Nina Huynh is Building a Brand Based on Authenticity

Nina Huynh is one hundred percent real, IRL and on the internet

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“Being popular on social media is a lot like being popular in high school,” Nina Huynh says. “I was aware of this [going in] and didn’t want to have that fake relationship with it. I wanted my platforms to be a real representation of who I am.”

Nina Huynh is not shy. Nina has forged a path for herself in the fashion and beauty community through her YouTube channel (Neens) and personal Instagram (@YourGirlNeens). In less than five years, she has gone from relatively unknown to over 176,000 subscribers and 65,000 followers, respectively. Watching Nina speak to the camera with ease, as if every person watching on the other end is a close friend, it is hard to her as an introvert—but Nina insists this was the case for many years.

The daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, she moved from Toronto to San Francisco at the age of four. As a young girl, Nina spent most of her time alone on the sidelines until a stint at an all-girls school shifted her perspective.

“It is not like I went to high school and became a whole other person,” she says. “It was a conscious choice to be more social. I wanted a change from how I had been for so many years. It was a new beginning.”

Nina’s transition from outsider to insider taught her some essential life lessons. These insights shaped her approach to her personal brand and life moving forward.

“Initially, it was everything that I ever wanted. But toward the end of high school, I realized being popular did not equal happiness or equate to valuable friendships,” Nina explains.

Shortly after high school, she started her YouTube channel in an attempt to build up an online presence for makeup school while simultaneously refining her beauty skills.

“I was pretty late to the game with social media. I was the last one of my friends to get an Instagram account,” she admits. “Once I started building my platforms, reflecting upon that time in high school, it was important for me to make sure it was authentic.”

After a big break-up, Nina threw herself into her hobbies and documenting them for her followers. A thrifting haul post with friends started a ripple effect, and she decided to ride the wave. Nina’s content has since evolved from shopping and beauty content to more conceptual projects and personal posts that let viewers take a peek inside her life. She is not overly concerned with ensuring that her platforms pander to what’s most popular. Nina prefers to let them evolve organically while she also evolves as a person. But one thing that has stayed consistent is a desire to be a voice for individuals who don’t get as much representation in the media.

“It feels so good when people reach out to me and say your content is inspirational,” Nina says. “Social media is so out there; you can get lost in it. Knowing [my] work makes an impact on people keeps me grounded.”

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