Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where—in partnership with global creator company Jellysmack—we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth.
If you were a teenage mallgoer in the early 2000s, you remember Hollister. The cranked-up music. The overwhelming perfume. The uber dark lighting we’re pretty sure was purposefully designed to keep you from seeing the price tags. And, of course, the often delightful staff ready to judge your size, your taste, your budget, and everything else about you.
If you’re drowning in nostalgia right now–good! And also, sorry!
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But trust us when we say if you’re experiencing nostalgia now, it’s nothing compared to what’s waiting for you in Erin Miller‘s videos.
While Miller, like many other Creators on the Rise featurees, took off on YouTube during the pandemic, she’s got a long history as a content creator. She got her start on Instagram way back in 2014, and originally focused on fashion and beauty. Don’t get us wrong, she still makes fashion and beauty content, but lately a lot of her focus is on nostalgia.
Miller, who’s a millennial, started making video content on TikTok in 2019. At first she was “doing a bunch of random things, throwing things at hte wall, seeing what would stick,” she says. Then, for one video, she ended up doing a throwback slideshow of things you’d find in your bedroom in the early 2000s.
“It went viral, and I realized how much people really love nostalgia–especially millennials,” she says.
Since finding her nostalgia niche, Miller has grown her TikTok account to nearly 2 million followers.
Then, just last month, she started getting more serious about YouTube, uploading between one and two videos most days, and the results have been wild: In 31 days, her channel went from around 1,000 subscribers to over 130,000, and racked up more than 82 million views.
For Miller, the warm reception (plus her love of video editing) is a sign to try pushing into the longer-form content YouTube’s known for–while still appealing to those Hollister-going (or Hollister-avoiding) millennial memories.
Check out our chat with her below.
@overthemoonfarawayShe’s ✨back✨ ✋🤟✋🤟😉♬ original sound – Erin Miller
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: If you could give me a little bit of background on you and where you’re from, that’d be great!
Erin Miller: Let’s see. I’m from the Midwest. I’m from Iowa and I now live in San Diego. I have been a content creator or influencer you could say, since 2014. I started my influencing career in fashion, mainly, lifestyle, beauty, and then a couple of years ago, I started diving into the nostalgia and skit content with the rise of TikTok. That’s what threw me into the video content and comedy sketches. I really leaned into the millennial nostalgia, and now here we are.
I do a lot of, again, nostalgia, millennial content, and then on my YouTube I do a lot of hair, makeup, beauty, and fashion. I still try to do current day lifestyle stuff and show my current personality and mix it in with the nostalgic millennial content as well.
Tubefilter: Were you on Instagram first? What were your platforms before YouTube and TikTok?
Erin Miller: I started on Instagram in 2014. I also had a website, a blog. RIP, that doesn’t exist anymore. I started on Instagram and then I made a TikTok in late 2019, actually, and then I just started taking YouTube more seriously late last year. I’m pretty new to YouTube.
Tubefilter: What was the catalyst for you taking YouTube more seriously?
Erin Miller: I think it was the start of YouTube Shorts. I was like, might as well hop on over there. I’m good at that type of video content, so let’s see what I can do over there with YouTube Shorts. That’s definitely what brought me over there. I’ve been wanting to get into YouTube for a long time. I was a little nervous to, but once they launched YouTube Shorts, I thought it was the perfect way to get my foot in the door there. I’m loving it and now I’m trying to start long-form content. It’s a learning curve, but yes, definitely YouTube Shorts is what brought me over to YouTube.
Tubefilter: Can you talk a little bit about how you got started with nostalgia content? How did you find that niche and why did you stick with it?
Erin Miller: I started the nostalgia content on TikTok. When I started my TikTok, I was doing a bunch of random things, throwing things at the wall, seeing what would stick. I was doing all sorts of random videos. I randomly did a throwback slideshow of things you would find in your bedroom in the early 2000s, something like that. Things you’d have in elementary school, things from the ‘90s, something. It was a slide show of like 20 photos and it went viral. I realized that how much people really love nostalgia, especially millennials.
I started doing more and more of those slideshows and then I was like, “I should turn a photo into a skit. Why don’t I take one of these nostalgic photos and turn into a skit with multiple characters?” That’s what started it and it all snowballed and I really enjoyed it. I love video content. It’s really fun to unlock people’s memories and reminisce and find a common ground everyone relates to.
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Tubefilter: Perfect. When you got started on YouTube, did you originally start cross-posting your TikTok content or did you make new content?
Erin Miller: I did a mixture of both. I tried to make original content on YouTube, and that’s when I was also throwing in fashion, beauty, lifestyle, hair stuff too that I don’t normally do on my TikTok. I was doing a mixture of that, a mixture of original skits, and then also a mixture of repurposed content from TikTok.
Tubefilter: Got it. What about now? Do you currently cross-post?
Erin Miller: It’s all over the place. I might repost a video that’s like a year and a half old. Maybe I’ll make a new video. Maybe I’ll post the same video across all platforms at the same day. It’s random what I decide to do, honestly.
Tubefilter: Do you have a set production schedule or does that also change day to day?
Erin Miller: No. [laughs] It’d probably be more efficient if I did, but no. My content’s really in the moment. I use the mornings…I’m always brainstorming my notes in my phone is a mile and a half long of video ideas, but I really, like, each morning I’ll sit down, I’ll write out a skit or two of what I want to film that day and what I’m feeling and what I’m inspired by. It’s a lot of in-the-moment stuff.
Tubefilter: Can you talk a little bit about your video inspirations? One of the things I saw is you buying products from the ‘90s or early 2000s to try them. I always wanted to try that horrible torture device that braids your hair for you. Where do you come up with video ideas?
