Exclusive Interview with the #internetson Meme Kid Gavin Thomas about Being Famous on Instagram, & Growing a Recognizable Brand in China & Beyond

3.85 Exclusive Interview with the #internetson Meme Kid Gavin Thomas about Being Famous on Instagram, & Growing a  Recognizable Brand in China & Beyond

We sat down with 8 year old Gavin & his mom Kate to talk about many things, including fortnite, getting famous on Vine, celebrity status in China & much more!

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQyncW_D0BDsGYAQG50XF3g

 
 

Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.

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SOLO EPISODE


kind of wanted to run down what this episode look like cuz it's a little different. If you haven't heard of Gavin Thomas before, he is an influencer. But he's eight years old. So he's a little small child who has become a huge internet sensation. He started on the app wind back in I think 2013 on his uncle's account, and he got famous on there and then eventually turned into a meme, which then brought him fame on Instagram. And now he's huge all over the world, including mostly in China. So I just wanted to give you guys like a brief rundown of that before we start the episode. We're actually going to be interviewing Gavin for about I think it's about 1015 minutes, and then we're going to talk to his mom about his life and kind of all the things so it's a little different than our usual interview. So I just wanted to let you guys know, I'll be interviewing first Gavin and then Katie. So I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. It was so fun to have them in. Hey, everyone, welcome to Spence's collective podcast. I have a very special guest today. Mr. Gavin Thomas. me how you guys just came from China. How was that was good.

Gavin Thomas 2:25

That means how you say hello. So yeah, he's doing good. Yeah, he doesn't like new things and other stuff. So I got like, I got like a little like, I got somebody from the Cloud Machine. Oh, parents daughter and our shelf and she's like, She's like, he was like God for one more day. And then

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 2:48

Okay, so Gavin, tell us a little bit about yourself. So you were on the app vine right? Is that kind of how you got famous like

Gavin Thomas 2:55

it when I was starting three years? Like

I started doing hides and me and Nick did a lot of vines and the lizard my head No, yeah. And so I was over so they're making money so they lost money. So I really want to come back they

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 3:19

come back and they were trying to do vine 2.0 but I don't think that happened. So so you kind of just were like doing some funny stuff. Some funny reaction.

Gavin Thomas 3:27

Yeah, like I had to stand here.

When my uncle Nick is gonna grab like the lizard OV advisory every day when I was on my grandma's house nice and Do you remember doing that ram actually moves so she likes to play slow nice so that that place doesn't exist you don't you don't go there anymore. So did you did you do remember doing those mines when you were three? Yes. Where they fine. Yeah, that sounds like so much fun. So basically after a vine then you like became a meme. Do you know what a meme is? Do you know classic when you make

faces?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:00

Yeah. And then you put like words on top? Do you have a favorite meme of yours?

Gavin Thomas 4:06

I think it's like I don't know but maybe like the fake smile.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:10

The fake smile because that's what everyone called me

Gavin Thomas 4:13

like fake viable or fake

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:14

smile boy Yeah, let's talk about China so why so you're really big over there? What do you know how that happened?

Gavin Thomas 4:20

Um, I think I don't like I've been doing like a lot of videos and people subscribe all the time. Yeah,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:28

because they don't have Instagram or anything in China right? They have different social media where

Gavin Thomas 4:32

they don't have they have we chat?

we chat and then Weibo Weibo Yeah, and

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:37

you guys are really big on there too. Right?

Gavin Thomas 4:39

Yeah, that's the thing they they have like other apps like pub GH for new played there all the time. And I mean, I don't even know where like the people Chinese they're saying so

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 4:50

you don't Yeah, you don't speak Chinese you have you been learning Chinese at all? Yeah, a little bit. Where else have you been? I know you guys just went to LA for the the record Ralph from your How was that

Gavin Thomas 5:01

Dillard and then we're starting to go to another place and then 2000 we're going to go to Florida and I'm going to see what the guys His name is. Sir. So the cable not Jordi or not jelly. I don't know who that is. Oh, he plays for like a or something. Right? He plays

Kate Thomas 5:27

playlist right? Just like you,

Gavin Thomas 5:28

Florida. I want to see. You want

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:30

to see what you guys have been a playlist before. What How was that? Like? That's like a YouTube convention. Right? How's that going? When you went there last year? What did you do there?

