Meet Delaware’s Most Influential People in social media in 2024

Craig Conover: Bravo host, entrepreneur

Paige DeSorbo (left) and Craig Conover

Paige DeSorbo (left) and Craig Conover

Back in the day, people used to sleep on Craig Conover’s love for sewing. Years later, the man from Fenwick Island runs his company Sewing Down South, based in Charleston, South Carolina, which has become a household name. The star on the Bravo reality show Southern Charm” now has people sleeping on his variety of pillows he sells via “Sewing Down South.”

The “Pillow Magnate” has 985,000 fans on Instagram. While South Carolina has embraced Conover — who moved there for college and graduated with a degree in finance from the College of Charleston — it doesn’t change that Delaware is where he grew up. He played baseball at Selbyville Middle and graduated from Indian River High.

Sukihana: Wilmington rapper

Sukihana

Sukihana

Is Wilmington rapper Sukihana playing a character for attention on the internet, or is she really that raunchy offline? Sukihana’s 2.5 million TikTok followers are divided.

But whatever the truth is, this “Love & Hip-Hop Miami” TV star has carved out a niche for herself by flaunting lyrics and clothing that both leave little to the imagination. Her catalog includes tunes like “Casamigos (Pour It In My Cup)” and “Sukisada.” Suki and fellow rapper Sexxy Red turned heads last year with their joint tune “Hood Rats,” racking up over 7.6 million views on YouTube.

Smoove Stevo: TikTok dancer

Stephen Kirton

Stephen Kirton

There’s a Newark resident who rapper Lil Nas X identified as his “twin.” The “Old Town Road” singer’s long lost Delaware brother is TikTok star Stephen Kirton, better known as influencer Smoove Stevo.

The dancing sensation has 1.7 million fans on TikTok. Last year Stevo set TiKTok on fire with his different variations of the Jubi Slide, a dance where it looks like the dancer is walking on air. In one video Stevo does the Jubi Slide on the beach and it generated over 94 million views.

The dancer’s first big break came in 2020 when he was a junior at Hodgson Vo-Tech. He posted a video telling his small audience that people say he looks like Lil Nas? The video went viral and Lil Nas ended up reacting to it, reposting it, and writing the caption “twin.”

The rest has been history.

Joe Zahn: Mr. Wired Up

Joe Zahn

Joe Zahn

If Taylor Swift performed a song with Usher at the Super Bowl halftime show, what would that collaboration sound like? Joe Zahn of Wilmington has the answer. He’s famous online as Mr. Wired Up.

On TikTok the DJ has 1.2 million fans and he built his large following from creating unlikely song mashups. For example, last summer he remixed country singer Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” with R&B group Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” It exploded with 3.4 million views. Mr. Wired Up also did a remix with rapper Jelly Roll over rock band Green Day’s “Brain Stew.”

Jelly Roll reacted to the video in the comments section saying: “Wowwwwww.” That video has 2.2 million hits.

Kayla Kosmalski: Model and TikTok star

Kayla Kosmalski

Kayla Kosmalski

For as long as Kayla Kosmalski can remember, she’s been in the spotlight. By the time she was 9, the young girl with Down Syndrome already had graced the runway in Miami, Florida, as a Gap model, which grabbed international headlines.

Kayla, who is now a senior at Middletown, has more than 233,000 followers and 7.6 million likes on TikTok under her mom’s account (@amykosmalski). Amy Kosmalski has shared many posts TikToks of her now 17-year-old daughter, a Down Syndrome ambassador, which offers a glimpse into the senior’s life and the fun she’s having — from cheerleading videos to photo shoots, and more in between.

Chris Klemens: Comedian

Chris Klemens, a comedian and social media influencer, came to fame for his comedy and ‘‘vlog’’  videos, where he followed his day-to-day life. Klemens also has a podcast, “Unhinged with Chris Klemens,” where he discusses personal stories, comedy and pop culture news weekly. Klemens, originally from Delaware, has over 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube, 1.6 million on TikTok and almost 500,000 followers on Instagram. Klemens also owns a clothing company, middle kid, which has amassed over 30,000 followers on Instagram.

Jeff Permar and Chunk the Groundhog: Friends and Instagram stars

Jeff Permar, a Middletown resident, runs @Chunk_the_Groundhog, an account about his Delaware groundhog and that has amassed over 666,000 followers on Instagram. Permar has a big heart for the groundhog, who went viral for videos eating in the yard of his Delaware home. Permar, an avid gardener who inherited his green thumb from his PopPop, “adopted” Chunk after the groundhog continuously came to steal vegetables out of his garden.

Whitney Johnson: MiracleHandz owner and hair expert

Whitney Johnson, owner of Wilmington-based salon MiracleHandz, has garnered over 95,000 followers on her TikTok @_Miraclehandz by posting hair styling videos. Johnson, who has been braiding hair since she was 10, has a passion for educating people on proper hair care.

Antonia Gorga: TV and social media star

Antonia Gorga, the daughter of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Melissa and Joe Gorga, has forged her own story by amassing a large social media following. Gorga, who has over 200,000 followers on Instagram and 243,000 on TikTok, currently attends the University of Delaware, which is featured frequently on the show, along with her social platforms. Other content includes life with her family and friends. Although only 18 years old, Gorga has amassed a large following on all of her social platforms, where she shows her college pride for the University of Delaware frequently.

Indi Robinson: Activist

Indi Robinson, a deaf TikToker from Wilmington, has used her large social media following for activism, even within the state of Delaware. Robinson, a Black and queer person, has spread awareness on diversity topics such as deaf culture awareness and LGBTQ+ issues. Currently, the model and actress has almost 40,000 followers on TikTok, and has been featured in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

Ashley Hesseltine, comedy podcaster

Ashley Hesseltine, a comedy podcaster originally from Smyrna, is the co-host of the popular podcast “Girls Gotta Eat,” which discusses dating, sex and relationships. Now residing in New York, Hesseltine is also the CEO and co-founder of Vibes Only, a sex toy and tech company with over 20,000 followers. Currently, she has 176,000 followers on her personal Instagram, with almost 270,000 followers on the podcasts’ Instagram. “Girls Gotta Eat” has been featured in a plethora of media publications, from Cosmopolitan to Buzzfeed.

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