Breanna Matthews is a Mizzou senior and the first guest for our Miss-Zou series! This series allows us access to the real-life experiences, tips and information that can only be provided by these strong, confident, successful, Mizzou women. Breanna is from Kansas City, Mo. and will be graduating in May with a major in Business Administration – Marketing. Throughout her time at Mizzou, she’s been involved in organizations such as Kaldi’s Campus Ambassadors, Relevant Youth, Trulaske Business Week Steering Committee, Adventure Club and Mizzou International Experience. She has been running her own YouTube channel, as well as a photography business (IG: @brm.studios) during her time in college. You can learn more from Breanna herself on our Instagram IGTV @hercampusmiz. The Her Campus Mizzou team interviewed Breanna to talk about how she built and continues to grow her personal, professional brand.
How did you get into YouTube? Have you always been interested in it, or have you taken it more seriously in recent years?
I started watching YouTube in middle school and randomly stumbled upon JuicyStar07’s makeup videos and was immediately obsessed. Before I made my channel, I used to do my makeup and hair and act like I was making a video to practice. Then one day I decided to make a channel and upload my first video. When I first started out, there were very distinct categories on YouTube and I fell into the “beauty guru” category. I liked doing tutorials and hauls but then I realized that I wasn’t very good at them, so I started transitioning more into the “lifestyle” category, and that’s when I started taking it more seriously. I have a more consistent schedule, I take time to edit my videos, and promote my videos, all things I never really did before.
Do you see YouTube playing a part in your post-college experience?
Definitely! I want to keep doing YouTube for as long as I can, even if no one is watching. They are so fun for my family, friends, and me to look back on and see the amazing memories over the years. I expect to also have a normal job and work in conjunction with making YouTube videos.
What is your favorite thing about owning a business?
The flexibility – I can make my own schedule and be my own boss. I can essentially work whenever and wherever I want. I’ve gotten a lot of cool opportunities over the years and I can’t wait to see how my business grows!
What is a challenge you’ve had to overcome in owning your own business, and how did you overcome that?
Getting started is always the hardest part. When I started doing freelance videography and photography, I would do projects for friends and family for free to build up my portfolio. Eventually, I was getting traction on my work and started to have paid work! It takes some time and I’m still not where I want to be but if you put in the work, you will eventually see success.
Do you see photography playing a part in your post-college experience?
I love photography, but over the past year I’ve become almost burnt out. I took a step back my senior year so I could focus more on school and my other projects. I’m excited to get back into it after I graduate, but I plan on shooting more lifestyle content because that’s what inspires me. Doing senior and family photoshoots has been so much fun but I think I’m ready to try my hand at something new!
What is it like building a brand for yourself between these two mediums as a college student?
Doing YouTube, making videos, and photography has been such a fun experience in college. I’ve really transformed my YouTube channel in college and started focusing on more lifestyle and vlog content and trends shifted more towards that. It’s also amazing to have all these memories of college in videos over the past 4 years. Then on the other hand with photography, I’ve captured some amazing memories for other people as well as my own. I was able to use my photography and videography skills when I studied abroad in the Czech Republic and my YouTube really popped-off from those videos. People loved seeing my experience and I’m so glad I was able to capture that incredible adventure.
On the flip side, it can be overwhelming doing school, my job, and my side hustles. For me, school always comes first so a lot of times YouTube and photography got put on the back burner. I’ve learned to organize everything and try to work efficiently, but it can still be tough building a brand while being a full-time student.
What have you learned about yourself throughout college and through creating your own brand?
I’ve learned that I’m a hard worker and if I want something, I will do anything to get it.
What do you think makes your work unique as you begin to enter the job force?
I think my work is unique because I have a lot of experience in many different areas of the creative and marketing world. I’ve always tried to take every opportunity and use it as a learning experience. I like to think of myself as a sponge that is always ready to soak up all the knowledge that my peers, mentors, professors and role models give me.
How do you get in the mind space to create?
I usually like to get inspired first and that can happen through Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, or any other mediums. Then I really like to listen to music to get into the right headspace, I usually listen to classical or instrumental music it helps me stay focused but still remain inspired.
What are some things you did in college to create this portfolio of experience that you have?
One of the things I did was join Relevant Youth which is a student-run ad agency housed at Mizzou. It’s been such a unique experience where I’ve been able to work first-hand with clients to create work. I’ve worked as a social strategist, photographer, videographer, and now Creative Lead. It’s been a great experience and I’ve learned so much about working with clients and building those relationships.
What has been your favorite brand to work with and why? (Between YouTube, RY, etc.)
My favorite brand I’ve worked with is probably Zambu, which is a delicious, grapefruit-flavor vodka liquor that is inspired by a Brazilian flower, sometimes known as a buzz button. I’ve been working with them since my sophomore year of college. I’ve revamped their social media, started an ambassador program with my amazing account manager, Danielle, and really took Zambu to the next level. I’ve made such a great mentorship with the CEO, Jared, and even made a podcast episode with him. It’s been a great experience working with such a fun company and I can’t wait to see where this small business goes in the future and know that I had a part in that!
What is one thing Mizzou has taught you that you will take with you for the rest of your life? (Inside the classroom or otherwise)
One thing Mizzou has taught me is to always be curious and ask questions. It can be scary to reach out to someone on LinkedIn or in real life to ask them questions about their job, position or career, but most of the time that person is going to be more than happy to answer any questions and give advice! I’ve learned so much over my past four years just from asking questions, even if they seemed like they were stupid questions.
Keep up with Bre here:
YT: Breanna Matthews