MILLY PARAZO

Milly Parazo never intended to turn her skill making terrazzo coasters and pots into a business. ‘I was doing it as a hobby on the weekends and I didn’t really think of it becoming anything else. I just enjoyed it,’ she says. However, when the pandemic hit her job in the events industry, she found she had a lot more time on her hands: ‘I carried on making and it just happened. I didn’t ever start thinking: OK, I want this to be my full-time business. It kind of just fell into place.’

In just one week we grew by 30,000 followers because one of my Reels got 3 million views. It blew up!

Milly, who’s based in West Sussex, UK, was making the terrazzo pieces from her bedroom and posting them on Instagram. Her feed is full of playful pieces in all sorts of shapes, colors and patterns; pastels, splotches and clouds abound. They’re an antidote to the dire mood of the past year: ‘A lot of friends and family wanted me to make them things, so it was slowly growing,’ she says, and she soon realized that she had the potential to sell her creations. So she launched a website for Terrazzo Parazo and the customers started pouring in.

A turning point for Milly came when she started making videos that showed the complicated process behind making terrazzo. In just one week, she gained 30,000 followers from one Instagram Reel. ‘I think because it was so different and interesting – and people hadn’t seen it before – they loved it. Instagram played a big role in my business,’ she says, adding that she hasn’t done any advertising off social media.

In less than a year, Milly has turned her side hustle into a full-time job, gaining almost 80k followers on Instagram and employing a colleague to help with production. With a background in social media, Milly flipped the disappointment of losing her job and transformed it into a burgeoning bedroom empire. ‘It’s all been digital. All of my customers have come from social media, and Instagram has blown up recently. All of my customers come from there,’ she says.

Making terrazzo is a messy business, and with the success of her first year, Milly is moving into a proper studio so she can focus on her work and building her business. ‘We’re growing out of my bedroom very fast. It’s literally taking over my house!’ she says. ‘It’s really exciting. I’ve been at home for the past year, so it’ll be nice to go out and come back.’

Although losing her job made Milly take an unexpected turn, her background has made her a better entrepreneur.

‘All of my past jobs have helped me with running my own business, even little things like learning how to do customer service or reply to emails,’ she says. And while she doesn’t have any background in design, her creative spirit feeds Terrazzo Parazo’s fun vibe: ‘I’ve always been creative. Whatever it is, if it’s photography or media or textiles, I love it all. I’ve always been up for giving things a go.’

Terrazzo Parazo has grown beyond anything Milly had imagined, but she’s excited to expand even more. With her new studio, she’s hoping to employ some new team members and share what she’s learned with customers through workshops: ‘That’ll give people the opportunity to make things for themselves and see the process and pick all the colors,’ she says. All in all, she’s excited to see what the next year holds.

Launch and grow your business today on Instagram at business.instagram.com and @instagramforbusiness