In an age of fakes and internet flakes, Kris Hui is a real one. Her story of “success” is not the regular media feature because of an amazing performance, a cool invention or show business fame.
Her tale is the quiet + smart + elegant progress of a young woman making her way through college, life in the 21st Century, filming her journey and posting it online. Faced with choices and impactful decisions, Kris Hui has set her own standards, presented an honest example and stood up to the occasion. In the past five years, she has shown strength, a long term vision, graceful intelligence and shared her lessons along the way.
It is not our abilities that show what we truly are…it is our choices – Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets.
The numbers, views and videos show Kris continued to make headway one course, one edit, one essay, one lecture, one upload and one day at at time.
Here’s a true fact: There is no overnight success in school, on YouTube or in life.
Like all students, the reward for “efforting” in class was another semester and another year with more work, more assignments and more exams. On YouTube, her triple blend of education content, campus life and sorority girls-to-ladies lifestyle carried on the same. Kris’ largest run up of viewers was 3 years ago when she gained an average of 5,000*-7,000* subscribers a month. After that, her numbers fell…5000, 3000, 2000*. Between September 2018 and Jan 2019, her new subscriber count dropped to almost zero…
Analytics can be a blessing and a curse. Most YouTubers live and die by their numbers. At any time, Kris could have switched the direction of her channel to a trendier, more popular track to (re)gain traction. Kris Hui did not sign up to San Jose State University just to make YouTube videos and chase the YouTube algorithm. She went to experience, engage and get an education. Kris kept her head down, stayed true to her mission and kept the camera rolling…
(*Source: Social Blade).
Lesson number 1: Set a goal and stick to it.
Top 10 YouTube video categories: By Type.
Funny Animals. Video Game Guides. How To. Product Reviews. Celebrity Gossip.
Vlogs. Comedy/Sketch Videos. Shopping Hauls. Unboxing Videos. Educational.
(Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)
A large part of the college experience is collegiate athletics. At the corner of 4th & Paseo De San Carlos St on the SJSU campus is the Yosh Uchida Hall and Spartan Gym, a volleyball and training complex. Volleyball courts and gyms are two places Kris Hui knows well.
It’s a myth and urban legend that Asian students spend all their time between the library & the study hall and are not “good” at sports. Kris Hui is 5’10…and a half. A 3 sport athlete at Lowell High School in San Francisco, she sidestepped the glamour connected to US women’s basketball, did her part to break the Asian student stereotype and took her talents to the Lady Spartans Club volleyball team. Number 7 came for the competition and stayed for the chemistry. Her team videos show a lively, hardworking squad of players and staff as they trained for matches, travelled to games and competed in regional tournaments & national championships. Part of the Mountain West Conference, in 2019 their record was good enough to place 9th in the USA in their division and sporting enough to record no NCAA violations and no sanctions in her whole time with the team.
Lesson number 2: Build relationships in a community.
Even before Kris applied to San Jose State, gyms have been a key presence in her life. It’s a healthy life choice which fits neatly into this moment when mental health and physical activity are linked together. https://www.waldenu.edu/online-bachelors-programs/bs-in-psychology/resource/five-mental-benefits-of-exercise
Give thanks to to the wider fitness/wellness movement or blame Instagram…the new generation of young women has traded the long stretches and curved poses of yoga for iron sessions in the gym. It’s a direct, hands-on approach to body positivity, and much like four years of undergrad school, gym workouts are a test of focus and mental toughness. The first step is to just get moving, but not everyone has the confidence, available information or the motivation. Highlighting another side of her personality, Kris filmed and uploaded a full, ongoing set of leg workouts, upper body routines, high-intensity (HIIT) drills, boot camp sessions, full body programs and, every modern girl’s favourite, booty work outs as a guide and fit inspo, just as she had done with her class & studying videos. A happy side benefit for Kris came in the uptick of new viewers who could attach to the gym lifestyle.
(*Source: SJSU Athletics).
Lesson number 3: Lead by example.
It’s one thing to be “relatable” on YouTube and online, it’s another to actually be “authentic.” The #PerfectImperfections challenge is a social media challenge & exercise which asks participants to own their flaws, recognize the inner self and heal by finding peace in acceptance. The challenge calls attention to the effects on the female psyche of of social ideals and seeking perfection – being what you are but wanting to be something different.
Here is another true fact: Nobody is perfect.
In her sit down video for the challenge, Kris opened up about her likes, dislikes, insecurities and pointed her way forward. Being tall with an “athletic” body type, Kris wished she was “curvier, i.e, more traditionally feminine. She revealed a years long struggle with acne and spoke of feeling self conscious about the shape of her face. The height caused discomfort in puberty (and on dates), facial acne was a circle of low esteem plus visits to doctors & dermatologists, while her facial outline affected self image. In place of the usual influencer list of user-friendly “tips,” “tricks” and “life hacks,” Kris stated she had reshaped her mindset to see the physical advantages of her height, be strong in the body she had and offered the small, true wisdom to be ‘comfortable in your own skin.’
Lesson number 4: Love your body and be yourself.
Meanwhile on the YouTube dashboard…Kris continued earning her official “creator” stripes. She reached 50,000 subscriber status 3+ years ago. The 100,000* mark arrived on a trip home in November 2018, a plus-2 moment she shared by unboxing the silver creator plaque along with her parents in their bedroom.
