Julie Jia (Shuhan Jia) is a young dreamer that lights up any room she walks in just by being herself. At the age of eight, she came to America with her family. Starting a new life here meant to take the opportunities that came her way. She is currently a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) majoring in Fashion Business Management. When she was young, she aspired to work in the fashion industry. She believes that much can be conveyed through clothing as it represents her. (We feel you, girl) With that, she looks forward to following that dream by starting her own business and challenge herself through it.
During her time in school, she found a creative outlet that allowed her to express herself further. That was Youtube! Her first video was inspired by a moment in time, “I was with my friends, and we went to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It gave me a good idea to start capturing some memories that I have with them.” She started with a vlog and then decided to create the videos she loved watching growing up such as the trendy “Get Ready With Me” or “Outfit Idea” videos. She also worked on some makeup videos as well, “makeup is one thing that I always enjoyed doing because it boosted my self-confidence and since I love drawing, it is just like making an art masterpiece on my own face.” She admits that video editing can be “the most hectic aspect” but she loves the process and strives to get better and better.
Julie kindly shared some of her wisdom in simply starting your dream right away. Just start!! If you’ve wanted to start a channel she shared some tips. She stated word for word, “DO NOT be discouraged! My English is still not perfect, I do not have perfect skin or a perfect body. However, when you are in front of the camera, you just have to be yourself :)” We second that!! She also mentioned that making a video should come naturally. She emphasizes that it’s important to love what you’re doing and to not “force yourself to film a youtube video when you are not feeling it. If you are truly happy in front of the camera, that makes others feel the same way too.” Not only she believes you should start your dream today, but she also believes “it’s certainly an asset to learn more than two languages in this world today. I was considering making English and Chinese Youtube videos. I can put Chinese captions on my future videos, for example. Today, being diverse will lead you to more places and meet more people.” This is also a strong point in any career as well. She also left you guys with a quote she lives by. ..
“Do it now. Sometimes later becomes never…” – Linda Frame
During this quarantine, it’s the greatest time to work on yourself if you’re given the opportunity to. Start that dream or business. Julie shared what she has been doing during this heavy time and how she turned what was negative into a positive thing. “I am currently focusing on self-improvement. I know how this whole quarantine can be such a hard time for some people and it is driving people crazy. In the beginning, I was overthinking about my whole life and my future so I was actually having a very hard time at home. However, I decided to be more optimistic and see this as a chance to become a better version of myself. I started to take care of my skin and my body by drawing up a schedule for each day.”
“I started eating healthy and better too. I tried to drive myself away from being lazy because being lazy wastes a lot of time from doing a lot of things. Each night I drive myself to sleep and wake up early every morning. I consider this quarantine a very positive opportunity for me to recognize the things I’m not happy within my life and have given me the chance to reflect on it. I am still waiting for the day to come when I can look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘I love you!’. I have discovered that first I need to understand how to love myself in order to give love to others.” As many of you may relate, it definitely has forced us to confront our demons and ruminate on how our choices have impacted our lives. This is your chance. This is your time! Julie’s positive and vulnerable message serves as a gentle reminder of that.
“I have discovered that first I need to understand how to love myself in order to give love to others.” – Julie
Julie’s life is not picture-perfect as none of our stories are. One of her main personal struggles is learning to speak English as a foreigner. Coming to America at eight years old meant that she had to put herself through a considerable amount of changes. It also meant that she had to adapt to everything from language to culture. She expressed that she has struggled with it when she was young. She has to listen “to foreign words, phrases, and phrases coming from others really put me into an awkward position. I was worried that I would not be able to understand my teachers in class and unable to make any friends in school.” She sadly pondered on the fact that some people looked at her differently and used her lack of communication against her. She decided that she will push herself to improve her English. Despite her English being better, she struggled to fit in. She put herself in sports teams and club which ultimately led her to build friendships. Still, she found herself not being fully herself, “I had come to realize I wasn’t myself. I cared excessively about what others thought of me. I think I, myself, was the only one at this point that can get me out of this situation. I just had to stop taking care of other opinions and doing things for myself and not others. So I’ve begun to step up for myself, I just have to bear in mind I need to be myself.” Empowering.
“For me, these drawbacks are incentives to do better” – Julie
“I would like to tell readers that, whenever you feel disappointed at yourself, give yourself some time to actually think about how you can improve yourself. Do not think about how much those negativities can get to you because that should not be a big deal to you. You are in control of your own life, not other people.”
No successful individual was simply born…they had role models they looked up to and for Julie, that was her mom. “My mother was the biggest influence of my whole life.” She happily said that her mother “never pushed me to do something I did not want to do. She always had my back, and would always be there to talk to me when I needed someone. She is like a best friend of mine. My mother genuinely has the best advice when I am lost in life, perhaps because she knows me better than anyone else in this world, sometimes even myself.”
Bonus: Favorite anything, and why?
“My sister is my favorite person in the entire world.”
“Having her in my life has taught me a lot of things like being responsible, and having the patience to look after her. My sister is still very young but speaks Chinese fluently. Living in a family that does not regularly speak English, I felt like it was my duty to make sure that my sister is learning English too. I do not want her to end up like me when she starts her schooling. I’d do my hardest to make my sister stay out of it after what I have seen in that sort of situation. Whenever I look at her, it just makes my day, even though she can be irritating sometimes but she will always be the one that can cheer me up when I am upset.”
“I do not have many things in my life that would influence me, instead, the two most important influencers in my life are my mom and my sister. Although there is a strong supportive community within the beauty and fashion field, the ones that helped me find who I truly was and helped me to be the person I am today are those people in my family.”
Julie’s wonderful story left me in tears as she shares her devotion to her family and herself. She is nothing less than ordinary and she is always true to herself. If you wanna see more of her, you can follow her on Instagram and Youtube. 🙂