Gavin Thomas 5:40

Um, I think I was like

I just don't know

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 5:46

you just kind of met a lot of people were you on like a panel or something? Or did you guys just meet do a meet and greet? Yeah, what how what a meet and greets. Like when you meet all your family so

Gavin Thomas 5:56

like a meet and greet means like your city on somebody then city on something like a chair. Okay of water. And then I was raised. My dad gave me $1 from doing this. I'm like, there's people like, like sitting here. Okay. And they want to take a picture of me. So I like sign the

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:16

sign your autograph? Do you have a good autograph?

Gavin Thomas 6:19

As you Gavin, but I just want to do like, like three things?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:24

Yeah, that's really awesome. So do you like when people come up to you and they recognize you? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's cool. What do you say to them? Do you just say hi?

Gavin Thomas 6:36

Guys, like moms like, it was like, a real pleasure. Like, yeah, I have to say,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:41

does it happen? It doesn't happen a lot here like in Minnesota?

Gavin Thomas 6:45

Not really. Not really. China's so much like every time he goes somewhere like people want to take a picture of me.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 6:52

Wow, that's weird. That's crazy. You're so young for that, too. It's so crazy. So

Gavin Thomas 6:57

So what do you say when I was in China got like two and then I got a billy Billy Ward from how many likes I forgot.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:06

My mom Yeah, your mom knows Okay, what were the words called?

Kate Thomas 7:13

youngest influencer to hit a million.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:15

Oh, very exciting.

Unknown Speaker 7:20

Ambassador award as well.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:21

That's awesome. So So you also kind of you guys also go to got to go to New York. Right. Do the

Unknown Speaker 7:27

podcast Have you made

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:28

it? This is my 85th year my 80 or 86? I think

Gavin Thomas 7:34

there's not a lot. Yeah, that's like more than Do you like my first one? Is this your first one? Yeah, I was on a podcast yesterday. Oh, yeah.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 7:43

You guys their local band. Right. And I've heard they were actually part of our Awards Best of awards, remember? Yeah, they got in the top five. So you you like YouTube a lot. The right and fortnite that's really

Gavin Thomas 7:54

your biggest things like I just don't I just want sometimes watching Minecraft. But I just really like that. I'm a fan of fortnite. Do you play a

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:01

lot that you got to play with some really famous people to write Who did you play with? You got to play with like, Brendan Yuri. Right?

Gavin Thomas 8:09

That is Jake and his brother.

Sam, and then Sham Charles. And then mean, Jay Cyrus. No, I'm saying Sam. Jake's friend. This is brother.

Kate Thomas 8:25

Jake is photographer for for Lord. Come on.

Gavin Thomas 8:32

I said So Sam, Charles is basically change brothers. So

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:39

you guys go on for tonight and play.

Gavin Thomas 8:41

Yeah. And then once I think we do. I think we're in when what last time we did win. So we like

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 8:49

an ace win. Oh, wow. Good job. That's really hard to win. It's pretty hard to win, right?

Gavin Thomas 8:54

Like, I think I have seven or six. So you

Unknown Speaker 8:58

play that on Twitch right? Or? No, no, just I don't stream on Twitch because other famous like streamers.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:05

I'm streaming like my ninja and all those people. Yeah. Like, what are your favorite Twitch streamers?

Gavin Thomas 9:11

Um, ninjas a best actually. Yeah. She has

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 9:14

really good. I really like him. I don't really watch them, but I know who he is. How do I follow him on Instagram? And he's on YouTube as well.

Unknown Speaker 9:22

No ninja.

Unknown Speaker 9:24

I don't know him.

Unknown Speaker 9:26

Have you met him before?

Gavin Thomas 9:27

No, but no friends that were at the person that know me. And us like, like the guy that was like in California and then we're at the party and that person don't know. The record Rocky. Um, yeah. So like he you know, so like, basically what he did is that when he he actually went to twitch or something and then he saw real ninja so he took a picture with me Joe at the party or something?

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:04

No at twitch co at the Twitch. They all gotcha. So you like YouTube to do what's

Gavin Thomas 10:10

like a headband? And like, yeah, and then in the back sometimes in the background. And that was like beer all the time.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:15

Yeah. So so you

Gavin Thomas 10:18

do is like a like a headband? blue hair. Yeah. So there's this like nine year old that plays Ford and he's like a streamer. And he was playing and then he killed t foods is a good player. I don't know how he did that. Like he just jumped down and columns.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 10:35

Yeah, I haven't really played twitch too much. But do you really like YouTube? Right? Yeah. What Who's your favorite YouTube people who do you like to watch?

