Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
That is the message a Brooklyn-based YouTuber is trying to spread with the launch of a campaign this summer to encourage young women to strive for their dreams. Social media influencer Hikari Fleurr said before finding success in becoming a content creator, she had runway dreams. The five-foot-two Crown Heights native said she knew her size could be a barrier in securing her goal, but with an optimistic outlook, she has seemingly found her way around it.
“I wanted to be a model at the start of this, but with my height and size I knew it wasn’t common, but I also knew it was not impossible — because there are short models out there,” she said.
The 24-year-old of Barbadian descent, said that short models like popular actress Karrueche Tran, shatter the myth that only women of a certain height can become models, and represent the big beauty and fashion brands. And Fleurr saw the model’s visibility as representation, and an example of how the norm can be challenged.
To head start her journey, she figured having a visible online platform would help propel her and make herself known to model scouting agencies. One of her strategies was utilizing social media to her advantage and the video-sharing site YouTube was her preferred way of making her way into that industry.
“I told myself that it’s not impossible and I needed to make myself a brand so they don’t just look at my height, and get a better idea of me they like the idea of you, so I made a YouTube channel to make my presence known,” she said.
On her channel, the YouTuber creates videos about makeup, hair, and fashion. Not long after starting it two of her beauty tutorials went viral, and that was followed by the first batch of emails from a few companies that wanted to work with her.
She has since worked with many brands, and has even gotten to model and do photoshoots for several agencies and hair companies. Working full-time as an influencer means Fleurr dedicates a decent portion of her day corresponding with brands, creating content, sharing on social media, and strategizing posting times, whilst also creating engagement and generating traffic to the brand as an influencer.
Realizing she found a lane for herself as an influencer, she wanted to inspire the young women also looking to break into the fairly new industry, but facing self-doubts she had. This prompted her inspiration for “It’s Possible” — a social media empowerment mission showing others how to aspire.
“I believe everything is possible but a lot of young girls might think they’re too short or too different to pursue their dreams — and so many people think like this,” she said. “But my campaign will show young girls that it’s possible and you can do what you love and get paid for it.”
She is in the process of getting her campaign off the ground and will promote her brand as an example of finding an avenue into an industry she once thought was unattainable.
And it is not all simple. Fleurr said despite several demands required in being a successful influencer, many people do not take into account all that it entails. She said people looking to head start should recognize it as a regular job.
“It’s not just fun — it’s a job. These companies are paying you to make content and you are responsible for creating pictures and videos and meet their deadline,” said Fleurr. “You have to pay attention to your audience and your numbers everyday and you must be strategic.”
Fleurr said her advice to up-and-coming influencers is to find an industry they envision themselves in and develop a brand in it where they can showcase their expertise. She added that with a positive outlook and determination, even if the goals can’t be directly met — luck can be in your corner through another approach.
“I truly believe once I grow my audience and become more established, I’m pretty sure more agencies will sign me,” she said. “I don’t want people to feel they can’t be successful, do what you want and love to do.”