YouTube by the numbers: Creator Subscriber levels:
Silver – 100,000*. Gold – 1 million. Diamond – 10,000,000* million.
Red Diamond – 100,000,000* million subscribers.
“Home” for the Hui family is in San Francisco, California, USA. The total population of the Bay area is 7,7** million. The city has an Asian population of 307,649*.
Here’s a true fact: The first wave of Asian immigrants came from China to America during the Gold Rush in the 1850s. The next group came from Japan, Korea and South Asia in the 1890s. Then as now, their presence has not been easy or welcome. https://abc7news.com/mother-son-murdered-family-mourning-after-murder/10452696/.
Last summer, while most of America and the world was rallying around #BLM and protesting the death of George Floyd, thousands of “influencers” did the opposite and stayed away from addressing racial topics on their channels & social media platforms. YouTube has a global reach. In her bedroom at home, Kris Hui turned on the camera, spoke into the lens and expressed her feelings on race, inequality and the abuse of power. The #trending term for highlighting social justice, inclusion and the rights of a minority group is called “allyship.” A less fancy word is humanity. In her heartfelt speech, Kris asked viewers to get active, sign petitions, give support to the cause, raise their voices and take action regarding race and inequality. Her interest and participation have become sharper and more moving with the rise of Asian hate crimes and incidents over the past few months. In an extra push, she has dedicated her Instagram account as the space where she is mobilizing and wishes to fully share messaging, information and resources on race and injustice.
(** Source: Wiki. *Source: United States Census Bureau./2019).
Lesson number 5: Do the right thing.
For Kris Hui and the Class of 2020, senior year should have been a straight road from school to finals, to graduation and to work.
And then came Covid-19…
Health orders and university protocols suddenly cancelled in-person classes, ended volleyball and flipped the whole student script. After almost 4 years, her last moments on the sunny grounds of San Jose State University came to an end with a Spring Break move-out day. The final months of her “college experience” were spent back at home in online classes and studying for midterms & finals, while also uploading quarantine-life vlogs and home workout tutorials.
Kris Hui and the upperclassmen of 2020 may be the last generation to pursue higher education in the old, traditional way and the first to experience the new hybrid version.
Here’s another true fact: Education is a business. The 4 year degree is being replaced with a 3 year model and edtech is the future of teaching. Since last July, universities like Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford have been shifting to online learning. https://www.financialexpress.com/education-2/covid-19-prestigious-universities-moving-online-but-can-digital-learning-compensate-for-campus-experience/2020964/ In the workplace, corporations and employers are now looking for specialized “micro credentials” as the new resume essentials instead of broad course skills. In a twist of fate, it is the high-tech companies of Silicon Valley in San Jose & San Francisco like Zoom and Coursera who developed the new videoconferencing and remote learning systems.
Lesson number 6: Adapt to new technology. You never know when you’ll need it.
In May 2020, Kris Hui became a college graduate! Lockdowns and restrictions meant the location was not the one she had imagined, but the moment was exactly as it should have been. On a sunny day, looking over the San Francisco skyline from the deck of their home, Kris Hui put on her robe, added the Delta Gamma Sorority sash, tipped her cap and celebrated the occasion with an outdoor barbecue, speeches, a toast…and her family.
Final Paper: Ms. Kris Hui turned 23 years old on January 18, 2021. In a year when big life decisions are not a good idea, she (wisely) chose the home-court advantage of staying close to city and family, connected the dots between her business + marketing degree and leaned into the options provided by her YouTube channel. Her old college and study videos have been switched to nutrition and week-in-my-life vlogs. The clothing hauls, GRWM and workout content remains just the same. Last week, she passed 180,000* subscribers. On the YouTube dashboard, the views-per-video on her channel have jumped to between 22,000 – 50,000*. The estimated AdSense earnings for Kris are $28,600 – $55,000**. Quora projections for a fully monetized channel of her size are $100,000 – $200,000 USD.
Lesson number 7: Make your next move your best move.
Kris Hui YouTube: By the numbers.
Subscribers 182k. Total Views: 15,738,608.
Average monthly views are 501,624*.
(*Source: YouTube. **Social Blade/Stat Smash/Quora)
Kris Hui is living proof that you do not have to be big online or famous to make an impact and lasting impression. Her path has taken her from high school through university and into “adulting” while navigating the twists, turns, highlights and low points along the way. Her whole 422+ YouTube video collection stands as a diary of her adventures and as a smart, savvy, guide to modern living and nu-femininity. She has not reached everybody…yet, but with her mixture of brains, beauty and stamina, Kris Hui still has plenty of time to leave a bright, stylish mark on this world.
Grade: Passion + drive + heart = Verified Authentic.
Follow Kris Hui on Instagram: @sanfrankrisco.
Kris Hui Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sanfrankrisco
Copyright (C) 2021. RaphaelClarence/La Source Online. All rights reserved.
Photo Credits: Lady Spartans, SJSU CC, Gym photo, Healthline. Kris Hui YT. Stop Asian Hate, Victoria Pickering. San Francisco, Stockarch. Kris Hui, Twitter.