Gavin Thomas 10:43

I like to

do like, I sing I like to do. I'm like my favorite YouTubers. Kind of like jelly mini john Jordi. Okay. Yeah. Josh, and Josh. Josh. Josh. I

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:00

don't know if Josh will leave other links in the description. So Gavin, is there anything else you want to talk to us about today? You know, you're done. You're done with the interview?

Gavin Thomas 11:12

Like Agilent saying anything? You know what? I think?

Unknown Speaker 11:16

We're 27 minutes. Oh

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:17

my gosh, that is a lot. Okay. Well, if you're done, we're going to continue talking to your mom about your life because I

Gavin Thomas 11:25

just heard that. Yeah, the school me so Okay.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:28

All right. Well, thank you blame my video. Okay, you can play video games now. Thanks so much, Gavin for coming on.

Gavin Thomas 11:32

And also, I'm going to come back in this room with my case. I want to talk

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 11:37

more about more ideas and we'll come back at the end. All right, we're gonna we're gonna take a break. Okay, awesome.

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Well, thank you so much for being here. I'm so excited. Katie and I met actually here last year at the Instagram Stories workshop. Yeah. And you came because you were running Gavin's account and you needed more help on stories and stuff. So how has that been going in the last year?

Kate Thomas 13:52

It's been going amazing. I started my Instagram even before Gavin was born. Yeah. And Instagram's changed so much. And within the last year, so it was about last early last December. We actually switched our account. So everything was my account. And then we switched. So Gavin had his own account. Yeah. And so that's, you know, around that time, that's when stories came out. Yeah. And kind of,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 14:15

did you start from zero basically, or? Yeah. Wow.

Kate Thomas 14:18

That's amazing. Yeah. And so I remember it was one summer, and I think I was at 4000 followers. And it was like, Fourth of July weekend. And I was like, and so my brother who's Nick Master,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 14:31

he's the one who started

Kate Thomas 14:32

those started on Vine. And, and, and so I kind of pleaded with him. And I was like, please just get me to 5000 you know, like, yeah. And from there, in the next couple of months, it just kept. Yeah, like, every day I log in, and it just kept growing. And yeah, so it was amazing to see people's comments. And they were like, Oh, you know, we finally found Yes, account. And people probably didn't even know what this kid was I was in. So let's just give a little background. So basically, Gavin started on Vine with his uncle Nick, which people think is his dad. Right? Yeah. So very commonly, and then maybe not anymore. But So Nick started on Vine, the day it actually came out. Yeah. So I believe it was like 2012 2013. And Nick was doing a lot of Disney matchups at that time, and in grew, you know, hugely in popularity. And so it's kind of fun to watch, you know, that as well. And then when Gavin was about two and a half, he started adding Gavin into his body and kind of doing reactions to that point. You know, Gavin was just kind of like, you know, like a baby early. Little. And so Nick would just do funny things. How Gavin reacted, and for sure. And so people really started to respond to it.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 15:42

Yeah. And so then after a while, it was kind of one mind was dying, that the memes kind of started, right.

Kate Thomas 15:46

Yeah. So it was, it was one summer it was that summer I was talking about, and I think it was 2014 I believe it was, and yeah, it was like this whole summer of memes. And so it was like, every time that we'd log in, you know, you know, like, speeders are the different games, and it was just like, oh, wow, you know. And then it was the Summer Olympics and August. And Simone Biles and Lori Hernandez from the Olympics, gymnastics team, were tweeting out pictures of Gavin. And it was like, Oh, this is

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 16:18

wow.

Kate Thomas 16:20

Just on our Instagram. And on Facebook. Now we're seeing it kind of at a larger scale. And so it was it was kind of surreal. And

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 16:29

yeah, probably overwhelming for you too. Because you were not expecting that. Especially as mine was kind of, you know, it's like a thing, but you didn't really have anything to do with it. It was your brother. Right? So what was that transition? So then, so then it became a meme. But then you're like, Well, what do I do with this fame? I guess? Yeah.

Kate Thomas 16:45

So what we just kept doing was like, we just kept, you know, you know, posting, I was just posting like pictures and videos and cute things on Instagram, kind of like any parent does, like, Okay, this is what we did today. Yeah, those kinds of things. And, you know, people will continue to kind of take photos and turning them into memes. And Gavin started getting recognized when we go out and about and, and so that was kind of interesting. It was like, Oh, you know, we'd go to Target and people would be like, Oh, you know, he Yeah. You know, it's like, I think it was like a summer later. Gavin I published Gavin's or posted Gavin's picture of his kindergarten, you know, photo or first grade photo, one of those. And people really started being like, Oh, this is my son. You know, I started kind of,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:28

yeah, he was kind of like connecting with people.

