Jim Chapman in a black and white photo double breaste overcoat and a roll neck knit

‘I’ve worked shit jobs I really appreciate what I’ve got.Jim Chapman

As a part time blogger myself that gets little to zero traction on his own YouTube channel (currently floundering pitifully with 58 subscribers) I’m fascinated to learn from the people who made a successful career from vlogging.

When I interviewed Jim Chapman (Presenter, writer, GQ contributing editor, occasional model) for the Menswear Style Podcast I wanted to know how he managed to become one of the UK’s top vloggers, accumulating 2 million subscribers on YouTube.

Here are some of the highlights from the interview.

Jim Chapman in a grey single breasted suit

So Jim Chapman, how did it all begin for you? 

7-8 years ago my big sisters known as Pixie Woo on the internet, they would make up tutorials.

My big sister Sam was very heavily pregnant with her first child and both of them Sam and Nic, are both successful make up artists, her friend asked her to do a smokey eye.

Sam said I cant get to you, I’m heavily pregnant but I’ll upload it to YouTube and you can see it there.

I don’t think she realised it then but other people can watch it too.

Not many people watched but enough to occupy her when she was pregnant.

After she gave birth my other sister jumped in whilst she was nursing the child, it became a thing.

Meanwhile my girlfriend at the time who is now my wife left 6th form didn’t want to go to university, because she met me and fell in love and the girls taught her how to do make up.

She worked on a make up counter, and on weekends made videos because it was exciting.

Jim chapman sitting on a chair  A few years later I graduated with a degree in psychology. In  Norwich there’s not loads of jobs to do with psychology so I’d look for jobs in whatever I could find.

I’ve always been creative, if i had my time again I would have done art.

I needed to fill that creative hole. I was working in retail whilst I was studying, then I was working in insurance.

I saw it laid out in front of me and it was really sad. I was an enforcement officer, when people had fines I’d send bailiffs after them.

On the weekends I would make videos, you get a real buzz from it. It wasn’t really a thing back then, it makes you happy and excited.

Jim Chapman in a navy single breasted suit

I was doing it whilst looking for a career, over time it took off. After a first year I was getting a bit of traction, so I quit my job, my mum had a bit of panic, because I was the ‘smart one’, I was at the university.

I was clueless I had no direction and when I discovered this thing I dropped out of uni.

I was very fortunate, it was a very small thing, not many of us were using or consuming. I made all my mistakes when no one was really watching.

It was a different ball game back then. I was the best of a bad bunch back then.

I found it early, really enjoyed it, I worked hard and there is something about me that makes people want to come back for a bit more.

When I first started it was fashion and grooming, then I discovered I could talk about whatever I wanted.

When I was 23 I could do a video about shaving my legs, then I got to the point where I thought I should grow up, I decided when I go to 26 I should act my age.

I’m only as popular as my last thing. It can disappear as quick as it comes.

I’ve worked shit jobs I really appreciate what I’ve got.

It’s really important to keep my head on my shoulders, which is why I work hard on other things, so when I outlive my shelf life here I’ve got other things to walk into.

Jim Chapman waving at the camera

It’s really important to keep my head on my shoulders, which is why I work hard on other things, so when I outlive my shelf life here I’ve got other things to walk into.

It doesn’t work out for everyone, when I started there was a handful people doing it, now it’s so saturated out there, there’s a million people watching, but theres a million people creating. – Jim Chapman

You can keep up to date with all the movement of Jim Chapman via his website

The show is brought to you by Leesa Mattresses, make sure you’re using the code IMMenswearStyle02 at the check out to get £80 of your next purchase. (The link does not expire).


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