In 2022, the influencer marketing industry reached an impressive $16.4B thanks to the rise in popularity of short form video platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and BeReal. As we head into 2023, there appears to be no slowing down in the influencer and creator economy. Social media consumption remains on the rise and brands continue to find new ways to tap in and better connect with Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
Whether you're exploring new marketing strategies and looking to find a social media influencer to work with, or an aspiring influencer yourself, we’ve curated a list of this year's up-and-coming influencers to watch in 2023. Best of all, almost all of them have created a website on Wix.
This list covers a range of industries including web design, fitness, eCommerce, business, fashion, art, travel and more. Stay tuned: These up-and-coming influencers will accomplish impressive things this year.
Up and coming influencers to watch out for in 2023
01. Alexandra Kaufmann
Location: Nassau, Bahamas
Target audience: Men and women ,18-65+
“More practice, less ego,” is Alexandra Kaufmann’s mantra. With an Instagram following of nearly half a million, she has successfully curated a yoga business traveling the world and teaching celebs like Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence.
As Kaufmann’s impressive reach continues to grow, so does her entrepreneurial spirit: “I am super excited about all elements of growth and expansion in my business. I am currently working on new courses, retreats and even a swimwear line.” Keep an eye out for her trips to Greece in August and Kenya in November, and access her courses for mobility and beginner's yoga through her Wix website.
02. Izzy and Ailbhe Keane (Izzy Wheels)
Instagram: izzy wheels
Age: 25 and 29
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Target audience: Wheelchair users
Sisters and best friends Ailbhe (pronounced Alva) and Izzy Keane grew up in Galway, Ireland. Ailbhe, who studied at The National College of Art and Design (NCAD), designed a collection of removable wheelchair covers for Izzy, who was born with Spina Bifida and paralyzed from her waist down. After a video gained 13 million views in one week, their colorful brand Izzy wheels became a viral sensation.
The sisters have collaborated with a range of global brands such as Barbie, Disney, Marvel and Hello Kitty, raising money and awareness for disability charities along the way. Izzy Wheels has also been featured in a range of publications including Vogue, O, It's Nice That, TechCrunch and more. They were also included in the Forbes' "30 Under 30" list.
Check out Wix and Izzy Wheels' video collaboration.
03. The Planet D
Age: 50 and 51
Target audience: 35 -55, high-income households with a healthy love for travel and adventure
Forbes named Dave and Deb one of the top 10 travel influencers in the world. With the motto “adventure is for everyone,” the OG travel bloggers behind "The Planet D" have inspired people to explore the world since 2009, visiting 120 countries on all seven continents. The blog has won countless awards for their written and visual content, including those from the Society of American Travel Writers and the North American Travel Journalists Association.
This upcoming year will be filled with change, as the pair plan on taking fewer contracts and explore the world on their own terms: “We are going back to our roots to take on road trips and to travel around countries for weeks or months at a time.”
04. Aly Gray
Location: Destin, Florida
Target audience: Busy moms or business professionals who enjoy strength training—average age 25-60
Self-proclaimed foodie, fun junkie and health addict, Aly Gray has created her own entrepreneurial empire, offering a 360-degree fitness experience for her clients. Over the last 2.5 years, Gray’s On Demand library clocks in with more than 350 classes and 11 fitness challenges—plus an online cookbook and a set of custom playlists. 500 AGFit members have joined in from around the world, gaining access to her recipes, blog and exclusive branded merchandise via her shop page.
05. Salim Dabanca
Location: Izmir, Turkey
Target audience: UX/UI Designers
Product Architect Salim Dabanca gave up a $12K monthly Silicon Valley salary to forge his own path and cultivate a supportive, strong community for UX and UI designers. Since then he's helped more than 10,000 designers and many start-ups through his Portfolio Book and Design Job Interview Kit. He also founded The Mars Design Club to prepare designers for their dream job. In exchange for overcoming daily UX/UI challengers, designers receive exclusive benefits and perks. “My motivation and inspiration are humans. I want to leave the world better than I found,” Dabanca says.
