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How One YouTuber Turned Her Brand Into a Business And Activism Platform

People

First came message boards, then the Blogspots and the Wordpresses of the world, then MySpace and Facebook, and quick to follow was the missing media component: action. Though not a new concept these days, a YouTube celebrity is still a rather innovative concept for many to grasp. How can ‘Vlogging’ translate into a career?


As writer, actor and YouTube phenomenon Franchesca Ramsey will tell you, using your voice and your face to do more than just make people laugh, but inspire them to ignite change, is arguably one of the most powerful tools. It was through her success on YouTube that was she was able to leave her full-time gig and go full-time online, eventually bringing her talents to MTV. Here, she shares her story:

Activists Courtesy of Commons

How did you get started in this industry?

“I started making YouTube videos in 2006 after struggling to find online resources to help me style and maintain my locs. I branched out into vlogs and comedy sketches when I had a hard time booking work as an actress.

"I continued making videos while working as a graphic designer until 2012 when my video ‘Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls’ went viral and I was able to get an agent. The rest, as they say, is history."

How do you consider yourself an activist?

"In addition to producing content around social issues, I try to use my platform to highlight important conversations and uplift the voices of people who need to be heard. I hope my audience leaves my content wanting to advocate for marginalized folks from all walks of life, in order to create a better world for everyone."

How did you get involved with MTV/Decoded?

“I pitched a tv show to MTV in 2013, which they passed on but I continued to go in for meetings about potential writing and acting opportunities with the network. In 2014 after the success of their web series ‘Braless,’ I got the opportunity to develop a sister series focused on race and pop culture with the same production company, Kornhaber Brown. We spent around 7 months developing the series and in 2015 got the green light to move forward and launched ‘Decoded’ that summer.”

Tell us about your company/brand and its purpose/mission.

"My goal from day one has been to make people laugh and make them think."

5 Youtubers to Watch

1.Hannah Hart

This comedian is about as real as it gets on her Youtube channel. Why? Because when the charcoal mask fad took up - she released this video and we died. Maybe not the best lady to go to for beauty hacks, instead visit her on the days you really need to laugh.

2.TarMar

This Irish Youtuber and blogger is a fashion go-to for all things high-street and some travel tidbits. Her channel, has 91k subscribers and is growing fast.

Look out for some city best-ofs and hauls that will save you a lot of $, and a recent corgi video that will make you squeal.

3. Grace Victory

We love a lady whose chief goal is to empower women, and that's exactly where Grace Victory positions herself amongst the Youtubers of today. She touches on issues such as body confidence, self expression, and dealing with puberty in a non-condescending and self affirming way. We love this girl.

4.Lilly Singh

IISuperwomanII is on pretty much everyone's favorite Youtube channel list, because Canadian native Lilly is seriously cool. Aside from her video editing skills, her video topics are perhaps the funniest we've seen. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you'll want to catch her recent raps about the show's most illustrious characters.

Lilly Singh Courtesy of CDN

5. Emily Duncan

At the age of 21, Emily Duncan is already an accomplished bikini competitor in the NPC, and a popular Youtuber. With over 50K subscribers, her channel is definitely one worth visiting. Not just for exercise videos; it's also brimming with book recommendations, makeup hacks, the best workout leggings, and Instagram-worthy acai bowl recipes.

Her channel isn't just filled with exercise videos; it's also brimming with book recommendations, makeup hacks, the best workout leggings, and Instagram-worthy acai bowl recipes.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.