Utah dad Shaun McKnight talks about family's YouTube business success with Cute Girls Hairstyles
Fishtails, flip-unders and fly-aways.
Most dads have no idea what these terms mean, let alone how they relate to hairstyling. But one Utah dad, Shaun McKnight, has decided to make his five daughters' hair his business.
Rather than heading to an office every day, McKnight stays home with his family of five girls and one boy to manage the business and technical side of the family's YouTube channel, Cute Girls Hairstyles.
But what's unique about this dad is the connection he's made with his girls, which is obvious when watching his own special episodes, "Daddy 'Dos." Although his wife, Mindy McKnight usually runs the show, Shaun also has been in the spotlight demonstrating easy hairstyles for fellow dads.
Doing his girls' hair is something many viewers have enjoyed and requested, but it has also produced some fun moments for McKnight.
"I was doing the hair for them," McKnight said, "and my third daughter, she was sitting on the counter in the bathroom. And when I finished she kind of turned her head and looked in the three-way mirror in the back and she turned around and smiled and said, 'You do hair good for a boy.'"
The McKnights' hair tutorial YouTube channel hasn't always provided such living circumstances for his family. But what started out as placing photos in a photo album to filming hairstyles and uploading them to YouTube has become the family business for Shaun and Mindy McKnight.
"Mindy was taking pictures to remind herself, and she put them in a little album so she could remember in the morning, so she did that for her own help," Shawn McKnight said. "And then when the albums were getting kind of tattered and torn because the girls were flipping through them, she decided she was going to upload them onto a blog."
The blog of pictures gained several consistent viewers and grew in popularity. It was then that Shaun McKnight began to record the hair tutorials and place them on YouTube. Their presence on YouTube continued to grow, but it wasn't until September 2012 that the family's business, Cute Girls Hairstyles, had become so large that McKnight left his job in order to pursue the channel full time.
"Neither of us imagined that this would be happening, and even further from my mind was that it would become my full-time job," McKnight said. "With a family of six it wasn't a discussion easily made."
Many things factored into the family's decision, especially the amount of schooling and work McKnight had already completed for his current career.
"I'd been through college and graduate school," McKnight said. "I had a very nice position that a lot of people would consider a dream job. But it was getting hard to manage both my employment and this on the side."
So it was early last year when Shaun and Mindy realized they needed to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"The point that we knew that this would be good enough was when we were losing more opportunities because we couldn't react fast enough because I was in a foreign country or on a conference call for work," McKnight said. "The point is that we were losing enough money to compensate for my salary."
But the change wasn't just about finances. McKnight made the switch from his 8-to-5 day-job lifestyle to join Mindy and his kids at home.
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