Courtesy of Amal Mustic
Senior Amal Mustic takes us on her ride through becoming a car influencer
Sliding out from beneath her prized BMW F30, senior Amal Mustic changes the exhaust system and replaces an old grill on her car. Mustic is a car influencer that specializes in modifying her car, a hobby she picked up from her father.
Mustic shares the alterations of her car and uses social media as a way to influence others to do the same. The decals on her car are a way of showing who her sponsors are: companies that are inspired by her work. The first step for Mustic was to purchase her dream car, a BMW F30.
“I’ve been working all summer, every single day, so I paid the down payment for the insurance and the monthly payments. It’s a lot, but it’s worth it,” Mustic said. “I cleaned cars with my cousins; we would go to people’s houses and clean their cars individually, and I also worked at Pizza Hut.”
“I want to say more than $4000 [has been put towards renovating her car],” Mustic said. “I’ll put in whatever, all my money basically goes towards my car.”
Mustic was intrigued by watching her father remodel his car. Her Bosnian background also encouraged her decision to start modifying cars. Many of her family members and friends with Bosnian heritage share the same interest in cars.
“It’s a stigma for Bosnians to have a BMW, a Mercedes or an Audi, so we grew up knowing how to [renovate cars] and be a part of that [community],” Mustic said. “When we turn 16, we want that car.”
“Usually they start off giving me decals to put on my cars and if you get likes and comments on [that post], they’ll say ‘oh, she has an audience.’ Through that, they can give me car parts. They can give you an exhaust system or they can give you a carbon-fiber trim,” Mustic said. “Eventually, they could pay you for your posts.”
She is currently still building her social media account and as that continues to grow, more sponsors come forward to her about her car and what they enjoy about it.
“When I first started the Instagram [account] for my car, I actually had a company on Instagram with around 100,000 followers [direct message] me when I only had 10 followers,” Mustic said. “I just started and they’re like, ‘hey, we love your car; it’s so pretty. What do you want to do with it?’ That shocked me because I had just started and there had already been people [reaching out], so I was proud of myself.”
As Mustic continues to restyle her car, she contacts other BMW F30 owners for advice and ideas about parts that could be added to the car and how to install them. She uses an online blog to communicate with other drivers, which helps her learn how to complete the modifications she wants.
“Basically we ask each other like ‘how would you recommend that I do this?’ People post pictures with the same car that I have and recommend installing [certain parts],” Mustic said.
The blog helps her feel connected with others, allowing her to make changes to her car. As Mustic continues to grow her platform online she has experienced stereotypes towards female car influencers.
“When some people at school see my car, they expect a guy to walk out of it, but then when I step out, they just look at me like, ‘is that your brother’s car?’,” Mustic said.“They’ll ask who did [the alterations to the car]. I did that stuff, and they don’t believe me. It hurts because girls can be 100% interested in cars.”
Mustic is beginning to see an uprising in the car community for girls. She seeks to let other girls know they can do the same.
“Put yourself out there because someone will recognize you and what you’re doing. If you make something your own, someone will [be able to tell] they’re different,” Mustic said. “I definitely think you should just put yourself out there. You never know; you might get someone who will grab your attention.”