Good news fashionistas, food lovers and DIY-minded types — your new favorite YouTube channel has arrived! And even better, it has a catchy, easy-to-remember, oh-so-trendy name.
LEAF TV is now your one-stop channel for all things cute, crafty and downright useful. Have a busted heel? Turn to LEAF. Want homemade croutons for your Mediterranean salad (or just to munch on as a quick snack)? LEAF has a perfect recipe. Want a prediction on who wins the Super Bowl this year? Well… you should probably go elsewhere for that one (hint: the Niners), but for most everything in the art of entertaining, LEAF has you covered.
See LEAF stands for the triumvirate of chic — Living, EAting and Fashion (jeez, even their name is handy), and while the other two are pretty self-explanatory, living is that “anything goes” category that could mean anything from getting ahead at work, to building inexpensive (and fabulous!) furnishings. You might say LEAF is going to be keeping Pinterest in business for a long, long time.
So lucky me, I got to sit down with creators of LEAF at a stage where the empire is still being built. For those of you who don’t know (and this is the last moment you have to not know), LEAF is comprised of two culture gurus: Geri Hirsch of the ab-fab blog BecauseImAddicted.net and Erin Falconer of the equally divine PicktheBrain.com. Now because it wouldn’t be a party without a charming host, I also got to conference in with Stephanie Horbaczewski, the CEO of YouTube’s largest beauty and fashion network, StyleHaul (last second bit of luck that totally worked out for everyone!).
And just so you don’t feel left out (you were invited, I swear!) here is everything we talked about, baked into a delicious chat stew. Of course, if you’re the impatient sort, let me give you one phrase to whet your appetite: DIY cocktail bar. Read on below to find out what that’s all about.
Now LEAF, your new company, it stands for Living, EAting, Fashion. How did that come about?
Geri Hirsch: I was playing with ideas for a name several years ago and it just sort of came together as a result of different words that seemed to work as a brand and as an acronym.
So it was better than say, Fashion, Art, Industry, Living — F.A.I.L.?
Geri Hirsch: I knew we were covering cooking, but cooking, using that word doesn’t necessarily resonate with the generation we are going after. “Fashion” does and “lifestyle” encompasses both eating and fitness, “living” focuses on home décor and the “and” is a catchall for things like art or how to change a tire or anything that doesn’t fit into the other three verticals.
There are a lot of beauty, fashion, and eating channels on YouTube — how does LEAF differentiate from the rest?
Erin Falconer: First of all, when we started our series with StyleHaul, we saw a tremendous amount of engagement and encouragement. Girls absolutely loved what we had to offer. We decided to create a destination site where we offered all of those things—living, eating and fashion. Most channels on YouTube focus on just eating or fashion or on lifestyle. We want to focus on all three. We also don’t talk in the videos. They are very visual and very interactive. It is different than anything else out there.
Where does LEAF get its inspiration for its content?
Geri Hirsch: I think the reason our brand really works is we are our demo. I’ve been that twenty something girl who has absolutely no idea how to do anything. I am that girl who is interested in fashion and whether there is a trend or how to wear it. I think it is coming from all angles like seeing girls on the street or having something to eat at a restaurant and then also just the basics, like something I feel a lot of people don’t cover. How to chop an onion, how to cook a piece of chicken, how to sewn on a button, things that feel a little old fashioned that people often gloss over on other channels.
Erin Falconer: To add to Geri’s point, I think that people gloss over these old fashioned things is because they haven’t been presented in an interesting way before. And that is where we felt there was a real market for us. These things are necessary to know but don’t need to be boring. It is also how we differentiate ourselves from other channels.
Did you have to learn how to be trendy or were you pretty stylish and sufficient right from the get-go?
Geri Hirsch: I was raised with a single mom and had to figure out a lot on my own. I had to learn how to dress myself or redecorate a bedroom or how to make dinner. When I went to college I realized that a lot of girls didn’t have the same skills I had acquired, but they were all very curious like “how did you learn how cook and do all of these things?” It made me realize that there was this huge void in the market on that demo. We are constantly on this journey all since we were very young.
Okay, pop quiz: I’m having a dinner party for six. What should I serve as cocktails?
Geri Hirsch: I recommend setting up your own artisanal cocktail bar because it is a great way to have people who don’t know each other break the ice. If you have a handful of beautiful herbs and fruit and berries, soda water and simple syrup and the alcohol of your choice, everyone can create their own cocktail and you can provide suggestions.
Where do you think the LEAF brand is heading?
Erin Falconer: We would like for that, we are in the process of building our destination site, which is going to have a big focus on making it shoppable. For a lot of these girls being able to cook is a matter of having the right elements, when you are watching this you can shop the girl making the video. It starts to paint a cool story. Your question, “what to have at a cocktail party?” with our videos we will have an element where you can see here is the cocktail here is what you should serve for the side and the main course. We can show that in a really cool way. Whereas on YouTube there are some restrictions that won’t let you do that.
And now, a quick question for Stephanie — for our unfamiliar readers, what is StyleHaul?
Stephanie Horbaczewski: StyleHaul is the biggest YouTube network in the world for fashion and beauty; we have about 1300 creators that we work with right now in addition to all our original programming. About 45 million people a month visit the network.
To be fair, I did ask them all what was the better hub of style and fashion — L.A. or New York, but with a worldwide audience of style-conscious viewers to consider, the LEAF crew were all too smart to head down that road. Well played, ladies…
Be sure to jump over and visit LEAF TV to get your knowledge on (but only after you’ve clicked on and read a bunch of great NMR content).