Food & Drink

Seattle’s YouTube Millionaire

Social media is more than a past-time for north Seattle Judy Travis. It's a way of life

By Seattle Mag May 17, 2016

A family is playing with toys in a living room.

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Seattle magazine.

Judy Travis is undeniably one of social media’s biggest stars.

The north Seattle resident, who got her start posting amateur makeup reviews and how-tos in 2008 just for fun, has parlayed her passion for beauty products into a career as a “YouTuber.” And it’s a lucrative gig—some reports estimate her net worth at more than $1.5 million. Travis’ perky, open persona netted her It’s Judy Time YouTube channel masses of adoring fans, whose interest in getting to know the woman beyond the makeup prompted her to start a second channel. On It’s Judy’s Life, she shares details of her personal life, including her 2010 surprise engagement to her future husband, Benji, which has received more than 1.1 million views.

The first video of the couple’s now 2-year-old twins, which has 16 million views, is one of the channel’s most popular. Motherhood spurred her to launch, in 2013, a third channel, It’s Mommy’s Life. Her costar in life and on YouTube, Benji, who left his job in 2010 to be the full-time business manager of the Judy media empire, also has his own channel with 345,000 subscribers and has recently launched a new business, Video Influencers, to help others forge YouTube careers. When he spoke to Seattle magazine (Judy was apparently too busy to chat), he admitted that when Judy, a busy University of Washington student at the time, first started vlogging (video blogging), he questioned whether it was a valuable use of her already-stretched time.

“You could even say I was her first hater or the first person to judge her [for her YouTube work],” he says, laughing, “which is ironic, considering now she’s not only my boss, but my whole life is consumed by YouTube and social media.”

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