I was lucky enough to steal the attention of Grapevine’s very own MakeupByKimm! She sat down with me to chat all about her Youtube channel, her fans, and her journey so far.
So why did you first start your YouTube channel?
K: Okay, when I was actually in middle school, I was in 8th grade, one of my friends introduced me to Kandee Johnson. And her and I would watch her videos at sleepovers and we would like send links to her videos to each other and stuff, and we just totally loved her, we were totally obsessed with her. And I remember after I watched some of her videos, I realized oh my gosh, other girls do these too, and I realized they were kind of a beauty community. It definitely was not what it is today. It was mostly just people sitting down in front of their webcams and filming little videos, but I loved it. And when I thought… I was like, oh my gosh, I can do that. So I borrowed my parents’ point and shoot camera and they actually had two of them, the first one that I recorded with, it would only film 30 second clips and then it would cut off. So I would film for 30 seconds and then I’d film another clip for 30 seconds, 30 seconds, 30 seconds, over and over. And it was terrible.
J: That’s serious dedication.
K: Yes, so my first video that I put up was… Do you remember those thin gel bracelets that everyone had. It was like circa… oh gosh…2000
J: Yeah, and you would tie two together.
K: Yeah. It was my first video that I ever put up. And it was so bad. I mean, I think I had my point and shoot camera, my little tripod was the computer speaker, it was on top of that. And it was like a little bit slanted. That video actually ended up getting like a decent amount of views. I want to say it got like a couple thousand views within the first like month or two that it was up. And that was my first video. And I was like oh my gosh, that’s so cool. And people would comment and be like “Oh wow, thanks for sharing.” I was just happy people were watching my video.
When did you start getting serious about your YouTube channel?
K: I didn’t really get consistent with it until probably like my sophomore year of high school, and that’s when I had gotten enough subscribers that companies started being interested and having me like showcase their products on my channel, and I was like that’s pretty cool. So when I saw it in that light too, and I was like oh, I love doing like reviews and I had the opportunity to make more of like a business out of it. That was when I was 16 years old. So that was pretty cool to me to be able to do that while working my first job. So that’s when I got more into it. And then, I mean still here and there take little breaks from doing it. I think since I graduated high school is when I really got into being consistent. That’s when I had the opportunity to work with Grapevine too!
What has been your experience with Grapevine so far?
K: If I want to be a part of different promotions that are going on or different product placement, I love the opportunities that there are. It’s nice too, because then you have someone who you can really talk with about the promotion, almost someone to be a cheerleader for you. Especially when I’m going through the process of trying to decide what kind of video you want to make to feature it in or something. Something else that I think is really cool, I’ll be introduced to a product or a company and then I can kind of make it my own. I guess, by picking what kind of video I want to feature the product in, and what kind of avenue would be the best way to feature that brand. Being authentic and genuine is something that’s really important to me.
J: That’s great! So you view Grapevine as a support team for you.
K: Oh absolutely!
How has Grapevine affected your YouTube channel?
K: Well, I think the team at Grapevine, the different people who I’ve communicated with on the team, especially Kimberley, are great. Or if I have any questions, I feel like everyone has always been super good about letting me know right away what’s expected of the video and what the talking points would be and all that. If I’m confused about something, we can always get that figured out pretty quick. So that’s good too because I feel my videos… they’re more… I don’t know the right way to say it, but I guess I feel confident about the videos that I work on with Grapevine and I know I can stand behind Grapevine.
Or sometimes when products are just introduced to me out of the blue, I don’t always know a lot of background knowledge about that. I feel confident that the brands that I’ve been introduced to through Grapevine are good products, good brands, and good companies. And I don’t have to do all that searching and trying to find all that stuff by myself. There’s a lot of times where if I’m introduced to a new product and it’s just the company themselves contacting me. I mean sometimes I’ll spend up to a few hours just researching the company and making sure that they have good reviews and that it’s not a fraud, you know what I mean. I would never want to promote a company that’s not a good company for my viewers to be buying, you know that would just, to me, be like the worst thing. So it’s really good for me to know that Grapevine already does that for you. They are choosing good brands to work with and choosing good companies, so that’s good in that respect because it saves me time. Also because I know that I can stand behind that brand.
Can you tell me one of your favorite interactions with a fan?
K: Ooh, that’s hard. Well, I always joke around, I get recognized the most when I go to Target. It seems like almost every time I go to Target, I meet a viewer. And it’s so funny because it’s like… it’s more so than anywhere else that I go. Maybe that says something about me too, maybe I’m at Target too much. But it’s so fun. So there’s been a few times where… especially with younger girls who maybe don’t want to come up to me right away because they’re not sure it’s me. One time I had a brother come up to me and he was like “Hi, are you MakeupByKimm?” And it’s like oh yeah, I am. He’s like “Oh, my sister was too scared to ask, let me go get her.” I was like, okay. And then I got to take pictures with this girl and her family and it was just so fun and so random too!
I feel like I have a really close bond with a lot of my subscribers. A lot of times they’ll SnapChat me and be like I had a bad day. I had someone recently who SnapChatted me and was like, my grandpa just died and all this stuff. It’s nice that they can open up to me about that. That means so much to me and just being able to support them even a little bit, I feel like that’s just really worthwhile.
Any tips for someone starting a YouTube channel?
Yeah. I think one thing is, is when I first went into it, like I said I was in middle school, so you’re already a little bit more insecure. I think a lot of people get really discouraged, maybe thumbs down on videos or maybe it’s comments or whatever, and a lot of times, I think you just have to realize those comments aren’t because of you. It’s maybe because somebody is insecure, maybe they had a bad day, you know, and they’re just getting on the internet because they feel safe in that way and they feel like they can hide behind the screen. And I think so many girls, lots of comments really get to them.
And I’m not an exception to that, I mean there’s been times that… especially when I first started my channel, somebody would comment something and it would make me kind of like re-evaluate whatever they’re talking about. So even if I really liked what I was wearing, if somebody would leave a comment and be like, oh my gosh that looks terrible on you, you know, it makes you think about it a little bit. And I think just moving past the comments and realizing a lot of the times, it’s not even anything to do with you, it’s just somebody being mean and nasty because they can be, I think that that’s really important. Because that’s something that surprised me when I first made my channel.
If it’s a comment directed at one of my friends or somebody else, then that affects me, but if it’s about me, it’s like oh well, you know who cares. It’s just part of it, you know, you just have to move past it and realize that… I heard a quote recently that just made me smile and it was “Even if you’re the sweetest peach out there, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches.” So it’s like there’s always going to be someone who’s not going to like you,and that’s okay. So I think just moving past those negative comments and being sure in yourself and being confident about what you’re putting forward, I think that that’s really, really important.
Love Kimm as much as we do? Check out her Youtube Channel and don’t forget to subscribe!