Private Chef Aubrey Johansen has taken her weight loss journey and turned it into serious cash and today she's taking over the Cleveland 19 News Instagram account.
Reporter Jen Picciano's story is on April 27 at 11 p.m.
"I'm just a regular person sharing the hard struggle of being a morbidly obese young person in this country, which is a huge epidemic," said Johansen, who lives in Slavic Village.
About two years ago, she had bariatric surgery. Post-op, she created an Instagram page as a safe space to share and hold herself accountable. She said she used it as a live journal. It took off almost overnight. While she was losing weight, she was gaining followers -- lots of them.
"It was about 30,000 followers that I had hit, and I thought 'Wow, this is actually a big deal,'" she said.
Once Johansen said she realized she had become a social media influencer, she started reaching out to brands that she uses in her daily life.
She proposed an endorsement and became the very first brand ambassador in the weight loss surgery community for Syntrax Supplement. The endorsements were in exchange for $150 in products every month. Then she got her own coupon code, which helps her earn commission.
"The code, for the last five months has been used almost 500 times. I've made over $2,000. It's been pretty amazing," Johansen said.