How one woman turned her foodie Instagram into a booming business

We chat to cookbook author, entrepeneur and the founder of 'Hippie Lane', Taline Gabrielian, about her recipe for success.

If you’re an avid Instagrammer, like us, chances are you’ve seen one of Taline’s kaleidoscopic, food-porny pics.

With an abundance of drool-worthy treats, travel photos and rainbow recipes, it’s no wonder this talented mother-of-two has close to 500,000 Instagram followers and a hugely successful business that's also one of Australia’s leading food and drink apps.

However, Taline wasn’t always penning recipes and chopping away in her kitchen. In her twenties she studied education and psychology, and practiced both teaching and counselling. That all changed about seven years ago.

 

 

A post shared by HIPPIE LANE (@talinegabriel) on

At the age of 33, Taline was having trouble falling pregnant with her second child and felt that something wasn’t quite right. “I found out I had food sensitivities and intolerances to everyday foods like gluten, soy products, refined sugar, dairy and eggs,” Taline says.

“I was living with symptoms that I thought were quite normal, like bloating, tiredness, lack of energy – that type of thing. But I had a son at the time and I was studying and working so I just wrote it off as that.”

Eliminating those ingredients from her diet, she began experimenting with new foods and found it really inspiring. Combining flavours and creating gluten-free, plant-based recipes, Taline not only fell pregnant with her second child, she also began distributing her tasty treats among local Sydney cafes.

 

 

A post shared by HIPPIE LANE (@talinegabriel) on

But it was her introduction to Instagram when all the magic happened. Snapping and documenting her bright, beautiful creations, Taline's recipes sparked curiosity and she quickly started to garner followers.

“I got into Instagram early and what I was offering was quite unique… so it grew very quickly,” Taline explains. “I developed the app within a year as I had 100,000 followers at that point.”

Now, the 36-year-old says she is happier and more satisfied than ever. Blogging and developing under her pseudonym, Hippie Lane, Taline enjoys a varied but rewarding life full of delicious food and creativity, and has just published her first ever cookbook - Hippie Lane the Cookbook.

 

 

A post shared by HIPPIE LANE (@talinegabriel) on

As the entrepreneurial life is a highly coveted one, we asked Taline about her recipe for success, and what advice she would give to someone looking to turn their passion project into a business. 

Follow your passion

While she has built an impressive brand and business, Taline says she didn’t have dollars in mind when she started out. “I didn’t really go into it with big strategy or plan, I followed my heart. You have to really dedicate yourself to the craft and the passion.

“You need to believe in yourself and follow your own path. Don’t get tempted to copy what other people do because they’ve already done it and you need to work on how you can do it,” she explains.

Work hard

Taline says that patience is vital when starting a new business or side project because success doesn’t happen overnight. “It’s hard, I’m not going to lie,” she laughs. “A dream is one thing but setting goals toward it is another. I worked really hard to get here, I worked every day, day in, day out, in my kitchen;  you have to work really hard to get somewhere.”

Be organised

Juggling a growing business, kids’ schedules, and a satisfying social life, Taline credits her organisational skills and believes being organised is a seriously underrated quality. “You have to a to-do list. When you know what you’re going to achieve in the day, you can make it happen. I have the uniforms usually prepared at the beginning of the week, I’ve got their lunches and their food cut up in the fridge… It’s really about efficiency, and I think you learn that as you go,” she says.

Be authentic

Like many successful bloggers and influencers, Taline makes time to engage with her loyal fans and encourages budding entrepreneurials to do the same. “Don’t be too cool to respond,” she asserts. “Whether it’s an email, a comment on a picture or a comment on your blog, people feel great when you respond to them. For me, it happens quite naturally as I am grateful for their support and I really care.”

Check out some of Taline's delicious Hippie Lane recipes below.

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