If you’re not familiar with Ava Jules, prepare to fall in love. Born and raised in the beautiful island of O’ahu, Hawaii, the 20-year-old beauty and lifestyle vlogger has built her own empire online, bringing nothing short of positive vibes, personal stories, and relatable girl advice for the masses all around the world.
Boasting 1.43 million subscribers and over 107 million views on YouTube alone, Ava is no stranger to the public eye. In describing herself, she states, “I’m a chill but bubbly person. I love to talk to people. I’ll talk to anyone for hours on end if they let me. I love hearing people’s stories and doing cool stuff.”
With her sweet, down-to-earth personality, Ava uses her platform for the greater good, standing strong in promoting body positivity, self-love, and embracing everything you are as an individual both inside and out. Currently in school studying to obtain a collegiate degree in Digital Marketing, Ava has an unwavering love for fashion, recently launching her Ava x Starlite Village jewelry collab with best friend Hannah Meloche. Additionally, her passion for protecting the ocean and environment do not go unnoticed, reminding and teaching others of small mindful practices to do the same any chance she can.
Flaunt caught up with Ava via Zoom, who just returned from the gym with her boyfriend. Read below as we discuss her roots in Hawaii, biggest influences, her dreams and aspirations, how she got started on YouTube, advice on how to grow your presence online, the editing process, being a role model, passion for the environment, her jewelry collections, goals, and more!
How was it growing up in Hawaii?
Growing up here is such a blessing: getting to experience the culture and Aloha spirit. Growing up taking care of the ocean and land, accepting everyone—the sense of community is really amazing here. I feel like I grew up in the water, I’m half in water half on land. [laughs] I feel super connected to nature growing up here, for sure.
Biggest influences coming up?
Right now, I love Claudia Sulewski. She’s been my favorite for years now, I love her creativity online. Jaci Smith, they’re all women in business who’ve created a big empire for themselves. All the people who inspire me have that same energy of having a goal and achieving it.
What were your dreams and aspirations?
As a little girl, I honestly thought I’d be a Doctornaut: a doctor in space. One, that doesn’t exist. Two, that’d take 12 years of school. I said “no way.” That dream faded out 7 years ago, which isn’t that long ago. I was only 13. [laughs] I never expected to do what I’m doing now, nothing in this sphere. I didn’t even know this was a thing, especially when I started doing Youtube. I was posting Justin Bieber videos, I didn’t know there was money involved. I didn’t realize there’s a whole digital realm. There’s actors, then there’s digital talent. I never knew I was accepted into the entertainment industry, but I love it.
When did you start your vlogging journey on YouTube? What works for you?
I started posting videos on this channel Ava Bieber xo, which has one video. There used to be 100 videos: Justin Bieber merch, my Justin Bieber bracelets, etc. I don’t have access to that account anymore, but I know I privated most of them. I need to figure out how to get in there. There’s one video that’s public, it’s my Belieber report. It started off as that. I was obsessed with sharing whatever I was passionate about, which at the time was the Biebs.
Then I found the beauty community, all the beauty stars like MakeupByMandy24 and Bethany Mota. I was 13 when I found that side of YouTube. At the time, I still didn’t know who I was. I thought “Oh, I’ll imitate these people who I’m watching.” Even though they’re much older and a lot more talented at makeup, I pretended to do makeup tutorials. I’ve grown into myself so I’m not just copying what other people are doing, but it was a very innocent start. I figured “I want to be her, so I’m going to act like her.”
I started my new show Shirley’s Temple, YouTube has been the hard algorithm to figure out. Do you have advice for those trying to build their YouTube presence?
For people who haven’t started, my #1 advice for people who don’t have a channel yet would be to start. That’s the biggest roadblock. Once you get your foot in, the #1 thing is to post consistently and post what excites you. It really comes through the camera whenever I’m watching someone, I can tell if they’re super into it or not. I love watching people be passionate about something, even if it’s some random person talking about how much they love their car and fixing it. I still find it interesting even though I don’t care about cars, I love seeing people be passionate about stuff. Have your energy come through the camera, if you need to do a few practice videos because talking to the camera can be very weird. I still feel weird sometimes, just practice. Once you start to be more comfortable on camera, that’s when people will really start to get a feel for who you are and want to be your friend.
How much time goes behind one vlog? Do you edit as well?
Yes, up until 3 weeks ago I’ve been editing my photos for 7 years. I love editing and I still do edit my home in Hawaii videos myself, because that series is very important to me. I hired an editor which was a lot of control to give up, especially after doing it myself for 7 years. It’s definitely weird and hard sending someone my raw videos, this is so embarrassing. I have 50 minutes and it gets cut down to 11 minutes, so it’s 40 minutes of junk. It’s usually the editing that takes a while, for me at least. I find a lot of joy in filming, so I didn’t want to get burnt out editing when I could film whenever I want. It’s very exciting instead of having to worry about the hours of editing that]d go into it. It’s definitely a process, it’s a full-time thing in itself doing YouTube.
