What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
This is probably one of the trickiest questions I’ve ever been asked! It’s hard to pinpoint what’s felt the most significant. Being able to work with so many incredible brands definitely comes close. One of my first ever jobs was with Rimmel London, a brand I’ve always loved. Last year I collaborated with them again for the Rimmel Road trip and was able to represent Manchester which was incredible. A few months ago, I collaborated with Beauty Bay & Makeup Geek for a master class in Manchester, which again, was so surreal. Makeup Geek was one of the first brands I ever really invested in when I started my channel; I was obsessed with her products (still am of course!), so to be able to meet and work with Marlena was a dream. Just last week I received a beautiful PR package from MAC, which if you’d ever told me that would’ve happened back when I used to work there, I would have never believed you! Being able to work with so many wonderful brands is an absolute dream and definitely one of my biggest accomplishments. But there’s nothing that’s quite as special as the hundreds of thousands of online friends I’ve made. I can’t tell you how grateful I am every single day for the support system I have online, and knowing that it’s a support system for so many others is incredible. Being able to share my love for makeup and fashion with so many wonderful people truly is the best part. When I first started watching YouTube it was like an escape for me – from school, exam stress, all sorts. It was a time in the evening when I could completely zone out, sit in bed, watch makeup tutorials, learn new things, and engage with people who love what I love. Knowing that my videos can provide that same escape for other girls and boys is the best. I’ve met so many wonderful people through what I do; my subscribers constantly inspire me. I know girls that have met online through watching my videos and have become the best of friends. Like when I threw my Christmas party in December, there were girls who bought tickets and were planning to come alone but by the time the event came around, everyone had formed group chats and had plans to meet each other beforehand, it was the most magical day and probably my biggest highlight out of everything I’ve done the past three or so years! It’s hard to put into words, but just knowing that we’ve all built this online family that’s filled with love and support and acceptance is so special.
Who inspires you?
As I mentioned, my subscribers are forever inspiring me. A lot of them are makeup artists themselves and are so incredibly talented. They’re always helping me with video ideas too! My mum and dad of course. They’ve been running their own design agency in Manchester for the past 16 years and are by far the most hardworking people I know! My mum’s like my rock, she helps me out with everything on top of keeping up with her own work too. She comes with me to meetings, helps me out with emails, and you best believe she’s always one of the first to like my Instagram posts too! Dad’s always great for coming up with crazy video ideas – I’m still trying to convince him to let me do his makeup for a video but haven’t been too successful with that so far! My brother Charlie too who’s an absolute brain box, far more clever than I ever was at his age. There are a lot of people in my industry that inspire me to push myself – sometimes I get disheartened if I receive negative comments, or if a video doesn’t do as well as I hope it to, but seeing other people succeed is wonderful and reminds me how lucky we all are to be doing what we do for a living! Social media as a whole is a big mix of good and bad, sometimes it can be a really toxic place, but when I think about everything it’s given all of the wonderful people I’ve met through it and myself I feel so grateful.
How has living in Manchester helped you achieve your goals?
Manchester’s always full of opportunities! I get asked a lot if I’d ever consider moving down to London, but I’ve never seen the point when I have everything I need right here. When I first discovered the makeup community on YouTube around five years ago, a lot of the beauty channels I watched were either people from London or people from the US, it felt like there was hardly anyone representing Manchester or the North West! I reckon that gave me a pretty big boost to begin with, because as I started to gain a following, a big part of that following was Northern based which I loved (still is really!). It’s so fab to be able to meet and chat to other makeup lovers that are local to me! Manchester’s a great place to learn about makeup too, having so many counters and academies around. I was lucky enough to land a job at MAC in the Trafford Centre when I was 18, which was such a huge step for me at the time. I learnt more there in just six months than I have at any other point in my career, mostly because so many other incredible artists surrounded me. I also love the fact that we have so many great brands/PR agencies in Manchester. My first paid job came through Carousel PR & they were so lovely to work with, I still chat to them now about events. We’ve also got Beauty Bay, Missguided, PLT on the doorstep which is fab. I just find it such a great place to live and be. I love the people. love the fact that we’ve got Media City. I love everything!
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Probably just to focus on myself and put myself first. At 16 I’m pretty sure I was in high school or was just finishing high school, which can be a pretty overwhelming time. I was in a relationship at the time that wasn’t particularly good for me, so I’d tell myself to stop putting so much time and energy into that and just concentrate on me and my family and friends. I used to worry a lot about failing exams and not knowing what I wanted to do career-wise. There always seemed to be so much pressure about knowing what you wanted to do when you were older so I guess I’d just tell myself that things always work out and everything happens for the right reasons. Don’t be afraid to do something different to everyone else. I remember when I first started my channel; I kept it to myself for a while because I was worried about what people’s opinions would be. YouTube wasn’t as popular as it is now! Even the one person I did tell who I was super close to kind of poked fun about it. Fortunately, it didn’t put me off! So just to believe in myself, to work hard and to focus on me.
What are your business goals for 2018?
Pretty much just to keep improving myself, my content, possibly to explore other types of content other than just fashion and beauty. It’s funny because my channel has always been mostly fashion and beauty related, but I find myself watching other types of videos now, so it’d be nice to mix it up a little! Also, to continue to collaborate with brands, friends and influencers. That’s one of the only downsides to being in Manchester, everyone tends to be based down south so I don’t get to see friends as much as I’d like to. I just want to get into a routine of being super productive, making the most of my time, being as active as I can on all of my channels. Maybe to start building a little team too! I’ve been toying a lot with the idea of finding someone to work with to help with filming and editing. Editing really does take up so much time! I think it’d just be nice to have someone to work with anyway. The one thing that I don’t think many people realise with doing YouTube as a job is that it can be pretty lonely sometimes. Not to complain because I’m so lucky and so grateful, but you pretty much just spend all of your time working alone unless your channel involves multiple people. So yes, that’d be fun!
Where do you see yourself in twenty years’ time?
That’s so difficult because I honestly have no idea! I’m 20 now so in 20 years time I’ll be 40. I guess I just hope to be happy and settled. I’d love to have a family and own a house. I always picture myself in a cottage or somewhere a bit more rural. I love animals so it’d be great to have somewhere with a little bit of land one day. It’ll be interesting to see if I’m still making videos when I’m 40 – hopefully, I will be, maybe more so as a hobby though! I hope I’ll have my own brand, that’s always been a dream. My mum and I are looking into creating some products at the minute, which is super exciting – top secret though! I’d love to have travelled a little more and seen more of the world. My partner Kane and I are trying to do a little bit more travelling this year and visit places we haven’t been to before which I love. It’s nice to get away sometimes and do new things. I think by the time I’m 40 I’d just love for my main focus to be on spending time with family and people I love because that’s what makes me truly happy.
Our first annual Manchester’s ‘30 Under 30’ highlights young people who are the best of the best in our city. If you’d like to be featured in 2019’s ‘30 Under 30’, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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