WHEN Miriam Mullins saved up and bought herself a decent camera, she never dreamed what it would lead to. Having earned more than 10,000 subscribers for her lifestyle vlog entries as well as make-up tutorials, the 22-year-old has gathered a huge fan-base.
“Vlogging and social media provides a great opportunity to put yourself out there,” says Miriam. “It has given me huge confidence and self-esteem.”
The exposure also gave her a chance at stardom.
“As I gathered more followers, the appeal of my films took off,” says Miriam.
“The content is about lifestyle, fashion and make-up, offering tips and advice that I find valuable in my everyday life.”
An Post sat up and took notice of the bubbly young woman with loads of charisma who proved so popular among young people.
“I was amazed when they contacted me,” says Miriam. “They became interested in me after seeing my Snapchat content.”
Miriam is the face of an An Post ad promoting the hassle-free way to return online shopping purchases using Return Pal. The advert is aired on RTÉ 1, RTÉ 2 and TV3.
“Reaching so many people is phenomenal,” says Miriam, speaking about her vlogs. “I definitely gained in maturity as I shared various aspects of my life and I think the process helped me grow up.
“My main fan base is between the ages of nine and 13. Those years are impressionable ones and that age group seem to identify well with me.
“Young girls seem to see me as a role model and they look up to me. I never thought that would happen.”
But Miriam knew she had talent.
“I knew I was creative, now I was creating content that 1,000 people or more read every day. I just loved doing it. ”
So how did it all begin?
“I started making YouTube videos when I was in sixth year,” says Miriam, who is in her fourth and final year of BA creative Digital Media in Cork Institute of Technology. She lives in Garryvoe, East Cork.
“When I was studying for my Leaving Cert in St Mary’s, Midleton, I gave up most of my hobbies, including football, gymnastics and Irish dancing,” says Miriam.
“I had nothing much to do after the Leaving Cert and I went back to work in the local hotel that summer. I saved up and bought myself a decent camera, and I started filming videos at home in my bedroom.
“I found that I was confident in front of the camera talking about things that interested me, and that interested young girls in general.
“I gained more confidence and as time went on, I gained more of an audience.”
Now Miriam has a country-wide audience on prime-time TV.
“Right now I am the face of the An Post ad, which is Wow! The ad was shown after an international soccer match one night recently and the response I got was off the radar,” says Miriam. “Everyone was congratulating me and wishing me well.”
She explained how the ad came about.
“An Post became interested in my posts as my Snapchat followers grew and grew. They seemed to like my personality and my online persona appealed to them. When I met with the advertising people in Dublin, we clicked straight away and they asked me to appear in an ad for them and then I was on TV!”
Was it a lucrative gig?
“I was paid €3,000,” says Miriam. “Often, when I promote beauty products or make-up brands on my vlogs, I get sent some great samples. That is really cool.”
Miriam is thrilled with her fame status. And she is delighted that she is popular with young girls who take on board what she has to say about making good fashion choices, makeup tips, and about lifestyle in general.
“I get messages from youngsters all the time saying that I made their day,” says Miriam.
“They thank me for passing on tips and when I offer giveaways on Instagram. I love doing that, especially when it is accessible to everyone. It is pretty amazing for me to hear that I made someone’s day,” says Miriam.
“It is fantastic to be able to inspire young people and hope that you are offering sound advice in a fun and engaging way. I really like that my influence is a positive vibe for them.”
Miriam is a bubbly, confident and enthusiastic young woman, who is passionate and motivated about opening up her life that relates to her followers, all of whom enjoy hearing her story.
“I have a huge interest in current trends,” says Miriam.
One of her more popular vlogs includes content on trying out cheaper debs dresses that she bought on eBay and sharing her evaluation on their merits.
“I bought four Debs / prom dresses for under €10,” says Miriam. “It was a fun thing to do and when I opened up the parcels, it was interesting to see the quality and material of the dresses. A couple of them were tacky and just consisted of a piece of lace and a bra pad, almost like a slip. My reaction to opening one of the parcels containing a red lacy tacky number is the actual content used in the An Post ad. I re-filmed that for them and they liked it instantly. I think my re-action resonated with a lot of people who don’t know what to expect when they send away for a bargain dress and then get something totally different in the post.”
Another one of her videos ‘Irish Teen Trying American Candy’ has more than 100,000 views.
Miriam is a big fan of Penneys and she does regular ‘dress hauls’ that display fashionable and trendy looks for young girls and teenagers.
“I really love Primark,” says Miriam. “It has something for everyone at great prices. I have picked up loads of great pieces from Penneys. Matching and co-ordinating the clothes on film is really fabulous. And getting the feedback is always exciting.
“My ‘back to school haul’ features lots of useful items from Penneys for your desk. The clip set and the bookbinder that keep all your notebooks together are brilliant. I love the twistable crayon pack from Penney’s too. Unlike markers they don’t seep through the pages of your notebook. Most of my storage containers are from Penneys and so is most of my make-up.”
Miriam’s make-up tutorials are particularly popular.
“There is a lot of pressure among young girls to have the ‘right’ makeup. You can get fixated on things like highlighter and brow gels. Sometimes a natural look is just as attractive.”