06. Zander Whitehurst
Location: London, United Kingdom
Target audience: Folks wanting to kick start or accelerate their tech career
Zander Whitehurst is no stranger to the tech world. The product designer founded Memorisely, a platform which offers live bootcamps and online classes for those looking to launch their tech careers. He’s also on the Educator Advisory Board for Figma. But he's probably most known for his super engaging, highly informative short form videos on UX/UI design. They've gained him 159.7K TikTok followers (and 1.2 million likes).
Whitehurst is dedicated to making design accessible and affordable to anyone who wants to find success online. He says the community of 150+ countries who all share their energy to learn inspires him every day.
07. Shayda Campbell
Location: Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Target audience: Typically women around my own age, but I just love to see adults getting over the fear of making art
Canadian artist and content creator Shayda Campbell has rooted her YouTube channel idea in the idea that “making the artifacts of our everyday life, things like cookies, calendars or greeting cards, into things of beauty is an important task."
With one million subscribers to her YouTube channel, Campbell’s warm and welcoming videos embody her idea that "it's just lovely to be surrounded by lovely things." This calm crafting environment feels like you’re casually sitting with a good friend, working on a creative project together. Her content is readily available for free online, as well as through Patreon and a series of online e-courses.
Shayda shares, "This year, I'm super excited to have finally opened my online print shop. You can now find my designs on cards and shop my art prints! Only took me five years to get around to it."
08. Kristen Addis
Target audience: Millennial women
Four years into her steady investment banking job, Addis found herself in “golden handcuffs.” Miserable, she decided to quit, end her lease, pack a bag and purchase a one way ticket to Bangkok. In 2012, she started her own travel blog Be My Travel Muse, encouraging and empowering women to travel solo. Since then, she's been to more than 60 countries.
After a decade of steadily growing her audience and influence, Addis now has one of the top women’s travel blogs in the world. She's been featured in a variety of publications including Business Insider, Vogue and Marie Claire. Not to mention, Addis has successfully monetized her blog, earning up to $50k a month. Her next adventure? Traveling with her newborn son. In her words, "I can't wait to show him the world".
09. William LaChance
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Target audience: Peers, most importantly. "There’s unprecedented insight to work being made all over the world, and sharing in and having access to that conversation has become fundamental to my studio practice. Collectors and collaborators observe and get in touch when they’re so compelled."
Contemporary artist William LaChance’s vibrant and brightly colored kaleidoscope pieces are hard to miss. As he describes his work in his bio:
“The paintings have shifting hierarchies of similar concerns: of material exploration, abstract identity, formal space and narrative expression. They openly blur the boundary between high art and applied arts not only in principle but in practice-lending themselves to various manner of surface design, from textiles and branding to fully realized earthworks.”
LaChance’s pieces appear in a range of collections including those of The U.S. Federal Reserve, the National Broadcasting Company, Nike, and the Kemper Museum in Kansas City. In addition, one of his bold murals in Kinloch, Missouri was named the best designed basketball court in the world by Architectural Digest.
In 2023, he has a new solo show at Madison Gallery in California. You also can find his work show internationally at Galerie LeRoyer in Toronto and Montreal, Prior Art Space in Berlin and Barcelona and two galleries in the Middle East: Corridor Contemporary in Tel Aviv and Belvedere Art Space in Dubai.
10. Rebecca Lueck
Location: Portland, Oregon
Target audience: Moms and photographers
Teacher turned full-time photographer, Becca Lueck’s love of children shines through her work. A mother of two, Lueck is passionate about family, and her award-winning work capturing the brighter moments of life beautifully reflects that. Think beautiful sunset light, silly and energetic kids and gorgeous Pacific Northwest landscapes.
In 2023, she's planning plenty of travel including Joshua Tree, Las Vegas and Alaska. "The trip I'm most excited for is in April I'll be traveling with my best friend to Scotland and Ireland for her 40th birthday," she says. "We've been talking about this trip for a while and we are finally making it happen."
