Melissa Eckman was working in corporate accounting in Boca Raton, Florida when she signed up for her first Pure Barre class. Over time, she started going every day, eventually landing a teaching gig in 2013 – on top of her 65-hour work weeks. The following year, she started a fitness-focused blog MelisFit.com, along with an Instagram account @melisfit_, where she would create content before her 6AM class. “I would get to the studio early and prop my phone up and record different poses, and then screenshot the video. I posted images of myself that way,” recalls Eckman. Soon, she transitioned into practicing yoga, recording and sharing her flows along with inspirational quotes every morning.
Gradually, Eckman’s online audience grew as brands took notice. Sometimes she would post a photo of herself in a Pure Barre outfit or in activewear from Beyond Yoga or Splits59, which then led to those brands reposting the photos on their accounts. Currently, across both of Eckman’s Instagram handles, her followers amount to almost 300,000. Her first paid partnership was modeling clothes for a local yoga brand, and at the end of 2015, she decided to quit her job, sell her . . .
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