Jessii created her channel to help others who may feel different and have issues fitting in, while addressing important topics such as bullying, anxiety and depression. This also inspired her to create YANA (You Are Not Alone), a platform that encourages people who are feeling lonely, anxious, bullied and isolated to connect with others.
YANA was started in the Fall of 2019 in over 50+ schools and growing. When the pandemic hit, Jessii decided to move the platform online via social media where she continues to help young people struggling with fitting in, bullying and anxiety at school. Jessii also initiated Instagram LIVEs on her channel monthly called Jess Checking In where she connects with people who are feeling isolated during the pandemic.
Follow Jessii @jessiivee
You CANNOT Let Cartoon Girl Find You
Hi Jessii, please tell us a little about you?
Hi I’m Jessii! I’m 27 years old – and I’m a content creator that likes to make videos about all the weird & strange things in this world! I’m fascinated by anything unusual!
Describe yourself in 3 words
Creative, hard-working, & kind
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always used to talk about becoming an artist when I grew up; I’ve always loved to draw and paint so I just assumed that would be a huge part of my future. In a way, making videos is a form of art – I’m able to express myself and be creative! So while I’m not making physical art pieces on canvas or paper, I’m still finding ways to be artistic.
How did you get in the industry?
I started a blog in high school where I would post daily journal entries, photography, and art. And to my surprise, it gained 30,000 followers in about a year. I eventually started getting messages from people telling me I should start a Youtube channel. So one day I decided to try it out, and I’m so glad I did!
What is the feeling of being a very popular content creator and influencer?
It’s an amazing feeling to know that people are interested in the videos that I make. I’m so grateful for the audience that I have; they’re so supportive!
What part of your job do you find the most challenging?
The hardest part about putting myself out there online, is the hate comments. People judge me without even knowing me, and will leave an offensive comment without even thinking twice. Sometimes people forget that Youtubers are real people with real feelings. It’s not always easy being picked apart by strangers. Thankfully though, there are so many more amazing people that support me. For every bad comment, there’s hundreds of good ones!
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
When I first started my channel all I would do was focus on the negative comments and it would eat at me all day long. It was demotivating and really had an impact on my mental health. Putting all my attention on people like that was where I failed myself. I began to realize that I needed to focus on the good! I had to ignore the people that didn’t care about me, and that’s where I found my confidence. Fast forward to today, I don’t even notice the negativity anymore!
Tell us about YANA (You Are Not Alone) and why did you decide to create this? How can people learn more about this?
YANA is a group created in a school where people come together and reach out to others that are feeling isolated, alone, or bullied. It’s a group where you can feel safe and supported. The inspiration for this group came from my own life. I was incredibly shy in school and was bullied because of that. If I had a YANA group when I was growing up things would have been so much easier for me. You are followed by so many people.
Do you feel any pressure to always do the right thing?
Of course! Having so many eyes on me can be overwhelming and I feel the pressure all the time. My channel has always been family-friendly because my audience is primarily young adults, so posting content that I’m proud of has almost come naturally over the years. I always want to be 100% proud of what I post. Tell us about your work as an influencer Not only do I create content, I also love to promote important movements such as anti-bullying, YANA, Lyme Disease Awareness, etc. I always want to use my platform for good! And I love talking about topics that people can relate to!
Any bucket list of brands or other influencers that you want to work with?
It would be a dream to collaborate with Netflix on a project! One of my favorite past times is watching a new show or movie. How cool would it be to be involved in something like that!
What do you think is the secret to having a successful social media channel?
People always ask me for advice when they are starting up a channel, and I always tell them to never follow trends or try to copy what other people are doing. Always make content that you are passionate about. You’ll gain more of a following when people can tell that you love what you do.
What kind of music do you listen to normally?
I love acoustic/alternative music! My favorite band of all time is Bon Iver – it hasn’t changed for about 15 years now. They’re music literally got me through High School. I was so grateful to see them in concert right before the pandemic hit; it was better than I could have imagined.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Sitting by a window in the dark, rainy day with a huge cup of hot chocolate!
What are the five things you can’t live without?
God, my family, my dogs, my computer, and my camera!
Best advice ever given?
I love the quote “Worrying will never change the outcome”. I have pretty bad anxiety and I have to remind myself about this very often. Worrying is so exhausting and a waste of your time. Once you realize the outcome isn’t going to change, you can start to find peace.
What is next for Jessii Vee in 2021?
I’m just so excited to continue growing my social media! I’m also hoping that once it’s safe, I’d like to go and visit all the schools that started YANA groups!
Something people don’t know about you?
I have a HUGE obsession with Lord of the Rings & Star Wars. So much so that I re-watch those movies at least 6 times a year.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I really want to go to Ireland with my husband Tye! We were supposed to go there for our honeymoon but that was around the time the pandemic first came about, so it’s been put on hold. I can’t wait to go!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
It would be so cool to meet one of the most famous painters of all time, like Michelangelo, Monet, Picasso, etc. Art is so dear to my heart and I’d love to sit down with one of them and ask a million questions! Or maybe just watch them paint!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Cauliflower covered in cheese sauce – so good! My grandma always made that for my sister and I growing up.
And your favorite cheat food?
Definitely pizza! You can never go wrong with pizza!
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Just taking a break from work and relaxing with my husband and my dogs – maybe snuggled up with them watching a movie!
Do you support any charity?
Yes! I’m partnered with the G. Magnotta Foundation – which is a research lab at the University of Guelph that is trying to change how Lyme Disease is tested and treated in Canada. A dollar from every sale on my website goes towards supporting them! I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2017 so this foundation is very dear to my heart.
Any exciting news you want to share with us?
I’m doing monthly livestreams in my Instagram (@jessiivee) called “Jess Checking In” where I talk about different important topics like bullying, mental health, chronic illness, etc. I’m so excited to be able to communicate with my audience and spread awareness about these topics.
What does fashion mean to you?
I love expressing myself through fashion. In every single one of my videos I’m wearing something new and crazy!
How would you explain your fashion style?
I feel like my style changes from day to day but I always like to keep it fresh and different. Sometimes I’m in all black and combat boots. Other times I’m in bright neon colors and ruffles. I also like to match my outfits with the subject of my videos!
How important is Social Media for you?
Social media has completely changed my life! I love being able to express myself through the content that I post. I’m also so glad I have a place to address all these social issues. Social media has made it so much easier to get a message out to thousands of people at once!
Where can we follow you?
You can search up Jessii Vee on Youtube and my social media is very similar!
Quote: Embrace your weird side because normal is boring!
Actor/Actress: Ian McKellen (GANDALF!)
Drink: Hot Chocolate
Movie: LOTR and Star Wars
Sport Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
Song: Brackett – Bon Iver