Confessions of an Ex-TikTok Star: Sreya Vannappagari


Hidden behind her phone screen, meticulously creating beautiful, intricate, and delicious baked treats for an audience of what was once more than 700k people, Sreya Vannappagari was the Enloe Eagle that flew to high school royal status; she became TikTok famous. Sreya began her pathway to stardom in April of 2020 and ended it in August of 2021. She was known on the app for baking different types of desserts, but most famously, her cakes. She also has several videos where she speaks about different things going on in her life through voiceovers, as well as explaining what sweet treat she’s baking. At only 17 years old, Sreya has created her own baking business, accumulated thousands of fans from around the world, and even received attention from popular public figures, such as the singer/songwriter, Lizzo. 

Sreya claimed that, “The first time I had a video ‘blow up’ really quickly, it happened while I was at a TJ Maxx, so I was just standing in the checkout line wondering why my phone was blowing up.” She described her initial reaction to her sudden rise in popularity as “surreal” and that it “took a while to get used to the feeling.” Sreya originally started baking on TikTok because it was a hobby that she has always been interested in and it was something she’s been doing for a long time. “I saw other people make baking/cooking TikToks and it seemed like a lot of fun, so I figured I should do it myself.”

As well as creating this engaging content for her fans to pass the time on, Sreya also ran a small baking business, where people could order cakes from her directly. Because of her presence on TikTok, Sreya claimed, “I was able to bring in a way more diverse customer base because I was reaching a much wider audience than before, which was really cool! Probably 90% of my customers were from TikTok and they were all some of the sweetest people ever.” As of now, Sreya continues to bake treats, but she generally only does orders for friends and family. 

One of the best things about being an online influencer is the connections you can make with people who share the same interests as you. Unfortunately, not all engagement with viewers is positive. Negative comments can have a huge impact on the content creator themself and they are often the reason why influencers choose to step down from social media. Throughout Sreya’s TikTok career, she experienced all types of comments. She described how “People were for the most part super nice about [my videos], but of course there’s always people who are going to be negative. It bothered me at first, but after a point it was a bit entertaining. I think my favorite ‘hate comment’ that I got a lot was that I sounded like a middle school boy, partly because it was funny, partly because looking back, I kind of did.” After a little over a year of creating delicious content for her viewers on TikTok, Sreya decided that she would step down from her virtual throne and focus more on her life outside of the app. As all great things must eventually come to an end, @bobbysrey ran her period of fame to the max, and inspired thousands of people along the way. Sreya reflected on her TikTok stardom with a smile, claiming, “It was really fun while it lasted… and it helped me figure out the path I want to take after high school.”