Mililani’s YouTube Star

Chloe Kitsu, Copy Editor

   For the past five years, Senior Ava Moniz has been building a social media following consisting of over 700,000 YouTube subscribers, over 32,000,000 views on her YouTube channel and over 260,000 Instagram followers. On the internet, Moniz is more commonly known as YouTuber Ava Jules. Moniz’s channel consists of beauty, lifestyle, day in the life vlogs and clothing haul videos. What had started off as a YouTube fanpage, turned into a life-changing career.

    “I started on YouTube because I had a fanpage for Justin Bieber and I was obsessed so I did like ‘Belieber,’ all that fangirl stuff, and then I genuinely moved into beauty stuff and what I’m doing now,” said Moniz. Moniz was 13 at the time and didn’t want to tell her parents she was posting on YouTube. “So, I didn’t tell my parents when I first started, I kinda was just posting. When they found out they were like, ‘Oh whatever it’s not going to even go anywhere. Just post videos, don’t do anything stupid or whatever.’ And then when my peers started finding out I was in middle school I think, and they were not very nice because it wasn’t really a thing back then, and I had a 100 subscribers so no one really took me seriously. So, that’s how people reacted. But now people think it’s really cool, obviously, because it’s a well known thing now that I have numbers it’s cooler I guess. But my friends and family are super supportive.”

    Moniz’s videos are not only based around beauty, but more so on the lifestyle of a teenager in Hawai’i. To come up with video ideas, she takes suggestions from her viewers or she uses her personal experiences to inspire her. When it comes to filming her videos, Moniz organizes what she wants to say, then films and edits her videos which can take up to nine hours total. “A lot of times I just ask viewers what they want to see or just take inspiration from everyday life and what I would want to see if I was a viewer and I would kind of do that,” said Moniz. “So normally I plan out what I want to say and stuff so I get a general idea so I don’t mess up. And then I film it which takes about one to two hours. Then I edit it which takes four to seven hours depending. And then I just post it on the internet.”

    Through YouTube Moniz has gotten many opportunities to work and travel around the world. Most recently, she traveled to Fiji with over 20 other YouTubers on a sponsored trip with the brand Dote. “Me and my friends got sent to Fiji and basically we just stayed there and promoted like a brand which sounds crazy. It was a crazy experience getting to go out of the country for free in a place that people dream of going to and getting to go with your best friends,” said Moniz.

   At the start of 2018, Moniz had over 157,000 subscribers and by Sept. 2018, she had reached over 678,000 subscribers. Many of her videos consist of her being real and honest, which is what she attributes to her success. Videos such as her “drive with me” or daily vlogs shows Moniz in her daily life. “I think just being relatable and real. I think a lot of YouTubers, they don’t show their real side to viewers and I think it’s refreshing to see someone who doesn’t really care. Probably just being real and raw with people because that’s something that the internet needs more of,” said Moniz.

    A challenge that she faces with YouTube is being able to balance her school work with making YouTube videos. She has traveled to places such as Canada, Calif., and Fiji — due to the amount of time Moniz spends traveling for YouTube also is a challenge that she faces in keeping up with school.  “The hardest part is the amount of work that it takes and just balancing school because it takes a lot of time, and then sometimes I don’t really pay as much attention to school as I should. But just the amount of work and effort that it takes,” said Moniz.

   In terms of the future, Moniz plans on doing online college while also continuing to do YouTube and hopes to hit a million subscribers by the end of 2018. Through her experiences, she also plans on pursuing marketing after her career with YouTube. “But I just want to ride out YouTube because I want to see where it takes me and yeah, just ride it out and see what else can happen for me,” said Moniz.

    Moniz’s videos can be viewed on YouTube under the name Ava Jules. You can also follow her journey on Instagram @avajules_.