I started working for beauty/fashion influencer Chriselle Lim when I was 19. I got the job from a mutual friend attending the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising with me in Los Angeles.
Chriselle needed help photographing content for her fashion blog and YouTube channel, and I had content creation experience. So she hired me to assist her.
Even though my YouTube channel was failing.
Ever since I started making scrapbooking YouTube videos when I was 14, I knew I wanted to do this for a living. I wanted to work as a content creator, but it wasn't taking off for me at that time. As I was entering college with a budding fashion channel, I had maybe 20,000 to 30,000 subscribers.
I'd post fashion videos on my Drew Scott channel, but it was much harder to grow as a man in the fashion industry because, at the time, that side of the industry was way more niche.
I had a really good understanding of how I wanted my content to look. But that quality was hard to achieve. It almost felt like I needed a clone of myself to film all of my content, because I was the only person who could really understand my vision and see it through my eyes.
But working with Chriselle, that dream came true. She was like a clone, but better! She’d been in the business since the literal beginning as a fashion blogger and YouTuber, and was starting to get into the Instagram game. She motivated me to push myself. And she had the most amazing cheekbones.
In all seriousness, she was the one who drove me to get on her level. I still have a great relationship with her, and I’ll call and get her advice all the time. Even when I was working for her, she always saw it as us working to help each other out.
There are lessons I took from working with Chriselle, who was already an icon on social media, that showed me what I could really become. So please take these to heart.
The biggest thing Chriselle taught me that I’ve always followed is consistency. I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to start new endeavors. It’s great as a creative, because I have a lot of passion and drive to try new things - but it becomes difficult when you’re trying to build a singular brand.
Without the consistency, it's hard to keep your followers and make all the work sustainable so you don’t totally burn out.
And that’s the other thing about consistency - you have to stay consistent with your drive too. Chriselle is extremely driven, and I feel like I’m the same way.
When you're just seeing what other creators are posting, it might look so easy. You might think they just quickly grabbed their camera and only took the one shot, but there could have been 18 hours of work behind that one photo.
When I was about to graduate from FIDM, I started getting serious about my social media career. I started working at West Elm part-time while I was finishing my courses, and posting twice a week on my YouTube channel to try to turn that into my full-time job.
What I’m saying is, as creators, we’re all hustling. It’s about staying consistent and making that hustle work for you.
I feel like Chriselle was one of the first content creators in the online fashion space to start posting video content on Instagram. You’d see mostly photos on the grid, so it just wasn’t something people were doing at the time.
But Chriselle had a gut feeling that it would work.
When I decided to switch to my DIY channel Lone Fox full-time, I had a whole other fashion channel that had around 500,000 subscribers. So it was a little scary, because that was my full-time job at the time.
My channel for Lone Fox I think had only 60,000 subscribers, but I just felt like it was going to go somewhere. I was like, “This is it.” So, like Chriselle, I listened to my gut. And it really did take off from there.
When I made the switch that really changed what my brand focus was, I couldn’t just be excited about it. I had to really commit to it. (Have I used the words consistency and drive enough yet?!)
When I was working with Chriselle, she had her blog, she had her YouTube channel, and she had Instagram. But the thing is, now it's like a completely different standard for creators. Back then, you were able to kind of pick and choose what platform you were going to focus on. But nowadays, it’s so important to cross-promote.
So even though you're trying to get your face on every platform, as a creator starting out you have a big decision to make regarding which one you start with.
It sounds so corny every time I say it, but seriously. Seriously seriously. Have fun making your content.
When I was younger, I would see someone else's video and I would try to replicate the exact video quality. But I was making them on my iPod touch. I was literally filming them completely for fun. I had no editing skills. I was posting them directly from the camera, with no cuts or anything.
So when I wasn't able to achieve the exact quality, I was just so frustrated. I didn't even want to film the video because I knew it could be better than what it looked like.
But here’s the thing - if you can't get the quality or the look that you want right now, know that you're going to be able to reach it someday. Right now, you’re spending your time building your skillset, and that’s huge! So when you do finally get to upgrade that camera or mic, you’re already going to have the skills to back it up.
When I started posting as Lone Fox, I started doing renter-friendly DIYs for small spaces. I was living in a rental apartment, and I was limited to creating with the spaces that I had. But instead of complaining about it, I took it as an opportunity to have fun exploring that niche. And it paid off!
With the success of Lone Fox I’ve been able to upgrade to a 3-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, and I’m hoping to buy a house and DIY it up in the not-so-distant future.
Without my OG in my corner, I don’t know if I would have been able to trust myself and my creative eye, take the leap to a whole new channel, and watch it take off. But working with Chriselle, even in those earlier years on social media, taught me to trust and appreciate the journey. Because you never know where it will take you.
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