Episode 1 How to Make Your Business Go Viral on TikTok

In this episode, our hosts chat with Ari Genesis, creator of the viral rug-making business, Fire Rugs.
Apr 18, 2024 — 7 min read

About this video series

Career Day

Career Day

Welcome to Career Day! In this series, YouTube Creators Charlie Chang and Elle Mills meet up with Gen Z small business owners who risked it all to bet on themselves. Throughout the series, aspiring entrepreneurs will get an in-depth look at how three small business owners found success taking the career path less traveled.

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Elle Mills:  Hey guys. Welcome to Career Day, brought to you by Square. 

Charlie Chang: We're talking with Gen Z entrepreneurs to learn how they bet on themselves and start their own business.

Elle Mills: I'm super excited about today's episode. We're going to be talking to Ari, creator of the massively popular online business Fire Rugs. Today. He's going to be teaching us how to get started without any money, how to scale your business, and how to create compelling content that promotes your brand.

Charlie Chang: Thank you so much to Square for sponsoring this series and for helping small businesses reach their full potential. Let's go talk to Ari.

Elle Mills: After leaving college to pursue a more creatively fulfilling career, Ari found rug making, spending his last savings on rug, creating supplies. Then Ari started sharing videos of himself making rugs online, and now he's a massive following on TikTok and is selling to people all over the world.

Ari Genesis: Welcome to the studio guys. This is where all the magic happens. 

Charlie Chang: Thanks for having us. 

Ari Genesis:  Of course. Get all the yarn color coding.

Elle Mills: Yeah. So I'm curious, what was the inspiration for Fire Rugs?

Ari Genesis: A good friend of mine actually started out making rugs on TikTok and Instagram and just seeing that it was really inspiring to kind of see that art form that no one had ever seen before. So I'm actually wearing his shirt right now, euphoricsupply, or I Make Rugs. Yeah, I just thought it was really cool to be able to create any kind of floor or wall art. You kind of have a lot of freedom with it, and it's something that I thought that it would really catch on well.

Charlie Chang: Yeah, and it sure has, right?

Ari Genesis: Yeah, definitely. I think of it as sort of like when people invest in stock or something like that. You see something that you think has potential and then you grow on it from there. So that's exactly what I did. I was like, yeah, this is never been done. I think it's super cool. It's something that anybody can do. So that's kind of exactly what I did. I just took it and ran with it.

Elle Mills: Have you always been a crafty person then?

Ari Genesis: My whole life I've been doing a bunch of different types of art. I started out dancing when I was really young. I was painting when I was a kid. I've done pretty much everything within the creative realm, so I have some sort of experience in most things. Never really knew exactly what I wanted to do. Definitely never thought I would be a rug maker.

Charlie Chang: Now you're a pretty big creator. It seems like putting yourself out there is kind of uncomfortable and risky for a lot of people. Did you feel like it was risky for you to start a project like this and sort of scale it to where it's at right now?

Ari Genesis: I find it so fun to take those risks and sort of put yourself out there in imaginative ways.

Elle Mills: I also find it exciting taking those risks, and I feel like when I first started taking those risks were really intimidating. But now that as opportunities come by, I'm more and more excited to jump into it. But for aspiring entrepreneurs who kind of are at that beginning stage where they're afraid to take that jump, what would you say to them?

Ari Genesis: You just kind of have to do it. I feel like the thing that really helped me was not telling anybody what I was doing. When you talk about a project before it's completed, for me, it takes the energy out of it. It takes my motivation for that project out of it. Once I finally announce it and tell everybody.

Charlie Chang: That does make sense. I guess if you talk about a project that you haven't finished, it's sort of like you're getting some satisfaction and having done the project ready,

Ari Genesis: That's the best way to put it. You're sort of releasing all of that pent up excitement that you have about it, and it takes away from what it could be, at least for me.

Elle Mills: Yeah, for sure.

Ari Genesis: So here we're looking at the completed rug. Usually there's a lot of stragglers sticking out of it. So these are meant to be used on sheep. Normally this tool for a rug costs like $300 or something like that. But I was just like, you know what? If you can use on sheep, it's not even 90. They're used on wool, right? Rugs are made out of wool. It just makes sense. So here you go. You can try it out. 

Charlie Chang: So while you were scaling your business, was there anything that was pretty difficult for you?