11. Paul Fuentes
Location: London, United Kingdom
Target audience: 60% women, 40% men, between the ages of 25 to 40. Creative people and travel and design enthusiasts. Photographers and filmmakers.
Paul Fuentes' artwork is inspired by the endless summer of mid-century America , a love for Palm Springs, California and big cats.
Each of Paul’s dreamy photographs is a multi-layer image, with elements separated and then brought together to create one cohesive work of art. By constantly exploring the unknown, he takes you on a trip to iconic destinations. Together with his partner Ilse, they have two different collections of art prints: The Design Collection and The Travel Collection.
12. Abi Connick
Location: Bristol, UK
Target audience: Designers and freelance creatives wanting to improve their technical design skills, gain confidence and have the correct tools to run a successful business (age 21-30).
Brand designer, educator and entrepreneur Abi Connick says two things inspire her: Her partner, Jack, and (in her own words):
“Just knowing that my content and resources can help, inspire, motivate and even have the power to influence other creatives. Whether that's quitting a job to pursue their design business or completely changing a career—seeing other creatives push themselves out of their comfort zones and want more inspires me to show up every day.”
Abi shares that he works within the business and inspires her to want more out of life. “I sometimes struggle to see the bigger picture, which means I think small and don't dare to dream big," she says. "Jack is the complete opposite. His vision is huge—which inspires me to strive for more within the business and my personal life.”
13. Kailash Saravanan
Location: Chennai, India
Target audience: Anyone who wants to set up an online presence for their business and drive sales.
Kailash Saravanan is a UI/UX designer with a primary focus on digital wellbeing, inclusivity, and ethics. With three years of experience in the field, he’s worked with startups, individual clients and corporations. He started his Instagram account as a measure to have an online portfolio and connect with like-minded people, but over the years, it grew to be something more. As Saravanan says, “After several months of posting, some of my posts became viral, and that's when I knew the impact I could have in the design community.”
He shared with us,
“The fact that several people learn from these posts motivates me to create unique, creative content that would be helpful for them. Currently, after almost 2 years, I have mentored numerous budding designers and have networked with countless designers, agencies, and clients in the design community.”
In the coming year, Saravanan is excited to advocate for inclusive design. He also looks forward to seeing how wearable computing and design for the aging population will evolve over the next few years.
14. Lillian Jackson
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Target audience: Minority women
In 2018, Lillian Jackson cofounded Brown Skin Brunchin with Melissa Mason as a way to create a welcoming community for women to meet other minority women. The founders made their idea a reality by creating a strong online presence. According to Jackson:
“With Wix and its products, we have been able to successfully launch a community-based platform and app that bring together over 18,000 users on our app and over 1,000 women during in-person events each month. We have been able to scale our membership offerings to be present in over 80 locations across the US, Canada & Caribbean.”
The company has grown into a market leader for brunch groups, connecting thousands of women monthly via social media and in real life (brownskinbrunchin has 30.7K Instagram followers on its own.) In the coming year, they look forward to expanding the community with the launch of a London group in January 2023.
15. Anya Butler
Location: Los Angeles
Target Audience: Recruiters & animation studios, aspiring young artists, anyone who enjoys my art.
Anya Butler is a Los Angeles/UK-based director, designer and content creation master. Inspired by her upbringing in the English countryside and early 2000s mystery puzzle video games, she works with mixed media and explores every aspect of the animation pipeline and process. In her own words, “I love injecting whimsy into the everyday, making the ordinary ✨ extraordinary✨."
She's currently studying character animation at California Institute of the Arts, where she feels incredibly honored to be surrounded by such talented, creative classmates. When she’s not drawing, she’s either at the gym, making music, editing videos for her YouTube channel (with over 160K subscribers) or tending to the local wildlife. Butler has also extended her entrepreneurial arm into merchandise including stickers, keychains, prints and more. In this coming year, she will work on an animated short film.
16. Katie Costa
Location: Atlanta, GA
Target audience: We work closely with the most dope BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and women creatives that are ready to build the brand of their dreams while having a ton of fun along the way.
