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Michelle Phan explains how she went from YouTube star to beauty mogul

August 15, 2015, 4:33 PM UTC

If you’re looking for a model of how to turn social media buzz into big-business success, Michelle Phan is your woman.

At 19, Phan started making “how-to” beauty videos on YouTube. She now has 7.9 million followers on the site—to say nothing of the millions who track her every move on other social networks. And she’s parlayed that following into a boggling number of business ventures. There’s ICON, a global lifestyle network that she launched in partnership with content creation, production and distribution company Endemol Shine Group. She also has her own L’Oreal makeup line. Ipsy, her makeup and beauty product sales and subscription company, has more than 1 million subscribers, and she recently opened Ipsy Open Studios, a sort of coworking space for beauty and fashion pros.

Phan recently sat down with Fortune to talk about how she got started on YouTube, where she finds inspiration for her business ventures and how she plans to help other creators.

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