I have decided to start a new GIRL BOSS series on my blog. Each month I will feature an amazing successful woman, each with their own story. I hope each individual I feature will encourage you to believe in yourself and live your dreams, whatever they may be. There is so much bitchiness in this world and I believe we should bring each other up more often, hence the blog series.
This month I was lucky enough to interview the beautiful Fleur De Force. Fleur is an online sensation with over a million YouTube subscribers, she is a published author and has collaborated with oodles of brands. Aside from her GIRL BOSS status she is also such a lovely woman so having her kick off the series is fabulous. Here are her thoughts on her career in the digital space.
Can you tell everyone a little about you and what you do?
I started posting content online waaaay back in 2009, when the internet was a very different place and the birth of online ‘influencer’ hadn’t been identified yet! I was still at university at the time and loved the close knit community of YouTube, sharing tips and tricks about things my ‘real life’ friends weren’t really into. Initially I just talked about beauty on YouTube, posting reviews and tutorials… but later expanded to a blog, Instagram, Twitter etc, and started to share a bit more of my life with daily vlogs. Over the years it’s grown and developed as the community has grown, but also as I’ve gotten a bit older. More recently I’ve released two lifestyle books ‘The Glam Guide’ and ‘The Luxe Life’ and released a lash and brow range in collaboration with Eylure too which has been so much fun.
You have a very successful online career, what made you branch out and write TWO books?!
I get asked this quite a bit. I think people assume if you’re an ‘online’ person, you don’t value traditional media, books etc. But for me, there was something about having my work in print that still really appealed to me.
For me, it wasn’t simply about expanding my brand and making some extra money, I wanted to try it out for the personal experience (I didn’t have a ghost writer, or any help with the content, that just wasn’t an option for me) but I also felt like I had more to share than I had previously done in videos. I opened up a lot more in my books, but also covered topics I haven’t talked about much online.
The majority of my content online is in video form. Although I have a blog, I had never really written anything longer than a few thousand words before so I loved the idea of a new challenge and working on something a bit different! After years of working in the same medium, I think it totally made sense for me to branch out into writing – I loved the process (hence the second book!)
I think my heart still lies in video and photo… but I’m really proud of my books and loved creating them!
You are an ultimate GIRL BOSS and have a successful lash and brow range with Eylure, can you tell us how that came about?
Eylure have a long history of working with traditional ‘celebrities’, and approached me when their work with Katy Perry finished. They wanted to try out working with a digital influencer in the UK, rather than a pop star. For me, I was initially intrigued by the offer as I have loved Eylure for years. They make the best affordable lashes out there so I was firstly incredibly flattered, but the main thing for me was their attitude towards the collaboration. They were happy for me to get really involved with everything, obviously the lash design itself, but also every element of the packaging from the wording and colour scheme, to the finish of the cardboard and the imagery. I could never just pop my name into something without really loving it and believing my audience would love it too, and Eylure gave me the freedom to create my perfect lash range! We started with four designs, which did so well that we expanded to six. The brows were a natural extension of the range for me, as I’m always getting asked about my brows and how I style them. All of the products were created to be something I wanted in my makeup bag, but didn’t have yet. My ‘perfect’ products. With the brows, I wanted them all to be multi-use, to minimise how many products you need in your makeup bag, but also making them great value for money (the Brow palettes can also be used as eye shadows and make great blending shades, while the gel is double ended so you can use it for any brow look)
What is the most challenging thing about being your own boss and working online?
To be honest, I absolutely love my job, and there are very few downsides to it. There are the obvious ones like never being able to switch off, and being away from home quite a lot, but I can never complain as I get to do something I started as a hobby as my full time job. It’s constantly changing and developing, so there is no ‘routine’ and that can sometimes be a challenge – especially when it comes to keeping up with a healthy eating or exercise regime! But on the other hand… it never gets boring!
In the early days I used to struggle with motivation when working from home, but now things are a lot busier day-to-day, I have to be really organised to fit everything in, so that’s not really an issue!
Who or what inspires you in life?
I don’t really have a single person I look up to for inspiration, but I do get a lot of inspiration from my travels… experiencing new places, meeting new people and learning about different cultures. I also get inspired by my peers a lot. Being part of such a fast-growing, dynamic industry is inspiring in itself as you’re always surrounded by creative people. I’ve been part of the online community since the very early days, so I’ve seen people carve incredibly successful careers from nothing and am so proud to see my peers constantly breaking the boundaries of what is considered normal for the ‘digital’ space.
Do you have any exciting upcoming products which you can share?
Yes! It’s no secret anymore… but I’m launching my own lipstick with MAC in April! Something I’m still in complete disbelief about as it’s one of my ultimate favourite brands!
What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you career-wise?
Well… the MAC collaboration is definitely up there! It’s been such a busy, brilliant 8 years, it’s hard to pick one thing. The books, lashes and brows were definitely highlights, as was hitting a million subscribers and interviewing Taylor Swift!
What you say to aspiring GIRL BOSSES?
I think it’s really important to keep sight of why you’re doing it. Especially when it comes to the digital space. It’s really easy to get wrapped up in who’s doing what, working with who and getting all the views. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to concentrate on YOUR business and YOUR goals. Although it’s important to keep up with the development of the industry and what’s going on, don’t waste too much of your time comparing yourself to others. Be yourself and work hard for what you believe in.
Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?
That’s such a hard question in this industry as I never could have predicted all of the incredible developments that have happened since I started way back in 2009! On a business level… there are definitely more products I would love to develop! I’ve always wanted to have my own fashion or bag range, and would love to develop a range of brushes or makeup tools one day! On a personal note, I would like to start a family, which I think would naturally have quite a big impact on my content and would change the nature of my work quite a lot. We’ll see what happens!
What is one top tip you would like to share with my readers?
Don’t ever let people tell you you ‘can’t’ do something, or make you feel like your dream isn’t worth it. If you believe in yourself and work hard enough, anything is possible.
Check out her books HERE
Check out her lash & brow range HERE