Julia and her “Little Adventures” Shop is relatively new to Spreadshirt. However, she’s no stranger to success via her YouTube channel, as more than 90,000 subscribers regularly follow the daily adventures of her four guinea pigs. In the interview below, Julia explains how her love for small rodents became a social media hit.
Just the Facts
Current Location: Southern Germany
Current job/source of income: Completed literature studies, currently looking for doctoral positions
When did you join Spreadshirt? January 2018
We’re constantly seeing videos of cute cats and dogs. However, videos of guinea pigs are few and far between. Where does your love for rodents come from? How did you come up with the idea to post videos of your furry friends?
As a child, I was always enthusiastic about guinea pigs. What fascinated me most was the fact that they each have their own unique personality, and they show it off very openly. For instance, if I’m not fast enough distributing food, they’ll be rough or try to tear the bowl out of my hand!
Initially, I only wanted to share videos with my mother. YouTube started suggesting other animal video channels, and that’s when I discovered that there is a real guinea pig community. I started making my own info videos hoping that others would see how tame, friendly, and open-minded the animals can be (especially in larger groups). I don’t only enjoy filming my animals; I also enjoy all of the other required tasks (cutting the video, generating ideas, etc.). Therefore, I always focused on scheduled upload days and enjoying the hobby.
You are very active on YouTube and Instagram, as you regularly share photos and videos of your guinea pigs. How did you guide rodent fans to your profiles?
I never really advertised my videos, and I never expected the channel to have so many followers. Over time, I realized that many other people were liking these videos. Some appreciate the explanatory videos because they want to learn more about guinea pigs, while others just enjoy watching the animals live their lives.
How do you increase your subscriber count?
I have always stuck to a strict upload schedule, even when I had less than 10 subscribers. This helps me develop a routine, and it also allows my followers to anticipate when a new video is coming.
I also try to respond to my followers’ requests in the comments section. When I see that someone’s interested in a specific topic, I’ll write down the idea and try to implement it later. I also engage my followers by asking about any topics or content they want to see.
In your “Little Adventures” Shop, you offer designs of each of your guinea pigs. Do the four really have their own individual fanbase?
Yes. Every guinea pig is different, so people have their favorites. Some prefer ‘Little One,’ who always holds his face to the camera and is very active. Others appreciate ‘Sylvester,’ who is calm, relaxed, and eats hay in every shot. Overall, my guinea pigs are not afraid of the camera and like showing their personality.
Do you create the designs yourself? Or did you hire someone?
I commissioned a graphic artist to draw the guinea pigs as cartoon characters. Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero drawing talent.
How much time do you spend running your Spreadshirt Shop?
I spend about two hours a week. If I want to upload a design with new lettering/typography, then it will take a bit longer.
Do you think the guinea pig designs are a market niche? Do you ever get special design requests from your fans, and do you fulfill those wishes?
I hope people like my designs and are happy when they wear them. Generally, the designs showcase my guinea pigs and are based on my channel. Occasionally, fans will want designs with the cartoon version of the guinea pigs, and these don’t directly connect to my channel. Those designs have been created, and the hope is that they’ll appeal to all guinea pig lovers. Ultimately, that’s a direction I want to pursue… guinea pig designs with funny sayings, independent of my YouTube channel.
How intensive is the communication and interaction with your fans? Do you ever respond to “technical questions?”
I try to respond to as many comments as possible. Usually, I try to be online right after I upload a video so I can answer any immediate questions. Most of the comments or questions tend to concern the specific video or the everyday life of the guinea pigs. If I’m able to answer the technical questions, I will. However, when it comes to topics like diseases, I stay away since I have no veterinary training.
What three tips do you have for those looking to open a Shop with Spreadshirt?
Inspire yourself with the project and work on it regularly. Most importantly, stick with it, even during those dry spells.
What are Frieda, Sylvester, Little One, Minnie, and yourself planning for the near future?
First and foremost, I hope that the pigs will be healthy and lively for a long time. Otherwise, we’re looking forward to new designs. In December, I produce a themed videos around the Christmas guinea pig festival “Pigmas.” I would like to create more designs that are centered around this occasion.
Thanks for the interview, Julia!