Lauren Rhiihimaki is a creative spirit, DIY queen, and YouTube star. She is the energy behind the YouTube channel LaurDIY, which recently hit 2 million subscribers and features fashion, beauty, and tutorials on how to cover absolutely everything with glitter. We sat down with her while she is in Vancouver for The Sparkle Shop Pop-Up in partnership with Starbucks. You can meet her in person tomorrow, Saturday, August 1st, at 1195 Mainland Ave 12 – 4 PM.
MTI: What does your life look like on a daily basis?
L: Honestly, everyday looks different. I just graduated university, so now I have more freedom. We just had VidCon this past weekend, and we’re heading to Playlist Live in about a month. It’s a combination of shooting, editing, traveling, meeting with different brands, and doing fun stuff like this.
MTI: Tell me more about The Sparkle Shop Pop-Up.
L: It’s in collaboration with Starbucks, and it’s celebrating the launch of the Teavana Sparkling Tea Juices. All my viewers can come out, and we can take photos and hang out for a little bit.
MTI: Who have been your biggest inspirations and influencers?
L: One of my best YouTube friends is named Eva. She has YouTube channel called MyLifeAsEva, and it’s absolutely blown up in the last year. It’s been so inspiring to see her start as a small channel, and now she’s going on tour. She’s an inspiration to strive to do better.
MTI: Do you have any celebrities you look up to?
L: I relate so much more to YouTubers, because we have similar lifestyles, not that celebrities are unattainable or live an unattainable life. We’re just new generation celebrities. I definitely look up to Shay Mitchell in terms of style inspiration.
MTI: How would you describe your personal style and what do you think it says about who you are?
L: My personal style is a combination cute, comfy, a little bit edgy and a little bit sassy. So it says I have my life together, but I also spend a lot of time on the couch.
MTI: How do you balance being a YouTube star and everything else in your life?
L: When I was in university, I was dying. My social life took a serious hit. I was in school full-time and YouTube full-time as well. It was a countdown – 32 more days, 31 more days left of balancing both. But now, everything is all mushed together. So many of my closest friends are also involved in the YouTube community. My life basically revolves around YouTube – whether it’s traveling, what I’m working on, or what I’m thinking about. It’s one big ball of YouTube life now.
MTI: What is your favorite thing about what you do?
L: Meeting viewers. I like being able to thank the people, hug the people, and actually being able to put a face to a username and thank them for supporting my content and helping me get to where I am. I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do without the support of my viewers. Aslo getting messages from people saying, “You’ve sparked creativity in me,” or “You’ve made my day better by watching your videos. It’s so fun and bright and poppy.” It’s so, so amazing.
MTI: What have been some of your biggest challenges?
L: Time management is definitely always my biggest stress in life. For example, before coming to Vancouver, I had to make sure all my content was ready for this week and making sure everything is pre-approved for brands. So just balancing travel and working around travel schedule. And obviously, getting negative comments. But the longer you’re on YouTube, the easier it is to deal with it, and then you realize there’s so much more positivity than negativity.
MTI: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own blog or YouTube channel?
L: Make content that you’re passionate about. There’s nothing worse than not genuine content or someone just following trends. You really need to be passionate about what you’re doing, because that comes out in what you make.
MTI: Who has been your biggest supporter?
L: My mom. My parents have been so on board with the whole YouTube thing. I did a live stream the other day that was an hour and fifteen minutes and they watched the entire thing. My mom has thought about making an instagram so she can reply to the haters. They’re so amazing. They also have SnapChat, and they only follow me and they called it, “ChatSnap.”
MTI: What would advice would you have for someone on chasing their dreams?
L: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Just follow your heart and do what makes you happy.
Photography by: Rebekah Ho