Drama in the online beauty community has felt like a never-ending vortex recently, with controversial makeup launches and feuds that involve 18-minute-long apology videos, tears, and inevitable comebacks. While that trend might make some influencers worry for the future of the industry, it's only motivated Patrick Starrr. The makeup guru, whose YouTube following has grown to over four million subscribers, is hoping to change the narrative by starting his own management agency, The Beauty Coop.
"For me, seeing the industry a little bit shook with the craziness made me want to add a silver lining of hope, and really show people how it should be done by passing along my knowledge," Starrr told Refinery29 following his appearance at the 2019 Love Ball in New York City, where he served as a judge. "When there's drama going down, why not start an agency? Let me show the fact that there is light at the end of this tunnel and that there is positivity to this."
The discord might've given Starrr more of an incentive to start his agency, but drama is simply not allowed in the framework of The Beauty Coop. "It's really hard to stand out on social media nowadays, and I think it's become a trend to lash out or start drama to get recognized," he says. "Not my chickens, not in The Beauty Coop. There's a zero tolerance in the agency." In fact, the agency will drop talent for anything it deems to be "misconduct or outlandish behavior" — a harsh sentence, but one that Starrr feels is necessary to show that you can achieve success without sacrificing positivity. "You don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons," he says.
As for what The Beauty Coop's talent will be a part of, they'll be learning the ins and outs of the beauty community from Starrr himself, while also getting help with brand collaborations, contracts, speaking engagements, and even equipment to produce content. The YouTuber, who is now known for his elaborate headwraps and confidence in spades, remembers what it was like to be new to the industry and feel scared; now, he hopes to give up-and-comers a support system they can actually relate to. "I've been through it, and I don't think I know any other manager that has had my kind of experience to pass on," says Starr. "In the beginning you're questioning your self-worth, and I want to be able to instill some confidence in them."
In addition to showing new talent the ropes, Starrr's agency has another goal in mind: showcasing a host of brilliant new creatives to the world. "Reinvigorating the community is something that I'm really passionate about," he says. The Beauty Coop has already signed on rising influencers like Zackary Vang, Cohl’s World, and Jose Jimenez — all beauty boys, a purposeful move to send out a clear message of inclusivity. Vang and Cohl booked their first collaboration with Buxom right out of the gate, and Starr shot the campaign photos.
So far, it's been a successful start for the new talent, and a full-circle moment for Starrr himself. "In 2015, I was the first boy to have a collaboration at Sephora with Formula X nail polishes," he says. "It sold out, and it was three shelves of Patrick Starrr. Now, being the mutha and giving that moment to my children for their first collaboration in Sephora? I think that's so badass."
The running start has already caught the attention of famed momager Kris Jenner, who Starrr says personally reached out via direct message on Instagram to send her congratulations and offer a helping hand with the agency if needed. ("I almost fell and I screamed," he says.)
Now, along with his philanthropy work for the LGBTQ+ community and his own content and appearances, Starrr will continue scouting talent on Instagram for the agency, focusing on quality vs. quantity so that he can dedicate his time to each. Starrr will also remain under his current management, which supports his newest venture. "There's room for everyone at the table," says the 29-year-old.
Even with all the undertakings of a new agency, the Filipino-American hopes to continue to stand for something bigger than himself, and inspire others with his own projects. "If I can walk the red carpet for Toy Story or Aladdin, which has nothing to do with the LGBTQ+ community, I'm winning," he says. "I'm visible to those kids that aren't being heard. If they see that gay, overweight Asian man in a sequin dress, just having that visibility is making moves for the person after me."
But whatever comes "after" the beauty vlogger is far from his agenda right now — no matter how many projects he takes on. "Patrick Starrr isn't stopping any time soon," he assures us. "If anything, I'm just getting stronger."