When Bethany Mota began filming videos in her bedroom at the age of 13, she had no intention of making it famous on YouTube. The shy, introverted adolescent merely desired a way to express herself.
What began as a pastime has since grown into a profitable business and brand.
Mota is a YouTube personality, author, entrepreneur, and, most recently, designer with a following of more than 20 million people across her platforms, 12 years after pushing the record button for the first time. Mota’s achievement has placed her two years in a row on TIME’s list of the Most Influential People on the Internet. In 2017, she was selected to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
In the same year, she wrote Make Your Mind Up: My Guide to Finding Your Own Style, Life, and Motivation!, her autobiography.
Atom&Matter, Mota’s most recent business, was launched in 2019 when she was taking a break from YouTube.
Her mental health was suffering as a result of her use of social media. Her passion to create and design, on the other hand, was at an all-time high. As a result, she created a corporation with the goal of forming a community of like-minded people.
Atom&Matter began with a demi-fine jewelry collection, with items ranging from pearl drop earrings to crescent moon pendants, and prices ranging from $39 to $159, the pieces are supposed to be affordable yet distinctive.
Related: Your Ambition Knows No Boundaries.
Mota has worked with Step Up and Pratham, two organizations that provide mentorship and training to young women who want to be entrepreneurs. Each nonprofit receives a portion of the proceeds from each piece of jewelry sold.
Mota says, “This brand may be a million things.” “In the end, I wanted this brand to be a landing spot for community and what we believe in, which is that we’re all the same; we’re all atoms and matter going through the same things.”
We all face difficulties. We have a lot in common in that we’re all distinct and have our own paths.”
Mota’s journey from a teen producing videos in her bedroom to a bonafide YouTube sensation led her to her current endeavor as a jewelry designer. Her tale serves as an excellent reminder that the initiatives we start out of love and curiosity may occasionally blossom into so much more. She is still only 25 years old.
Mota claims she didn’t have many pals as a child. Her introversion and the fact that her family moved around a lot contributed to this. She used to spend time alone in her room with her computer as an adolescent.
She was also the victim of online bullying during the MySpace period. Another MySpace user had imitated her profile, copying her images and making derogatory comments about her beauty and weight. She couldn’t stop herself from obsessing over it, checking the website again and over, becoming increasingly self-conscious about it.
Mota’s YouTube Channel Was Fueled By the Bullying.
Charlie Bit My Finger was the first video she had watched on the platform. The girl, inspired by the ability to create, set out to create an online space where she could be herself and determine who she wanted to be.
As a result, Mota recorded her first YouTube video in 2009. She’d seen a lot of other YouTubers become celebrities in their own way by that point, especially young ladies who shared makeup, hair, and other beauty advice. Even though she wasn’t exactly of age, Mota watched a lot of internet beauty instructions.
“I wasn’t really like cosmetics at the time,” she adds, “but I thought, OK, this is what other ladies are doing, so maybe I could do it.”
“At the time, I was one of the youngest persons in the beauty industry, teaching people how to do things. I was teaching people how to do something I’d only been doing for a month.”
Her confidence developed as her following grew and her hobbies broadened, allowing her to branch out into other areas such as hair, fashion, DIY, and even baking tutorials.
She also began posting bloopers in her videos as a means for viewers to have a better sense of who she is. Like many of her fans, the quasi-polished YouTuber was a quirky and introverted adolescent navigating her way through life.
She admits, “I didn’t say much.” “I was terrified of expressing myself and being true to myself.” I was a little anti-social, so this was my way of talking a lot and saying things I’d never say in person.
And, more importantly, to discover me, because, in real life, I wasn’t allowing myself the access or permission to explore certain aspects of myself. As a result, it was a great way for me to express myself.”
Filming videos gave Mota a sense of empowerment, and she recalls her first years of content creation as feeling like she was living two lives: one as a flourishing online star, and the other as an average American teenager.
People got more engrossed in who Mota was and what she had to say as she engaged with her YouTube community and replied to comments.
She later expanded her platform to Twitter, where she was able to connect with more people, and things really started to take off. She had no idea it was possible to reach such a wide audience. She had no intention of becoming famous on the internet, but she was well on her way.
It Wasn’t All Likes And Favorites, Though.
There are a lot of trolls on the internet. Mota was quickly the subject of their wrath. Despite everything she’s done, she’s come to realize that, as painful as it may be, opening oneself up comes with the territory. Despite the aggravation that internet trolls have caused Mota, the experience has allowed her to mature in certain ways.
“Whenever [comments] mirror something you already believe,” she explains, “it hurts a lot more because you already believe it.”
It gives me great pleasure to hear that my work is appreciated and that it makes a difference. However, I believe that linking my personal worth to other people’s opinions, whether positive or negative, hasn’t worked well for me in the past.
Since her brand represents her personality, Mota has suffered from self-doubt and negative self-talk. “It’s not a special ability,” she explains. “We’re promoting ourselves,” says the narrator. But putting aside her worries about whether others like or dislike her has allowed her to continue generating content—and now jewelry—as herself without fear of failure.
“Coming to terms with the reality that strangers had the potential to say things about me and make assumptions that can be quite harmful was extremely difficult, and I would say it took years to get used to it all.”