Ari Genesis: There was only a certain amount that I could personally fulfill. I was doing all the customs myself, so I was doing one order per day, no weekends, no breaks, so I had to get a team on board, especially for the customs. So we developed a new technique actually that allows us to fulfill so many more orders at a time and be able to get every single detail as possible.

Elle Mills: How long does it usually take? The whole process.

Ari Genesis: It can take five days. If you're working most of the day, there's no right way to do it. Just like that. My hand's already getting tired. It's right in here, right in that big thumb muscle that, I dunno the name of.

Elle Mills: So how did you get started with this? With no money? Did you have any backing when you started?

Ari Genesis: I actually spent my last dollar on rug stuff. I was in Ross with a couple of my friends. A place where you would normally think that you're able to afford stuff, but it was at that moment that I realized I couldn't even afford to buy socks, and so that day I'd spent less of my money on the wood actually to build the loom here, some cloth in the rug gun. So I knew that I could make money just doing customs, so I wasn't too worried. And from there, the plan worked out perfectly. It just, I think I spent about a month making a custom each day. So 30 customs, one per day and made my money back or made a return on my investment.

Charlie Chang: Can you tell us how your business works? The whole backend, how it all works?

Ari Genesis: I have a set amount of employees. Every rug that they make, they get a portion of the profits and that's about half. So there is a lot of overhead. I wouldn't say that rugs are the most lucrative business you could ever go into. It's not, but it's a really cool business, really life creating things that people can put in their homes. And so yeah, I would say over this past year we have made six figures total. The whole business. Right on the dot pretty much. And I'm expecting that next year we will hopefully double that. That would definitely be a good marker to aim for. Yeah.

Charlie Chang: How instrumental has the social media, the organic marketing been?

Ari Genesis: All the exposure and orders that I've gotten throughout the entire business have all come from social media.

Charlie Chang: One big roadblock people have when starting their own business, especially for a product one is they think they need to invest a ton of money into ads for marketing.

Ari Genesis: It's even better than ads because who wants to see an advertisement? The TikTok was doing so well. It was an ad in itself, basically just being on the app.

Charlie Chang: Yeah. What type of content do you make on TikTok?

Ari Genesis: I just kind of record the process and since it is such a new art form, just kind of showing the best ways that I've learned to do things, tends to work really well. Just kind of sharing some knowledge on making rugs, sort of tutorials and stuff like that works really well. And also ASMR is doing really well right now for rugs. It's just a super satisfying art form to watch and to do in general.

Elle Mills: So what advice would you give to inspiring entrepreneurs who want to get their brand out there on socials?

Ari Genesis: First of all, you just got to do it. Don't be scared, don't make excuses. Go with it, pull the trigger. I would say just kind of taking that first step is got to be the most important thing. Just look at what other people are doing that's successful and make your own spinoff of that with your own personality and your own sort of spice to it because it will be completely different. You will see growth if you really care about it and you put your time into it and it's something that you believe will do well, people will see that you're passionate about it. They'll see that you care and they'll want to watch you. People love to see the light in people's eyes.

Elle Mills:  I think that's the biggest thing for me. Whenever someone asks me that kind of question, I'm always like, passion.

Ari Genesis: Absolutely. Okay, so we just finished cutting out the rug and here's where we're at.

Elle Mills: Dude, it looks so cool.

Ari Genesis: Thank you. Still a work in progress. Got a lot of steps left to do. Just got to shave it, trim it. But yeah, I'm glad you guys got a chance to see the process. Yeah.

Elle Mills: Well, thank you so much. We appreciate your time. And time is money, so we'll let you get back to work.

Ari Genesis: Of course, yeah. Thanks for coming by guys. 

Elle Mills: See you around. Bye.

Charlie Chang: Thanks again to Fire Reg's founder Ari for all the inspiration he shared with us, as well as helping us better understand how to start without any money, how to scale any business, as well as how to create compelling content that promotes your brand.

Elle Mills: Be sure to check out the Square's website where they provide all the tips and info you need, including how to start a free online store.

Charlie Chang: And be sure to subscribe for more creative videos. And remember, always bet on yourself.

Elle Mills: Thanks guys. Bye. Hey dude. 

Ari Genesis: Wait, I'm the flamingo.


Here’s your step-by-step guide for how to sell on TikTok using TikTok Shops, LIVE Shopping, TikTok Ads, user-generated content, and more.

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