HM micro-influencers take on TikTok: Nati Hecker (12)

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Erica Jiang, Staff Writer

North Face jackets, Soulcycle, and black Sambas pepper Nati Hecker’s (12) TikTok, @natihecker. With over 2.3M likes in total and 13.9K followers on the social media platform, Hecker keeps her audience updated on the latest fashion trends and her personal routines.

Hecker first gained traction on the platform in December 2020 when her video unboxing the popular brown North Face puffer jacket went viral, garnering 1.7M views and 400K likes, as well as 30K saves and 11K shares. “It just blew up, then I started seeing that people actually really liked this content,” Hecker said. From then, her videos have accumulated thousands to millions of views each.

Ever since she was little, Hecker’s family and friends have always said they thought she would be famous, she said. “I always wanted to go viral, and that was my first taste of fame,” she said. “I don’t have that many followers in the grand scheme of things, but it was really fun for me to see people appreciate what I was sharing, and have these supporters validating me.” 

Amelia Resnick (12), one of Hecker’s friends and followers, enjoys watching her videos. “She has always talked about wanting to be famous, so I’m happy for her that she’s gained a following on that platform,” she said.

Hecker said that her TikTok followers appreciate the mundane and unique aspects of her style, such as her Adidas Samba sneakers, more than people do in real life. “I wear the Sambas and everyone hates on them because they are kind of unique, but the people on TikTok like them,” she said. “I like seeing that people appreciate my specific style, even if it’s not for everyone.”

Through her TikToks, Hecker has connected with various other creators. “It was so fun to see other creators reaching out to me, like Avani, who liked one of my posts,” she said. Avani Gregg is a 19-year-old influencer with over 40 million followers and 2.9 billion total likes on TikTok, who posts beauty and lifestyle content.

Hecker has also worked with brands to post and earn money from sponsored content. “I realized that I can make a side hustle out of this,” she said. In February 2021, a small clothing brand called Honuhut reached out to her about posting a video featuring their products. “They paid me a dollar and 50 cents per thousand views, and I ended up getting 700 dollars from that one video,” Hecker said. “That was the most money I’ve ever made in one sitting, and it was just because I made a video about their clothes.”

Though Hecker has gone viral multiple times and has accumulated a large following, she does not consider herself a “micro-influencer.” “I don’t identify with the term influencer,” she said. “I just post things that I like. I don’t post things to specifically influence people.” In addition to posting what interests herself, Hecker caters to comments that ask her to post daily routine or clothing videos. “I just give the people what they want.”

Hecker takes inspiration from her For You Page and what is trending at the moment. Her friends and family also play an important role in her account and ask for specific videos, she said. “My parents have been very involved, my mom will see something and suggest I make a video about it.”

At the end of the day, Hecker posts without thinking too much into what attention it will attract. “I play it by ear and do what I want,” she said. “I just post what I’m doing, and if you like that, great, and if you don’t, that’s great too.” 

After inspiration strikes for a video, Hecker picks a trending sound to get more views and edits the clip together using either CapCut or the TikTok app. CapCut is an online, free video editor for more elaborate videos, such as montages.

Aesthetic-wise, Hecker tends to post fashion and lifestyle content. “People really like seeing what life is like in New York City, and it’s so cool to me that I have so many opportunities to visit museums and shows,” she said.

Her platform gives her a unique platform that most people do not have access to, Hecker said. “It’s a crazy experience knowing that a single video you post can reach millions of people.”

Hecker does not try to promote a certain lifestyle with her content, but rather wants to share unique aspects of her life. “I once found a vintage Gucci watch that my mom had from the eighties, and I posted that and it got 2 million views,” she said. 

Though many of Hecker’s videos feature luxury products and brands, a lot of the products are vintage and discounted, she said. “I like to shop a lot on The RealReal, and I’ve also bought most of the things I feature by myself, since I’ve been working at TaskMe [a small personalization business started by Caroline Kaplan ‘19] since eighth grade,” she said.

That being said, her socioeconomic background plays a part in what goes into her videos. “I still think it’s important to note that I would not be able to make the same content if I wasn’t in this position,” she said

Ultimately, Hecker hopes to promote more sustainability in fashion. “I don’t want to contribute to this idea of consumerism, which I think is an issue a lot of micro-influencers contribute to,” she said. Instead, Hecker wants to advocate for secondhand stores such as The RealReal, ThredUp, and Depop.

In addition to her public account, Hecker also has a personal account that she uses to connect with her friends. “I don’t show my personality enough on Tik Tok because people don’t like that as much, it’s more just snippets of my life that I like the aesthetic of,” she said.

Though Hecker’s account is a more curated version of her life, Resnick believes her personality is the same on and off the platform. “Her Tik Tok mainly revolves around fashion and she cares a ton about fashion in person too,” Resnick said.

Because it takes so much time to edit and post videos, Hecker has not been able to post as much at the moment due to school work and college applications. “Earlier this year and in 2021, I would spend hours editing a video — I was very into it,” she said. Hecker has also learned a lot from her Filmmaking class at the school on how to get the right timing and lighting for her videos, she said. 

Tik Tok has helped Hecker grow in various ways, she said. She sees herself as an entrepreneur and highly values learning about how brands work and seeing the inner workings of content creators. “I also make content for other brands, so that has helped with learning about what marketing is today,” she said. “I really want to go into business and marketing, so this has been a solid start.” 

Hecker hopes to start posting more in the springtime, and continue during college. “I don’t know what my life will be like in college, but I just love posting,” she said. “Ever since I was little, I’ve always made little vlogs and videos, so even if people stop following me or I stop going viral, I’ll still post.”