Two years ago, Sarah Salvini had a small, but dedicated group of 7,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel. Today, that number has increased over 1,500 percent to 121,000. Salvini has more subscribers than the University has current students and faculty members.
Sarah Salvini, a third-year undergraduate student from DeSoto, started making YouTube videos in 2014 as a senior in high school.
“I didn’t really fit in that much in high school,” Salvini said. “I feel like it’s kind of hard to in high school, so I picked up a hobby.”
At first, Salvini focused on makeup tutorials and when she was featured two years ago, she had nearly 7,000 followers. Since then, she has started to branch out and do more vlogging than strictly makeup tutorials.
Two years later, Salvini has amassed over 6 million views on her videos combined.
“The only thing that has changed is that I have made stronger relationships with people,” she said. “Some of my best friends aren’t even in this country, which I think is super cool. I kind of thought it would be completely different and it’s not.”
Since creating her YouTube channel of beauty tutorial a little more than a year ago, freshman Sarah Salvini has gained thousands of followers and has made deals with several small makeup and clothing businesses.
Salvini said that she loved doing makeup tutorials in the beginning, but realized that she wanted to grow and do something more, which is when she started simply vlogging about her daily life.
“[I] wanted to branch off into being myself on it,” she said. “I think that really changed with what people subscribed to me for. And now I talk about more realistic issues.”
Salvini, who said she has struggled with mental health issues, wants to use her platform to help those out there who may be struggling, too.
Kayli Helton, a senior from Rose Hill, met Salvini a few years ago when they both did the Women of KU calendar. Helton had seen a couple videos before meeting Salvini and the two have since become friends.
“It’s absolutely crazy,” Helton said. “I never thought that I would know anybody that is so ‘Insta-famous’ as people call it. But having gotten to know Sarah, I am not even surprised. She’s literally the most independent go-getter I’ve ever met, and she’s positive all the time. She’s super optimistic and really is inspiring all the time.”
When Salvini wasn’t as busy, she would post almost every day, but now that she is graduating a year early, she has had to cut back to only one or two videos per week.
With technology being so accessible, anyone can post their opinions, no matter how negative with a click of the button. Salvini, who has experienced rude comments, said that it bothered her at first, but she’s grown to understand that there will always be negative people in the world.
“Sometimes it still gets you,” she said. “They’ll pick apart things that you don’t have control over, so I just have to remember that they’re just behind a computer and I don’t know them and don’t let it affect my life personally.”
Salvini has developed a thick skin over these last few years and hasn’t let the negative comments stop her from being herself in front of the camera.
“She doesn’t fake it,” Helton said. “She’s not acting in her videos. What you see on YouTube and on her Instagram, is actually how she is, and how she looks all the time. I feel like her videos are really raw. She doesn’t fake anything.”
You can follow Sarah on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to keep up with her videos and more.