(originally published on February 12, 2018)
At the very end of 2017, I came across a fun, beautiful YouTuber named Tawny Michelle. I was instantly intrigued by her honesty, intelligence, and how at ease she is in front of the camera with each of her videos. Also, I can’t believe she’s twenty-six! Tawny looks like she’s just out of high school. Someone has clearly been drinking from the Fountain of Youth and it’s serving her well!
I recently had the pleasure of being able to interview her, and I had a great time. Tawny is exactly who she portrays herself on YouTube, a down-to-earth woman with a heart of gold. I have no doubt she’s about to take off on YouTube and I can’t wait to see this because she truly deserves it!
Editor’s Note: Since this interview was done, Tawny was caught in some completely undeserving “drama.” Seeing the way she has handled herself with class is a true testament to her character and how strong she is. Unfortunately, there are childish people in this world, but Tawny has shown us all the right way to handle someone trying to take you down. All I’ve got to say is, way to go Tawny! We’re all behind you and are very proud of you!
Here is our interview. Please enjoy!
1) What or who inspired you to create your YouTube channel?
The beginning of 2017, the closest soul to me, my kindred spirit, my everything, my best friend, my accountability, the only parent I ever had, My Mother, suddenly died. At this point I was rethinking my life, trying to find something that I had accomplished that she would’ve been proud of, other than being clean/sober for 6 months (at that time) I couldn’t come up with much else. I have a really horrific past and have made many a lot of wrong decisions. I know she would want me to do whatever made me happy and share any talent I had with the world. I had been getting into YouTube a lot, mainly for a distraction from my harsh reality. Then it hit me that starting a channel would allow me to express everything I am passionate about and reach potentially a larger group of people to share my experience & possibly help others.
2) You mentioned in a recent video that for a long time you were afraid to be yourself because of channels such as Karina Kaboom. (It took me a long time to come out of my shell on my blog, as well! I hear you!) What gave you the strength to rise above it?
I am a firm believer in “Whatever you fight you feed”. When I started my channel I was broken. But once I saw that people were actually watching my videos (even if it was only 50 people), I realized that if I ever did get a larger audience and was by some miracle ever in the spotlight or “public’s eye”, that people would eventually find things out about me. For instance channels like the one named above, who make threats and try to tear people down for past mistakes when they have learned from them and are clearly a different person.
Back to “whatever you fight you feed”. For months I was so nervous to be myself because of channels/people like that. Also because my self-esteem and what felt like my whole life and identity had been crushed from my mothers passing.
I started trying to be like the “big dogs” on YouTube and Instagram that filter their pictures to look fake, along with filtering what you see of their life for that matter. The more I fought against who I was & my past the more I fed that fear of all of it. And the more it showed on my channel and to the people close to me, realizing I wasn’t being myself. One day I got sick of fighting. I gave up. I had always wondered what made my channel and myself different from all the others. It’s my past. Instead of fearing it, I should embrace it and talk about it. I made video coming out about my addiction & touched on my mother dying. Ever since my channel keeps growing. Every day I get so many comments and thank you’s for sharing my experience & being my self.
3) You have bravely talked about your addiction as well as sobriety in different videos on your channel. I’m very grateful that you did that because addiction runs on both sides of my family. Do you feel like people greatly underestimate just how hard it is to not only get sober but to stay sober? What’s your advice for people struggling with sobriety?
Yes. Unfortunately, you would think with as many lives as addiction has touched/destroyed, whether it was your aunt, your uncle, brother, sister, daughter, son, parents, or yourself, that people would see it in a different light and the stereotypical “They’re weak minded” “Why can’t you just stop” “Junkies” way of thinking would stop. But it’s nowhere near to stopping in my opinion. Unless you have seen the insanity and sickness up close and personal then you have no idea.
I’m not sure I would necessarily give advice because I am still learning and not perfect myself. But I can share my experience with getting sober.
I had to really be ready. I had to exhaust every avenue there was before I gave up. Not everyone is like that. If you want it bad enough you will go after it. It’s hard, probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I couldn’t do it alone. There are so many people out there willing to help. A big part of it was staying around positive people, people who understood me & what I wanted. Then working on myself, working on healing any negativity from my past, and taking it one day at a time. (I know that’s so cliche but it does help lol)
4) I find your personal style and overall look to be very cute! What clothing and cosmetic brands are your favorites?
Thank you! Honestly, I am a huge bargain shopper. If I can find something that’s cute for cheap then I get it. Whether it’s Forever 21 or thrift shops. I have very low price limits for clothing, lol. I won’t buy I shirt over like $12. And jeans or pants over $20.
Makeup wise, I mainly am a drugstore kinda gal. Once again, my bargain shopper kicks in lol. If there’s some new hot product that looks really good or I want to review it on my channel and it’s from a higher end brand, if I have the money I may do it (depending on the price lol). A $100 eyeshadow palette or foundation is just an automatic turn off for me I don’t care how bomb it looks lol.
5) You have on your channel’s “About” section that you’re still finding your place on YouTube. I understand because many successful YouTubers have been there themselves. Do you have a particular direction you’d like to see your channel go?
Not really. I’ve thought about opening up two channels, one for vlogs, storytimes, makeup, GRWM’s, hauls and whatever else I feel like doing and then having the other channel for my opinions on controversial types of things on YouTube/investigating. I just don’t want to start over I guess. Plus I do everything from my phone and I’m not sure if I would be able to navigate both channels on my phone easily. I am still trying to find my place on YouTube. I am just passionate about so much. As of right now, I am over makeup videos. I am really just enjoying talkative real videos.
6) Are there any YouTubers that you would like to collab with? (I can see you and Dustin Dailey doing a great video together!)
I would love to collab with Dustin. I think we would get along really well. I think Peter Monn and I would collab great as well. I think my ultimate collab would have to be with Shane Dawson. He is just everything to me. As far as more smaller channels, I would like to collab with Dishwashinglickuid, her personality is absolutely amazing. Along with maybe Hailey Reese one day.
7) Do you have any plans, personally and professionally, for 2018 that you’d like to share?
Honestly just to grow as a person. Learn more about myself and become more spiritually enlightened. Along with helping others with my channel. Of course, I would love for my channel to grow but I am fine if it doesn’t. The audience I have now is so kind and so supportive.
Thank you very much, Tawny! Once again, please check out her YouTube page and be sure to subscribe as well as follow her on Twitter. I can personally say that she is very active with her fan base and treats them with nothing but love and respect.
Much love to you, Tawny and I can’t wait to see your channel continue to grow! I can see 2018 being a big year for you!