Essence Network: Tiarra Monet Shares How She Became a YouTube Sensation Making Six Figures

Photo by Yachin Parham
See how she turned her passion for style into a popular YouTube channel and cash.

With an online community of more than 500,000 fans and 32 million views of her YouTube tutorials in five years, Tiarra Monet has built an international beauty empire before her 25th birthday. Now she makes six figures from her beauty and fashion videos and custom wig and weave company, Crowned by Monet. In our October issue, she shares how to wow in a wig. See how she turned her passion into a popular YouTube channel and cash.

Name: Tiarra Monet

Age: 24

Title: YouTube beauty blogger and creator of Crowned by Monet

Location: New York, NY

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronke

The gig: I am a beauty blogger and a hairstylist with clients all over the country. I am also an ambassador for fashion and beauty brands including a recent campaign with Maybelline.

The journey: My mother was a hairstylist so I’ve loved doing hair my whole life. Fashion was my other dream. I interned at some marketing companies and at Seventeen. I was the girl who would run bags from Adidas to LaLa Anthony’s house. When it was hard to get a job, I took a position in accounting. I’d go to my 9-to-5 and then after work I would do at least three heads a night because I didn’t want to go home. At the time, I shared a room with my little brother. I carried all my hair tools in a Puma bag to work. I would travel from Brooklyn to Queens, then literally back to the Bronx. I then used what I learned in marketing and started my YouTube channel and was able to work in beauty full-time a year later. YouTube and doing hair got me out of my mom’s house.

How she grew her YouTube business: It didn’t happen overnight. I filled the void for Black women who wanted new styles. My channel took off when I did a Kim Kardashian-inspired look for brown girls and a Rihanna look. We’re inspired by fashion and pop culture and also want to see ourselves. Those videos really set my channel apart. Going to college in Maryland opened me up to a whole new world and new hairstyles. I learned about pin curling and feathering, which they didn’t have in New York at the time. I’ve been blessed. I never imagined that YouTube would give me the visibility it has and also provide income. You get your check from YouTube based on views and also can earn money from working with other companies and advertisers. You can literally make 80 to 100K and more.

Her breakthrough: The first time I had that “Mama, I made it” moment was when I met Michelle Phan. I’ve been following her forever. She started the first beauty channel for makeup artists to have an outlet. She said that she was doing something top secret and was looking for New York beauty bloggers. I thought, “they’re not going to pick me, but I’m going to do it anyways.” I emailed her from my business email and my hair email account about 25 times. I wanted to make sure she saw me. I sent 50 pictures of myself and screenshots of my YouTube stats. I was like “I really want to work with you.” Two days later, I was screaming when she replied. I worked with her when she launched her own makeup line with L’Oreal cosmetics now sold everywhere and did some of her advertorials. I got to go to the launch party and met the President of L’Oreal. I started in fashion merchandising so I had been to L’Oreal as a gopher. Now I’m at this launch party with the entire company. That was the moment I realized that I could really make this work for me. It made me work harder.

The power of hair: Hair is one of the best accessories! One of the best things about wigs is the opportunity to wear color and try new styles without damaging your hair.

Her tech fix: "I love making it easy for any woman to try her dream style. YouTube has changed my life."

Her new do: "I get bored easily and constantly change my hair. I love creating wigs with bold colors."

Her beauty bag: "I worked with Maybelline this summer and love The Nudes palette for a effortless blend. You can do so many looks."

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