Kayla Lashae, aka Akaydoll, has been making beauty and fashion videos on YouTube since 2009. Today she has over 119,000 subscribers and over 9.7 million views and just last week she became one of YouTube’s Next Vloggers—an elite group of fifteen up-and-coming vloggers, hand-picked by YouTube and rewarded with production equipment, training and the opportunity to collaborate.

I had the opportunity to interview Kayla to find out more about her experience being accepted into the YouTube Next Vlogger program, as well as to find out how she got started making YouTube videos and to glean some advice for those thinking about starting a beauty or fashion channel of their own. Check out Kayla’s vlog about the Next Vlogger program below, then read on to find out more.

I asked Kayla how she got started making YouTube videos. She told me, “In 2008 I randomly Googled a ‘how-to’ video and ended up stumbling upon such an amazing community on YouTube: the beauty world. After watching hundreds of videos online it really inspired me to create a channel of my own! One vlogger in particular that inspired me was DulceCandy87. She was like the big sister I never had. Her videos taught me lots about makeup and fashion. In 2009 I was producing videos of my own and began to see my numbers of followers increase.”

After making videos for only a short while, Kayla created a movie about ‘Starting a Beauty Channel’. Though she was still young in the YouTube game, Kayla offered up some great advice, from finding your niche in the community to creating tentpole programming based on the topics people are already searching for, shooting high quality video and  making friends with other YouTubers who are either potential subscribers or collaborators.

I asked Kayla whether she still stands by the advice she gave in her ‘Starting a Beauty Channel’ video back in 2009. She says, “If you take anything from that video, it’s finding a niche. What is it that you want to talk about? What do you want people to know? Your channel is a place for you to express yourself and talk about anything you want. If your passion shows through your videos, your audience will see that and love it! If you are really into fashion, make videos on styling. If you don’t like makeup or aren’t good at applying it, don’t make a channel based on cosmetics. That’s what’s so great about YouTube. YOU do what YOU want.”

Over the past few years, Kayla has turned YouTube into more than just a hobby–it’s a career. In addition to making money off her YouTube channel, Kayla recently started working with YouTube network Fullscreen, making YouTube her day job as well. Kayla says, “My job responsibilities include writing the monthly news letter for the Beautique department, tracking the statuses of our partners channels, running all the social media sites for Beautique and providing support to our partners regarding their channels. Social media is a huge passion of mine and I am honored to be working for such an amazing company.”

“Today it is very rare to find a hobby that you have so much passion for turn into an exciting, creative, lucrative career,” says Kayla. She has been able to accomplish this rare achievement and hopefully will inspire others out there to do the same!

Check out some of Kayla’s videos below and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below!