She learned to not internalize the negativity with time and practice.
She explains, “I’ve learnt not to take other people’s opinions too seriously.” “Even with all the adoration and pumping you up.”
“If we become reliant on others telling us how great or superior we are, the moment we don’t receive it, we may feel like we’ve lost our identity,” she explains. “So that was also a practice.” Without being told, I get the impression that I am amazing, that I am creative, and that I am successful.”
Mota Has Always Had a Passion For Creating New Things.
She expresses her enthusiasm for all things do-it-yourself throughout her book. She’s talked about how she used to DIY almost everything she owned to make it more personal. She remembers spray painting a gold desk caddy to make it stand out against her white desk. Out of translucent plastic and colorful wrapping paper, she made a temporary mousepad.
Mota has gone a long way since then. Scissors and glue guns have made way for greater craftsmanship in her jewelry line, Atom&Matter. However, the thrill of making something one-of-a-kind remains unchanged.
“Seeing what you designed in other people’s lives,” she says, “is really special.” “It’s fascinating to see how they personalize it and weave their own personal stories into it.”
Mota And Her Crew Began Conceptualizing In 2019.
She acknowledges that establishing a new business was frightening at first. Mota had the same dread as many other solopreneurs: what if things don’t go according to plan? But she overcame her fear (much like the online bullying she faced in middle school) and continued going. In order to start something from scratch, she had to embrace her fear and forge ahead.
As a result, Mota took a break from content creation and began designing. Then came the epidemic. Mota and her staff, like everyone else at the time, used video conferencing to conduct their meetings. Everything remained virtual for seven or eight months, which heightened her anxiety because she preferred face-to-face communication.
“Starting a business comes with a lot of self-doubts,” she explains. “It was terrifying.”
Atom&Matter’s early stages were riddled with self-doubt. She questioned everything, from the brand’s name to the website’s color palette. She explains, “There were a lot of opportunities for me to get into my thoughts.”
“And that’s when I took a step back and told myself that I wasn’t going to overthink things and that I was simply going to trust my instinct.”
She claims that after she made the decision to not concentrate on decisions and instead trust her instincts, the rest of the process got much easier.
“I believe it’s almost necessary for self-doubt to be a part of the process,” she says. “I’ve discovered that paying attention to it when the dread arises is usually beneficial.”
Examining the fear can assist you to figure out what’s causing it. As a result, Mota has discovered that knowing the source of the anxiety can aid in its complete elimination.
“There’s something here if I’m terrified and avoiding,” she adds, explaining that avoiding fear causes her to become stagnant.
Atom&Matter was born as a result of a lot of planning and a little more daring.
“When you’re creating a brand, you don’t understand how much you need to know,” she says. “You need to know all there is to know about this brand: what it stands for, what it looks like, how it sounds, and how it feels.” You must be really precise in every detail.”
She dug deep into her instincts and collaborated with her team on issues such as Atom&Matter’s mission, how the brand makes people feel, and the meaning behind it.
Because her audience has expanded with her, Mota wanted her next effort to appeal to them. Some people, like Mota, began following her when they were young teenagers, but have since grown into women with their own careers or businesses. She also wanted it to be appealing to folks who aren’t familiar with her through YouTube or social media.
Mota modeled for the inaugural collection and made it clear that it is her brand even though she did not name it after herself.
Mota advises, “You have to dive deep into why you’re making this.” “If I didn’t know that, I’d be perplexed as to what brand it is. I’m not sure how I’m going to talk about it. Or why I’m doing it in the first place.”
She needed some time to find out the brand’s silent narrative—or perhaps the unspoken tales she emits herself.
She is an adult, a forceful personification of what a little girl who was unsure of herself dreamed and imagined she could be.
Her company tells a similar story, one that her audience and customers will undoubtedly recognize. She, the brand, and the buyer will all change over time. Only the jewelry pieces themselves are fixed and immobile, serving as mementos of a specific time and place, as well as markers along the journey.
That’s what I think causes a lot of burnout for people and is why people have to step back because you kind of get confused. It’s like this is me, but I’m marketing myself. It’s hard to separate logic from heart and self.
“To overcome it, I think it’s being in tune with myself. It’s giving myself time mentally if I need a break and to step away for a second and really think and be with myself and figure out what it is I want to do.”
If she thinks a creative project will take more of her time and energy, she gives herself space to work on it while doing small duties ahead of time. “I’m figuring out how to combine being in a fast-paced business,” she says. “However, I also want to gratify my artistic side.” She’s perfected multitasking in order to devote time to her passion projects. She’s also learned to be comfortable with her own unique brand.
“It’s all too tempting to equate your own value with everything,” she says.
Mota has stopped comparing herself to others, which is as crucial as anything she’s learned over the years. “I believe that the more you compare yourself to others, the further you will stray.”
And when it comes to realizing the future you envision for yourself, all that you want to become and create, the only path worth taking is your own.
That, I believe, is what creates a lot of burnout and is why individuals need to take a break back because they become confused. It’s as if this is me, but I’m trying to sell myself. It’s difficult to divorce reasoning from emotion and self.
“I believe that being in tune with myself is the key to overcoming it. It’s giving myself mental space if I need it, to take a step back and truly reflect and be with myself and figure out what I want to accomplish.”