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Beyond The Gloss: How Kiki Quesada Is Redefining What It Means To Be A Young Entrepreneur

20-year-old Makena “Kiki” Quesada stands out as a rising star in the world of content creation. The founder of Kikiz Cosmeticz has quickly become a notable figure in the creator economy, blending savvy business practices with engaging content creation. Her journey, which began in 2020 when she was just 16, offers a compelling case study of how young entrepreneurs reshape the beauty industry and social media. From her strategic approach to content and finance to her upcoming appearance at VidCon 2024, Kiki’s story provides valuable insights for both new creators and professionals in the digital space. She’s not only selling cosmetics but also inspiring a new generation of digital entrepreneurs.

“Originally, it started as a small business, and then [I turned into[ a content creator running a small business,” Kiki explains. Her content strategy goes beyond mere product promotion, offering followers a glimpse into her daily life.

Her early challenges were twofold. On the business side, she grappled with legal and financial complexities. “Business challenges [were] just like all the technicalities, the LLC getting taxes done, all the legalities and stuff,” she recalls.

For content creation, Kiki had to develop a structured approach. “At the end of the day, content creation is a job, and you can’t just wake up and say, ‘Oh, I guess I’ll make this video and post it. No, it’s all strategic,” she states.

Starting her career at a young age also exposed Kiki to public scrutiny. She credits her family’s support in navigating this challenge. “My family watched my videos. They looked at the comments, and then my mom would text me and say, ‘Hey, don’t listen to them,’” Kiki shares, highlighting the importance of a strong support system in the often tumultuous world of social media.

Balancing Business and Content Creation

Kiki takes on the dual challenges of running a business and creating content across multiple platforms. Her journey began during the peak of the 2020 pandemic, a time she describes as “very lucky” due to reduced social obligations.

“I’ve adapted to a schedule,” the beauty creator says. “I have to have my planner, I have to have my calendar, I have to know what I’m doing.” Her typical day includes morning routines, gym time, product manufacturing, and video creation, leaving evenings for personal tasks.

Strategic Content and Revenue Management

Kiki employs a strategic approach to content creation, distinguishing between business-focused and entertainment videos. “There’s one type of video for entertainment for the viewers, and then there’s another type for the business,” she states. This system allows her to balance product promotion with audience engagement.

Her revenue management is equally structured. “I have two different bank accounts. I have a personal and a business, and all of my content creation money goes to my personal. Then all the money I make from my business goes back into the business,” Kiki reveals. This approach ensures a clear financial separation between her content creation income and business revenue.

The Birth of Kikiz Cosmeticz

Kiki’s journey into cosmetics was influenced by her background as a competitive dancer and her interest in DIY projects. After experimenting with organic lip balm and press-on nails, she discovered lip gloss formulation through YouTube.

“I posted my first video of me making lip gloss in 2020 on TikTok in October, and I completely blew up,” Quesada recounts. This viral moment catalyzed her business growth.

Kikiz Cosmeticz offers what its founder describes as “more as a glossy lip balm rather than a lip gloss.” She emphasizes the product’s nourishing qualities: “We use an oil blend – nourishing and hydrating oil. So there is lip care along with being a gloss.”

Through strategic content creation and a unique product offering, Kiki continues to grow her brand in the competitive cosmetics industry while maintaining her presence as a content creator.

VidCon 2024: A Milestone for Kiki 

VidCon started as a hub for YouTube and other online content creators. Over time, it has expanded to embrace talents from TikTok, Instagram, Twitch, and beyond. It organizes annual gatherings for digital creators, video enthusiasts, and influencers. The event includes Creator tracks, performances, meet-ups, and other activities. This year’s convention will be held from June 26 to 29 in Anaheim. Kiki takes the stage during two panel discussions: 

  • STANDBY MEET & GREET” – Friday, June 28, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM (PT), Hall D – Meet & Greet Hall, alongside Valeriya Eros, Shina Nova, and Pinky Patel.
  • EN VOGUE” – Saturday, June 29, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM (PT), Trending Stage, alongside Bryce Xavier, Molly Burke, Rosy McMichael, Hopescope, Mia Maples, and Nimay Ndolo.

Kiki says her participation in VidCon 2024 marks a significant milestone in her content creation career. After attending as a general participant for two years, she has been invited as a featured creator, a recognition she deeply values.

“It feels all worth it,” she says, comparing the excitement to her experiences as a dancer awaiting audition results. “They recognized me. They knew who I was.”

The young social media star will host a meet-and-greet, participate in a panel discussion on fashion trends, and sell her Kikiz Cosmeticz products at a merchandise booth. I’m most excited to sell my products. I just think that’s so cool,” she enthuses.

Kiki also looks forward to the networking opportunities at the event. “Last year, they had the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the featured creators. And they had so many different booths there… It was so exciting just being able to meet new people and talk to them,” she recalls.

For her, events like VidCon are crucial for content creators and small business owners. “This world is so different from a normal world,” she explains, alluding to the unique networking dynamics among creators. “The conversations at VidCon are very interesting. You walk up and say, ‘Hey, what kind of videos do you do?’”

Despite her enthusiasm, Kiki admits to feeling nervous about the increased attention. “I feel a snap into a different character. I just don’t know what to say,” she confesses, revealing the challenges of growing recognition.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Creators

Kiki offers valuable insights for aspiring content creators and entrepreneurs. Her journey from a small business owner to a recognized content creator serves as an inspiration for many.

“My main advice is just to be consistent. Also, be patient and celebrate the small wins,” she emphasizes. The established creator encourages newcomers to appreciate every milestone, no matter how small. “If you’re in a room with 100 people, that is a lot of people,” she reveals the significance of even modest follower gains.

Kiki also addresses common misconceptions about content creation. “A big, big misconception, especially with the younger generation, is that you can look at it like we’re taking an easy route or [being] lazy.” She stresses that content creation is a real job, albeit one that might be misunderstood from an outside perspective.

Looking to the future, Kiki has ambitious plans for both her cosmetics line and her content creation career. She’s collaborating with a cosmetics lab to develop custom packaging and formulas, with hopes to expand into a broader range of cosmetic products. On the content creation side, her goal is “to be even more of a content creator that runs a business rather than a business owner that makes videos.”

Ultimately, Kiki wants to inspire. “I’m just hoping to inspire. I know so many young girls and boys are at VidCon, so if a young person could see me doing this and [desire] to be a content creator someday, I think that would just be beautiful,” she says. Through her brand and content, Kiki promotes self-love and passion, encouraging her audience to embrace their worth and pursue their dreams with dedication.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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