Kate Thomas 17:30

Yeah. And so you know, he turned into like the Son and the nephew. And he was kind of like the big brother, the little brother that everyone kind of

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 17:38

has one of his like, nicknames is the internet son. Yes. Which I was curious where that came from. Because I don't know if I've ever figured that out. I was just like, that's just like, such a random thing that name a little child that no one knows.

Kate Thomas 17:48

You know, it started on it started on Vine, we started buying a little bit, where people will be like, Oh, this is my son, and all of that. And, and so I said cool.

Unknown Speaker 18:00

Like, like, there's literally no way that could be, you know, but just so funny. And

Kate Thomas 18:04

so there's always like the big debate of if it's if he is like, called the internet side, or the internet snafu or those kinds of things. But yeah, everyone's pretty protective, like, sure. And so it's kind of been nice, because we see, I mean, I'm always seen, like positive comments, and people are really looking out for them and kind of checking in and things.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 18:22

So kind of, let's just talk a little bit about going back to like his, like the rise to fame like you like when did it become a serious for you as his mom like being like, Oh, this is like a potential, like, think way for him to like, make money as a child, you know, kind of like an internet celebrity, I guess. Because, you know, we've talked about this. We've known each other for so long now for like a year that we've had so many conversations about this, but I just want to know, like, when was it in your head? Like, oh, I could be like the Kris Jenner of Gavin, you know, or something.

Kate Thomas 18:50

You know, it's interesting, because, you know, it's kind of slowly progressed, you know, Nick and Gavin are doing a lot of brand deals are just, you know, every once in a while on Vine, yeah. And so kind of started there. And then, when I kind of had my own account, we would do every once in a while, we do just a little Instagram things. And it was just a nice way to be able to be like, Okay, this is great money that we can put away for his, you know, college in the future, you know, any kind of education in the future that, that he's a sure to, you know, yeah, that money aside, it's just kind of fun, fun things. And

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 19:23

yeah, and you I mean, really, all you guys have you here most the time in Minneapolis, but you get to go on all these fun trips to China and like, I want to talk a lot about that. And then also like you went to the record Ralph to premiere as I was mentioning with Gavin. So how, like, when was the first trip that you ever went on? Was that to playlist or what was the first one? I

Kate Thomas 19:40

think the first trip that we went on was I have a really good friend, who we met at jingle ball a couple of years ago. And he his band, he actually had a band out in Texas, okay. And they flew us out to for Gavin to be in a music video fun. So Gavin, I think was five years old. And he was in the music video. And it was adorable. And so I think that was the first one. But then yes, after that. We went to we've been to two playlist so far. And we're going to our next one. Are you ready to get out of this cold? Yeah. And we actually have a meet and greet this next weekend in Seattle.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 20:16

Oh, yeah. It's so cool. So you so basically, okay, when did the China stuff happen? Because that is so interesting. And like the most bizarre part of this whole bizarre story that is your life, but I just want to know how that kind of started.

Kate Thomas 20:29

So I was looking back in my email the other day, and, and it was interesting, because it was like back in just January or February or sometime, I reached out to Gavin's manager and just said, Hey, have you heard of Weibo? Because I'm keep getting messages from people saying, Hey, we want you to join Weibo, there's so much interest, we're sharing pictures and videos, we'd love to hear from Gavin firsthand. And so around that time, we had a company reach out and just say we love to help you guys with trends, you know, with translating everything with learning the, you know, learning all the different platforms and, and all that and so it took about six months to kind of come up with that plan and see what that looked like and, and all that and and so at the end of July, this last summer, we opened to the account, and Gavin created this welcome video where he said, you know, Hi, my name is Kevin Thomas. I really, really want to come to China one day, you know, thanks for subscribing to my channel. And it was really interesting to watch, because within 24 hours, Gavin hit a million followers. Yeah. And we were blown away. That was I think that was like our one year goal for all platforms. And so

we're still kind of blown away. So this last trip that we went, you've been not three times to try to surge three. Wow, that's crazy. So it's amazing. I'd never Gavin and I had never left the country before. Yeah, that and so we're like I better get our passports. And so what is it like traveling with him because I know I've seen pictures. I was talking to our mutual friend here.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 22:00

Yeah. And he said that his friend sent him a like popper Razzi shot of Gavin, like at the airport like that insane. Like what did the heck like what what is like, I've just, I, I just blows my mind. Like how famous he is in China, which is like the most random thing in the world. But like, so when you get there, like the first time What was that? Like? Was there like a lot of people waiting for you and stuff?

