VIDEO: Norwich Pixiwoo sisters reach one million subscribers on YouTube
PUBLISHED: 16:15 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:15 30 April 2013
As YouTube celebrates its seventh year two sisters from Norwich have proved how the Internet channel can deliver success and the chance to give Jamie Oliver a 80s Madonna makeover, writes EMMA HARROWING
Everyone interested in the world of beauty has heard of Pixiwoo.
Since sisters Samantha (Sam) and Nicola (Nic) Chapman uploaded their first video to YouTube in October 2008, the online make-up tutorial channel sparked a trend for copycat vlogs - one of which was from the sisters’ brother’s fiance Tanya Burr.
“Our entire family followed us onto YouTube,” says Sam “Both our brothers and our mum have channels, plus four to five friends. Only Babsy the dog doesn’t have a channel - but that isn’t a bad idea!”
YouTube is celebrating it’s seventh birthday this year and as the multi-million pound internet company cuts into its cyber cake, Sam and Nic are celebrating the fact that their online channel has reached one million subscribers.
“It is so exciting,” says Sam. “This isn’t the kind of job you can ever switch off from so you can only be successful at it if you absolutely love it. Anything fake or forced shows on the camera.
“When we launched four and a half years ago Nic and I had no idea of the power and reach of YouTube so our success on the platform if fortuitous. There was less content on the website back then and therefore less competition. Currently over four billion hours of video footage is watched on YouTube every month.”
It’s an astounding success considering that Sam set up the channel to show a friend how she can create a smoky eye.
The sisters did a two year Btec in make-up and hairdressing at college in King’s Lynn - Sam was tutored by international make-up artist Louise Young. After college Sam was part of the MAC Pro team in London, often travelling to shows such as Paris Fashion Week. She worked with photographers including Tony McGee and Lord Snowdon and her work has appeared in high end fashion magazines such as Harpers, Tatler, Elle and Cosmopolitan.
Nic followed in her footsteps. Both have worked with celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, Peaches Geldof, The Saturdays, Lily Cole and Take That.
Now another celebrity has fallen under their makeover spell. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver joined the girls for a special make-up tutorial video to mark the channel’s one millionth subscriber. The video is live on their YouTube channel.
“YouTube is all about collaborating with other channels to bring new engaging content that would never by seen on television,” says Sam. “Online videos are a one-off and completely independent.
“As for giving Jamie a 80s Madonna makeover - he requested this look!”
Alongside their internet success, Sam and Nic launched digital magazine Two last October. Every month photographers, make-up artists and hairstylists send in their photoshoots for submission into the magazine that gives a platform for the beauty industry.
“Two is another way we can interact with our audience,” says Sam. “We have created an iPhone app for easy viewing and are currently working on an app for android.”
As to the future the world of social media is a fickle one. Sam is certain that Pixiwoo will continue to make beauty videos for YouTube and with a reputation for taking this platform to different levels the sisters are well placed to stay on our computer screens for some time.