LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Social media has changed the way we do a lot of things, including shopping.
Instagram is bringing your favorite clothing brands right to your cell phone. Clothing modeled by real people, right next door.
"We hardly ever come to downtown Little Rock in the middle of the day," admitted Kristen Taylor. She and her daughter drove from Cabot to buy a shirt that she saw on Instagram. "If I hadn't seen this place on Instagram, I would have never driven by.”
"It's totally changed the way we do business," said the owner of Fringe Boutique, Kendall Sandifer.
In four years, her store has built more than 16,000 followers on Instagram. Their followers, and their business, grew after they made a change. "We started having customers asking how does it look on," she remembered. "How long is that sweater? So, we brought in models." Local models, sharing their results on their local Instagram pages.
"They might have 3,000 followers that we don't have," said Sandifer, "their followers are probably going to like Fringe because they're the same age as the model."
And it's working for more than just women's stores. "For us, traditional advertising will not work," said Barakat Bespoke owner Jenanne Filat, where they sell high-end custom suits for men. "We like to use our local clients," said Filat, "because we feel word of mouth is best when selling our product locally."
Her store has more than 10,000 Instagram followers. "Our clients aren't shopping on Instagram," she said, "but we're using it as a platform for our brand. It boosts their confidence. They already have their personality, so we just help them express that."
Drew Garrison is a barber by day, but at least for one day, he was a male model. "She hooked me up with that nice suit. I still have it. I can still fit into it, I get compliments, it works in her benefit as well. They ask me where I got that suit, I got it at Barakat Bespoke."