6 Creators Who Have Launched Standalone Companies
With the rise of YouTube came the age of the influencer; YouTube personalities, armed with a microphone and a webcam, were now taking the spotlight from Hollywood stars (at least among millennials). Not only are consumers now more likely to follow and keep track of these new stars, but they were more likely to trust them. A study from marketing firm Collective Bias found that nearly a third of consumers surveyed were more likely to purchase a product by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity. In fact, 70 percent of millennials surveyed said they valued non-celebrity endorsements, particularly from influencers that they consider peers.
And with that potential in mind creators on the cusp of “aging out of YouTube” have continued to follow in the steps of early YouTuber and multi-business operator Michelle Phan. Here are a few newly found internet stars using their influence to branch out and create their own standalone businesses:
Joey Graceffa– With nearly 8 million YouTube Subscribers, Graceffa used his love for chakra crystals and his subscriber base as a jumping point to create his own business — Crystal Wolf. Along with selling crystal jewelry, like necklaces and bracelets, Crystal Wolf also offers a special kind of nail polish that contains bits of crystals within it. “Crystals have always found a way to draw my energy toward them. Crystals have helped me balance my inner self and be a more spiritual person. I hope you fins something special here at Crystal Wolf that inspires you on your journey in life,” wrote Graceffa on the CW website.
Kathleen Lights– Joey Graceffa isn’t the only one with a nail polish line. YouTube star Kathleen Lights, who describes herself as “a 24-year old humble dog lover who happens to have a small obsession with all things beauty,” is also taking a shot at branching out beyond YouTube with her nail polish line KL Polish. “KL polish is all about giving you affordable and chic nail polish options, without the harsh ingredients. The shades cater to all skin tones so I know you’ll find something you love!” she states on the website. Lights, who launched her YouTube Channel in 2013, has accumulated over 3 million subscribers.
But makeup isn’t the only thing YouTubers are selling.
Jake Paul– Paul got his start creating funny short-form videos on Vine, a now extinct social media platform. Within five months he had a following of 1 million. He now has a following of 15 million on spread various social media platforms. Paul has a couple businesses he’s involved with at the moment. The first is Team 10 his social media incubator where he helps talent maximize their reach and partner with brands. And the second is TeamDom, a social media company that recently raised $1 million from investors such as Vayner Capital’s Gary Vaynerchuk. “There’s a huge gap between the teenage entertainment content being provided and that being demanded,” Paul told VentureBeat. “Consumers want advertisements to feel natural and friendly, which is why social media is such an important venue. TeamDom, with the help of our investors and latest funding round, is here to fill that gap.”
Roman Atwood– Known for his pranks, Atwood has managed to hold the attention of more than 10 million subscribers on his YouTube channel alone. The YouTube star has used his love for pranks to help him launch his own store called Smile More, which describes itself as “the official store of the pranksters we have come to love.” The store sells clothes, Toys, and even fireworks.
Jeff Seid– Known for his physique, this 22 year old bodybuilder who has dedicated 11 years of his life building the perfect aesthetic physique. Seid uses his YouTube channel, which has nearly 1 million subscribers, to promote the healthy aesthetic lifestyle. Seid has used his success to launch a clothing line specifically targeted at bodybuilders. The clothing has all the apparel a bodybuilder would need, from sweats to tank tops.
Petar Mandich, the CCO of Addition, a talent management company whose clients include iJustine, Joey Graceffa, Dulce Candy, and Threadbanger, has a word of advice for YouTubers looking to start a stand alone business — “walk before you run.” Mandich believes the biggest mistakes made when starting a business is launching everything at once and becoming over whelmed.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Mandich told VideoInk. “Be bold, but strategic, and always think about the short term and long term impacts of any decision you make for your business.”
Update: YouTube star Eva Gutowski, better known as MyLifeAsEva across digital and social platforms, has joined the list of influencers breaking out into standalone businesses.
Gutowski, a fashion, beauty, lifestyle and comedy content creator, with 17 million followers across her social media platforms, has announced the launch of her new clothing line It’s All Wild. Under the It’s All Wild umbrella, Gutowski will release seasonal, minimalistic capsule collections inspired by her favorite destinations across the globe. “This is a project I’ve been so motivated to launch for years,” expressed Gutowski. “Travel and timelessness mean everything to me, and making clothes that resonate with the modern it-girl is what I knew I needed to do.” Gutowski will serve as Creative Director of It’s All Wild and has selected Tess Albrecht and Palmer Brown of Sign For Delivery as partners for the business. Gutowski’s line of clothing is already available for pre-order with orders expected to ship on August 15th.