LETHBRIDGE -- When Carol Larson joined TikTok about a year ago — just before everything began shutting down due to COVID-19 — it was a way for the 29-year-old to find "funny stuff that will cheer you up when everything is sad in the world."
The mother of three from Coalhurst, Alta. says she mostly posts videos about what she calls "relatable mom content" focusing on her family.
"Funny things your kids do, what they don’t eat, all that stuff” she said.
But it wasn’t until she posted a 'life hack' — showing a time saving way to hang up shirts — that she found overnight success.
“It’s now at 6.4 million views, one million likes, and almost 15-thousand comments,” said Larson, who recorded the video while putting away her laundry.
"I learned how to hang up shirts in retail, and I thought it was kind of a cool way."
Turns out a lot of people felt the same way and it began getting a lot of views almost immediately.
“It got up to 100,000 views and I was just ecstatic, I thought that was the coolest thing ever," she said.
Then it surpassed one million views.
“I was like, this is unreal," said Larson.
At first she tried to respond to all the comments, but soon lost track. Larson says most have been positive, with some people posting that she had changed their lives and they would be doing their laundry that way from now on.
“People want me to be their mom, which is funny because I’m only 29,” she said.
Of course, with social media, there will always be critics.
“There’s some comments like, 'if you hang them like that they’ll get all wrinkled,'” said Larson.
“I’m like, I don’t care about wrinkles, they’ve been in the corner for a week, they’re already wrinkled.”
She says others have asked, “why are you putting away your husband’s shirts?”
But Larson says she is glad to bring a bit of fun into the mundane tasks of life, such as laundry.
People have asked to share her video on Instagram, and it continues to pick up views, as others react to it with their own TikTok video.
“Thousands of people are making a video of themselves watching my video and trying my way of hanging so that’s pretty cool too,” said Larson.
Her eight-year-old thinks the sudden success is cool. Her five-year old-was impressed that Dan Povenmire, one of the creators of the animated American TV series Phineas and Ferb, and voice of Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz, was among those who liked her video.
Even Carol’s husband, Brent, who has made an appearance in some of her previous TikTok creations has become somewhat of a believer.
“He’s always asking me how many views is that now, and when are we going to move into a fancy mansion," she said.
Carol said she told him he’s not married to a famous person, he’s married to a one-hit wonder.
Larson’s TikTok following has jumped from 800 to almost 26,000, and along with success, comes a bit of added pressure.
“I’ve got to do something," she said.
Larson is already thinking about follow up ideas, which will likely follow a similar theme, like putting away the rest of her laundry.
“Like how I fold my kid’s pajamas. I roll them up and put them into my drawers, or how I keep their socks by the front door," she said.