Lauren Riihimaki was just an average girl when she began her first year of university at Ryerson in downtown Toronto. She was studying Graphics and Communication Management but wasn’t quite satisfied with the program. “I hated the program so I created a blog and YouTube,” Lauren shares with Faze. “It wasn’t creative enough.”
“The first year and a half I was so stiff and so reserved” Lauren explains as she thinks about her first few videos. But they only got better from there. Lauren’s channel, LaurDIY, features video tutorials on how to complete DIYs for everyday items such as room décor, school supplies, clothes and even food.
Her channel took off and by October 2014 Lauren had reached one million subscribers. “I was in my least favourite class when it happened. My friends and I were just sitting there pressing command R, command R, command R,” Lauren recollects. “Then I finally hit one million subscribers in class and the teacher got mad at us for being too loud, but I was like you will not ruin my one million subscriber moment!”
Lauren recently graduated from Ryerson and is about to begin her full time job as a YouTuber. “I’m going to try and do 9-5, maybe not 9-5more like 10-6. But I’m going to try and make it a normal 9-5pm job,” she tells us. YouTubing full time allows Lauren to focus a lot of her time and energy into her channel. Subscribers should be very excited for some amazing upcoming content including collaborations with other YouTubers! “I’m heading to California to do collabs for two weeks with all the girls that are out in California,” Lauren spills.
From her time on YouTube, Lauren has created a community of fans. “My fans are Pretty Little Laurs, a spinoff of Pretty Little Liars.” She shares with us. “Online, our community is good. The best part is when I do a DIY and they’ll do the DIY on their own and send me pictures on Twitter or Instagram.”
Lauren can no longer go to the mall, movies, or even school without being recognized by her fans, but she doesn’t mind at all! Lauren explains, “It’s so nice being able to put a face to a username.” Although this fan base is tight knit and super positive there are always going to be haters. “Hate comments definitely happen. It’s a part of putting yourself online and sharing your life. But I think because there is so much more positive feedback than there is negative that it’s easy to focus on the positive” she says.
Another challenging aspect of being an online star is expectations to be a role model. Many of Lauren’s younger fans admire and look up to her. Lauren embraces this and advises all online role models to do the same, “People want you to be a role model, but they also want you to be yourself. You have to balance being appropriate for all ages, and then being yourself.”