Five years ago this Michigan-native decided to make a YouTube channel to escape from reality from time to time while working and attending college. Now, YouTube is her full-time job as she nears 1 million subscribers.
Her name is Fei Yang–but online she goes by“heyitsfeiii”–and she’s one of the most influential Korean beauty and Korean entertainment creators on YouTube, alongside people like JREKML, Whitneybae, Edward Avila, Jenn Im, and many others.
Things like having famous K-pop idols do her makeup or teach her how to dance are normal for the 23-year-old who has raked in over 100 million views in her career so far.
Back in April of 2013 though, Fei was a human biology major at Michigan State University while also working part-time at the school’s child development center, which is when she decided to create a YouTube channel as something to do in her free time.
“It was during a time where I felt restricted. I didn’t feel like I had my own voice, my own character,” Fei told the Michigan Journal, “I decided to make a YouTube channel as my little bubble, my escape.”
Growing up, Fei dreamed of becoming many things, such as a neonatal nurse, a teacher for young kids, an optometrist, and even a performer. It wasn’t until 2014, though, that she fully dived into the world of YouTube and realized how big her passion for creating was.
Suddenly, two years ago her little “escape” started to take off and garner tons of views as she reviewed products and recreated the makeup looks of popular K-pop idols and actresses. Her most popular videos consist of her testing beauty products, especially masks and blackhead removers, and her tips for acne-prone skin. She even started a separate vlog channel “itsfeiiiday” in 2016 to document her daily life.
Fei graduated from Michigan State in 2016, and now her Bachelors of Science in Human Biology is simply her backup plan.
“My family was a bit concerned if “YouTube” could pay the bills and feed me. I don’t blame them, I was scared too, but my passion for creating kept me going,” Fei said. “It was risky to quit my part-time job and put my education on pause, but I knew deep down I was ready to explore what I loved most, and that was using my voice through content creating.”
It was a risk that paid off in the end, as Fei’s channel has about 929,000 subscribers and is closing in on that 1 million milestone mark–something that she says is crazy and even scares her.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself or ever take these numbers for granted. They’re not just numbers, they’re actual, real-life people!” She explained, “I’m just reminding myself to stay humble and blessed.”
South Korea is not just advanced in technology with their 4G internet and city-wide Wi-Fi, but it’s also the epicenter of the latest and craziest skincare and makeup products. Considering appearance is extremely important in Korean culture, it’s natural that they’re in the forefront.
As a result, Korean beauty products, tips and tricks have swept the internet off its feet recently along with the wonderful world of K-pop and K-dramas–and Fei is one of the YouTubers at the center of it all.
Fei’s channel mainly revolves around beauty tutorials and reviewing products, but she also throws in occasional reaction videos (this girl loves BTS and GOT7!), mukbangs, concert experiences, and fun videos such as teaching K-pop idols American slang and having them attempt to do her makeup.
2017 was Fei’s biggest year yet though. She became the host of the Viki series “SHOOK,” where she interviews popular K-pop groups such as Monsta X, Mamamoo, Oh My Girl, A.C.E. and more, and gets to travel to Seoul frequently.
For her channel she has also worked with groups like 24k, Topp Dogg, and Up10tion, as well as famous comedians Lee Su-geun and Kim Young-chul (she’s also met GOT7, f(x)’s Krystal, Gugudan, Big Bang’s Taeyang, and so many more though). She has even collaborated with other famous K-YouTubers such as JREKML, We Fancy, StillNotDavid, TheBeautyBreakdown, and Meejmuse.
Being able to travel to South Korea and work with these stars is one of her favorite parts about her job.
“These are the kinds of opportunities that I’d never take for granted,” Fei said, “Being able to interact with stars and have them know of your existence is pretty cool in my book.”
No matter where her channel takes her though, Fei never forgets about her Michigan roots or her favorite memories while growing up here.
“Renting a nice cozy lake house during the hot summer and running out to the private lake property with my family floats at the top of my memories,” she explains. “Roasting marshmallows at night around the bonfire, riding the sand dunes during the day, and playing card games while watching the lake glisten through the open windows. That’s my kind of summer in Michigan.”
Fei has already accomplished a lot, but she still has many goals for the future such as giving back to her family that have always supported her wholeheartedly–especially her older brothers.
“My goal is to make them proud of me. I want to be able to give my older brothers things they’ve always wanted but never got because they were too busy supporting my sister and I.”
As for her YouTube channel, Fei already has her eyes set on her next goal.
“I definitely want to create skincare or makeup products under my brand name, “heyitsfeiii,”” she said, “That is also my way of giving back to my supporters. To make something that they’d be proud of.”
With her 900,000+ subscribers, 50,000 Twitter followers, and 127,000 Instagram followers, it’s safe to say the Michigan native has a strong online influence, which she appreciates and takes very seriously.
“The most rewarding feeling about my job is knowing that I can bring a smile to someone’s face. That’s all it takes. Knowing that I can lift someone’s mood and make their day a little less stressful is one of the most indescribable feelings ever,” Fei explained.
“I want others to feel as welcomed and loved as they are when they find my channel and my videos.”
You can watch Fei host the series “SHOOK” on Viki.com and subscribe to her YouTube channel at “heyitsfeiii” and her vlog channel “itsfeiiiday”!