Coupleontour’s YouTube channel is all about lesbian love. We talked to Ina and Vanessa about their Spreadshop, YouTube and queerness.
Hello Vanessa and Ina, you run a YouTube channel as “Coupleontour.” Tell us what exactly you two do and how it came about.
It was all a coincidence. At the beginning, we didn’t know how big it would become. In the beginning we posted a picture of us kissing (we dared to, haha). After a short time, many messages reached us – calls for help, fear, support. We realized how much it helps not to have to hide anymore because of same-sex love, and above all, how much still needs to be accomplished in this area.
It’s great that you’ve had the courage to tackle this topic! Why actually “Coupleontour”? Do you travel a lot?
In the current times it’s anything but easy, before that [the pandemic] we were on the road a lot. But our name more so implies that we are a couple always, and everywhere. That’s more wishful thinking, but among other things that’s what we stand for: A world where gay couples are treated equally and can live without fear.
That’s a great goal, and we hope we can play a tiny role in that, too. Speaking of Spreadshop: How did you guys come up with the idea to open a Shop?
We noticed that our community was growing and wanted to be able to design something of our own that we could wear as a “Bubu community.” No sooner said than done. After reading a lot of positive things about Spreadshop, we decided to open a Shop with you.
What do you like about Spreadshop? And where do you see potential for improvement?
We especially like the clear handling, with which we got along well – even as newcomers. With a few steps, it’s possible to have your own Shop.
It would be nice if there were more cell phone cases. This is what our community often wishes for, since several models are in demand (new iPhone models for example).
Thank you, we’ll definitely pass it on. In addition to YouTube, you also use TikTok. What’s the difference between the platforms? Do you reach a different audience there?
YouTube offers the opportunity to talk more and get it all off your chest. TikTok reaches a younger target group and the attention is different because the videos are quickly wiped away. Our YouTube videos are seen by some as a kind of new episode in a series.
You recently started using YouTube merch shelf. What is that and what do you hope to achieve with it?
Our own products are displayed below the videos, which is great when the community watches a video. When we see it, we’re very proud, haha. We hope that YouTube users will also become aware of our products.
For sure! Who actually creates your designs and how do your fans like them?
We design them ourselves. The well-known “Bubu” is the most popular among the community. It’s our nickname for each other, but also used to address our community. “On tour” is also a part of it. More and more people in our community change their username with their name + ontour. We’re very proud of that!
But on to the designs: We often sit together at the tablet and draw away. For the future, we hope to constantly improve and include even more elaborate designs in our Shop.
Which designs or products sell particularly well?
Accessories are particularly well received. The “Bubu mug” is also a big seller, as are cell phone cases, caps and stuffed animals.
How did you manage to gain so many followers? (On TikTok, 2 million people!)
We do our thing, always stay on the ball and really appreciate our reach and the responsibility with it. We don’t pretend, we are who we are. We also address painful topics, things that have hurt or happened to us.
That’s right! On TikTok and YouTube you, of course, spread a lot of fun and make people laugh, but as a lesbian couple you also stand up against homophobia. What do you think, can you affect other people?
Hopefully we can live in a world where homophobia is a thing of the past. Many people are afraid to come out. We also had this fear but understood that it’s “only” love between us. We want to be a point of contact, and if we can’t step in, there is a person in our community who is there for the others. It’s important to deal with issues that mess you up.
What advice do you have for other YouTubers who would like to start a Spreadshop?
Get your community involved. Ask them what they want, what colors like, and which products. The feeling of meeting someone who has the stuff you’ve designed is indescribable.
Finally, a topic that has been on everyone’s mind this year: What impact has COVID-19 had on you?
We’ re trying to use the time we’ve gained (e.g., no commute to college) wisely to produce more content. We are all at home more, who feels differently? In this respect, we should try to make the best of it together.
Thank you for the interview, Ina and Vanessa! We wish you only the very best for the future as lovers and as “Coupleontour”!