Recreation Center
"The first big push I got for followers was when I did the Brooklyn Renegade Fair back in 2012," explains Heilpern. "Ariele Alasko came by my booth since we had some friends in common. She bought a couple mugs I think and posted them on Instagram. I remember going from around 500 followers to over 1500 in a couple days."

"I just saw it growing. I couldn't believe that one person could create such a push," the designer says. "She has an enormous voice and if she likes you then so many other people will too. It kind of blew my mind and I started understanding the power of this thing."

"Now my following grows slowly, but it's consistent. The more I post, the more followers I get and the more attention goes to my website," she says. "It's hard for me though. It's generally the last thing on my mind. I'm so focused on what I have to do in the studio that its hard for me to think about this other thing that lives on my phone. I'm not the best at it and honestly I'm pretty intimidated by all these strangers!"

"I know I can be better at communicating and interacting, but it's not something that comes naturally to me. It is an incredible format to communicate with people you admire and the feeling of getting a response from someone you follow and who's work you love is such a fun feeling," Heilperns says. "I know this because it happens to me! In the beginning, if a person I followed followed me back — like a designer or a shop — it would make my day. And now because of that, I feel like we are all part of this enormous circle of people who admire one another."