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'It's not over 'til it's over'; Clintonville influencer's future unknown after vote on potential TikTok ban

The mother of two built a business from the ground up to support her family using the social media platform.
Posted at 7:24 PM, Mar 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-13 20:24:48-04

CLINTONVILLE (NBC 26) — A Fox Valley mother took a chance on TikTok chasing her dreams. Now, a potential ban on the app could jeopardize her livelihood.

  • Meredith Bartel is a wedding planner who left her job in teaching to build her company
  • After amassing nearly 350,000 followers since October 2021, she's used her viral stardom to help support her family

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

“It’s become a second full time job in addition to my wedding planning," says Clintonville mother Meredith Bartel. She left her original job in teaching to create her own wedding planning company.

What she didn’t expect was going viral on TikTok.

“I lose sight of what 360,000 people is. That’s, like, an entire city!”

Or, roughly 76 times the population of Clintonville.

“A lot of my business opportunities have just videos have just come across the right person’s “'For You' page."

Bartel says during the day, she posts wedding planning advice for her followers and sponsors. At night, she takes calls from clients. Both have become sources of income for her family.

While the U.S. House of Representatives vote threatens her income, Bartel says she's prepared to lean on other social media if needed.

“We know that TikTok is…incredibly useful…educational…entertaining," says Bartel. "It's not over 'til it's over."

The bill that could ban TikTok now heads to the Senate for a vote. For users like Meredith, all they can do is wait.