When the COVID quarantine went into effect in March of 2020, Ellie Zeiler, then a high school student, suddenly had more free time. She started actively posting on TikTok and quickly grew a following. Today, she has 10.6 million followers on TikTok and 1.7 million on Instagram.
“I realized there was an opportunity to turn creating content into a potential career path,” said Zeiler, who grew up in San Diego and now lives in Los Angeles. “I have many goals and feel lucky to have a jump start on a career at such a young age.”
On social media, Zeiler shows off outfits she’s purchased, skin care products she loves and travel accessories she’s using on her pages, often pairing her videos with music and taking pictures in places like Paris, Beverly Hills and local beaches. Her TikTok videos have gained the most traction, garnering her over 370 million likes. Since she has such a huge following, she’s been able to promote products from brands like Lancôme, Levi’s and Amazon.
“As a partner to these types of brands, my role is to create photos and video content that promotes their products and communicates their brand messaging,” she said. “I learn so much about business every single day.”
While in San Diego, Zeiler became deeply involved in her Jewish community. She attended Chabad Hebrew Academy, went to Camp Gan Israel and was an ambassador for her Jewish youth group in high school.
When Zeiler started high school, she was “shocked” by the antisemitism she encountered. “On any given day while sitting in class, you might hear a cultural or religious slur made by a student as if it’s nothing.” When her friends confided to her they were experiencing the same thing in their schools as well, they decided to start Together As One, an organization that aims to combat antisemitism and encourage others to learn about cultural diversity and acceptance. When the Poway synagogue shooting happened in April of 2019, Zeiler led Together As One in raising funds to support those injured and affected by the shooting.
Zeiler has proudly shared her Jewish practices online, posting videos about Rosh Hashanah and showing her support for Israel – even though she’s gotten backlash for it.
“I am incredibly proud to be Jewish and feel lucky to live in a city where there is such a strong community. Feeling connected to Judaism has given me a sense of belonging and security as I’ve grown up.” – Ellie Zeiler
“I am incredibly proud to be Jewish and feel lucky to live in a city where there is such a strong community,” she said. “Feeling connected to Judaism has given me a sense of belonging and security as I’ve grown up. Knowing that I am part of such a remarkable community of thought and business leaders, spiritual mentors and true survivors gives me a sense of comfort and courage wherever I am.”
Looking to the future, Zeiler is going to be pursuing acting while continuing to post on social media. This year, she had a debut starring role as Ari in season three of “Crown Lake” on Brat TV, a digital media company focused on Generation Z. She’s also going to college next year and wants to transition into a career in real estate.
It has taken years for the teen influencer to build momentum online, but right now, she feels blessed she has the opportunity to do what she loves.
“Growing a following on social media is honestly a mix of luck plus consistency met with hard work,” Zeiler said. “Developing a personal brand and creating high quality content that communicates who you are requires a lot of time, vulnerability and effort. I absolutely love what I do and wake up excited to create new content every day.”