Haley Pham- YouTube Sensation + Entrepreneur
By Catherine Michelle
Haley Pham, YouTube sensation and Entrepreneur, sits down to talk with us about quarantining, business, boys, faith, and what’s possibly to come after YouTube. On June 30th, 2020, Haley is celebrating a decade as a creator on the platform and at the age of 19 has over 2.25M subscribers! To honor this milestone, we took a look down memory lane to celebrate and appreciate the good and the bad and look forward to her very bright future.
Hey Haley! Thanks for speaking with us today. How are you and your family handling quarantine? It’s not ideal, but I learned how to make Vietnamese Coffee at home so now I don’t go to Starbucks!
Nice! You also are currently on a health kick, how are you staying active currently? I have been on this fitness journey for over a year since I stopped dancing and I feel like I am finally figuring out what works best for my body. I really enjoy YouTube tutorials because it feels like someone is working out with you and there is a community that helps to motivate you. Even turning on a 20-minute Pamela Reif video helps me a lot.
What are you finding are the benefits of exercise? Working out helps me a lot with my body image. There is nothing I can do more for my confidence than knowing that I am doing everything I can to stay healthy.
Let’s talk about YouTube. Your YouTube channel came out of a passion for editing, and playing around with the iMovie app on your dad’s phone, is that right? Yes, I loved editing thought it was so cool how I could add a freeze-frame and do voice-overs.
Would you ever want to edit a feature film? I am not interested in acting or directing right now, and I honestly love YouTube and do not see it as a stepping stone for me. Maybe it is the thing I do before I go into real estate but it’s probably not the thing I do before movie production.
You have shown so much of your life on YouTube for the past decade, is there anything that you wish you had shown or wish that you hadn’t in retrospect? My relationships are something that I probably would have kept a little quieter, but I think everyone says that after they end. I wish I had shown the divorce more, but it would have been tricky with that many people’s lives involved. It was bigger than just me, but I wish I could have been more open about it while it was happening.
How were you able to stay positive during your parent’s separation while you were in high school? Faith. The bible does talk about hardship and how it can be a blessing because it builds character, which builds hope. I knew from my faith that all of those things would be temporary and good would come. My friends were amazing and having an outlet like creating YouTube videos helped to keep me focused on something else.
Can you talk about the role that faith plays in your life? Growing up my dad was Christian. From a young age, I felt that I was drawn towards God, and I went on a mission trip when I was 10. Ever since that trip, it has been my life.
If someone is looking to explore their faith where should they start? The question people pose is why invest in something if they do not know it is real. My favorite response to that is the movie The Case of Christ. Whichever religion you are interested in exploring, read their texts, try to pray, just take small steps, and you will land where you are meant to.
You recently purchased a house with your boyfriend, Ryan, and a home for your mother. How does it feel to be able to buy your mom a house, much less do it when you are this young? I don’t think it has fully sunk in yet, but it has been my biggest goal since I was little. There is a feeling of relief in accomplishing that goal and knowing that your mom is happy, safe, and loves where she lives.
Where do you think you get your drive? My mom is such a hard worker and she never made it overly apparent to anyone. She didn’t need validation from others. When I started dancing, we couldn’t afford my lessons, so she picked up a second job working at Subway. At the time you do not realize your parents are picking up another job so that you can have the opportunity to do those extracurriculars. She never once complained and that is just the type of incredible person that she is.
You took the risk of starting a business and brand instead of going straight to college, what advice would you give someone that wants to do something similar? I always knew I didn’t want to work for someone else and I luckily already had my career established, but for those that are confused or do not want to go to college, I would suggest a gap year because it is a lot of money to go to college if you do not know why you are going. Get a job, explore your interests, and figure out what you would like to do going forward.
What is one piece of business advice you would tell someone or what is the best business advice you have received? Patience! Success doesn’t always come overnight, and you need patience, it can come years down the line so choose to do something you love.
You also recently launched your clothing line called Retro Reprise; can you talk about how you were influenced by the Memphis Design Movement? I was very drawn to the patterns and bright colors. Since I hadn’t seen anything like that on clothing, I thought it would be fun to create because it was something that I wanted to wear myself.
How was it to design the line and release it? There is so much that goes into it that people may not realize, and it is difficult to create custom clothes. The pieces take so long to make. If I like a design today it will take four months for me to see the sample and by then, I hope I still like it!
You recently started the podcast Call Me Candid, with fellow creator, Lilly Ann. What should our readers expect to hear when they tune in? Tune in if you want to hear girly chat and life advice ranging from boys to business!
Let’s get into some boy talk. You have an amazing boyfriend, Ryan, and you publicly speak about your decision to stay celibate until marriage. Why was it important for you to talk about it on your YouTube channels? The only reason I am public about my decision is that growing up I didn’t have anyone who I went to school with that was making that choice, and so I would go to YouTube for that community and support. I wouldn’t say I recommend living with your significant other, I feel like we are in a very specific situation, but I do recommend waiting until marriage if that is what you want to do. I do not think there is any downside to waiting and that it is a beautiful decision to make.
Do you have any tips for maintaining a healthy relationship with your significant other? Being communicative while something is happening instead of harboring it is key. Learn how to respectfully bring up subjects in a way that isn’t finger-pointing but about how it makes you feel.
Quickly for our fashionistas, are there any Spring trends that you are excited about? I am loving pastels right now! Blues, greens, pinks, and wearing all of them at the same time.
So, as we look to the next decade, what is the next big goal that you are striving for? I would love for my mom to live in a house next to mine! Other than that, I am focused on YouTube, making smart investments, and fostering my relationships.
Images by Paige Miller
Catherine Michelle is the Contributing Editor at Large and Lead Writer for New Face Fashion Magazine and Dreamlette Magazine who focuses on exclusive interviews, reviews, makeup, fashion and more! Follow her on Instagram.