Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.

Jessie Paege is without a doubt one of YouTube’s most tenacious teenagers. At just 17 years old, she has already brought in more than one million subscribers to her channel, with her earnest voice, outgoing personality, and singular fashion sense leading her way to digital prominence. Her success on YouTube has opened up several opportunities for her, including a spot in Fullscreen’s Girls Night In tour and a role in the second season of the Go90 web series Guidance. As she looks to her future, here’s what she has to say about the things she’s accomplished so far:

Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?

Jessie Paege: It feels so surreal to me! I remember being a crazy fan of YouTubers before they had one million subscribers. Over these years I’ve really changed my videos and have been experimenting with different types of content. I’ve been diving into more personal content where I discuss real life experiences, the good and the ugly.

TF: What has been the most surprising thing you’ve experienced since you launched your YouTube channel?

JP: I never realized how much work YouTube really is! I watched YouTubers and assumed they turned on a camera and edited for ten minutes. There’s so much that simply goes into one video, even a simple daily vlog. The hardest part is thinking of a different idea and how to bring it to life. If you have an interesting idea, that’s great. However, the issue is, can you make it happen and how?

TF: What does your creative process for your sketches look like?

JP: I go through YouTube and other platforms and get inspired, even if it’s just by a title. I’m inspired by a lot of the girls I went on tour with. Alisha, Niki, and Gabi are such diverse and creative influencers. I also grew up watching a lot of internet personalities such as Connor Franta, Troye Sivan, Dan and Phil, and Zoella. Then, I plan some talking points so I make sure there is enough to say or do during the video. Then I set up my filming background that is “brighter than my future”. Then, I film! A lot of the time filming takes a few days. It definitely depends on the video. I like to film everything and anything and I can make it work. A lot of the time, I end up using clips from months ago and they somehow make sense. Especially, because a lot of my videos include recollections of memories and events in my life.

TF: Who is someone on YouTube you’d like to collaborate with, and why?

JP: Connor Franta! His videos are great. I like how every video is something new and different. He also has a voice for equality that’s heard by hundreds of thousands, even millions of people. It’s remarkable and inspiring to see what he’s done with his influence. I also love what he’s done for the Thirst Project. I appreciate influencers who use their platform for the right reasons.

TF: I notice you’ve taken some interest in live streaming platforms like musical.ly. What interests you about that app in particular?

JP: I actually only joined the app as a joke! I can’t figure it out at all. I feel like an internet grandma at age 17. There are some really great dancers on there though, kudos to them! If you want to view my embarrassing musical.ly account I never post on, it’s Jessie Paege.

TF: What was the most rewarding part of your experience on Girls Night In?

JP: I got to get really close to YouTubers I looked up to when I created my channel! I also built up an insane amount of confidence. I had extreme stage anxiety and it changed my life. The first time we rehearsed I ran off stage and could not finish my segment. Fullscreen was even worried that I wouldn’t be able to put on the show. My confidence began to build more and more. During the beginning of tour, I did a 30 second guitar solo. By the end of tour, I was doing a five minute guitar solo.

TF: Many of your fans are young; do you see yourself as a role model for them, or do you not think about your channel in those terms?

JP: I try to be as genuine as possible! I’m not perfect and I make mistakes. I like to think of myself as being more of a close friend that they can relate to. Role model brings on so much responsibility, but I of course try my hardest. I trust my viewers with a lot of personal information and emotion. I admit things I don’t even tell my best friends on my channel. I feel as if I’m close with my subscribers, to the point where I can admit things and they’ll accept me.

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