Tik Tok leads senior into world of business

Utilizing the advantages of social media to promote his business, senior Ricky Kuo, also known as Ricky Young to many of his fans online, started a jewelry line with his friends to sell products, such as bracelets and necklaces, online while also entertaining others.

Kuo uses TikTok, a social media video app, to create skits and dance videos on his account, @ricky_young1. After amassing over 220,000 followers on the app, Kuo introduced  his business, R. Young, to his general audience.

The senior started this project after his friend, senior Sol Lee, introduced him to junior Harris Daud, who has experience with finance from dropshipping. The business was created from the collaboration of the three Diamond Bar High School students.

“Harris followed me on Instagram and I looked through his [finance statistics] and then I hit him up and I knew that Ricky wanted to start a brand so I asked him if he wanted to be a team,” Lee said.

Each individual has their own role in the business. Daud handles the finances and Lee is responsible for brainstorming new ideas to promote the brand and the ordering process for the products.

“[The jewelry business] is under my name so I created the face of it,” Kuo said. “I also do the marketing part and basically I do everything else that is not numbers.”

Regarding the jewelry line, Kuo stated that TikTok has helped promote sales and even led to an increase of consumers.

However, Kuo admits that the responsibilities of managing the business and TikTok account has brought stress into his personal life.

“Honestly, it’s kind of tiring sometimes because you have to keep creating this image that other people see you as, it’s quite shallow,” Kuo said. “There are also things in the business that I need to look over like hyping up the business, but overall it’s alright and it doesn’t make much of a difference [to my life].”

Lee also explained that being part of Kuo’s business helped him as well.

“I think [the business] is good because I learned to manage the backends so it helps with my regular dropshipping,” Lee said. “I just use it as a learning experience essentially.”

When the team first started out, Daud was the most experienced in the business because of his experience with finance from his dropshipping investments. He utilized the e-commerce software, Shopify, to create websites to sell products online and invest money for more products.

“I’ve been in e-commerce since 2017 and I’ve started by selling on eBay,” Daud said, via text. “I started my own dropshipping store [on my website, Fast47.com], which I grew to six figures in revenue in a year and I now have four other e-commerce stores which all generate a steady income.” 

Kuo’s TikTok account has brought some opportunities for him to gain more popularity on his account from well-known artists and brands.

“I haven’t cooperated with [the brands] yet, but I recently got offers from Universal Studios and Juice WRLD, where I have to promote their music by making TikToks for them,” Kuo said.

Kuo and his partners all share the aspiration to pursue careers in the marketing business

“[When] my social media accounts grow I will expand my brand as well, to items like shirts and more jewelry and I’m trying to create an actual brand and not something like merch,” Kuo said via text. “ My main goal is not for profit rather to create and put out products that I have a deep passion for.”