From Tik Tok to Building An Empire: The Advice Column by Dear Diary
With 11 Million likes on Tik Tok and counting, The VIP List is taking New York by storm. What's next for them? World domination. Learn more about how the Co-founders and CEOs of @theviplistnyc, Meg Radice and Audrey Jongens, are creating an empire that started on Tik Tok.
So let's be real, did you download Tik Tok last year during quarantine? The answer for most people is probably, yes. Did you create any videos? Some people posted dance challenges with friends and family, some watched viral videos, while others utilized the app to create a business. That's what the Co-Founders and CEOs 0f The VIP List did (and they had a lot of fun doing it). That being said, this successful platform turned business for Meg Radice and Audrey Jongens did not happen overnight. It took hours of long strategic calls, big moves to new cities, and writing professional business plans to get to where they are today. So who better to give us all a little professional and personal advice?
DD: Introduce yourself, what you studied in college, and what you do now for our Dear Diary readers.
MR: “My name is Meg Radice, I went to Penn State and (I) majored in Finance. I currently work in wealth management and co-founded The VIP List with my best friend, Audrey Jongens, during quarantine. Audrey went to the University of Miami and majored in Psychology. The VIP List full-time (is her full-time job).”
DD: What has your post-grad journey been like for you both?
MR: “ I did not go the conventional college route, I started at PSU main campus and then transferred to Penn State online so I could work full-time. School honestly was never my thing, I got decent grades when I tried but I never went to class and (I) hated being told what to do. I have worked in corporate America my entire college career and started working on Wall Street when I was 21. I always wanted to work in finance because I never thought that my true passion (eating food and partying) could turn into a job.”
AJ: “I graduated in 2020 and applied to 100+ jobs in Miami and no one was hiring. We started our Tik Tok in April and by the end of June, we hit 100,000 followers. Meg’s roommates left New York and she needed someone to sublet her apartment, so I decided to move up for the summer and see if we could turn it into a business. We worked so hard that summer and were able to create a full-time job for me. I just signed a lease in New York and love my new home.”
DD: What inspired you to create @theviplistnyc?
TVL: “During quarantine, we wanted to do something productive, we wanted to come out better than we went in. We started thinking about businesses we could create. Some of the best advice we ever received was to not think about the money, think about your passion and what you do better than everyone else. Audrey and I are great at two things: eating and partying. If you told us a year ago that we could monetize that….we would’ve said you’re crazy. So after establishing our passion and skill set, we started brainstorming ways to turn it into a business. Audrey was in Miami and I was in New York so we would FaceTime everyday drafting up business plans. Fast forward 9 months- we have an LLC, are expanding into different cities, and are working with top companies in the hospitality industry.”
DD: The VIP List has an incredible following on Tik Tok, what is the best advice you would share with any young entrepreneur wanting to expand their brand on social media?
TVL: “If you are looking to expand your brand on social media, especially Tik Tok, it is important to be authentic, consistent, and target a niche. This helps you grow organically and if you’re posting consistent content that you’re passionate about, people will recognize that. ”
DD: What is your best piece of advice for post-grads struggling to find their passion?
TVL: “With regards to finding your passion, FORGET ABOUT THE MONEY. What do you love to do? What are you better at than everyone else? If you can’t answer that yet, try new things and have an open mind. We never thought we could monetize eating and partying, it sounds insane when you think about it. We did not go into this for the money, if you are good at something and are passionate about it the money will come. ”
DD: What is a specific moment that has made you most proud as CEO?
TVL: “I think some of our proudest moments thus far were getting published in our first magazine or getting our first brand deal. It felt like some sort of validation, that what we were doing was valuable. ”
DD: How do you see your brand expanding in the next five years?
TVL: “Within the next 5 years, we plan on being in every major city across the globe. We want to be in every industry, we are currently expanding into hotels and fashion. (That’s all we can say right now) but we have some very exciting things in the works… ”
DD: Now for our final question of each interview, what now?
TVL: “What now? We are just focusing on growing and building our brand, we are so thankful for all of the love and support we’ve received so far. We will keep working non-stop until The VIP List is a household name. ”