Erin Miller: It’s a lot of, again, constantly brainstorming and thinking about moments from the past or hair tools we used to use. Music might inspire a skit. I might hear a song from the ’90s when I’m at the gym and I’ll get a memory in my head from a grade school dance or something and I’m like, ”Oh, I should create a grade school dance skit and use this song.” I might see a meme that will trigger a memory, or maybe someone makes a comment on one of my videos and it triggers a memory. It’s from all over the place.
A lot of research, too. I think I recently did a Hairagami video because I came across a TikTok of someone sharing the Hairagami commercial from the ’90s and I was like, ”Oh, I should order that and try it because I’ve never tried it.” Everyone remembers that infomercial. It’s just a mixture of all sorts of different things.
Tubefilter: Got it. You mentioned starting with a script. Can you walk me through a little bit about how you would take a script? What’s the start to end of a video?
Erin Miller: I try to just start with the overall theme of what I want to do. Again, if it’s a hair tool or if we’re going to do this around a certain top, that will be the start of the script. Let’s see, like recently I thought of a moment where we used to layer our skirts or layer our shirts. Let’s say you’re wearing four layered shirts and then your denim skirts at the bottom and you can only see an inch of the denim skirt. That randomly popped into head.
I started typing out like, “It’s 2006 and you’re leaving your house.” Then I knew I wanted the mom character, me, my dad, and then it just goes from there. It really goes from the title that I have on screen. I’ll try to come up with the title, and the year, and what I want it to be about, and then what characters I want in it, and I’ll go from there.
Tubefilter: Do you remember if there was a specific video that took off and helped grow your YouTube channel? Or was it just like a steady growth across all videos?
Erin Miller: I think my most viral video on YouTube is where those…oh, what were those? I think the headbands, the claw-like headbands that used to poke your eye out.
Tubefilter: Oh my god, yes.
Erin Miller: I don’t know what they’re called? I can’t even say what they’re called. That is my most viral video on there right now. I think a couple of my videos started randomly gaining traction and then it boosted other videos. I don’t know if it was why, but that’s my most viral right now but there’s one that’s right below it that might be a get ready with me in a certain year video.
I’m not even sure but it all of a sudden, just beginning of January, a couple videos I think gained traction and then it just brought traction to my page and it was crazy. I went from like 1,000 subscribers to over 100,000 in like a month. It was like, what’s going on?
Tubefilter: Congratulations though. That’s really, really big.
Erin Miller: Thank you.
Tubefilter: What are your plans to carry that momentum forward? I know you said you’re getting into long-form. What are your ambitions with long-form?
Erin Miller: Yes, just continue. I want to just share everything. I want to continue to share the things that I love–lifestyle, hair, makeup, any tips and tricks, get ready with mes, a look inside my everyday life, maybe some vlog content. Then also mix in the nostalgic content, maybe do a ’90s prop haul. My closet has all these early 2000s and ’90s relics. I could go through those and get ready with me in the 2000s. Just continue to maybe take my YouTube Shorts, and how can I turn this into a long-form video? And yes, just continue the nostalgic content, and continue every day to show myself in content.
Tubefilter: Do you have anybody working with you behind the scenes on your channel, like an editor? Or are you doing everything yourself?
Erin Miller: Yes, I do everything myself. I really enjoy video editing. We’ll see. Maybe in the future, I would get some help on YouTube with video editing. We’ll see. Right now, I do it all myself and I love it.
Tubefilter: What makes you enjoy video content and editing so much?
Erin Miller: I don’t really know, but I have always loved it. Before I got into TikTok, I was starting to do fashion video content with music and stuff. Anyway, I don’t know. I’ve always loved it. I’ve always been a very creative, artistic person. Even in college, I was a graphic design major, and I took media classes where you would have to make videos, and I’ve just always loved it.
I’ve always loved anything to do with that type of artform. It’s really fun to, like for my skits, film 10 minutes of dialogue, and have to narrow it down, and turn it into this 30-second clip, and add sound effects, and music, and really bring it to life. It’s really fun to see.
Tubefilter: At your trajectory, it’s pretty clear you’ll probably hit a million subscribers this year. Do you have any other goals for this year?
Erin Miller: I would have to say my main goal for YouTube specifically is just to get my long-form game going, and then really, just continue to be consistent across all platforms, continue to bring original content and be creative. My goal is always to try to bring the most. I know it’s hard because there’re so many creators, and it’s hard to be original. My number one goal is always to try to bring something different and be as original as I can.
Tubefilter: Have you gotten to work with any brands, or gotten any offers from any brands that you’re interested in?
Erin Miller: For YouTube?
Tubefilter: For YouTube or TikTok!
Erin Miller: Yes. I haven’t done anything for YouTube yet, but yes, for TikTok, I’ve worked with a ton of amazing brands. I’ve worked with Poshmark, Folgers, Tampax. Poshmark was a really fun one because I organically talk about Poshmark all the time. That’s where I shop for a lot of my clothes and things for videos, so that was a really fun collaboration. Yes, we’ve had a lot of really fun partnerships that I’m proud of.
Tubefilter: Is there anything else that you would want readers to know about you? Anything else that you wanted to bring up? Any cool projects you’re working on?
Erin Miller: Let me see. Anything cool. I will say one of my goals for this year that I forgot about is potentially getting into writing/producing. That’s one of my life goals, honestly, and would be something really cool if we could get that to happen. That’s something I’m looking forward to getting into this year, and hopefully, maybe, you’ll see something from me in the future.
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