by Dave Gordon
Valeria Lipovetsky began her YouTube channel with a modest proposition: she’d talk about health and well-being based on the knowledge from her degree in nutrition. But the unexpected happened. She rose above an already crowded medium, and her channel quickly became a hit among viewers. Over the past four years, she’s accumulated five million followers across multiple platforms—including Instagram and TikTok.
With hundreds of videos produced and hundreds of millions of views on those, the famous influencer (or content creator) brings her audience a range of visuals and discussions on topics such as beauty, relationships, wellness, and motherhood.
The number of clicks is impressive. To name a few: Valeria received 104 million views for her pregnancy transformation video; three million hits for her birthing vlog; over a million hits for “Eight Instant Ways to Look More Attractive”, and half-million hits for “10 Weight Loss Mistakes”.
Such success required creating a professional team, known corporately as Valeria Inc.—a fully-functioning media company with a 25-person staff working directly with clients and agencies. Her latest venture is an e-commerce operation that touts her fashion, jewelry, and accessory brand, Verie.
Valeria began her modelling career as a teen. Her story is one of grabbing opportunities, taking chances, and building them to their full potential.
How did you begin your modeling career?
When I was 14, there was a contest in Israel, where I used to live. I didn’t think it was for me, but my mother encouraged me to apply. I wanted to work at McDonald’s. So the deal I made with my mother was, if I didn’t win, she’d take me to McDonald’s to get a job.
Mom drove me from Be’er Sheva to Tel Aviv (an hour and a quarter away), and I participated and won first place. Everything grew from there.
How has your career as a model and influencer impacted your life?
Early on, I was a very introverted person. But my mom believed in me and pushed me forward into that industry in a very supportive way. I traveled the world on my own, living in Paris and London. It created a lot of independence. So, when it comes to what changes it made, things went from being a teenager, just living a very everyday life — then thrust into this industry and achieving a certain level of fame in Israel in the modeling industry. I met Gary, my husband, when I was 20 and married [him] at 21. After that, I stepped away from modelling to start a family.
The following significant change occurred when I was about 26, making YouTube videos. That accelerated quickly in terms of how much attention I was getting. I built up a large audience in a relatively short amount of time. I quickly went from being an introvert to communicating with tens of millions of people each week.
Three things changed: I had to be a quick learner as an influencer, gain confidence to speak on video, and learn how to be a better businessperson now that I’m operating multiple businesses.
Essentially, becoming an influencer gave me an accelerated business education. As a result, the sum of my teaching is enormous.
What do you think of the fashion industry?
I’m hopeful, happy with the way it’s evolving. Fashion has become so inclusive; when you see campaigns, it’s no longer stereotypical, “This is the kind of models brands are using, because it represents a certain standard of beauty.” The fashion industry has evolved to the point where inclusivity is breaking down these barriers. To a certain degree, it alleviates some of the stress on women to live up to a certain beauty standard. Also, fashion coming out now is very tied to practicality, instead of trying to achieve a measure of beauty. The other thing about the fashion industry is that it is becoming more available to people of any financial means. A lot of brands do more meaningful work and give people access at different price points.
The other thing is the trend toward sustainability, which I try to follow. That’s a positive turn for the fashion industry.
How would you describe your fashion style?
It’s elegant, versatile, practical, timeless. I am a big believer in investing in handbags and shoes. Specifically, with bags, these are items that don’t wear out, in the sense that we can use them for a very long time. The great thing is that when I wear pieces online, people have bought similar pieces and worn them the way I do. Then I can take an article of clothing, an outfit, and wear it in multiple ways.
What are some of today’s biggest challenges as an entrepreneur and businesswoman?
Some of the biggest challenges are “doing it all,” finding the balance between work and family, and well-being and fitness. Scheduling is a challenge, and that’s probably true with other female entrepreneurs. Managing time — especially quality time with family — and developing, sustaining, and maintaining the business.
Another challenge might be that I’m in the middle-age range of many influencers and finding myself in a position where I can still appeal to all demographics and stay authentic.
You have a new line of branded jewelry and apparel — an e-commerce company called Verie. How has that been going?
It is a whole other animal, a separate organizational structure. We just hired a senior VP/general manager who comes with 20 years of e-commerce experience. Along with the CEO of my media company, Valeria Inc., that person is running the e-commerce. We have ready-to-wear coming down the pipe in a month or two.
As a mother of three and with a hectic lifestyle, how do you manage to stay in shape?
I have a personal trainer and a great family unit to help guide and support me along the way. I’m committed to scheduling time for all my workouts to keep myself healthy regardless of how busy my day gets. I also maintain a realistic balance in my diet — how and what I eat each day — even when I’m travelling or between meetings, photoshoots, and phone calls. As entrepreneurs, we must invest quality time in ourselves and our overall health to find that balance to keep going, even in a fast-paced environment.
How do you keep connected with fans?
Over the last four years, I developed a strong following online, using various media to entertain my fans with regular beauty, health, relationships, and motherhood content. I realize how important it is to stay connected, make adjustments, become creative, and keep up to date with technology, which is constantly changing. But I’m monitoring all the comments, DMs, and texts I receive, and I usually try to respond to as many as possible within a short period. I started texting about a year ago, and so far, that is a proven strategy to help me stay in touch with the fans.