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LIU Student Uses Social Media to Start Small Business


Founder Katie Hinkle, wearing her hand-made rainbow earrings

Social media businesses have been on the rise over the last several years. Many small businesses have used social media platforms to start, grow, or expand their business to new followers. The same goes for LIU's fifth-year senior and softball player Katie Hinkle, owner and creator of Hinkshoppe. 

Hinkle started Hinkshoppe in July when she wanted to do something productive during her time post-surgery. “I actually started making some fun little projects while I was recovering from my second lymph node surgery this summer. I knew that I was going to be on the couch for at least a week and I needed something to keep me busy.” 

“I saw some super cute rainbow crafts on my Instagram and thought that would be the perfect craft to learn while recovering,” added Hinkle. 

Hinkshoppe sells colorful rainbow and pom-pom shaped earrings, keychains, car charms, and wall art. Right now, the only way to order products is through Hinkle’s Instagram page, @hinkshoppe, but an Etsy shop may soon open. Earrings and car charms are sold for $15, keychains for $13, and wall art for $25. 

“Since starting Hinkshoppe, I’ve realized that I’ve sold to women of varying ages. I’ve had especially great responses from moms who want wall art for their child’s nursery and teachers who love to rock the rainbow earrings in the classroom. They are also great for women who love statement accessories but don’t like the heavyweight earrings,” Hinkle said. 

For some customers like Patricia Griffin, a sixth-year senior on the LIU softball team, supporting Hinkshoppe was not only support for her teammate but also support for small businesses. 

“I bought from her because the products were adorable!! Also since the pandemic hit I’ve been trying to shop through small businesses instead of large places. Once I saw that Katie was selling this super cute jewelry and decorations it was a no-brainer to support her and also get something really cute for myself in the process,” Griffin said. “For me, the products are so cute, she has so many options, and she is making them in such a good quality that it is totally worth it.”

Katie's Wallart

For those who are interested in ordering products from Hinkshoppe, all you have to do is head over to @hinkshoppe on Instagram and order through DMs. On the page, you can also find past orders that have been made, and even create your own color pattern in a custom order. 

“I do this because it makes me so happy to be able to make products by hand that bring joy to others. This is something that I never imagined myself doing and doing something like this would’ve been completely out of the question a few years ago,” said Hinkle. 

She also added, “I used to be so stuck in my comfort zone and worried about what everyone else thought of me, but now I’m just doing something that makes me happy and I hope it can lead to something bigger someday.” 

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