Talk about being a role model, promoting body positivity, self-confidence, and what that means to you.
In quarantine, it was definitely a shift. I knew I had to make a shift in my content. I wasn’t going to make travel content and doing hauls seemed very out of touch. That’s what I used to do, vlog my life doing fun stuff. I had to pull back and ask “okay, what really matters? What message do I want to spread?” Even after quarantine’s done, I knew I wanted to spread a positive message. I know I have such an impressionable audience who I want to have a good influence on. I know things I’ve struggled with myself that I hadn’t opened up on the internet to previously because it could be very daunting. It’s not always easy talking about what you go through, but I figured I want to help at least one person.
I know I’d always go to the internet when I wasn’t doing the best. Mentally, I’d turn to the internet and look for a best friend figure to watch. I realized I could be that person for other people. It was during quarantine I thought “oh my gosh, I want to make more sit down videos talking about this stuff.” I could still incorporate the fun vlogs and hauls, but incorporating both has a good impact on people.
What’s your passion for the environment and oceanic preservation?
Growing up here, I have such a deep appreciation for nature. Especially the ocean, it’s what I put most of my focus towards. After I graduated high school, the light bulb clicked and I realized the world doesn’t revolve around me. There’s much bigger issues than high school drama. I was trying to figure out, okay what do I care about? The ocean. I didn’t realize there were so many problems like plastic, the dying coral reefs, so many different issues about the ocean itself.
I put more of my focus towards reef preservation, exuding less plastic and help the plastic crisis. Any little thing helps. Sometimes when people talk about sustainability, it can be really daunting because people think “do I need to do zero waste? Do I need to change my whole lifestyle?” My whole thing is small changes make big differences. It’s not realistic to tell people, “never use plastic again. Be the perfect zero waste human being and have as much environmental impact as possible.” I’m not perfect myself so for me, it’s spreading the message that it’s okay to be perfectly imperfect. Little changes in your life such as consuming less plastic add up to make a big difference.
Talk about your clothing collection which sold out in 24 hours.
I’ve been working on that for so long, which is so exciting to release. I’d been wanting to create merchandise/clothing for such a long time. It was really hard because one of my biggest factors, I wanted to have a sustainable element to it and be made sustainably. Right now, it’s not super common for YouTubers to make sustainable merch. That’s my one thing: it needs to be this. Even if it takes longer, I’m willing to wait. I love the designs. We have aloha tees which are so cute, I always wear it. I love big t-shirts. I live in big t-shirts, especially this past year. I also have a little Inspire collection with little quotes I’d say in my videos, in my mental health chats. The responses are really awesome.
What does it mean to name it Aloha collection? Very true to your roots.
The Aloha spirit here is being a down-to-earth human, who takes care of those around her as well as the environment around them. I was taught to have the Aloha spirit super young, it’s really important to people that live here. I wanted to spread the message, even to people all around the world. We can all have Aloha, spread Aloha. This collection embodies that. You wear this shirt, wear it with Aloha… or else. [laughs]
What’s your favorite item?
The Aloha tee, which has the world Aloha on it. It’s a navy shirt with a surfer girl in the O. This is the embodiment of my life right there, so cute.
Why is self-love so important?
Self-love is important because at the end of the day, all we have is ourselves. I used to get lost in seeking love. Whether it was romantic relationships or friendships, I was always seeking that through other people. At the end of the day, you really truly only have yourself. I do have amazing people who give me love and support, but really all you have is yourself and your own mind. Having self-love will carry you, even when you feel super lonely and alone you still have yourself. That’s the message I want to spread: you’re the most important person in your own way.
Talk about your Earth-inspired jewelry collection with En Route.
I’ve been wanting to make jewelry for so long. My grandma is a vintage jewelry collector, she has 30 boxes under her bed. Every time I saw her, she’d show me. I’ve always been obsessed with jewelry, my mom always wore jewelry. I’m the type of person, I don’t wear too many crazy, out there outfits, but accessories are where I’ll do a lot. I’ll wear bracelets, earrings, necklaces, rings, any type of jewelry. When I had this opportunity to work with them, they gave me full creative freedom. I was so excited, I have a flower and earth collection with them. Altogether it’s 8 or 10 different pieces. I took a lot of inspiration from my grandma’s old jewelry collection. There are some dangly earrings, some flower earrings. None of the items I’ve seen anywhere else which is really cool, they’re definitely really unique.
Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
My biggest goal is very random, I’m working on trying to adult better. [laughs] I’m privileged, I live at home with my parents and my mom’s the best cook. I have no skills in the kitchen. That’s one of my biggest goals to cook for myself, so when I move out I won’t starve. Career-wise, I want to create a really positive community of people who are all there for each other. I never want it to be one way. They always help me, I know I help them. I want to keep creating a really positive community and spreading a good message, hopefully growing my audience along the way.
Anything else you want to let us know?
Life is awesome, so live it up!