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 creator has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments here.
This week’s installment of YouTube Millionaires is brought to you by SuperBam, the premiere rights management company for creators.
Tara Michelle Massicotte had accomplished something rare: she’d managed to build her YouTube channel, once a hobby, into a full-time career. But opening her own boutique? Now that was a pipe dream.
Or so she thought.
Massicotte, who’s 25 and a Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising alum, started her channel back in high school. Perhaps unsuprisingly, she’s got an eye for trends, so her early content chased YouTube’s most popular challenges and tags. It wasn’t until she moved from her home city, Toronto, to Los Angeles for college that she branched out to a more personal kind of content. Her weekly videos are small windows into her life; she invites viewers to clean with her, move with her, and check out her daily routines, including what she eats, spends, and wears. That last one is particularly important, because in the years she’s had a social presence, the one question her followers always ask is, “What are you wearing?”
She started offering up her personal fashion picks on Poshmark, a sort of Craigslist for clothes. It let folks who wanted to poach her style essentially buy clothes directly from her closet. She made good trade on the platform (her shop currently has 1,208 listings, most of them sold), which made her take a second look at those distant dreams of having her own store.
Last summer, she brought the idea to her dad. This spring, she launched digital boutique Imagine It Yours, which is stocked with seasonal tops, bottoms, dresses, and sets (many from up-and-coming L.A.-based designers) hand-picked and modeled by Massicotte. It’s exactly the business she never thought she’d be able to run–and the fact that she can run it is thanks in part to the more than one million subscribers who support her on YouTube.
Check out our chat with her below.
Tubefilter: How does it feel to hit one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Tara Michelle: Hitting one million subscribers truly feels surreal. To even consider that one MILLION people cared enough to click the subscribe button is unbelievable. I’m just so incredibly appreciative of the community I’ve built over the years and the amazing opportunities I’ve been given! As cheesy as it sounds, it’s weird for me to call them fans. I feel like I’ve connected with them on such a deeper level that they aren’t just “fans” to me!
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? What did you do in the days before YouTube? What made you decide to move to L.A.?
TM: I’m actually originally from Toronto, Ontario, and moved to Los Angeles when I turned 19 (I’m now 25)! I was attending a university back in Canada, but really wanted to pursue a more creative path, which lead me to L.A.! I eventually convinced my parents to let me move, and started studying digital media at FIDM. While in school. I kept up with YouTube purely as a hobby, and never imagined it would end up being my full-time career!
Tubefilter: When and why did you launch a YouTube channel? Did you come into things with a clear idea of what you wanted your content to be, or have you developed your video strategy over time?
TM: I started my channel in high school. I had just turned 18 and loved watching all of the beauty gurus on YouTube! I posted a bunch of different types of videos, like tags, what’s in my purse, makeup collections, etc. The platform was completely different back then, and over the years my content has changed a ton, as I have also changed! I’ve tried to just stay authentic to who I am and share what I’m passionate about. In a sense, I’ve grown up a lot on my YouTube channel, and it’s really unique getting to look back at all of that.
Tubefilter: You run a thriving Poshmark account, and just launched your own curated clothing shop, Imagine It Yours! Tell us a bit about Imagine It Yours and how it came to be.
TM: Ahhh Imagine It Yours, my new baby! For years, whenever someone would ask me, “What would you want to do outside of YouTube?” the answer was always something in fashion. The thought of having my own boutique always seemed pretty far-fetched until I started seriously researching and learning how to make this dream a reality last year. I teamed up with my dad (who is absolutely brilliant), and together we launched the store in March! Full credit on the name Imagine It Yours goes to my mom, though, she came up with it and I was immediately obsessed!
Tubefilter: Have you seen traffic to Poshmark/Imagine It Yours from YouTube? How does your YouTube content intertwine with your creative life as a curator and entrepreneur?
TM: Absolutely! Having built this incredible community, I feel like they were just as excited about the store launch as I was! It’s so cool getting to give sneak peaks of new items dropping on the store to my subscribers before anything goes live.
I think people appreciate getting to see me do something completely different and outside of my comfort zone, as it inspires them to also branch out and try new things!
Tubefilter: Walk us through an average day. How do you juggle managing your social presence and running your business? How much of your day is spent on each? Do you carve out dedicated time for YouTube?
TM: Ever since launching the store, my days are much busier and things are slightly harder to juggle. I’m still trying to find the perfect balance of everything, but I think I’m doing a pretty decent job.
A typical day will usually start with me editing a vlog. Once that’s done, I’ll get on a meeting for IIY. I try to squeeze in a quick and healthy lunch around noon, and then either film for my main channel photo or shoot a bunch of content for Instagram. In the evening, I’ll try to get a head start on editing the video I just filmed, and then work on packaging any orders for the store. Then I’ll have dinner and relax or I’ll take some time to plan out what needs to get done the following day!
Tubefilter: We feel like it’s probably weird to do this without mentioning the pandemic, so how are things going with social distancing? Have you had to make any adjustments to your business or YouTube projects?
TM: It’s unbelievable watching what’s happening in the world right now, I’m just so grateful that my family and friends are all healthy and safe. I live alone so social distancing has been a really unique experience for me. I’m thankful to have the job that I do because it really keeps me going through all of this!
Tubefilter: What’s your favorite part of making content on YouTube?
TM: Honestly, my favorite part is getting to connect with the community I’ve built! There are so many followers I speak to daily in my DMs, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know so many of them on a deeper level. I love getting to share my life and experiences and hopefully help people in some way!
Tubefilter: What’s next for you and your channel? Any plans looking to the future?
TM: Right now, I’m just focusing on getting through every day as sane as possible, haha! I definitely had some bigger plans for the year, but unfortunately, due to the pandemic, a lot of those things are going to be pushed until I don’t even know when. I’m looking into starting a podcast with one of my friends, but we’re still figuring out the logistics there!
You can add yourself to the ranks of Michelle’s more-than-a-million YouTube subscribers here.
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