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.
Let us take you back to October 2022. Drea, who’d dabbled in content before but never in a super serious sort of way, had just started her own TikTok account, and was mostly posting little funny videos her friends would see. None of them really took off, but that wasn’t a big deal. She was having a good time making them.
So, when she got her next funny idea, she didn’t think too much about how it would be received. But she knew it was a good premise for a video: Her niece had left a doll at her house, and “I thought it would be super funny to record a video pretending the doll is my child, and I was combing the doll’s hair,” she says. “It was just an over-exaggerated version of how I felt my mom combed my hair when I was a kid.”
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The video, which Drea captioned Moms getting their kids ready for picture day, went instantly viral, bringing in tens of millions of views. It now has more than 55 million on TikTok, and another 130 million on YouTube.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Drea says. “I was like, ‘Wow. Something so simple ike this is going viral.'”
Comments poured in from people asking her to make more videos. She did, and between October and June, she went from a few thousand followers to over a million.
Now, she has over 2 million followers on both TikTok and YouTube (we know, we’re marking her as a millionaire a little bit late). Content is her full-time gig, her husband is majorly involved in her channel, and she’s working on her first batch of merch (no spoilers), and she says that though sometimes she feels the pressure of “going from not having any subscribers or followers to having two million on both platforms […] I’m just so grateful and just happy that it happened to me.”
Check out our chat with her below.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Tubefilter: Nice to meet you! The goal of this column is to give people who know you more insight about you, but it’s also to introduce new people to you. Just imagine somebody’s reading this, they don’t know anything about you, they’ve never seen your videos. Tell me a little bit about you and where you’re from and your whole start to everything.
That’s So Drea: I originally started on TikTok back in 2022 of October. I was posting little funny videos beforehand, but I made a video as a joke. My niece had left her doll at my house because I was babysitting her, and I thought it would be super funny to record a video pretending the doll is my child, and I was combing the doll’s hair. It was just an over-exaggerated version of how I felt my mom combed my hair when I was a kid.
As soon as I posted it, it just instantly went viral. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was like, “Wow. Something so simple like this is going viral.” A lot of people, they were just like, “Oh, can we see more? We love this. Keep posting more,” so I did. A lot of my supporters gave me so many ideas of where to take it. My family, my husband, he was helping me with ideas. I ended up reaching a million followers from October to June.
Tubefilter: Very quickly then.
That’s So Drea: Yes. It went viral so quickly. I grew extremely quickly. It was one of those things where I just couldn’t believe that this was happening. I was like, “Wow, this is real life?” I started posting on YouTube. My husband was encouraging me to post YouTube Shorts and I was like, “You know, that’s a really good idea.”
Tubefilter: That is a very good idea.
That’s So Drea: Yes. [laughs] In November of 2022, I started posting my Shorts, and it was very here and there. I was trying to be more consistent with it. Then I started to see in about April of this year, my videos just started going viral. I went from having 10,000 subscribers to 100k subscribers in two weeks.
Tubefilter: Oh, wow. That’s amazing.
That’s So Drea: Yes, it was absolutely incredible. From there, by June, I had 500k subscribers. Then in September, I think, it was either the very end of September or the beginning of October, I reached a million. Literally maybe a couple of days ago or last week, I reached two million. It’s just insane that people enjoy watching my videos that much. It just makes me feel so happy. It really warms my heart that people are like, “Oh my gosh. We love these videos. Keep making more. Please never stop.” They’re like, “Oh, I ended on the right side of TikTok or YouTube,” whatever app they’re watching it from.
I just love that all of my supporters, in the comments, they’ll be talking to each other about what videos that they like the best, or they’ll just engage with each other. It’s just amazing that I was able to bring all these people together that enjoy watching the content. I’m pretty much like– I’m not really a mom, but I pretend to be like a mom with a crazy child, and I’m a crazy mom trying to deal with her. It’s really, really funny. You have to take a look.
My husband gives me a lot of ideas. My supporters give me a lot of ideas. I feel like I went through so many phases of changing up what I do. Now, I just feel like I have this huge catalog of all of these videos. It’s just amazing, truly.
Tubefilter: What were you up to before you started doing videos?
That’s So Drea: I was always posting content, but not organized. It was very random. I’ve had a lot of different phases of content creating, I guess. Outside of videos, I used to work as a nanny.
