Getting to know YouTube sensation Kristyn Alexis

When YouTuber Kristyn Alexis first launched her channel two years ago, she used by-the-window lighting and an adequate camera.

Her first video was about resume writing and interviewing, and today, she calls it “corny” compared to her current weekly output imbued with professional lights and an impressive camera. Kristen Alexis

“It now feels like I’m talking to a friend,” Alexis says. And she is—more than 65,000 friends to be exact.

Her YouTube channel KristynAlexis now “has enough followers to fill up a stadium.” 

The Internet can be a treacherous place. (Alexis is not Kristyn’s real surname.) But it can also be very embracing, Alexis has learned.

“I thought it was cool that people care enough to want to see what you do next,” she says. 

Most of her subscribers come from California and Florida. She has global followers too, from places like Africa and Brazil. 

“You can tell by the way they compose their sentences (in the comments) that English is not their first language,” Alexis says. “Even though they know I’m speaking a different in language, they still want to follow me.”

A big reason might be Alexis’s “best of both worlds” style as a “curly career girl.” Her videos are a combination of “girly talk” and professional business advice. 

This dual identity is exemplified by her video categories: Be Girly (e.g. “What To Wear On A Date”) and Be A Boss (e.g. “Save Money Versus Paying off Debt”).

Her reoccurring segments and motifs vary. For example, Her CHIT CHAT GRWM (Get Ready With Me) segments show Alexis applying make-up while discussing a topic or modeling different outfits. (Her fiancée, Bryan, cameos often.)

Sometimes, Alexis’s “girly talk” veers into the confessional, like her GRWM video about her divorce, honestly and unabashedly titled, “Why My Husband Left Me.”

She applies makeup while telling the very relatable story about a couple (newly-christened parents) who married too young, as told by today’s 35-year-old corporate professional (by day) with perspective.

Alexis says she was first drawn to YouTube out of curiosity.

“I wanted to see if I could do it without knowing anything about it and master it,” she explains. And she has.

She’s also used it as a way to help other girls like herself, dealing with similar issues.

“I wanted to reach girls who were like me when I was younger,” Alexis says. “I was a teen mom, and I didn’t have anyone helping me navigate higher education and (later) corporate America. I wanted people to get to the same place that I am with my career and my life, but in a shorter amount of time.”

Kristen Alexis uses the money she makes on YouTube to purchase new video equipment to hone her craft.

Alexis was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, and she proudly says she graduated from Everett High School. 

“It’s known as the Magic Johnson High School,” she explains.

While attending Everett, she became pregnant with her son Aries. Today, he is 18, and he also cameos in her videos, getting ready to graduate and attend college himself. (Alexis also has twin boys now.)

In school, she studied advertising then marketing as an undergrad and at graduate school, respectively, both at Michigan State.

She became obsessed with marketing at age 9. 

“I had a fascination with Robin Givens in that movie (“Boomerang” [1992]) where she played a marketing executive.” 

Since graduate school, however, Alexis has gone beyond marketing and worked in nearly every function of corporate America. She’s currently a project manager, and her YouTube videos on the side give her a chance to experiment with her craft.

“I never really made it back to marketing with the exception of my social media,” Alexis says. “Everything I’ve done in my life, I’ve checked these boxes. Once you do this, you can do that.” 

For Alexis, the next box to check is the very attainable 100,000-subscriber milestone.

YouTube’s subscriber milestones determine when a content provider can start earning money and how accessible their channel is. When someone like Alexis hits 100 subscribers, they get a unique, custom URL for their channel.

Once they hit 1,000 subscribers, they can monetize their channel with ads, and for Alexis, the revenues she earns serve as a way to keep her projects going and improving.

“Everything I make on YouTube I invest on my channel,” she says. 

Kristen Alexis combines girl talk with business advice on her YouTube channel.

When she needs to upgrade her visuals, she contracts local professional filmmakers. The attention to detail, from the videos themselves to the picture thumbnails, is done to make her channel advertising friendly, according to Alexis.

Companies now offer her free products to sample and review in her videos, but she doesn’t always say yes to the offers. That’s part of what being a content curator is about: knowing your audience.

“I turned down an offer to review phone cases,” Alexis says. “My audience would (think) I was crazy if I started talking about phone cases. I’ve never talked about them.”

Kristyn Alexis’s audience knows Kristyn Alexis, too.

Watch her videos

Visit Kristen Alexis’s YouTube channel.

This story was originally written for and published by Fort Wayne Ink Spot Newspaper, one of Input Fort Wayne’s media partners.
 

Read more articles by William Bryant Rozier.

William Bryant Rozier is the managing editor of Fort Wayne Ink Spot newspaperThrough his own fortuitous set of circumstances, he now writes, takes photographs, designs stuff, and makes short video projects for a living. He’s written for Frost Illustrated Newspaper, Indian Country Today, and Ebony.com. He’s photographed for USA Today, Getty Images, and Black Enterprise Magazine.
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