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Shelby Church

Shelby Church is a popular tech and lifestyle YouTuber.

She has 1.8 million subscribers on her eponymous YouTube channel.


Shelby Oline Church was born on 10 February 1995.

She hails from Federal Way, Washington, United States.

Shelby is 38% Norwegian and has a twin sister, Monica Church.

Her father, Michael Church, is a retired high school teacher.

Apart from Monica, she has another sister, Vanessa Church, and a brother, Erik Church.

Shelby wanted to grow up to become a filmmaker and from a young age, she has been passionate about video production and editing.

She did gymnastics for a decade and then did diving.

Becoming a YouTuber at 14-

At 14, during summer, Shelby couldn’t drive and was bored, and as she always loved producing videos and editing them, on 13 June 2009, she started her eponymous YouTube channel as a hobby.

Initially, she wanted to name her channel as ‘Milena,’ as she wasn’t comfortable with putting her name on the internet, but she did otherwise.

In 2009, Shelby published her first ever video titled ‘Nail tutorial: how to make a flower on your nail’ (currently, this video is private).

At that time, there weren’t many YouTubers; only Fred Figglehorn had a million subscribers.

At 14, Shelby started shooting videos in her bedroom using a Canon point-and-shoot camera.

As at that time, she didn’t have a tripod, she used to stack up books; during that time, she didn’t know video editing.

Shelby started by publishing beauty videos on her channel and later, she also started publishing lifestyle videos.

At that time, as she was in high school, she wasn’t a consistent YouTuber.

Initially, Shelby wasn’t very confident of the monetization potential of her YouTube channel, but her perception changed when she learnt YouTubers getting brand deals and managers.

Thanks to this, she realized that YouTube could be a full-time career.

A year after working on her channel, Shelby gained 10K subscribers.

Initially, she used to publish searchable videos; she used to type a few letters in the incognito mode and YouTube used to suggest to her what people are actually searching, and she used to produce those videos.

Later, Shelby also started producing videos based on her interests.

An interesting fact- Her twin sister, Monica, also started her YouTube channel in 2009 and currently has 1.58 million subscribers.

Dropping out of school for YouTube-

At that time, apart from YouTube, Shelby didn’t work at any full-time job.

While studying at Highline College, a community college in Des Moines, Washington, she was completely living off of YouTube and was attending college only for a few hours.

While studying at college, Shelby became a fairly successful YouTuber; so, her professors encouraged her to drop out of college and pursue YouTube in order to save on college fees, as YouTube doesn’t require a college degree.

One of her professors even connected her with a CBS employee, for a job there; but she preferred working on her own YouTube channel.

Shelby dropped out of college to pursue YouTube, as she didn’t like the idea of having student loans.

At that time, she badly wanted to earn a decent income from her channel as she didn’t have any backup plans and as she knew that her parents wouldn’t pay for her.

So, Shelby started seriously working on her YouTube channel and started uploading a video every week.

Since 18, she has been a full-time YouTuber.

Also, from 2014 to February 2016, Shelby worked as a Digital Media Producer at Just Like That Studios, Inc. in Los Angeles.

Changing niches & struggles-

After publishing beauty and lifestyle videos for many years, Shelby got bored of them.

As she studied Film Production at Orange Coast College and gained a good knowledge of photography, she decided to publish photography tutorial videos onto her YouTube channel.

Thanks to studying film production, Shelby learnt editing, and storytelling through camera.

Prior to this, her YouTube channel started stalling and wasn’t growing like in the past; despite this, she was earning a decent amount to live on; but she grew burnt out and feared that her channel wouldn’t grow further.

So, Shelby started taking a class at Santa Monica College and considered finishing college; she even considered getting a full-time job.

But she persisted with her YouTube channel, which proved to be fruitful.

Eventually, she changed her niche from photography to tech, startups, business, electric vehicles, and lifestyle.

Graham Stephan, a popular YouTuber, convinced Shelby to buy a Tesla.

Her failed startup-

In June 2018, she along with Annemarie Allen, started ‘Shuttr,’ a marketplace to find and hire photographers and videographers.

‘Shuttr’ didn’t succeed as people would book photographers and instead of staying on the platform, they would get off the platform and connect personally.

Also, Shelby and Allen didn’t know coding and so, they struggled with their startup.

So, in January 2019, ‘Shuttr’ was shut down.

Her first viral video; & becoming a successful YouTuber-

After closing down ‘Shuttr,’ on January 1, 2019, Shelby published a video, ‘MY FITNESS JOURNEY + How To ACTUALLY Stay Motivated to Get Fit in 2019.’

For the first time, she made this kind of cinematic video and did voice over; many people liked the video and appreciated her.

So, Shelby kept producing similar style videos.

On 29 June 2019, she published ‘This Is How Much YouTube Paid Me For My 1,000,000 Viewed Video (not clickbait);’ this video became viral and crossed 10 million views.

As of November 2023, Shelby has 1.8M subscribers on her eponymous YouTube channel and 182K subscribers on her ‘Shelby Church Vlogs’ channel.

And has 219K followers on Instagram, 63.6K followers on Twitter, and 14.5K followers on Medium.

Shelby along with Monica started a podcast, ‘Millennial Life Crisis;’ later, she stopped this podcast.

She earns from a variety of sources like advertisements on her YouTube channel, affiliate marketing, merchandise, and sponsorships.

Shelby shoots her videos with a Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Digital Camera and edits her videos with Final Cut Pro.

Personal life-

She is in a relationship with Sam.

They met through their mutual friend, Kevin, during the month Shelby was moving out of LA.

Sam is also a YouTuber.

Shelby lives in California.

She loves watching documentaries and movies based on true stories.

Atomic Habits, and The Defining Decade are Shelby’s favourite books.

Her favourite YouTubers are Johnny Harris, and Nathaniel Drew, and Architectural Digest, Vox, and Vice are her favourite YouTube channels.

So, how are you inspired by the success story of Shelby Church?

Share with me in the comment section below.

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Hello folks, I'm Naveen Reddy.
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