Tubefilter: That makes a lot of sense.
That’s So Drea: I was a nanny for about a year before I had my rise to fame on TikTok and YouTube and Instagram. I was also a preschool teacher for two and a half years, I think. Then I’ve also worked as a bank representative at a bank. I worked in retail at Target. I was just bouncing around, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I always knew I wanted to entertain, but I just didn’t know how exactly it would happen. I just always knew that was something I wanted to do.
Tubefilter: No wonder you have so many realistic kid moments in your videos.
That’s So Drea: Yes. I worked with kids for a really long time. The kids, they’re great. I love them. I can’t wait to have kids of my own one day.
Tubefilter: It’s very clear through all of your videos that you’re very passionate about kids.
That’s So Drea: Thank you!
Tubefilter: So you grew on TikTok. Your husband’s advice to start on YouTube was very smart.
That’s So Drea: Yes.
Tubefilter: What made you pick TikTok originally? Was it just that it was really growing?
That’s So Drea: Yes, I just knew that it was the newest app on the scene. I noticed how people were growing quickly on there, so I just wanted to give it a shot. I was like, “I have nothing to lose.” I just wanted to try it out. I just saw so many people rise to success, and I thought that it could happen for me as well. Honestly, if I’m being 100% honest, I’ve always loved YouTube. I’m a YouTube girly at heart. I just love everything about YouTube, so I’m really, really happy that I was able to grow a fan base on there as well.
Tubefilter: Do you feel like the rise of short-form has made YouTube more accessible for people?
That’s So Drea: I definitely do. I had another YouTube channel back in 2017. I gained about 2,000 followers on there, but I just wasn’t super consistent because I was working a full-time job and it was just hard for me to make time to sit down and record videos, long-form content. It’s a lot of effort and a lot of work. Short-form was just something that worked with my schedule, so it was something that I was able to do.
I was able to record a lot of videos like when I would come home from work. It just made it a lot more accessible for me because the only time I really had was on the weekends, and I wanted to spend a lot of time with friends and family, but I also wanted to make content as well. Short-form just really seemed like it made it accessible for me to try to make YouTube videos.
Tubefilter: You have a couple longer-form videos on your channel.
That’s So Drea: Yes.
Tubefilter: Do you want to try getting into more long-form?
That’s So Drea: Oh my god, yes. For sure. That’s definitely something that I’m in the works of doing. I’m trying to make sure that I can make enough time to still produce the same amount of short-form videos and do long-form because I know a lot of my followers really enjoy those short-form videos, so I don’t want to take that away from them. I want to be able to do both. Right now, I’m just in the works of making a schedule to be able to do both, but I really, really want to get into long-form. I know a lot of my supporters want to see that from me as well.
Tubefilter: Have there been any tough elements of growing so quickly on YouTube and TikTok? It’s hard, I feel like, to suddenly go to having that many people watching you.
That’s So Drea: Yes, for sure. It’s crazy. It’s hard to really just collect all of your thoughts for that. I feel like sometimes I go through phases where I feel like I’m not good enough. I’m like, “Oh my god, am I undeserving of this? Why did this happen to me? How did this happen?” Sometimes I just feel like I’m not good enough, and then I’m like, “Okay, I’m doing great.” Growing that fast, I just feel like I go through a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes I feel like I’m made for this, and then sometimes I’m like, “This is a lot. I don’t know if I’m the right person,” but then I just have to take a step back.
That’s where my husband and family come into play. They’re like, “You’re doing just fine. Just calm down.” It’s a lot going from not having any subscribers or followers to having two million on both platforms. It’s insane. I go through a rollercoaster of emotions, but I’m just so grateful and just happy that it happened to me.
Tubefilter: Another thing I’m curious about, since you do have such a widespread audience, have you noticed any differences in your viewers across platforms, or do you feel like you’re reaching similar people on every platform?
That’s So Drea: I feel like I’m reaching similar people on every platform. I don’t really see that much of a difference from TikTok to YouTube. On Instagram, I feel like my followers are a little bit older. I feel like they’re more my age, or just around my age. On TikTok and YouTube, I feel like they’re in middle school or high school, in that area. I feel like TikTok and YouTube really mirror each other in terms of demographic.
