Julie Vu is a well-known figure on YouTube, with her channel Princess Joules boasting 554K subscribers and a growing Instagram presence under her name with 226K+ followers. She is a prominent model, makeup artist, spokesperson, and transgender activist. 

portfolioyvr, Helen siwak, Julie Vu, entrepreneur, content creator, LGBTQ+, Vancouver, bc, yvr

Julie, who hails from Surrey, BC, and has Vietnamese roots, has been sharing her journey through digital platforms for over two decades. She has extensively documented her transition from male to female, delved into beauty trends through captivating tutorials, shared lifestyle and travel experiences, and initiated meaningful conversations through her candid style of social media content creation. 

Julie’s groundbreaking achievements have not only attracted widespread attention but also marked her as a trailblazer in the LGBTQ+ community

Her historic role as the first transgender woman on Big Brother Canada 9 and her proud representation of Canada in the prestigious Miss International Queen Canada 2019 beauty pageant, have solidified her position as a source of pride and inspiration. 

Julie’s influential presence extends beyond her digital platforms. She is a recognized spokesmodel for a multitude of prestigious brands, including Sephora, Aritzia, RW&CO, Ikea, Excel, Clearly, Dove, and more. Her successful collaborations with these brands not only highlight her professional achievements but also serve as a testament, inspiring many with her authenticity and insightful commentary

portfolioyvr, Helen siwak, Julie Vu, entrepreneur, content creator, LGBTQ+, Vancouver, bc, yvr

IN HER WORDS

“I realized that I was an entrepreneur at a very young age. I knew I always wanted to be my own boss and create something for myself and despite the lack of support for entrepreneurism in my environment, I persevered.

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I faced additional societal barriers that made me feel like I could nott accomplish anything on my own. But I refused to let these challenges define me, and instead, I used them as fuel to drive my entrepreneurial journey. 

“My journey began when I started my YouTube channel at the age of 19. I was driven by a deep passion for cosmetics and a desire to share my unique perspective with the world. I did not see many people like me in traditional mainstream media, and I wanted to change that. This led me to share not just my passion for cosmetics, but also the personal journey of my transition

“After high school, I started working at M.A.C. Cosmetics. I enjoyed sharing my beauty tips on YouTube as a hobby, but then I realized I was making more money online

“This realization, coupled with my passion for content creation, led me to take a leap of faith. I quit my job and started being a content creator full-time, a decision that was both exciting and nerve-wracking. 

“My personal journey, particularly my transition from male to female, played a significant role in my success on YouTube. By being open, honest, and vulnerable, I was able to connect with my audience on a deeper level. I shared my experiences in the hope of inspiring others who might be going through the same thing, and this authenticity resonated with my viewers. 

“In 2019, I fulfilled my dream of winning 
Miss International Queen in Pattaya, Thailand! I learned about the pageant when I started my transition. I was doing some research about transgender women, and the pageant popped up. I instantly fell in love with the organization and wished that one day I could be just as beautiful as all the other contestants. My supporters motivated me to join this competition. They believed in me and suggested that I follow my dreams, so I did apply and through hardwork and perseverance came out on top as the winner! 

“Many will recognize me from Big Brother Canada Season 9 (2021). I was a member of Team Defender. Although I was the ‘first boot’ of the season, my fans rallied, making the early exit less painful. 

“In 2022, I was honoured to participate in fashion brand RW&Co’s International Women’s Day campaign. It was important to spotlight all the achievements that women from the past and present have accomplished and continue to strive for. I want to inspire future generations to be bold, independent, and the best versions of themselves every day.” 

“In 2024, I am partnering with Pride Toronto to celebrate this year’s festival season. The ‘Be _____’ is ‘Be Fearless’ for me and I invite everyone to ‘Be Fearless’ with me in their journeys.

“Throughout my journey, I gained a lot of attention and became a household name in Canada and around the world for being one of the first transgender people sharing their journey online. 

“My passion for makeup led me to start a beauty line called ‘Deja Vu Beauty’ in 2021. I began with lip glosses and then ventured to blushes, lashes, brushes, and eyeshadows. It was a one-woman show, and that was something I valued. 

“I solely managed everything from product development to shipping, packaging, etc. However, my travels got in the way, and I became less available to maintain my business. This, coupled with a waning passion, led to the difficult decision to let go of Deja Vu Beauty. However, this is not the end of the story. The return of my brand will be in the near future with a facelift. 

“My life was changing for the better. I was getting so many campaigns (RW&CO, Sephora, Suki’s, Four Seasons Resorts, and more), and was on billboards across Canada. I was travelling for work and truly living my best life. 

portfolioyvr, Helen siwak, Julie Vu, entrepreneur, content creator, LGBTQ+, Vancouver, bc, yvr

“A pivotal moment was getting my first beauty campaign with a major makeup company, Sephora. That is when I knew I made it. It was my highest-paying campaign, but it was less about the money and more about seeing someone like me up there. 

“Growing up, I did not see someone who looked like me—an Asian transgender woman in beauty campaigns. It was a surreal moment, and my friends and family could not be more proud. 

“Expanding my brand to different platforms really helped get my face on more screens. Initially, it was YouTube, but then Instagram really blew up. Collaborations with different creators were also a big part of expanding the brand. 

“My friend May Nguyen has always been by my side. She is a single mother and a business owner. She owns a hair salon in Vancouver called Zen Den Hair. She inspired me to be an entrepreneur and a strong, independent woman. I give props to her for being such a Wonder Woman.  

“The early stages of my journey were more focused on getting to the ‘finish line.’ That finish line was my transition. But now that I have completed that era of my life, I am shifting my focus to my health. Beauty has taken a step back, and this new era of fitness has entered. Travel and fitness have become a priority for me, and I am exploring the possibility of finding a career in this field. 

“My current business model is centred around finding something I am passionate about and really sticking with it. I know it is cliché, but they say if you find something you love doing, you will never work a day in your life. My unique selling point is my authenticity and my ability to connect with my audience on a personal level, which I believe sets me apart from others in the industry.” 

“Being consistent is critical for digital success. For me, this means being very consistent with creating and pushing high-quality content that includes photos and short-form video content on the tried and true social media platforms and being mindful of the new opportunities as technology creates new ways for us to communicate. 

“Strategic partnerships with beauty brands, retailers, travel and adventure companies are at the top of my list on a daily basis. I welcome referrals and introductions to brands that align with my values and what I am building. 

“I hope to see my business and brand grow bigger than ever. I want to be a household name and change people’s lives through my words and actions. 

“Whether that is supporting the 2SLGBQIA+ community or inspiring others to travel and learn about the world and its diversity, and encourage people to strive to be in the best shape of their lives. I want to move the world to new levels of understanding, compassion, and activism.” 

Author Profile

Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak, Luxury Lifestyle Observer
Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at helen@ecoluxluv.com.
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