Katie Costa is the founder and lead designer of BLYNK Social, a strategic design and social media agency for brands that want to make a bold statement. The agency focuses on offering brands a fresh take on the digital world from a Gen Z perspective. Their work honors their clients' quirks and unique qualities and connects them with their dream community online and IRL.
Katie says her clients inspire her and she's honored to help brands grow with confident: "There's never a shortage of bad*ss business owners on a mission and it's inspiring to share a creative space with them." In 2023, she'll also release a workshop series.
17. Tommy Geoco
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Target Audience: Practicing designers who want to improve their craft and developers who want a better grasp of design patterns.
Tommy Geoco (aka DesignerTom) has designed products for over 13 years, leading Silicon Valley design teams and founding startups, including i (which Logitech's Streamlabs acquired in 2016).
On social media, Tommy talks about design's function in modern product teams, sharing tips about design patterns, collaboration and quick decision making. Almost one million people have followed Tommy's Instagram to learn product design from his personable content. He even launched a podcast, The Zero Content Design Show to expand his reach and connect with more designers.
Tommy shares, "I geek out over good systems and processes that speed up decision-making. I love looking under the hood of successful companies to see how they're puzzle-solving." This year, he's excited launch his Making Design Decisions, a workbook aimed at helping designers improve their speed and craft.
18. Zaria Forman
Location: United States
Target audience: Varied
Known for her breathtakingly realistic, large-scale pastel drawings documenting climate change, artist Zaria Forman’s work sheds light on the pressing climate crisis through her use of photo-realistic imagery of remote arctic landscapes. Forman has traveled extensively, including flying with NASA on several missions over Antarctica, Greenland and Arctic Canada.
According to Forman:
I have always been inspired by landscape, but in composition, my work has become more and more detailed. It hasn’t been intentional, but looking back, it’s the biggest difference I see in comparing my work from ten years ago to my work now. I try to push my own boundaries as much as I can, by attempting compositions that intimidate me, or textures I find difficult to render in pastel. I learn the most when I work outside my comfort zone.
Looking forward, Zaria is excited about her upcoming solo show at Winston Wachter Fine Art, New York in Spring 2023. The show will highlight close-up views of glacier ice from Fellsfjara, Iceland.
19. Lucy Lugi
Location: Cardiff, UK
Target audience: Creative entrepreneurs in the lifestyle/wellness/creative space who want to build their business empire and live a life of freedom.
Creator and designer Lucy Lugi prides herself on “playing by her own rules and being financially and mentally free.” As she shares on her website, “I get a buzz out of helping you to craft your brand and live the life you’ve always dreamed of.”
She seeks to work with fellow ambitious creators and brands who want to push boundaries and follow in her footsteps. Lucy draws her own inspiration from typography and interior design. She says:
I love experimenting with type to create something gorgeous and almost abstract, you’ll find a lot of that within my portfolio and social media. I find interiors brilliant for helping me craft the perfect color palette. I studied architecture in university, so tapping into that side of things is fun.
In the coming year, she hopes to continue growing her business and hire an assistant.
20. Mia Stav
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Target audience: Bakers, small business owners and cake lovers
Baker extraordinaire Mia Stav is a one-woman operation who creates decadent and elaborate cakes in a style that is uniquely her own. Her 208.7K followers on TikTok love her behind-the-scenes content. Videos include buying ingredients and her Starbucks runs to keep her day going.
21. Emily Paton
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Target audience: Fitness enthusiasts from around the globe
Emily Paton’s passion and commitment to fitness shines through every detail Stax Cycle Club's online presence. In March 2020, Paton made a difficult decision to close her studio, just two days before the government announced all non-essential businesses to close due to COVID-19. Rather than letting this slow her down, just two days later she began live-streaming with a small group of instructors and two webcams. She offered free classes to those who were struggling financially but still wanted to stay active at home.
Today, she offers hundreds of online classes—both live and on-demand—and has built a strong community of devoted fitness enthusiasts. She's inspired by connecting people through mindfulness and movement—regardless of geographical location—and is excited to see where the industry will go in the coming year.