‘I make £24k a month posting family vids – but trolls always make cruel comment’
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    A family with four million fans revealed the reality of being famous on social media – including money and trolling.

    Gabrielle and Jay Kelley, who are 26 and 29, have been together since 2015. They have three children, Nevaeh, six, Jeremiah, five and Novalee, two.

    But although the Kelley's, who live in Tennessee, US, look like your ordinary family unit, this brood are actually viral internet stars.

    READ MORE: 'My XL Bullies love being close to my children – but people say I'm bad parent'

    Check out more Exclusive stories here

    In 2018, Gabrielle started to post clips to YouTube of makeup tutorials alongside funny moments of her family. The mum admits that her bunch have always been the 'silly' part of the wider family and would entertain their loved ones with their jokey shenanigans, so continued posting snippets online.

    But ever since TikTok took off during the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020, The Kelley Family have skyrocketed along with the app's success. Their videos have got millions of hits that include Jay dressed up as Cinderella while dancing with his daughters, and cheeky back-to-school sketches.

    Although the family never fail to have a laugh in their frequently uploaded videos, some of the reaction they receive isn't so positive.

    Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily Star, Gabrielle and Jay chatted to us about their family's rise to fame – and the highs and lows that come with it. The mum explained: "I think we had 200 subscribers when we started on YouTube in 2018 and then went to 2,000 when we first started TikTok.

    "Then when we started growing, it went from 10,000 to 50,000 – it was just growing so quickly. Now, we’re at 640,000 subscribers on YouTube because of TikTok, TikTok is 4.7million followers.

    "At first, it was very hard. I feel like when we first started social media, it used to get to us, the hate comments we would get.

    "The hate comments are the downfall of social media. But I think what we absolutely loved about it, is that people were battling depression and they would go to our page and they would automatically feel better."

    Gabrielle continued: "And I think that’s why we kept doing what we are doing, it’s because we also inspire people and change people's lives. I get a tonne of messages from people…they always tell us how much we’ve impacted their life.

    "We love to make people laugh and smile – that’s one of the main things that we strive for on our channels. I think we’re very uplifting."

    Jay used to be in the US military but since leaving, has found a full-time career in content creating along with Gabrielle, who worked in Chipotle then left to be a stay-at-home mum before their social media took off.

    The couple are able to solely provide for their children directly through social media platforms thanks to the the likes of the creator fund and monetisation – along with brand deals, with the biggest to date being $21,000 (£17,215).

    The Kelley Family now cash in between $20,000-$30,000 (£16,390-£24,594) a month from their videos.

    Despite filling social media users' feeds with doses of happy family positivity, at times, The Kelley Family do not receive the same in return. They often have to deal with trolling where cruel internet bullies hurl racist remarks at the kids and accuse Jay of wanting to leave Gabrielle, for her much younger sister.

    The mum said the remarks they receive online can be "very very dark." She bravely shared: "I think the comments we normally get will be 'Oh I’m tired of seeing them' or sometimes they say my husband is trying to leave me because of my sister.

    "I think that’s the number one comment we get because my sister is also involved in our page a lot so they love seeing them together, the main thing is ‘why is she even here’, it’s just very very dark.

    ""The comments don’t faze who we are. The main ones that really bother me is the comments that they say because my husband is African American and I’m Mexican American they say hurtful comments and names because they’re [kids] mixed.

    "And I think that’s the only thing that really bothers me. There’s nothing wrong with having mixed children, but that’s the number one thing they will say.

    "We ignore it and we will block them, my husband tells me to just ignore it. Sometimes I do clap back, but I clap back in the most respectful and professional way. I don’t step to their level but I let them know that if you’re that miserable then just keep scrolling.

    "I am human too, so I feel like everything that we go through, people forget that we also are humans and aren’t robots – we are real people. So I think a lot of people tend to forget that, that this is real life."

    Although the family – including the children – have been the target of trolling and racism, it's not going to stop the brood from doing what they love. Gabrielle is able to give her kids 'everything' that she didn't have when growing up.

    The social media family are not planning on putting the phones down anytime soon – and said they're only just getting started.

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    "I just feel like we’re on a road where we’re just going for our dreams at this point," Gabrielle gushed. "We don’t know where life will take us in a few years.

    "But I do know that sooner or later, we want to open up our own businesses and always have that financial stability. My husband wants to open up a gym one day, and wants to get into real estate. There’s just so many goals that we have that we’re trying to accomplish.

    "And we're still so young, we still have a whole life to live, but I think we're just going with the flow of where life takes us and not stress so much and just live in the moment.

    "I worked my butt off to be here, I didn’t know this was going to be my life. If you were to ask me two or three years ago, I never thought we would have been here. I thought my husband was going to be in the military for the rest of his life and we were just going to be travelling the world with the military.

    "I didn’t know that I would own a house right now, I didn’t know I was going to have my own car, I didn’t know my kids would have everything. Growing up I didn’t have absolutely everything that they have now. But, they definitely have it all."

    You can find The Kelley Family on TikTok here and YouTube here

    • Exclusives
    • TikTok
    • Parenting
    • Money
    • Trolling

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