Social media is a true force in our society, and driving that force are the influencers—Instagram stars, TikTok-ers, and podcasters who can promote themselves, fellow community members, local businesses, and any number of products on their respective channels.
Our list of social media stars based in Arizona is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the influencers in the Grand Canyon State, as there are too many to fit in a single story. But if you’re looking to dive into local influencer land, we’ve got 13 accounts to follow.
Arie and Lauren Luyendyk
Arie and Lauren Luyendyk (pronounced lion-dike) are arguably metro Phoenix’s most famous couple. The pair met on the popular reality dating show The Bachelor, and as is often the case with reality TV, their start was not without controversy. Arie notoriously called off his engagement to Becca Kurfin on the show, which created public backlash—but it appears to have been the right decision, as Arie and Lauren have been together since 2018.
Like many former Bachelor stars, they also have a ton of Instagram followers. Lauren boasts over 1 million while Arie is hovering at just over 800,000. Today, their followers can see videos and posts about Lauren and Arie’s three kids, their life in Scottsdale, their travels, and their second home in Maui, which appears to have been spared by recent wildfires.
Shaun T is a buff fitness trainer who has over 1 million followers on Instagram and lives in Phoenix. His career predates social media, however, as he got his start teaching an aerobics class using hip-hop tracks at Rowan University in 1997. He also worked as a professional dancer in Los Angeles. At 25, he was offered an infomercial dubbed Hip Hop Abs. His third one—Insanity—took off and he has since pivoted from TV to the internet. Expect to see pictures of him looking very fit along with shots of his two children, husband, and, of course, workouts.
Extreme Toys TV
Brothers Ethan and Cole are the stars of the Extreme Toys TV channel, which has over 8 million subscribers. As the name suggests, these two young Scottsdale brothers—Ethan is 16 and Cole is 12—are obsessed with toys, games, and adventures. We’re talking Nerf gun battles and silly takes on popular memes (“We Battle a Mutant Elf On the Shelf This Christmas Eve!”). Their review of Glendale’s Stratosphere Adventure Park, posted one year ago, has collected nearly 3.5 million views.
Diana Brandt is the woman behind this food-centric Instagram account that has over 246,000 followers on Instagram. She’s easily recognizable by one of her signature looks: vivid green hair. As the account’s name suggests, look forward to plenty of delicious-looking videos and photos from eateries all over the Valley with a mix of other destinations thrown in for good measure. Her two children and dogs also occasionally make appearances in her stories and posts.
Officially Tracy Time
Tracy Colcord’s Instagram page declares that she is the CEO of snacks and random fun, and her popular TikTok account is all about that. In her videos on TikTok, where she has 477,200 followers, Colcord reviews all kinds of snacks in the kitchen of her metro Phoenix home—often with her children and husband in the background. These include pre-made snacks like Nerdy Nuts and Sour Patch Kids in addition to homemade creations, like when she made her own version of Ranger Cookies, which she had been served on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Write on Rubee
Christian Barrueta is the woman behind the popular Write on Rubee Phoenix food Instagram account, which has about 28,000 followers. Expect to see a near-constant stream of food photos at a plethora of metro Phoenix restaurants. Some of her recent food snaps were at The Hermosa Inn, Paradise Valley Burger Company, Amangiri in Utah, and Park MGM in Las Vegas. She also frequently posts videos of bartenders and chefs discussing their latest creations. If you’re interested in the local food scene and the people working hard to bring it to life, Write on Rubee is the account you’ll want to follow.
Let Them Eat This
Chelsey Hauston posts videos related to food and travel on her TikTok account, where she has 270,600 followers; and her Instagram account, where her following is closer to 188,000. In one recent TikTok, she posted a video about the haunted Arizona town of Jerome. Expect mostly food videos—like one highlighting a cat café in Tucson or a visit to Fluffy Cakes in Chandler—with a handful of Arizona attractions and hotels thrown in the mix.
The New Darlings
Christina and Robert Martinez are the couple behind popular Instagram account The New Darlings. The pair moved from New York to Arizona in July 2013 and built their dream home in Tucson, earning followers along the way—a total that’s now surpassed 442,000. Building their home took a total of three years, and their account frequently showcases the downright dreamy southern Arizona home—think cream-colored walls, succulents throughout, wood ceilings, and light-filled spaces. In addition to the home posts, the couple’s toddler also makes appearances. Christina is well-known for her curly hair and great style. She’ll often tag clothing companies in her posts for curious shoppers.
Christine Kobzeff is a health-and-lifestyle YouTuber who resides in Tucson. She boasts an impressive 764,000 subscribers, a following she’s built since joining YouTube in 2007. Some of her videos are over a decade old, like “How to Tie a Tie: Half Windsor,” which has compiled over 7.7 million views—mostly from desperate men already running late for a wedding. Her more recent vlogs cover what she eats on any given day (a popular category) and room decorating. Her aesthetic is soothing thanks to her soft-spoken style and pastel-heavy fashion sense—not to mention the white walls surrounded by plants in her home.
Since spring 1992, Petey Mesquitey has celebrated living in southern Arizona with short tales on KXCI 91.3, Tucson’s community radio. Now told in podcasts, his stories are typically about four minutes each, as he regales listeners with tales of flora, fauna, and family in the area. Listen to the man with the all-too-Arizonan name discuss the joys of monsoons, the Arizona buttercup, and the Arizona walnut.
A production from The Arizona Republic, Valley 101 covers topics about living in the Valley of the Sun. Episodes have featured the farmers behind Chris Bianco’s famous pizza, the five best places to beat the heat in Arizona, and why the streets of Phoenix are named after US presidents. You will reign supreme at any Arizona-based trivia night after listening to a few episodes of this one.
Jose Acevedo and Brittany Johnson are the podcasters behind Finding Arizona. This podcast aims to showcase business owners and people who are doing good work in their Arizona communities. Julie Kessler, the founder of nonprofit Oakley’s Oath—an organization dedicated to “educating homeowners with pets and small children on best safety practices when having work done in your home”—and Flagstaff-based photographer Bayley Jordan were both recent guests.
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