Student YouTuber rises to fame


Screenshot taken from Trista Castillo's YouTube page.

Diana Furman

Beauty, lifestyle and fashion vloggers are blowing up the internet with their life hacks and style tips. YouTube has given these creators a space to connect with a large audience and profit from videos.

Trista Castillo, electronic media junior, vlogger and former Star employee, has recently had a taste of YouTube success. With millions of views and 60,000 subscribers, she has begun to reap the benefits of her success.

Castillo has been interested in filming and editing videos since she was a child and it became a creative outlet for her growing up. However, the responsibilities and stress of college forced her to put down the camera and focus more on school.

“When I stopped making videos I felt like I lost something,” Castillo said.

In spring 2016, Castillo realized how much she missed filming and uploaded her first video on YouTube.

Castillo reviewed Fit Tea and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of a weight loss tea. Within a few months, it had 3,000 views and Castillo decided to run with her success.

Castillo’s grandmother noted her passion for creating videos and gifted her a small vlogging camera. Vlogs and fashion videos then became regular installments on her YouTube channel.

“I realized I had a platform and I wanted to help people with their creativity,” Castillo said.

With an attentive eye to trending topics and pop culture, Castillo decided to start posting “challenges”. She got inspiration from a video where another YouTuber dressed like Kylie Jenner for a week and decided to try it for herself.

Castillo recreated some of Kylie Jenner’s most popular Instagram photos and vlogged the entire adventure. She shopped locally on a college budget to find similar outfits and after a week of meticulous detail, her hard work paid off.

The video seemed to blow up overnight, and currently has over 2 million views.

Since making the Kylie Jenner video, Castillo has created similar challenges where she copies other celebrities’ Instagram photos.

Stephanie Mora, Castillo’s childhood friend, has watched her create videos over the years. Mora often helps Castillo with her hair, makeup and positioning of photographs while they film. Mora said filming is not only a creative outlet for Castillo, but something fun that allows them to hang out and spend quality time together.

“She knows what her audience wants and she gives it to them,” Mora said.

Joshua Ruiz, Castillo’s boyfriend and finance junior at The University of Texas, often helps with her videos as well and said he is not surprised by her success.

“It definitely takes a certain personality to be successful on that platform,” Ruiz said. “She’s really fun and bubbly and a joy to watch.”

Castillo said the strength of her support system is inspiring. She was raised by a single mother who taught her the importance of independence. Her grandparents even started a restaurant in their hometown in the ’70s.

“Everyone in my family is super self-motivated and that’s definitely what motivated me to do something for myself,” Castillo said.

Castillo said at times it can be embarrassing to speak about her YouTube channel, but remembers that she does it for herself, not anyone else.

“Every day it’s a new mean comment,” Castillo said. “But I remind myself it’s because I’m doing something different from everyone else and I just have to shake it off.”

Castillo said she views YouTube as a potential career path and plans to continue posting videos regularly. She purchased a new camera and equipment with money made from her videos and plans to make more financial investments in the future.

“I still have a lot to learn,” Castillo said. “But I love it and I know this is what I’ve always wanted to do. If you love something, go for it and don’t settle for less.”

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