- YouTuber Fiona Frills has just launched Frilliance, her skincare and beauty brand, at Walmart.
- She set up the brand aged 13 using savings from her popular YouTube channel, as well as acting jobs.
- Frills said social media plays a key role in her business but physical retail is important too.
An 18-year-old YouTuber has just launched her skincare and beauty brand at Walmart.
Fiona Frills, who declined to share her real name, founded the business when she was 13 on the back of her popular YouTube channel. She now has 922,000 YouTube subscribers and 186,300 TikTok followers, and is selling her products at more than 400 Walmart stores across the US.
Frills was only 11 when she set up her YouTube channel to discuss beauty, makeup, and skincare.
But then her skin started flaring up.
“At certain times, I wouldn’t stand in front of a certain window or certain lighting because I knew my skin would look so bad,” she said.
Frills told Insider that she stopped using skincare and makeup for a while and that her skin looked noticeably better. So she researched the products’ ingredients and found they were “terrible” for teenagers.
Her experience led her to launch her brand, Frilliance, to help other teenagers with their skin. Frills said she funded the launch using around $35,000 in savings from YouTube revenues and acting jobs.
While her friends stressed about homework, she worried about her website
Setting up a business so young “definitely came with struggles,” Frills said. These included being part of an incubator fund for creators that suggested she stop the brand, she said.
Frills said her mom was the “backbone” of the business and managed the backend operations while Frills herself largely handled the front end.
“I was super stressed and never really felt normal in a way,” Frills told Insider. “I was like, ‘oh my God, why am I stressing out a business at 14 years old?’ It felt kinda weird in a way; my friends would be stressing about homework and I’d be like, ‘oh my God, my website’s crashing.'”
Frills graduated high school in 2019 and now takes courses in marketing, sales, business, and public speaking, which she said was difficult to balance with posting on her social media and building her business.
Frills said she had a few contractors who helped her out with graphic design, photography, and web design, “but no full-time employees besides my mom and I.” Frills lives in Arizona but the products are made at a lab in California, which employs around 170 staff in total.
Frills said she dedicated around 70% of her time to Frilliance, split between activities like posting on the brand’s social-media accounts, researching ingredients, testing products, and web design. The remaining 30% of her time she spends on her own social media presence.
Social media plays a large role in her business because it’s “exactly where our demographic is,” Frills said. Fans review her products, Frilliance targets Facebook marketing to moms, and Frills herself even coaches people to be social-media reps. The brand’s sales on Amazon more than doubled during the pandemic, according to Frills.
But social media isn’t everything, Frills said, which is where the Walmart partnership comes in. Her products’ target demographic is largely young, meaning they don’t all have access to online shopping. Stocking products in a retailer means that tweens can buy the products with their allowance or when grocery shopping with their moms, she said.
Frilliance’s products launched at Walmart in March. The products are being rolled out at around 430 stores covering almost every state as part of its Open Call program. Walmart’s website lists Frilliance’s lip glosses at between $9.90 and $12.90, as well as product bundles costing up to $32.90.
“We are already seeing very good sales,” Frills said. “Walmart is issuing additional purchase orders beyond their initial sales forecast.”