Allegra Shaw has made a major name for herself since she started her Youtube channel, allegralouise, in 2011. Since joining Youtube, Allegra has grown her channel to over 390,000 subscribers while gaining an impressive 73,000 followers on Instagram. Allegra also has a her own fashion line, uncle, which boasts stylish, edgy and sustainable basics for both men and woman. She did it all while going to university, balancing family, friends, and significant others, all before turning 25. Are you impressed yet? 'Cause you should be.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Allegra about her business, Youtube, and how she built her brand over the years. If you are an aspiring Youtuber, influencer, or blogger, read onwards and see how you too can become a kick-ass #GirlBoss just like Allegra.
What inspired you to start up your channel and when did it start?
"I started my channel at the end of Grade 12. I was going through a pretty difficult year and needed a way to connect and express myself. I had been watching YouTube videos, I was always that friend that helped everyone with their hair and makeup and I had been taking photos and videos my whole life. So it just seemed like it would be a really fun thing to be involved with."
What are some of your favourite channels to watch/that inspire(d) you?
"I'm a big fan of Casey Neistat, he really helped me up my vlogging game and teach me that vlogging can be more than just showing your day in various clips. I also have been loving that Aimee Song and Negin Mirsalehi have started channels. It's cool to get a behind the scenes look at some of the biggest fashion influencers in the game. In terms of inspiration, I find it really important to draw from outside of YouTube. I personally love to draw inspiration from fashion films, prints and different directors (most recently Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino)."
How did you balance your channel with your personal life when you started your channel? (university, family, friends, significant others) Has the way you balanced work and play changed at all since your brand grew bigger?
"I think when I was first starting it was really just a hobby. It didn't take priority over anything else I was doing (and that's why I wasn't growing). Since I started taking my brand seriously and having it be my full time job, it is now a top priority for me. I would like to say I have the balance all figured out but I'm sure my business partners and boyfriend would beg to differ. Damn, there is just not enough time in the day."
When did you see your channel really 'take off'? Similarily, when did you realize you could make a career out of your social media presence?
"I probably decided to make this my full time job a bit too early on in the game. But, for me, it felt like the perfect time. I had just graduated university and was living at home so I didn't have too many expenses. I decided to throw myself into Youtube, push out 3 videos a week and grow my brand and it worked! I saw my channel really start to take off when I got those "Viral" videos. My first one to hit a million views was my Morning Routine (currently at 4 million views). Shortly after, I came up with this idea for a single shot changing video, where I show a bunch of different outfits in one continuous take. Those have really taken off, and are kind of my signature."
What advice would you give Youtubers/aspiring influencers to help grow their brand?
"I always give the same advice: consistency, lighting and be yourself! Also, since YouTube is so so so diluted now, make sure you really love what you're doing. If you don't, the hardships that come with it won't be worth it. I guess that's probably true for anything you do."
As your own boss, do you have any advice for planning, organizing and staying on top of your content/posting?
"Two things: organization and people. Write everything down. It becomes exhausting and inefficient to keep track of everything in your head; I use asana to manage all my tasks. Keep an amazing team of people that you love and love you. I honestly couldn't do what I do without my business partner, Shirin, and my boyfriend."
What are your pans for allegralouise? Where would you like to see it go?
"Growth. That's always the answer. Specifically, I'm starting to focus more on fashion editorial content and offering my own take on what's going on in that world. Collaborating with brands is always an amazing way to do that; there's actually a few on the horizon that I can't tell you about yet :)
Beyond that, I am also really focusing on growing Uncle. Creating pieces that are ethical and sustainable while still being luxury and fashion focused is something I am really passionate about. Our goal is to create the perfect piece for every void in your wardrobe (while being fair to humans and the planet) and we won't stop until we get there."