Social Media Sensation: Q&A with senior Elizabeth Shelton, who runs her own popular YouTube channel
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When did you start your channel?
I think I started (my) freshman year.
What type of channel do you have?
I would say it’s a beauty, lifestyle and fashion channel, but my favorite videos to do are the ones where I just sit down and talk or do things that I’m really passionate about. I don’t like limiting myself to beauty, lifestyle and fashion, but I guess it’s kind of the category I fall under.
How many subscribers do you have?
Right now, I think I’m at 201,000.
When did your channel start to take off?
I don’t know; maybe end of 2014, early 2015 is when it really started picking up.
How did you decide upon the name TheElizaRose for your channel?
It’s a funny story … Coming up with my username … So, Elizabeth Rose is apparently a really common name, and I didn’t realize that, and I wanted my username to be the same across the board, so I tried, like, “Liz Rose,” which didn’t really flow, because I usually go by Liz, but I just picked Eliza Rose. And then I was trying different names, different things to put it together, because Eliza Rose was already taken, so I just put “TheElizaRose.” And it sounds weird, because I don’t like saying “I’m the Eliza Rose,” but … People call me Eliza, and I know whenever someone calls me Eliza, it’s because they know me because of my social media. Usually with my friends, they just call me Liz.
Do people ever recognize you?
Yes, oh my goodness. It’s so funny; I was in PacSun one time with my friend, and I heard this girl scream, and I looked around because I thought someone got hurt, and then I see that she’s looking at me, so I’m like, “What is she … what did I do?” And then she goes, “Are you Eliza Rose?” I was like, “…Yes? You know who I am?” It’s just weird, but it was super sweet. She was really nice.
I didn’t expect people to use me quite as much, which is kind of naïve to say, but especially because I started it at such a young age. To be honest, I expected gaining friends from it, but I didn’t expect losing friends as well. And that process can happen so fast overnight, and even friends that I made online—the moment that they pass you in followers, they’ll drop you.
Do you work with a network?
Yeah, I’m with AwesomenessTV; they’re based out in Santa Monica, California … they’re owned by Dreamworks, and they have studios down there; they have a whole bunch of managers; they actually got me into events and put me on the red carpet one time. They just help me grow … Once I reached, I want to say, 30,000 subscribers, maybe, I started getting emails from networks like, “We want to work with you, we want to work with you,” and AwesomenessTV caught my eye because I’ve heard of them before, so I was a little bit familiar with them, but also they just fit me super well.
You mentioned you went to a red carpet event. Can you talk about that?
It was for … Smosh, and they had a movie come out last July. They got me tickets, and I got to bring a friend onto the red carpet with me, and that was super fun. I was super awkward because it was my first red carpet event, and I had no idea what to do; I was shaking so much, but I actually met a lot of cool people there that I’m still friends with.
Do you plan to eventually support yourself through YouTube?
Do I plan to? I don’t know; do I want to? Definitely. For me, it’s really hard to say that I want to rely on YouTube, just because it’s not your average, nine-to-five job where if you work so many hours, you know how much you’re going to get paid, because with the whole AdSense thing, you really don’t know how much money you’re going to make every month. Supporting myself … I can’t plan on it right now, where I’m at, but I think in the future if I were to grow a lot, then maybe I could.
How long do you see yourself doing YouTube?
I think until I feel content with the content that I’ve made, and I feel like I’ve done my job, I’ve said my words that I want to say. Because for me, it’s more about the message than putting on makeup or showing people my room and how it looks and stuff like that. For me it’s about making people happy and sharing my story as well. So once I feel like I’ve done that, then I think I’ll be done with YouTube.