience, positive outcomes will follow!

Each leader has the same incentive: promote a passion, preform creatively, and spread good vibes. Take a look at what they have to say about their projects:


Molly Benz of GnarWalz:

Intro!: I’m a senior at UNH from Hollis, NH, majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.

What does your innovative insta entail? My innovative instagram is for my company, GnarWalz. I take thrifted or new UNH t-shirts and upcycle them into a fashionable piece of clothing. During the colder months, I work with flannels and denim jackets by acid (bleach) washing them or using paint to create a unique look. My most requested item is called a “ying yang tee”, half acid washed navy tee, and half white or grey tee. Look for girls (and guys!) spotting GnarWalz shirts at tailgates or just around campus!


How did you get started with Gnar Walz?  I’ve always done this sort of thing with my own wardrobe: playing around with bleach, cutting & cropping tee shirts, sewing things to alter them to my liking. When I started making a homecoming shirt for myself last year, I realized other students would probably be interested too, so I made a limited amount of tees and created the GnarWalz instagram. Since then, I sold flannels and denim shirts over the winter, and all of the sudden got an inflow of requests for tailgate shirts. I turned my personal hobby into a business, and I’ve made over 110 shirts for this year’s homecoming!


What matters to you when posting content on the insta account-- audience, caption, picture, etc? Frankly, all of those! The biggest goal for my posts is having pictures that students can relate to and catches their eye. I use fellow students as my models, and try to take pictures in places on campus that students will recognize - my latest run of posts were all taken at the UNH Football Stadium. Caption is always important because that’s where I explain how to order the tees or the pricing for each style, but audience is also key - I want my audience to be students - but not just from UNH! I’m working on reaching students from other schools in New England, and potentially growing the company.


What does it mean to you have fellow collegiate women follow your account? It’s so important to me to have fellow female students interested in my business and what I do. It’s great to meet the people who follow my page when they come to pick up their shirt - definitely my favorite part of the process, and I think it really shows other students that starting your own business ISN’T scary, and it’s totally possible. Taking something you’re passionate about and growing it into something more than just a “side-hobby” is incredibly fulfilling.


Last words!…: I want everyone reading this to know that turning your passion into something bigger is what it’s all about. By running a company that is mostly catered towards women, it’s an exciting way to empower others and build a little community around my brand. I want to encourage other female students to follow something they’re interested in, and reach out if you have any questions about starting your own business or entrepreneurship in general!

Jenn Lueke of @goood_eats:

Intro!: I am a senior finance and entrepreneurial studies major at UNH from Danvers, Massachusetts.


What does your innovative insta entail? My Instagram account entails my greatest passion - cooking! I post pictures and Instagram stories of recipes of my own, as well as food from places I travel to. Some of the things I feature are smoothies, juices, and smoothie bowls, as well as some of my favorites from breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and some baking too. Overall my goal is to share good recipes with my followers that back up a healthy, whole food diet with some fun treats thrown in there.


How did you get started with @goood_eats? I had always considered creating an account like this as soon as I got my own personal Instagram. I used to post some of my cooking on my personal page, and thought it was time to expand it to an entirely new page. I finally decided to create it when I left to study abroad in Italy last semester, and wanted a way to track the new recipes I was trying and the Italian food I was cooking. When I returned from my semester abroad, I really took off with my Instagram because I had more time and was also interning at a cafe that supports a healthy lifestyle in all aspects. I learned so much about the food industry during this time, and was able to take this knowledge to my account.


What matters to you when posting content on the insta account-- audience, caption, picture, etc? I focus on the picture and the message I’m sending by posting it. I think food aligns directly with every other part of your lifestyle. It is something that all people do! The way you eat affects how you feel for the rest of your day. When I post, I want to show people new ways to experiment with food. When posting pictures from restaurants and cafes, I try to support small businesses and spread the word of local restaurants that I love.


What does it mean to you have fellow collegiate women follow your account? I love when other collegiate women follow my account. Many classmates of mine have Instagram accounts for their own passions, whether it be music, fashion, photography, fitness, or food. I love being able to share these passions with those classmates as well as women who have the same passion as me.


Last words!: I hope to inspire creativity through food and the idea that food is a key part of lifestyle.


Maggie Mollaghan of SimplyBeaded:

Intro!: I am a senior at UNH from Somers, NY and studying Occupational Therapy.


What does your innovative insta entail? SimplyBeaded is an instagram where I post my customized unique jewelry. I first started making beaded chokers for college students to wear as statement pieces for their everyday jewelry. I then was asked to make both anklets and bracelets so I broadened my selections as well as the beads I bought. After a few months, I decided to make chain and charmed chokers/necklaces where the lengths are completely customized. I order a variety of charms from both my personal selections and any recommendations I receive.


How did you get started with SimplyBeaded? I started creating jewelry the summer before my junior year at UNH! I have always had a creative side and my mom pushed me to explore this with jewelry making. At this time, chokers were popular, so I decided to go that route, by watching many youtube videos and teaching myself. I was also going to be studying abroad in Florence, Italy the next spring so I saved the money I was getting for my semester abroad.


What matters to you when posting content on the Insta account-- audience, caption, picture, etc? I use friends and family to model my jewelry. I either take the pictures myself or I ask that they send me their own selfie! I like to feature my customers on my profile because it displays their creativity. Sometimes I take pictures with a simple background where I create a backdrop, but I also like using a plain background so it is not too distracting. My audience is directed toward both high school and collegiate women. My captions tend to be cheesy with inspiration quotes, but it relates to my vision while creating that design.


What does it mean to you have fellow collegiate women follow your account? I love having fellow collegiate women following me because I want to hear from them about any ideas they have. Jewelry is such an important accessory! I love being able to have others express themselves through SimplyBeaded! Additionally, I like to post quotes and positivity to hopefully brighten my followers' day.


Last words…: I hope to inspire others through my account by displaying how important creativity is no matter how it is expressed, to explore their passions, and to wear their jewelry with a smile on their face :)


Check Out Gnar Walz, Goood_Eats, and SimplyBeaded on Instagram! Each project is creative and fun! Empowered women empower women!