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.
This week’s featurees are, like the rest of the folks we’ve spotlighted in this column, YouTube Millionaires. But what’s unusual about them is that they’re not the first Millionaires in their family. Or even the second.
Sana and Ron Awadis, aka Mama and Papa Rug, just crossed the million subscriber mark, but their sons Brian Awadis (aka FaZe Rug, who’s a director for FaZe Clan) and Brandon Awadis (aka Brawadis) have also amassed millions of subscribers — 12.4 and 3.5 million, to be exact. To be fair, though, Brian and Brandon got a leg up on their parents, time-wise, since they opened their channels in 2012 and 2015. Now, Sana and Ron are catching up fast.
Sana, who runs the Mama and Papa Rug channel, got her YouTube start appearing in her sons’ videos as the duo gained popularity on the platform. To her surprise, fans were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about her presence. Thanks to their love, Brian and Brandon gifted her her very own channel for her birthday in 2017. At first, Sana wasn’t sure what to do with it. As she explains, being in other people’s videos was one thing, but managing an entire channel herself was intimidating. She found the magic ingredient for her content when Ron decided to take part. And thus, the Mama and Papa Rug channel was underway.
Like their sons, Sana and Ron post a lot of trendy lifestyle content, like challenges where they buy people anything they can carry and fill entire rooms with various items. Brian and Brandon make frequent cameos, just like Sana and Ron still make cameos in their videos.
Being part of an entire house of popular YouTubers is a wild ride, but for Sana and Ron, that’s half the fun. Their family is a tight-knit one, and producing each other’s content is part of what makes their life together so special.
Check out our chat with Sana below.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to hit one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Sana Awadis: Hitting one million subscribers feels incredible and amazing! It makes you feel so good about yourself, and to our subscribers we say thank you, thank you, thank you! If it wasn’t for their love and support, we would never be where we are now. We are so grateful, thankful, and blessed to have our fans in our lives.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? What was life like before YouTube?
SA: My real name is Sana. I was born in Iraq, but have been here in the United States for over 30 years. My husband Rafat — aka Papa Rug — was also born in Iraq, but has been here for over 25 years. Together, we have two wonderful kids well known in the YouTube community as Brawadis and FaZe Rug!
Our daily life is mostly YouTube-related activities because the whole family is YouTubers. We are always busy making videos — if not for our channel, then we are helping our kids with their videos.
Besides that, it’s always family time together, from playing basketball, to barbecue, to enjoying TV time. Plus we take care of our lovely dog, Bosley, who stars in most of our videos.
Tubefilter: Of course, fans will know your son is YouTuber FaZe Rug, so you were experienced with the YouTube world before you joined. What made you decide to start your own channel?
SA: My experience with YouTube started when I started appearing on my kids’ channels. The first time I was in one of FaZe Rug’s videos, the feedback was so amazing, and the audience seemed to love me, which I am truly thankful for. Then I became a regular in his videos, and Brawadis’ videos as well.
Having my own channel wasn’t my idea, but instead it was a birthday gift from my son. At first I was so nervous and scared and didn’t know what to do with the channel. Playing a part in someone else’s video is much easier than having your own channel. There is much more pressure making your own content, but the help and support of my husband and my kids made it so much easier. Shortly thereafter, my husband joined my channel and made it more fun. He keeps me motivated.
Tubefilter: What has your own YouTube experience been like so far?
SA: Our experience with YouTube has been great, and this opportunity to have the whole family make videos brought us closer together. It’s hard sometimes, and it does take a lot of thinking and preparing, but it’s all worth it in the end! Making fans smile, be happy, and getting positive feedback makes us happy too!
Tubefilter: What do you think makes your content stand out despite all the noise on YouTube?
SA: Our channel stands out because we make funny, family-friendly videos for all ages to enjoy.
Tubefilter: Do you have a content strategy? Do you tend to follow YouTube trends, or create your own?
SA: We do not have a set content strategy, per se, we just come up with fun ideas. The time it takes to make these videos differs; one video could take hours, or all day, from inception to preparation to posting the video.
Tubefilter: What’s your production process like? How long does the average video take you to make, from conception to posting? Do you have an editor or intern who works with you behind the scenes?
SA: We don’t have an editor, just Papa Rug and myself, but when we need someone to record, it’s either Brandon Bring or a family member. Our managers, Michael Gordon and Adam Perly, help us with brand deals like our FabFitFun and Dollar Shave Club integrations.
Tubefilter: When did you start noticing your audience really picking up? Was there one specific video that attracted a lot of attention? How are you growing your audience?
SA: We saw massive growth in our channel from day one when FaZe Rug started my channel. I think I gained 250,000 subscribers overnight! That was amazing! To build on that, we began to work hard and put so much effort to keep attracting more viewers.
Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content specifically for YouTube?
SA: My favorite part of making a video is that it’s fun and nice to know that you’re going to share something people would enjoy and benefit from. The fan feedback is always great, so I love to sit and read comments. Especially when they’re all positive and beautiful. Our audience hails from around the world, so knowing that your videos are being watched everywhere and people love what we do is a blessing.
Tubefilter: What’s next for your channel? Any plans looking to the future?
SA: We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, but also think outside of the box a little more and explore more types of content. Most of our videos are in our house, but maybe we will branch out to collaborate with other YouTubers. We want to thank everyone, family, friends, and our subscribers of course! Also, we want to send a big “thank you” to YouTube for giving us the opportunity to present our content to people around the world. And we want to give a special thanks to our management team, Michael and Adam, for keeping us on top of everything.
Sana and Ron are Fullscreen clients.
You can add yourself to the ranks of the Awadis parents’ more-than-a-million YouTube subscribers at their channel YouTube.com/MamaAndPapaRug.