Photos Courtesy of Matilda Donovan
Matilda Donovan and Stephanie May are more than just Waves — they’re also making them through their self-help YouTube channel. Their videos aim to assist college students with situationally inspired videos such as dorm-life hacks, DIY projects and healthy food ideas.
The two students launched their YouTube channel called Primrose, with 92 video uploads and 423,948 subscribers to date.
“Primrose is mostly a healthy food and lifestyle channel,” Donovan said. “Our content is seasonally inspired, depending on what time of year and phase of life we are in. So now, we do a lot of college-related videos.”
Donovan and May started Primrose as juniors in high school. At the time, their YouTube involvement was limited to a private channel through which the two friends shared their videos only with each other. After awhile, they decided to go public.
“We were close to deleting the channel when we had not even hit 100 subscribers after a certain amount of time,” Donovan said.
Despite the slow start, Donovan and May kept the account long enough for its success to take off exponentially. During their senior year of high school, a particular healthy breakfast video racked up one million views.
“That was the first time that I actually realized, whoa, this could actually be something,” Donovan said.
Primrose’s real and spunky take on life captivated viewers, led to their success and resulted in many opportunities for the two friends. Donovan and May attended Shanghai Fashion Week and multiple video conventions, such as Playlist Live and VidCon. These events gave the ladies a chance to interact and share ideas with other significant YouTubers and globally recognized figures in other areas of life.
Primrose also provided unique opportunities to partner with big-brand names.
“Sponsorships were a big part of our opportunities,” said Donovan. “We got to work with people like Walmart, Michael’s and Hello Kitty.”
As time went on, the purpose, vision and content of Primrose shifted.
“Primrose began mostly as a makeup tutorial account,” Donovan said.
Then during one video, the women urged viewers to contact them with any questions or suggestions for future advice.
“So many people sent us DM’s asking for our personal advice,” Donovan said.
Viewers from near and far wanted to know Donovan’s and May’s thoughts on everything from the uncertainty of beginning freshman year of college to how to address bullying. The students began to realize their success gave them a unique platform and ability to help people.
“The biggest thing if you have a presence on social media is to realize that people watching are similar to you,” Donovan said. “Primrose strives to keep it real. A lot of YouTubers show a perfect ‘alternate life.'”
Fans can expect Primrose to continue to grow in a direction that highlights helpful advice and relatable stories. As a sort of off-shooting branch from Primrose, Donovan launched a blog completely dedicated to support others and offer words of encouragement and advice.
“I can’t guarantee I will have the perfect answer for your question,” Donovan said on her blog page, “But I can tell you that I might be able to relate to what you’re going through.”
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