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From the Classroom to the Red Carpet

At just 19, Alexis Joy has built a personal media brand that takes her to some of the biggest events in Hollywood.

Over the past six years, Alexis Joy has walked the red carpet with celebrities like Nick Cannon and Flo-Rida. She's a regular at star-studded events like the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and the Latin American Music Awards. She’s conducted interviews for major media companies like MTV and Telemundo.

It's all part of her work as a self-made entertainment news correspondent and on-air personality, having built a personal media brand from the ground up and partnering with a variety of outlets.

Did we mention she's also 19?

That's right, the full-time college student at Northridge University started all this when she was just a tween, with little more than a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection in her childhood bedroom. Since then, she's amassed a loyal audience of millennials, for whom she serves as part red-carpet advocate, part fellow fan girl. Her main focus is her own site, Alexis Joy VIP Access, which features celebrity interviews and beauty and fashion advice, along with AwesomenessTV, where she serves as a writer and host.

With thousands of followers across her social platforms—even inspiring a Twitter account run by fans—Joy seems to have struck a chord with her audience, with a relatable style, even when chatting up some of the biggest names in Hollywood. More simply put, she brings her fans along for the ride and asks the questions they would want to ask (often soliciting them on social media before she heads to the next red carpet).

We recently caught up with the always-on-the-go Joy to discuss the future of media, her personal style, and why celebrities really are just like us.

So how did all this start?

Almost six years ago, I started writing for an online website. I really enjoyed it, and it kicked off my passion for writing and journalism. A year later, I branched out on my own and started my own website, on 11/11/11. I strategically planned it on that day so it would be a little more memorable.

It’s been such a great blessing. I’ve worked hard, and my work has been recognized, so I’m now invited to these events and able to network with others in the industry. And I love the feedback I receive on Twitter and Instagram.

In a range of industries, but especially media, the Internet has made it easier than ever to just start something. Did you see that—and how did you jump in?

I definitely did see the trend and that’s why I gravitated to doing something online. With my generation and my audience, the way to reach them is online. I noticed this with my friends and myself—this is where we get our news, on Twitter, online, on blogs.

Problem is, there’s a lot of noise out there too. How do you stand out?

That’s a great question. I guess you just have to be persistent. I’m constantly working, 24/7. I lack sleep. But for me, it pays off, because all of my hard work has allowed me to cover all these events and connect with great people. I try to constantly update. I take care of all my social media and posts. Just being on top of everything, staying organized. I try to stay connected with my readers and supporters, because they matter most. They appreciate my content, so I want to give them what they want. I ask them for interview questions on social. It helps build the bond we have with each other.

How do you balance life as an entertainment correspondent with the demands of college?

I’ve found it a little overwhelming, with all the things I do, but I’m able to balance it because I love everything I do so much. Each day is pretty different. Some days I start working on articles for my site right away. But school is always a priority.

It seems like hard work, but hobnobbing with A-listers must be a lot of fun too. What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love that question. Anytime I’m asked, I can never pick just one thing. I absolutely love what I do. I’d say my favorite part is to see the feedback that I get from my readers and supporters. To see they appreciate the 24/7 work that I do. My main goal is to provide the latest news and entertainment, the latest fashion and beauty advice. I want them to see my content and be happy, to have this be an outlet or safe haven for them. After a long day of school or sports practice, they’re able to relax and enjoy my content.

How have you built your personal brand, while also keeping the spotlight on the celebrities you interview?

Throughout my interviews, my main focus is to promote what the talent is doing. I know they always have so much to share and projects to promote, but the friendship and relationship I’m able to create with them, I feel like that’s maybe what people enjoy seeing—that there’s a type of friendship with the interviewer and person being interviewed. A lot of people look forward to that, that connection to the talent.

I’m sure there are many, but what’s a red-carpet moment that stands out?

A bunch of things pop into my head. Interviewing Nick Cannon and Flo-Rida stand out. But a lot of interviews stand out.

At the 2015 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, I met Steph Curry. That was definitely one of my biggest fan-girl moments. Being able to see him and his daughter in the flesh was shocking to me because I didn’t think it was going to happen. It was a super quick moment on the carpet. He was very accommodating, super friendly, and it made me adore him even more. I respect him as a basketball player, but seeing how humble and down-to-earth he is was really incredible.

As someone immersed in it, what do you think is the biggest misunderstanding about celebrities and celebrity culture?

I would probably say that we all look at celebrities as people completely different from the rest of us. But we’re all human. And all these celebs, no matter how popular they are or how many tours they’ve been on or movies they’ve been in, they’re just like you and me—they have feelings and emotions, good days and bad days. One thing that I really like about social media is that celebs are now able to connect with fans more and let them dive into their mindsets. At the end of the day, we’re all human.

What do you think will be the next big thing in the blogger/vlogger world?

I think live streaming is probably going to be the next big thing. It’s super cool to incorporate live streams in articles. A live stream is what the name says—live—so fans can see exactly what’s going on in that moment and connect with celebrities they adore, because they’re right there on the spot.

You’re on camera and on the carpet often, so fashion is obviously important to you. How would you describe your personal style?

I would say that my style can best be described as classy. I want to be confident in what I’m wearing, never want to regret anything I’m wearing. I like things that I’m comfortable in. I dress as I want to present myself—as a classy person and someone who’s taken seriously for the work I do.

You’ve been a friend to the brand for a while. Where does American Made Supply Co. fit in there?

I absolutely love wearing American Made any and everywhere I go. It’s a perfect attire to wear—even on the red carpet, I might try to wear a tank. It’s super comfortable, which goes back to what I said about being comfortable in what you’re wearing. It’s super stylish. It joins us all together because it’s such a phenomenal brand. I wore it during my recent trip to New York, because I was running around, and American Made made my hectic trip feel comfortable.

What does it mean to you to be American Made?

I would say being American Made is being proud of who you are and what you do and inspiring that for others. When [founders] J [Winklepleck] and Jordan [Hunnell] created American Made, they made us all proud with an apparel brand. I feel proud whenever I wear it. I’m always proud to be an American, but amazing American clothing brands like that give us an extra reason to be proud. When you’re determined and work hard, that’s what being American Made is. When you have our troops and veterans who have sacrificed so much, we’re so proud of them. When our Olympians represent us, we’re so proud of them. Being American Made is being proud of who you are—and proud of others.

By Rod Kurtz

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