Tubefilter: I’d love to hear your production process, how intense is your scripting. Take me through from video conception to upload.
That’s So Drea: Typically, my husband, he’s a really big part of my YouTube channel, my TikTok. We will sit down and we will strategize literally everything. Every idea, we’re like, “Okay, if we posted this type of content Monday, then we have to do something different on Tuesday.” He always reminds me that you need to rotate your content and give them the same content but different daily. Since I’m producing so much, I try to switch it up so that way no one gets bored or they can’t guess what’s next.
Typically, we will sit down and we’ll write out a whole bunch of ideas. We just have categories and subcategories. We do family vlog parodies, ASMR. We do hairstylist videos. We just break everything down, and we’re like, “Okay, we’re going to go to the store, we’re going to get these items.” If we need to buy anything, we’ll write down not really a script, but just a baseline. Just bullet points of what we should be doing in each video.
Sometimes, if I’m too tired or if I feel burnt out, he’ll write some ideas for me, and then he’ll show them to me the next day and be like, “What do you think about this?” That’s typically how it goes. We’ll typically do that on the weekends when we’re not posting. We like to have our video set out for the week. We already know what we’re posting for that week.
Tubefilter: Got you. Is this your full-time thing?
That’s So Drea: Yes. We both do content full-time. He has his own TikTok that he does his fashion content on. We’re both full-time creators. He’s very hands-on in my content and I’m hands-on on his content as well.
Tubefilter: That’s really cool. That’s a really interesting creative partnership.
That’s So Drea: I’m sorry. It’s definitely very helpful. I feel like with this field of work, it’s really good to have somebody in your corner that you can trust, that you can lean on if you’re going through mental health and stuff because it’s a lot on just one person, especially when you’re just trying to figure things out. I just think it’s really good to have someone to bounce ideas off of because if I feel like I’m missing the mark, I’m like, “Okay, what do you think about this? Am I missing something? Is it good enough?” He’s always 100% honest with me and I feel like that he’s a big reason why I’m here today. I feel like I could have burnt out a long time ago, and he really, really helped me stay on track.
Tubefilter: This can be a very lonely career, so that kind of support is invaluable. Do you have any cool projects in the works? Where do you see yourself growing from here out?
That’s So Drea: Right now in terms of projects, I don’t know if I can talk about it or not, but I’m working on merch for my followers and stuff. I’m not going to say exactly what it is yet because I’m not sure if I’m supposed to announce it.
Tubefilter: No worries.
That’s So Drea: I’m working on merch for my followers, and it’s something that I feel like they would really love and enjoy because they talk about it all the time. That’s one thing I’m working on. Then in terms of where I see myself going, right now, I want to focus on long-form content. That’s a really big goal for me to really transform into long-form because I feel like it’s so hard for me to fit all of these elements that I want to fit into short-form. I feel like it would do better as long-form.
My supporters will always tell me it feels like they’re watching a mini YouTube video because I feel like all of my videos are at least a minute long because I have to add in all of these things. I try to keep it really fun and engaging and just where they can never guess what’s going to happen next.
I feel like long-form is a really, really big goal for me this upcoming year. It’s at the top of my list that I want to get into habit of producing.
Tubefilter: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
That’s So Drea: I guess one thing that I would want people to know about me is that I just feel like I have so many other elements that I want to show that I can do. I know comedy is a really big thing for me, but I’m into so many other things. I’m a super girly girl at heart. I love everything like beauty, lifestyle, hair, fashion, and whatnot. Those are some things that I want to add to my whole arsenal of content.
I want to be able to do that, but I don’t want to take away from who I am. I’m super funny and I love comedy. It’s honestly crazy because I always wanted to be a beauty guru. I was like, “Oh my gosh, I want to do makeup and hair videos. That’s my thing.” I can’t say anything else. When I made that first video, everything changed for me. I’m just super grateful for how things turned out. I also want to show my supporters another side of me. I feel like they’re starting to see little hints of that in my videos.
I’m going to try to start doing more beauty content, hair content, but make it super true to who I am, super funny. I don’t want them to be bored. I definitely don’t want them to be bored, but I’m going to implement more elements into my content just to give them a different side of me while still giving them the content that I do now. I’m never going to take that away from them.