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Meet Trailblazer Samantha Bernabe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Bernabe.

Samantha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I branded “The Bernabe Buzz” so my sister and I could come together as content creators on YouTube. As it turns out, we are better at being sisters and best friends than we are at being business partners. We put out one video on December 25, 2016, couldn’t agree on anything, so The Bernabe Buzz became solely mine.

I’ve always loved fashion and have paid attention to trends as long as I can remember. When I started getting compliments from my family, friends and Instagram followers on my personal style, I was inspired to broaden my audience and expand to videos. YouTube was the perfect platform. My two major goals are interconnected: I hope to inspire young women to be confident in what they wear and to give Asian-American women more representation in the media.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Figuring out how to balance your 9-5 (more like 8:30-7:30) with consistent content creation is anything but a smooth ride. But when I finally realized that my purpose lined up with my passion, the motivation grew tenfold.

Time is true of the essence. I often have to give up time with my friends, and the occasional full night’s sleep. Funding and budgeting personal expenses in order to purchase full orders for my look books has been a never-ending source of stress, but somehow, someway, I always am able to figure it out and pull it off. I have been extremely lucky in getting help from friends–between videography, editing, and even acting, my people are always there for me. They’re my heroes.

The biggest struggle has always been self-motivation. I have to make my own deadlines, write my own scripts, and design my own looks. Answering to nobody gives me all of the creative freedom in the world, but it’s challenging staying on task when there are no immediate consequences if I want to take a week off.

It has been about 2 1/2 years since I’ve started YouTube, and each day I work to overcome my struggles and make this a more enjoyable experience. My advice to young women who are just starting their journey, especially as a creator, is to be consistent, set realistic goals and don’t put too much stress on yourself! Remember why you started–hold on to that passion and the fun you have. If it ever feels like the problems outweigh the rewards, break them down into little problem-solving games. Each victory will feel like such a huge reward.

When I first started my YouTube channel, my goal was to produce one video a month and to explore something new each time. I was creating fashion look books, vlogs about pop-ups in LA, creating smaller segments, and more. I explored different formats and topics until I found the one I loved most: Look books. I urge everyone starting out to try everything until you find the one. Date your creations. It’s actually really fun to discover who gets the final rose.

I’ve pulled back on the strict once-a-month output because I started feeling super stressed all the time. I would start stressing out about my next video before I had even finished the one I was currently creating. To maintain the quality of the videos, and that of my life, I produce content as often as I can without allowing that ball of anxiety to show back up. I want this YouTube channel to be an experience that I am fully proud of when I look back on it.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I consider myself an aspiring fashion/lifestyle influencer. I post daily looks on my Instagram (@splendidsammie) and create stylized YouTube videos within the same theme. I am here to inspire young women to be confident in what they wear. We (women) are up against a lot in our society, and style shouldn’t be yet another thing on the list of criticisms. We should be free to express ourselves in a way that makes us feel happiest, most comfortable and most authentic.

I am insanely proud of my determination to keep producing quality content no matter the results. A lot of people get discouraged when they first start out YouTube because they aren’t seeing major views. I strive to keep making great content for my subscribers, whether it’s one person or 10 million.

What sets me apart from others is that I focus on creating affordable looks for every occasion. A lot of women my age see their favorite influencers/creators wearing designer clothing, and that’s what inspires their style. For me, I find quality clothes at an affordable price to help you achieve the look you want without emptying your bank account.

Which women have inspired you in your life?
The women who have the most influence in my life are definitely the women in my immediate family and my closest girlfriends. Each one brings something different to our little table. Together, they inspire me to strive for greatness and appreciate every achievement no matter how small. I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by productive, talented and loving women in all of the contexts of my life–it has impacted my ability to not only feel inspired but also be inspiring to others.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@splendidsammie Instagram, Kirsean Carabeo, Felisha Carrasco

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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