Many know Charli D’Amelio as the digital superstar dominating the world of TikTok one video at a time.
Crowned the “reigning queen of TikTok,” by the New York Times, Youtube’s top 10 breakout creators of 2020, and a Forbes 30 under 30 winner, Charli is one of our generation’s most influential voices.
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The leading female TikTok creator, and the first on the platform to hit 100 million followers, Charli has catapulted her to stardom by captivating the screens of teens and adults worldwide.
And while most associate Charli with her viral dancing clips, her family’s hit docuseries, The D’Amelio Show, and most recently, the launch of D’Amelio Brands, she has evolved into much more than a social media phenomenon.
Author of the hit book Essentially Charli, co-founder of popular clothing brand, Social Tourist, and most recently, founder of sustainable fragrance, Born Dreamer, Charli is a powerful businesswoman at the ripe age of eighteen.
But it doesn’t stop there. Charli has partnered with the world’s biggest luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Prada, and has positioned herself as a powerful advocate against cyberbullying.
We sat down with Charli herself to discuss her contagious social presence, her latest business venture in the beauty space, and the transition from internet sensation to entrepreneur.
What initially drew you to the TikTok space? Can you talk a bit about the transition from everyday TikTok creator to digital superstar?
When I first started TikTok it was really just a fun way to share my dancing videos with friends. Never in a million years could I have anticipated this would be the result of those videos and it all happened so fast it’s hard to describe any kind of transition. I’m just so grateful for the community of fans that have been with me since day one and continue to support me as I grow from those dance videos to new projects, like Born Dreamer.
Being in the spotlight, you’ve dealt with your fair share of negativity. As an advocate yourself, what is your philosophy when it comes to cyberbullying?
Throughout the years, I've realized that holding in all the negative, hurtful things people say about you causes a lot more damage. When I experienced bullying, I looked to dance as an outlet because it was a healthy way to relieve the stress and sadness I was experiencing. I want people who are experiencing bullying to know that they are never alone. Find a friend, family member, guidance counselor, teacher, or someone you trust, and talk with them.
TikTok blurs the lines between personal and professional. How do you establish a work-life balance? What challenges have you faced in regard to maintaining a “normal life?”
It’s hard finding the perfect work-life balance, but I always try to have self-check-ins to make sure I’m putting my mental health first. Growing up in the spotlight means I’ve had a very different life than most people my age, but I am very lucky in the sense that I am doing what I love and I am so grateful for the love and support I feel from my fans. I try to have as much of a “normal life” as I can by visiting my friends from home a lot and I even went to prom this summer!
As the leading female Tik Tok creator in the world at only eighteen years old, what example do you strive to set for other female creators in the space?
My parents instilled in me at a young age the importance of being kind, authentic, driven, and humble, which I will never forget. I am extremely thankful for my community because, without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I hope to inspire other female creators and help them believe that their dreams are achievable.
You’ve launched a perfume! Can you talk about the shift from TikTok creator to businesswoman? In other words, how has your current job provided you with the necessary skills to launch a business?
Not only has TikTok provided me with a large platform, but it has also allowed me to connect with people around the world and gain an understanding of what people are looking for in products. For my first fragrance, Born Dreamer, I worked hard to create something that everybody could wear and love, as well as consider the important issues that my followers care about like sustainability and making the packaging fully recyclable and the bottle refillable.
Born Dreamer is intended to “vibe with your personal body chemistry” and create something “truly, uniquely you.” What is the symbolic significance of this brand messaging, and how does it relate to your current brand ethos?
When I created this perfume, it was super important to me that the fragrance would be able to represent not only me but my entire fanbase. I wanted to create a brand that could be enjoyed by all and would encourage everyone to chase their own unique dreams. I love that Born Dreamer is a different experience for everyone based on their body chemistry because it is so authentic to what Born Dreamer as a brand stands for.
With its vegan, dye-free formula, and fully recyclable packaging, Born Dreamer is rooted in sustainability. What inspired you to create a product with an inherently sustainable mission?
It was extremely important to me that Born Dreamer not only made people feel good but was also good for the planet. While going through this process, I learned so much and was shocked to hear how many fragrances don’t have bottles that can be refilled or packaging that can be recycled, and I knew I wanted my brand to be different.
What’s next for Charli?
I’m really focused on Born Dreamer at the moment because it is the first product that I got to work on from start to finish. Outside of that, Season 2 of The D’Amelio Show starts September 28th, and I am really looking forward to competing on Dancing with the Stars and having some friendly competition against my mom!
Photography by: Courtesy Born Dreamer, Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for MTV, Jacopo M. Raule/Getty Images for FTX