Karri Nicholas is one of those girls you see on Instagram who spend their days snapping selfies in swimwear. The Gold Coast, Australia–based Insta-model, Tumblr influencer, and social-media manager fills up her social media feed with gratuitous photos of a body so toned and tanned, it looks as though she belongs on the “Baywatch” remake set. Obviously, she has an equally good-looking boyfriend, who is a photographer (duh) and takes most of her photos.
Nicholas told us a little about her life as a swimwear influencer, the best secret beaches on the planet, and the underrated bikini brands we all need to be shopping. Keep scrolling!
StyleCaster: How long ago did you start your Instagram account?
Karri Nicholas: I believe it was the end of 2011! I hardly used it, though, so probably the start of 2012.
How did you first grow your following?
At first, I had a Tumblr account that was quite well known, so a lot of my first followers were from there. After a year or so, I started modeling, so I was beginning to be recognized. Since then I have been looking at Instagram as a business tool, rather than for leisure. I like to keep my posts quality over quantity and try to engage my followers.
Who takes your photos for you?
My partner! Very handy having a boyfriend as a photographer. You can see his work at @MJCphotographie.
Did it feel weird posing in swimwear at first?
Not really—everyone does it! Sometimes on the beach if we’re doing a shoot people will stare, but you just have to get over that and block them out. If you’re holding back because you’re nervous, it will show in the photos.
What are your top three favorite bikini brands?
Hmmmm, this is hard! Andi Bagus: She designs these gorgeous crochet bikinis made in Bali and looks after me very well. Second, Mobo Swimwear—amazing luxury swimwear designed in Brazil and every bikini I have from them is so unique and beautiful! The last would have to be PilyQ Swim—I found it so hard to choose one because they were all so amazing. They are made in Barcelona, and you won’t find anything else like them.
Who took your photos for you when you first started?
When I first started Instagram, I was probably quite young, so they were mainly selfies unless they were from a modeling shoot.
Aside from Instagram, do you do anything for work?
I am the owner of social-media management company Send Me Social. We manage large and small businesses’ social media, manage social influencers, design websites, and are soon launching a new section of the business.
What were you doing before you became big on Instagram?
The same thing—probably just taking less photos and spending less time online. Ha ha!
What does an average day look like for you?
During the week I like to be as productive as possible. As I work from home, I really need to concentrate, but I can also make my own hours. I’m mostly at my desk if I’m not meeting clients or doing your regular household chores. On the weekends I am usually shooting with my partner, Marlon, and relaxing with friends and family.
What’s your favorite beach in the world, and where did you stay when you visited there?
Apart from my hometown the Gold Coast (we have it good here), the best beach was in the British Virgin Islands on this deserted island called Spring Bay. You will never see such clear water or white sand! The best part [is we had the beach] all to ourselves. I was there last year (2015) in December.
What other social media sites do you use?
I use basically everything, but only Instagram for business. I have Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, the whole lot.
What do you think will be the next big social-media platform for influencers?
I think that very soon Instagram will fizzle out due to the changes they are making since Facebook bought them. I hope it will be something similar to Instagram, I love apps that are image based so I can be inspired.
What SPF makeup do you use? I try not to wear makeup when I don’t have to, and when I do it’s mineral based. However, I do love the Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk SPF20 Foundation.
What do you normally have for breakfast?
Avocado on grain toast with a LOT of chilies on top!
What do you usually snack on throughout the day?
I love to snack on fruit and chocolate–I have to have a sugar hit every day.
What’s your go-to smoothie recipe?
Two bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, protein powder, ice, and a little bit of coconut milk—heaven!
What bikini are you wearing this summer? I love a Brazilian cut and a sturdy, fixed top. I really want to get my hands on the Minimale Animale. Something like this.
How often do you work out, and what do you do at the gym?
I try to work out minimum three days per week as well as keeping active. I do Spin classes, boxing, abs/butt/thighs classes, and just walking on the treadmill.