Beauty Entrepreneur

Kelsee Briana Jai

How The Beauty Entrepreneur Juggles as a Freelance Makeup Artist and Full-time Content Creator on YouTube.

Beauty Entrepreneur
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October 29, 2020

Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

My name is Kelsee Briana Jai, and I am a beauty entrepreneur. I am based in Tennessee, and I have worked as a full-time content creator for the past two years. Before, I worked part-time as a content creator and freelance makeup artist for over a decade. I work as a one-person army for all of my endeavors. I develop all of my ideas, shoot all of my content, edit, and handle all business aspects for my platforms. It’s a lot of hard work, but I do my best to balance my time and be as efficient as possible.

Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

I have always had an interest in makeup/the beauty industry. As a little girl, my mother took me with her when she shopped at makeup counters, and I would inquisitively watch as she applied her makeup. Through my interest, I cultivated a passion for beauty and immersed myself in learning everything I could about makeup techniques and product knowledge. I continued to practice every day on myself and my little sister (poor her lol)! 

When I finally became old enough, I applied to work at MAC Cosmetics. At the time, securing a job at MAC was extremely difficult as the positions were few, far, and in between. After a few attempts, I was hired and began working as a makeup artist at the MAC counter. While working at MAC, I began to develop my signature artistry style and get a sense of how to work with a diverse range of clientele. During my tenure at MAC, I began creating content on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. 

I discovered the world of content creation in 2009, and I knew that I eventually wanted to create my content. After watching others upload videos and pictures of their makeup, I decided to do the same. At the time, no one created content in hopes of turning it into a career, so I went into it as a hobby to connect with other makeup lovers. As social media has evolved over the years, I began to take it a bit more seriously. I uploaded more frequently to help my #KelBelles enhance their makeup skills and make more informed beauty purchases. They are my biggest motivators to continue producing content after ten years!

How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing.

My creative process is 100% organic. My ideas come to me at all times, and I always make a point to jot down my thoughts in my notes on my phone, so I will not forget them. At the end of each day, I reflect on my notes and organize them to be added to my content creation list to be created later. My inspiration comes from all areas of life, and I use this to create looks and video concepts that are original for my social media platforms. I need to curate my own unique ideas, so I do not utilize any third-party software. Of course, I participate in trends within my community, but I always put my own spin on it to keep it authentically Kelsee!

What are the tools and platforms you use to help with your brand?

I utilize many tools and platforms. I use iMovie to edit my videos, and FaceTune to lightly edit pictures. I am 100% self-taught. I learned by trial and error to figure out my editing style. As far as social media goes, I have YouTube and Instagram. I have accounts on Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook, but I do not post regularly there. I do not utilize any third-party software to help with the scheduling of posts. I have a regular time posting, and I try to stick to that whenever I upload content.

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

Starting out, I did not have any fears in regards to posting content. I consider myself a positive, happy person, so I always begin projects with an optimistic attitude. Of course, with any endeavor, negative people are bound to leave nasty comments. People who leave negative comments are not welcome in my space, so I block people who spew hatred. I wish to have a positive platform where people feel welcomed and protected.

How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

I am very proud of my journey on social media. I have had social media platforms for the past 15 years, but I have been posting consistently for five years. My journey has been really unique because it began as a hobby and not as a career path. As far as funding, I shared items that I was going to purchase anyway within my content. Because I was buying the makeup items anyway, I technically did not begin my channel making purchases specifically for content. 

My boyfriend was the first person who knew about my channel and has always been supportive even when he didn’t understand my vision. Starting out, my channel grew relatively fast, and I garnered a great response from the beauty community on my tutorials. My channel has always been centered around high-end/luxury products, and back then, these products were not as widely accepted online. This was difficult because I have always been drawn to luxurious things. As time progressed, there have been more creators to feature high-end products, which has helped people accept it.

For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

My advice for someone who wants to get into content creation would be to be yourself and be consistent. Some mistakes that I made in the past were rushing through content to get it uploaded quickly. I find that I am much more satisfied when I take my time and carefully edit my projects. I have also learned the importance of time management.

Without some organization, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the necessary tasks for running successful social media platforms.

How did you finally commit to X platform rather than your regular day job?

I resigned from my job at the makeup counter six years ago, and until two years ago, I worked as both a freelance makeup artist and content creator. I am now a full-time content creator, and I absolutely enjoy it. I am also currently enrolled in a doctoral program pursuing my doctorate in business. After graduation, I plan on continuing my career as a social media curator and partner my education with my real-life experience to heighten my content.

What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

My strategies to grow my brand are to continue to create unique content within the beauty community and continue to review new products as they launch on the market. I would never do anything unethical as I have morals, and I value my integrity and reputation too much to do anything morally questionable. 

I have done collaborations more recently with many content creators within my genre of YouTube. Collaborations are a great way to be introduced to new people who may not have seen you before. While I enjoy working with my peers, the collaboration must be organic and not forced for it to be enjoyable to watch for our audience. The entire beauty community is vast, but the luxury beauty community, in particular, is a bit smaller, so we are more close-knit.

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

Brand deals and sponsorships are a viable part of any content creator’s income. All of the brand deals that I have gotten have been from brands reaching out to me. I only collaborate with brands that I would purchase from without a sponsorship. I need to have organic partnerships because I feel strongly about working only with brands that I can stand behind. My advice on handling brand deals is to be professional and prompt. Ask for what you want, and do not undermine yourself. Know your worth, and then add tax. Haha!

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