by Andrew Torres
California State University, Fullerton sent students home in the middle of their 2020 spring semester to stop the spread of COVID-19, leaving Megan Fleenor stuck at home.
With extra time on her hands, Fleenor created a TikTok account that amassed over 80,000 followers and pushed her to start her own business Moodie Megs.
Before creating her TikTok account moodiemeg, Fleenor created collages on canvases and posted them on Instagram for feedback. She enjoyed posting on Instagram but decided to move to TikTok.
“I posted it on Instagram, and I got like a little bit of feedback there, and I was like OK this is cool, but like I want to do it bigger,” she said.
Fleenor’s earliest TikTok videos consisted of her showing how she made her canvas collages in the form of a stop-motion video. She kept posting on TikTok until her videos started picking up traction.
“I remember having like 400 views on one of my videos, and I was like crying,” she said.
With time, Fleenor learned ways of growing her following, like using popular TikTok sounds to boost her stop-motion videos. Fleenor said her videos became so successful they led to opportunities to work for Universal Music Group, Capitol Records, Sam Edelman and Crabtree & Evelyn.
Fleenor also made Spotify canvases for several artists after Spotify allowed artists with any following to upload their own. Spotify canvases are short videos played on a loop while listening to a song on the app.
She decided to make a website to display all of her work which eventually became home to her brand, Moodie Meg. After working for several others, Fleenor chose to take a step back and work independently.
“I’m glad that I’m able to run it so independently now, and like not be working for someone else,” she said.
Instead, Fleenor dedicated her time focusing on her business Moodie Megs. On her site, she sells art prints, stickers, accessories and clothing.
As Moodie Megs grows, Fleenor cannot put as much time into her TikTok but maintains being active. Fleenor said she enjoys TikTok as a hobby now.
“I was getting a little like burnt out just making those videos,” she said.
Fleenor’s friend and fellow TikTok creator Margaret McCarthy noted the difficulties of being a consistent content creator.
“Keeping up with trends and trying to create a viral content is really hard, the algorithm really likes to randomly push creator’s accounts down and views can drastically change, finding consistency is practically impossible,” McCarthy said.
Although Fleenor focuses on her business, her TikTok account continues to bring in views and send customers her way. A TikTok of her paisley necklaces went viral, which led to her selling over 1,300 of them.
“I’m like super grateful that I was able to, you know, actually see a return on my investment,” Fleenor said.
TikTok user Dulce Jurado first discovered Fleenor through TikTok and later found Moodie Megs through Fleenor’s account.
“The stuff she has in her shop is unique and definitely appealing to buy because of its originality,” Jurado said.
Fleenor aims to be affordable as a way to be inclusive of peoples’ budgets. She wants there to be something for everyone.
“I’m pretty sure that everything in my site was under $20 cause that was my goal; I wanted to be like anybody can come on my shop and like afford a little piece of art whether it’s you know, a $20 t-shirt if you can afford that or maybe just like a $4 sticker,” she said.
What started as a hobby due to unforeseen circumstances turned into a successful business that continues to expand with time.
“Maybe next year [in 2022] I’ll do $500,000 in sales, which I don’t know; that’s kind of crazy to me, but I think I can do that, you know, by myself,” Fleenor said.