Jennelle Eliana is an American social media star who created internet frenzy after her YouTube channel earned 1.5 million subscribers in about a month with just two videos posted. An emerging van life vlogger, she has since then posted another video answering fan questions and has reached 1.6 million subscribers already. She left her parents' house when she was 18, and at 19 bought a 1995 GMC Vandura Explorer from an elderly couple for an "amazing price" via Craigslist. She has a full-time data-entry job, but took a month off to travel and vlog from her van, which made her famous almost instantaneously. She has over 262k followers on her Instagram profile. She also maintains a Depop account, jennellesgasmoney, where she sells clothing. Her van was featured on apartmenttherapy.com in June 2019.
Rise to Stardom
After completing her school graduation at the age of 18, Jennelle Eliana was supposed to be the first member of her family to attend college. However, she soon found out that the college fund supposedly saved for her never existed in the first place. Frustrated, she decided to move out of her parents' house and began living with a friend. She took a job and enrolled for college, but dropped out after a while, being unable to balance work and study.
During this time she got a full-time data-entry job for a company in California, which allowed her to work on odd schedules, such as working for half the week and taking the other half off. In fact, she recently took a whole month off from work to travel on her decked-out 1995 GMC Vandura Explorer, which she shares with her pet albino ball python Alfredo. Unwilling to pay rents, she bought the van in September 2017. She posted her first YouTube video, 'Van Tour | Solo Female Traveler Lives Vanlife With Pet Snake', on June 26, 2019. The video was impressive considering how she had managed to transform the van into a beautiful living space, with working sink, solar power, wardrobe, vanity space, and even a terrarium for her snake. However, viewers were curious how she took care of basic needs like bathing and toilet.
In her next video, 'How I Shower Living In A Van', posted on July 11, she answered that she uses a local gym. The second video nearly doubled the first video's 6.9 million views with over 12 million clicks on it, and her channel amassed over 1.5 million subscribers in just over a month. She recently posted a Q&A video to express her astonishment and her gratitude, and answered questions like what she does for a living.
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Controversies & Scandals
Soon after Jennelle Eliana's meteoric rise took the internet by storm, many began to question whether her sudden jump to over a million subscribers with just two videos was real or engineered. Some claimed that her channel was planted by YouTube and that YouTube's algorithms helped substantially to her rise. Interestingly, YouTube had posted a link to her YouTube channel on their official Instagram profile, which seems to be the most credible reason why so many people flocked to her channel. Some older YouTubers questioned this stating it often takes over a decade's work to get recognized by the platform.
In fact, despite being the latest YouTube creator to capitalize on van life, she is arguably the most-subbed YouTuber in the field. However, none of her videos were monetized by ads, even though she has now applied for the YouTube Partner Program. Following an initial delay, a YouTube spokesperson told Tubefilter, "We have found there to be a general rise in interest around sustainable living on YouTube", adding that "videos related to van life increased over 4.5x last year vs. 2017". Some credited her YouTube fame to her prior popularity on Instagram, where she regularly posts photos, and recently posted links to her YouTube videos. However, her Instagram account, which now has 262k followers, saw a hike in followers only after her videos went viral on YouTube.
Apart from positive and negative responses on her videos, some well-wishers were worried about her safety, now that she is famous on social media. Soon after, it was reported that as she was visiting her family, a stranger pulled into her parents' driveway looking for her. She mentioned that her father was just telling her not to go out on the van anymore for the same reason as this happened.
Family & Personal Life
Jennelle Eliana is 20 years old and grew up in a dysfunctional home. She had aimed for higher studies, but found out after graduation that the fund she was depending on for college never existed. At 18, she left her house at midnight and moved in with a friend. She visits her parents' house occasionally.