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WATCH | Influencers, part one: Hot Springs natives making their mark through social media

by Lance Brownfield | May 14, 2023 at 4:05 a.m.
Hot Springs TikToker Abigail Graves says she is recognized more in New York City and Los Angeles than around Arkansas. - Photo by Lance Brownfield of The Sentinel-Record

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a two-part series on social media influencers from Hot Springs.

Gangsters, spring training and bath houses are just a few of the things that Hot Springs is famous for, but now social media influencers can claim a spot on that list, as the Spa City is home to a number of creators with a worldwide reach on the internet.

With a wide array of content, they all share that coveted "verified" checkmark.

Paige Mackenzie was born and raised in Hot Springs and currently lives in Dallas, but she regularly visits Hot Springs. At 20 years old, she makes TikTok videos on everything from beauty to relatable and viral content for 8.1 million followers. One of her recent videos featured a visit to Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort.

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"Social media's what I do for my full-time job," said Mackenzie.

She says she started out as a teenager on an app called, which was later bought by Chinese company ByteDance and turned into TikTok.

"I was just a bored little home-schooler, and I just started posting on this app," said Mackenzie. "I mean they're horrible, horribly cringey videos. Like, I can't watch them, it embarrasses me so much to watch my old videos."

Another local TikTok star says she loves representing Hot Springs, and when she goes to big cities such as New York City and Los Angeles, other internet stars ask her what it's like being from The Natural State. She says she gets spotted more often in New York and Dallas than in Arkansas.

"You know, there's not a big market for influencing in Hot Springs, Arkansas," said Abigail Graves, a 23-year-old TikTok creator. "A lot of influencers start their career and then they end up moving to LA or New York, so I just wanted to keep it real and stay in Arkansas for as long as possible because it separates you. It makes you different than the others."

Graves, who goes by Wabbyrose on TikTok, just hit the 600,000 follower mark on the platform earlier this month. Starting in 2020, she originally made a style of video called "thirst traps," where she would try to get clicks by looking pretty on the thumbnail. After making a comedy video that got more attention, she switched her tactic to focusing on funny videos and posting more regularly.

She mostly posts "relatable" content -- videos about being the last single friend and other situations that young people identify with.

With the recent unrest at Twitter and TikTok, social media personalities have to keep an eye on the latest developments just like everyone else.

"We were watching the TikTok ban very closely, my managers," said Graves. "I feel like it was a lot of people who didn't know much about TikTok trying to ban TikTok. Like if you saw any of the court sessions, it was like very much they didn't know how Wi-Fi worked."

She says that the majority of the content on the platform is feel-good and the powers that be should not be able to ban something unless they are fully aware of what it is for.

Graves said social media has allowed her to enjoy her life as a young woman and afforded her the opportunity to travel. She plans to stick with it, but says she can always use her business degree as a backup.

In contrast, Mackenzie says that once she graduated high school, there was nothing she wanted to major in, so she just decided to give the social media path a shot, and "it's worked out amazing for me so far."

For those wanting to start their own brand, she said to be yourself because the internet can see clearly when someone is authentic or not, and it is important to have fun with what you're doing or it won't succeed.

Graves says the internet has become less of a highlight reel and become more vulnerable and real recently. Mackenzie said to post a ton and "post your personality."

Graves can be found on TikTok at while Mackenzie can be found on TikTok at

Print Headline: WATCH | Influencers, part one: Hot Springs natives making their mark through social media


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