MKE Influencers: Hula-hooping and fire-eating draws an audience for Taylor Flows

MKE Influencers: Hula-hooping and fire-eating draws an audience for Taylor Flows

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Hula-hooping and fire-eating is Taylor Flows (real name - Taylor Duffrin) only job. She's influencing people around the world from her home in Milwaukee as a Patreon-based hula hoop instructor.

"That means I teach people how to hula-hoop." Flows explained from her practice space at House of Rad in Milwaukee.

It is very different from what you may have learned in gym class. She has tutorials on things like coin flips, isolations, rolls, escalators, and combinations of all of them. All of that is part of her subscription-based income. 

"I pay all of my bills with hula hooping." Flows said. "It's kind of been an adjustment going from that 9-to-5, 401k benefits to being a starving artist for a second and now being more of a blossoming artist."

We first met Taylor five years ago when she was still working at an insurance company and was just starting to catch fire. She says once the pandemic hit, it motivated her to dive fully into her passion.  by

"If you really love something and want to turn this into a career, the biggest question is how do I make money? How do I make this sustainable?" she said.

She grew her subscriber base on Instagram and Facebook but she says 90% of her income comes from Patreon.

Patreon is a subscriber-based platform where people pay Taylor directly to access online tutorials at the lowest tiers, up to get one-on-one lessons at the highest range.

Since almost all of her income (some comes from live performances) comes from her content creation, there is a constant need to create. More videos. More content. Always more. by

"You do run out of ideas sometimes." Taylor said of the pressure. "It's hard to navigate that. You feel that pressure. And also it's kind of a double-edged sword. It drives you. But also that pressure kind of causes you to not be as creative because you're feeling that pressure."

"It kind of comes from a place of not wanting to be disingenuous with what you create." she continued. "It's taken a lot of self-discipline to get into that space where there's always going to be things that you can share with people and things they're going to want to see and you're going to want to create.

Taylor says the content possibilities are endless for her. There are always new tricks and combos and choreographies to teach. As she passes 600 online tutorials, they just keep coming. They have to.

You can follow Taylor Flows on Instagram, subscribe to her on Patreon and you can even get tickets right now for The Hoop Dream Retreat coming this March in Bali. Taylor will teach classes there too.

To see and hear more from CBS 58's interview with Taylor Flows:

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