Like many college students, Northeastern University junior Emma Rapp, was feeling in a bit of a funk at the start of 2020. It was not until school went online and she found herself alone in her apartment that she decided to start her passion project: a food Instagram @eats.of.ems. Born out of boredom and her need for creativity, this small project has quickly turned into a successful business with over 4,000 followers in just two short months.
Combining her passion for food and nutrition with her love for photography, Rapp launched her account and pushed herself out of her creative funk.
@eats.of.ems consists of recipes inspired by the things Rapp is cooking and eating at the moment, but also features recipes that she has pulled from other accounts and credits when she makes them.
“At the end of the day anyone can make food, but you have to know how to take a good picture and that’s what really grabs an audience… that’s what makes people want to click on something,” Rapp says.
But making her food look good is not the only reason why @eats.of.ems has gained so much traction. It is Rapp’s down to earth personality that makes her relatable and fun to follow on Instagram. From her VIQ series (Very Important Question) that she posts daily on her story, to her IGTV videos she produces, her personality shines and makes viewers feel like they too can make these fun recipes. She cares about her followers and wants to engage with them and get to know them on a more personal level.
Rapp likes to say that she is the CEO of making things that are not fancy look fancy. “ I think that’s a very fun part of food and a big part of my mission. Making things that are replicable and entertaining to look at, both in terms of how I describe them and the image themselves.”
Through her food account, Rapp also discovered a close knit community of other food Instagrammers who share recipes and support each other. Although @eats.of.ems purpose is to provide a more light-hearted feel, some accounts are more geared towards mental health, eating disorder recovery, or someone’s fitness journey. Despite the different missions, everyone is so supportive.
“There are a lot of people who have accounts that are my age so I feel like I’ve had very cool, meaningful conversations and have met people virtually through this space,” Rapp said. “I’ve just been really blown away by the telos of them and the journey that the account holder has been on.”
Only a few months in, Rapp’s follower count has been growing rapidly. Although initially making it for herself, she quickly switched over to a growth mindset and has crafted more intention with her account.
“The growth rate has been pretty insane… sometimes I just step back and am like what is going on,” Rapp said.
But this newfound success is not from luck and does not come easily. Rapp works a 9-5 job and manages to post to her account on her breaks and during her meals. Rapp’s success has also contributed to her commitment to strategically use her account’s analytics to make decisions. She continues to find ways to separate herself from other accounts — helping exponentially with her growth.
Although Rapp is not sure if she will continue with the same amount of “gusto,” as she puts it when quarantine is over, @eats.of.ems is something that she wants to keep doing.
For anyone thinking of pursuing a passion project, Rapp’s advice is to just go for it, and start.
You can find Rapp’s account on Instagram as @eats.of.ems and be sure to look out for upcoming partnerships, giveaways, and recipes!