About Maia of MAIAZINE
Slow growth can be discouraging, but Maia of MAIAZINE didn’t let that stop her. She continued posting until her channel exploded after her rebranding.
Maia has always loved fashion, sharing that she remembers watching Barbie Fashionista over and over when she was young. Her parents also had an art gallery, which inspired her love of visual arts from a young age.
In the seventh grade, she started her YouTube channel, which became an all-consuming passion of hers.
“When I was little, my grandma actually used to work sewing fabric in New York, so I feel like she transmitted [that passion] to me. It was very natural to me. When I actually created the channel, it used to be a lifestyle channel, so it wasn’t focused on fashion even though I would make fashion content.”
“I always knew that when I grew up, I would want to pursue them both [visual arts and fashion]… because I had the channel at that point for four or five years, and it wasn’t growing much, I thought, okay, let me just focus on one thing.”
After four to five years, Maia rebranded her channel from a lifestyle to a fashion channel. Part of this rebrand included renaming her channel from her name to MAIAZINE.
“I’ve never had a project that I’ve done that was solely focused on fashion, even though I had a huge passion for it. I was scared that I would run out of ideas or that I wouldn’t love it, but I really found my place on the Internet for that. I created a bunch of different series.”
Some of Maia’s fashion series include virtual lookbooks, educational videos, and street-style dedicated videos.
“My goal is to create a space that explores fashion in diverse ways.”
Pursuing Her Dreams in New York
Maia lives in Portugal but moved to New York for extended periods to create fashion content. When she graduated from high school, she applied to college but took a gap year to pursue content creation and freelancing full-time.
“I loved YouTube so much, and I was already actually working with other content creators and making my money through video editing for content creators, sponsorship management for content creators, so I really know I loved this world.”
She froze her college application for a gap year and decided to take advantage of the time by living in New York for three months and giving it her all. Her freelance work allows her to work from anywhere in the world, making this a perfect opportunity.
She rebranded her content to MAIAZINE and committed to filming as much content as possible during her three months in New York.
“I was in New York for three months, filming and posting every week. Nothing really was happening. I was getting good feedback from my usual subscribers that were seeing it, but the channel wasn’t really growing. The week before I went back to Portugal, I was humbling myself because the channel didn’t really grow, but I met a lot of cool people and made a lot of videos that I’m proud of.”
However, the week before she left, one of her videos took off, and her channel quickly reached 5,000 subscribers, then several more milestones before she reached 10,000 subscribers before landing back home in Portugal. Her channel was also accepted for monetization several days before her flight back home.
Within a month of arriving home, her channel grew to a massive 40,000 subscribers.
“It was really overwhelming for someone that had been doing videos for six years and to be in a new country and a new continent for three months to make content, and then in the last week that I was there and the week that I got home, it just exploded.”
She adds, “I love telling this story to people because I think it’s such a reminder that if you work enough and you work hard enough for something, you’ll eventually get there.”
Maia shared that it felt like she was failing for a while because she wasn’t seeing the desired progress and engagement from her videos. However, it took only one video and one day for all her hard work and videos to achieve a tremendous amount of success.
Magazines aren’t as popular with younger generations. However, Maia has always loved magazines because of the many different articles and varied content. When she was in middle school, she would even create PowerPoint magazines with her friends.
“I think when I decided to rebrand the channel to just fashion, I wanted to do it in a cool concept, and I really like to do some funky editing, so I was like, why don’t I just pretend it’s a fashion magazine, but do it in a video version, so I think that was the process.”
Maia posts a wide variety of fashion content but has noticed that her content featuring fashion students in New York performs the best. These videos also allow her to get out of her comfort zone and explore different editing styles because she isn’t in front of the camera for this series.
She attributes her channel’s success to the wide variety of content she posts and how she deconstructs high-concept fashion.
“A lot of things related to fashion are put into a pedestal. We see fashion week and fashion students in New York and certain events of certain brands as almost unattainable people or things that we can’t reach. I really want to make people familiar with that and deconstruct those events, concepts, and fashion brands. Maybe that’s what draws people to my content.”
Behind the Scenes of Brand Partnerships
Maia shares that she has done a variety of partnerships. Her previous experience helping content creators with the process greatly helped her after her own channel took off and more opportunities came her way.
One of her most successful brand partnerships is with Skillshare, an online learning platform with classes on various topics.
She shares that her partnerships usually start when she reaches out to a brand or they reach out to her.
“Normally, you have a media kit, so you will present your average views, and the people that are seeing it [your videos], the age, the demographics, and then based on that, you have your rates, or they’ll pitch a rate to you.”
After negotiating with the company, they’ll send over a contract, which Maia will review. The contract usually includes how many seconds or minutes the sponsorship integration needs to be as well as key points to mention. Then, she’ll send them the video for a final review before posting it.
Maia shares that she is about to fly back to New York to film more content
“I also really want to eventually launch my magazine in a digital form, but an actual ebook or something, but that’s still a little bit further down the road.”