Berenice, better known as her social handle, Benulus, has made waves on TikTok with her innovative fashion and lifestyle videos. From creating interchangeable ‘swipe on’ outfits, to making accessories that fall from the sky, we chatted to Berenice about growing on TikTok, making content creation creative, and attending her very first New York Fashion Week…
Tell us a little bit about what you do?
I dedicate myself fully to video content creation. I started my YouTube channel 6 years ago but didn't start dedicating myself to it until the beginning of last year 2020. I knew all along that this was what I was meant to do, but I set this dream aside because I went to college right after high school. Graduating college was a big reality check because I had no interest in making a career out of my degree and realised I had missed 4 years of what could've been a very successful YouTube career. Because I still wasn't aware of my passions, I started looking for any mediocre job that could support me financially, but I wasn't happy. Early on in life, I had learned that comfort kills dreams, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice mine for comfort. It wasn't until the day that I decided to take a leap of faith and take myself seriously when I started seeing growth in all aspects of my life. Today, I have successfully been able to achieve 56K followers on TikTok, 3.4K on Instagram and 2.1k subscribers on YouTube within the last 5 months. This is the most I have ever grown in my life, not only in an amazing engaged community but also personally, spiritually and emotionally.
How did you get into working in fashion and lifestyle?
I started my YouTube channel with the intention of showing people what went behind the scenes of pageantry, which ties in perfectly with fashion and lifestyle. I am no longer interested in that field, but I do have to say, being in the pageant world influenced how I explored and played around with fashion. Pageant fashion is very girly and involves a lot of dress-up; dresses, heels, sequin, accessories, in other words, over the top, and that is exactly how I would describe my taste. I like to make an impact everywhere I go, and the pageant showed me that side of it, you always want to dress to impress. Of course, many other great factors came out of this experience; confidence growth, body positivity, analysing social conflicts, communication skills, connections, friendships, travel, etc.
The TikTok fashion videos that you create are incredibly innovative and interactive. When did this become your approach to creating content?
Fashion influencers have been doing the same type of content for years now, to the point where everything on Instagram or TikTok looked the same. I was waiting for innovation and creativity. I came across this amazing video on my FYP once, from @liv.isha, that seemed like floating clothes were falling from the top and perfectly falling onto her. I was amazed at that style of editing. Many of her followers asked for a tutorial, but she never shared it. That's when I decided to study the video and try to come up with that video technique myself, in which I succeeded. The next day, September 9, 2021, I uploaded my video with a tutorial and that was the beginning of a new style of editing. This ‘y2k Games for Girls’ trend became so big that many bigger influencers took my tutorial and started creating content of their own. I do not like to take full credit for this style of editing as I wasn't the first one, but I do like to be recognised for it as I was the first one to share such a unique and innovative tool of editing to everyone. At the end of the day, I did come up with the technique myself because there wasn't anyone that taught me. I then started exploring more with my editing skills and that's how I've been able to come up with amazing content that is now 100% my own creative concepts.
What's it been like growing your platform on TikTok?
Growing my platform on TikTok has really been a blessing. TikTok has opened so many new opportunities that I never in my life would've thought it could be possible. I've grown a great following in all my three socials (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube) that I like to call community. People keep showing their immense unconditional support and I couldn't be happier. I've also made so many incredible friends, reached bigger influencers, grown connections, achieved paid collaborations, but most importantly, I've grown personally. I can be myself and I know there are people that are interested in my authenticity and that is the most valuable thing to me.
How would you describe your creative process?
At 2am when I can't sleep! My creativity hits randomly. I don't like to force myself or overthink too much. The most important thing to me when creating content is to deliver some sort of emotion so my followers can hopefully relate to it. I love to bring the emotion of happy nostalgia to my videos, it's also a way of healing my inner child and fulfilling all of her dreams. When it comes to planning a video, I don't really do much, I prepare that same morning or, at most, a day prior. I've even done some videos on the spot because I go with what I'm feeling inspired in that exact moment so my emotions are real and are portrayed as is. I like to have faith that the outcome will deliver perfectly. The most I can organise is by writing down my ideas that come to me at 2am in a note on my iPhone.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?
I am so excited to announce that I will be going to NYFW this February. TikTok has granted me the opportunity to connect and meet amazing artists, content creators, designers and I was personally invited to attend a fashion show event for spring NYFW. This show will be hosted by the talented Abigail and Elizabeth twins @hausofjunon, I couldn't be more excited to attend my very first show! It has been an absolute dream for me to attend NYFW, what better way to do it than supporting a designer you personally connect with!
If you could give your younger self one bit of career advice, what would it be?
Stay true to yourself, always speak your truth and stand for what you believe in. People will love and support you for your authenticity, creativity and innovation. You are worthy of the life you desire, 'cause guess what, you are deserving of it! It would've been very hard to believe in these words 4 years ago. I am so glad I can say the opposite today!
Words: Grace Goslin