Charli D’Amelio has been the highest paid TikToker in the world for the past two years.
In the TikTok world, two years is an eternity.
I don’t see anyone earning more than her anytime soon.
That’s because she is an amazing entrepreneur: She does huge, national brand deals. She owns her own product lines. She invests in startups. There’s not much out there that she doesn’t have her hand in.
She grew up watching her Dad, Marc D’Amelio, hustle to make his streetwear label, Madsoul, a success.
As a startup, with limited resources, he had to come up with creative ways to market his products. He gave out free mixtapes. He’d offer magazines free clothes in exchange for positive press about his brand. He used incentives, from a shipping company and a printing company, to print 100,000 stickers at no cost.
He did whatever it took to sell his products.
Charli has the same hustler’s mentality.
That’s how she landed her lucrative, and very successful, Dunkin Donuts partnership.
She said, “The Dunkin Donuts collaboration came about after a lot of free promotion. For a while, everyone thought I was getting paid. But I was not. I just shamelessly promoted and promoted because I really wanted to work with them. And then they finally gave me the opportunity and I immediately took it. And since then, we’ve come out with two of my own drinks on the menu and sold-out cold brew nationwide. It was a really big hit for me. And it was a really great feeling seeing all of that come together. It was definitely a lot of my determination to work with Dunkin Donuts.”
Because of her massive following, brands are clamoring to work with D’Amelio.
But she never forgot the early rejection that she got.
D’Amelio said, “Still to this day, there are companies and brands that I’ll never work with because of the initial reaction; when they thought that I was just going to be that same person forever. I’ve been able to find companies that respect me and respect what I do and appreciate what I do. I would so much rather work with those people that not only respect me as a creator but also respect me as a human. And I’m a lot happier working with brands like that.”
In addition to working with large brands, D’Amelio has branched out and formed her own companies: The Social Tourist clothing line, the Born Dreamer brand fragrance brand and the Lighttricks editing app.
She said, “My sister and I worked with Hollister and came up with Social Tourist. In the beginning it was a lot of Hollister’s creative team teaching us how to create a clothing line. And, with time, it’s been more in the hands of Dixie and I when it comes to colors and fabrics and silhouettes. Now you can see, with every new drop that we have, that’s it’s very “us.” It took a very long time to develop. You can see the difference from the first drop to the last drop. It’s a whole new thing. We also did a rebrand this year. We restarted the Instagram page and started a new, less commercial, vibe. It’s a little more fun; less perfect. We shoot all of our content on an iPhone. It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s been a lot of fun. And it’s super rewarding to see people out wearing the clothes that you made.”
She also recently dropped her new fragrance line, Born Dreamer.
D’Amelio said, “I’ve always loved the idea behind having a signature scent, so I was so excited with the opportunity to work with Forma on creating my own perfume. There is something about having a fragrance that makes me feel so put together once I put it on.”
And she didn’t just slap her name on the first perfume that came her way. She wanted to focus on, not only the fragrance itself, but also her and her generation’s concerns: An emphasis on the planet and sustainability, radical transparency and community.
She continued, “Not only was I excited to create my own signature scent but a brand that I truly feel encompasses me and my generation. We put sustainability at the forefront of our packaging design and I’m so excited to have created a brand that is doing something to make a small difference in protecting our planet.”
D’Amelio also has, along with the rest of the D’Amelio family, the photo editing platform, Lighttricks.
“The Lighttricks app makes it a lot easier for creators, who might not be as tech savvy, to be able to make their videos and their photos look so much better: There are more interesting cuts, there’s things in the background, there’s text, there’s so many things that you can add without having to do 40 hours of research on how to use an editing app. And you just have to click one button. It just makes it all so easy for everyone to use,” she said.
Charli D’Amelio has stayed true to herself from the beginning and has never diluted her brand. She continues to only work with premium brands who align with her personal brand and also share the same core beliefs as her.
So, I don’t see her giving up her spot as the highest earning TikToker anytime soon.
Charli is blazing her own path. And it’s paying off in a major way.