By Katie Bowles, Evan Milberg, Taylor Ness and Shelby Robinson
Combing through millions of YouTube videos shows that talent can be found right in your own backyard. Some of NoVA’s rising YouTube stars discuss their ascent to YouTube fame.
“Have a wonderful day!” Lexie Lombard chirps as she hangs up the phone. The high school senior from Warrenton seems to live her entire life with this enthusiasm and judging from the success of her YouTube channel, it works. Lombard created her account in 2009, after discovering a video tutorial on pedicures. “At first I thought it was weird that video could be used this way, but the more I learned about the YouTube community, the more I realized that it could be a cool way to connect with others,” Lombard says.
Lombard’s channel now has over 150,000 subscribers and shows no sign of slowing down—she adds new videos at least once a month and some of her most popular ones have upwards of 400,000 views. Her channel began with beauty- and fashion-oriented videos but soon evolved to include humor, activities and advice, all featuring Lombard and friends—think Jenna Marbles, but younger. Her success has even led to travel opportunities. This past April, Lombard hosted a “How to Maintain Authenticity” workshop at Ipsy.com’s Generation Beauty networking event in Los Angeles. Such popularity would be overwhelming for many teenagers, but Lombard enjoys her fame: “I’ve met a lot of people and I love that I can make friends with people not only across the country, but across the entire world.” –Katie Bowles
Remy Munasifi, known on YouTube as “GoRemy,” grew up in McLean, a place he jokingly refers to as a “pretty dangerous area, especially the Galleria.” He got his start in comedy in high school by writing a humor column for Langley High School’s school newspaper, The Saxon Scope. He discovered YouTube his first year in law school in West Virginia by watching a bunch of channels he remembers not being very good. “I vividly remember being struck by the realization, ‘Wait, I’m not good too!’” Since then, he has accrued a large following and is most famous for his 2009 viral rap video “Arlington – The Rap” about living in Arlington. –Evan Milberg
Her bubbly personality and comfy home background make watching Ashley Lapato’s videos feel like you’re having a conversation with your trendiest friend. The Loudoun-based makeupTIA host has been a dedicated fashionista and beautician since she was a little girl, running a beauty parlor out of her grandmother’s basement, business cards and appointment books included, while sporting her favorite silver lipstick. Luckily for her 24,000 plus viewers, she has moved on to clean and simple makeup routines, which can be learned step-by-step in her video tutorials. Her videos include a variety of beauty tips, ranging from the perfect at-home manicure to the yummiest beautifying foods. A dedicated member of the beauty community, Lapato loves to hear back from her viewers and is often inspired by their requests and responses. –Taylor Ness
Although Ashburn-based YouTuber Devon Kraus has been making videos for about four years, her subject matter has evolved as much as she has. Kraus’s early videos consist of doing subscriber-suggested dares, usually involving a pie in the face or singing dressed up like Justin Bieber. About a year ago, however, Kraus began using her YouTube channel to more seriously explore her musical interests, covering pop songs with a medley of instruments and mixing tools. Most recently, Kraus covers “Classic” by MKTO using a loop station, computer keyboard, electric piano, guitar, maraca, microphone and her voice. In this video, like many others, she records the whole process of making the beat then singing the song in a way that is both impressive to viewers and encouraging to beginning musicians. Kraus’s inclusive attitude permeates her entire channel, from her videos to the time she takes to answer every response. –Shelby Robinson