Kate Thomas 22:21

Yeah, so we actually had. So we had like, there was a company that we worked with called peace, Birdman. They invited us out within a month of, of opening that Weibo account. And so they invited us out. So the Gavin can help out with this campaign called feel like a teen. And it was a they collaborated with Disney. So he was a Mickey Mouse thing, which was really cute. And they kind of showed us around China and all that. And so it was amazing. Because, you know, we went to a play house one day, and I think we had posted like, oh, kind of a general idea of what we were going to be doing that trip but not like, Okay, this is. And at one point, we were like, Oh, you know, we were walking to this Playhouse. They said, Hey, just a heads up. There's about 100 people outside waiting to meet Gavin or see Gavin. And so I leaned down to Gavin and just said, Hey, heads up, you know, like, if you're interested, we can do a big group photo will, you know, arrange everything. And I looked up and everyone was standing right there. And it was like, oh, and you know, so being in Minnesota, we get it, everyone's while we're going to do, but this was like, oh, my

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 23:24

goodness was like celebrity,

Kate Thomas 23:26

so much bigger than we've ever, you know, ever had. And

you know, it's one of those where it's like, it's so hard to explain. Yeah, you

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 23:33

know, so So would you ever get nervous in those situations? Like being like, he's just a child, he's eight years old. Right? And he's like, he is in a foreign country, you know, you never know what can happen. Like, how do you keep them safe? from everything on the internet?

Kate Thomas 23:46

We always Yeah, exactly. We. So in those situations, we always have, you know, like some kind of security or we also have, like a very great team that's around us. You know, it's really nice, because, you know, my husband's not traveling with us at that time. And so, you know, we have this great team over in China that they've become our family. Yes, we're talking to them constantly about what we're posting, and what content we're creating. And, and, and then they come with these with us on these trips. And so we've gotten to go to these amazing places, these people that have just kind of become Yeah, that's really become our family, which is amazing. And which, you know, we would have never had that opportunity otherwise, and, but I think like, you know, kind of going, you know, with security on the internet and all that it's, you know, it's just kind of protecting, you know, Gavin's identity, you know, not disclosing where he goes to school. And yeah, and, you know, just kind of always kind of keeping that watchful eye. Sure.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 24:43

A lot of people don't know, he lives here. So it's funny because Pete, like I mentioned, you guys, sometimes people and they're like, wait, they live in Minneapolis, like, that's just the most, you know, like, you think he lives in LA or something

Kate Thomas 24:52

a lot of people do. They think we have they're living like LA or New York or something like that. You went to LA for the first time, like, last last year dead for that was that premiere that was like, so I kept following the stories. And I'm like, this looks so cool. We stayed in the Hollywood Roosevelt. And so we got to overlook Boulevard, and so we got to see them every so every morning, Gavin would wake up and like take pictures and we got to see them, like put together the red carpet, which was Yeah, they actually is a blue carpet for record relevant. And so it's kind of a cool experience. Got to meet a lot of stuff to did they invited. I think it was like nine or 10 other like Internet celebrity so

Who does? Yeah, backpack? Yeah, you know? Damn.

They were there. David after done.

So it was a really cool experience to kind of, to kind of, especially, you know, I talked to a couple of the other moms and I was like, Okay, you guys know, you got you guys are going through this. You guys. You guys know this? You know, it's kind of like that. That whole bond that you

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 25:56

guys are friends with? Like the boundaries as well. Yeah. If any, anyone watches like Coleen Ballenger or like, Miranda Sings? It's kind of her her brother and his wife and their kids. Yeah. And they are in LA too, I think. Yeah. So like, Did you get to visit any of the YouTube people when you were out there? When we were out there? Well, we

Kate Thomas 26:15

did get to that. We visited with two of them. Okay. We visited with our friend Reagan. So we got to see a few of them. But that's why we're excited for playlist is because it's like, everybody's just all in one big hotel. And yeah. And so we get to go. It's still it's nice, because it's like we see comments on the internet. And we see the posts and all that. But it's nice to actually meet a face with everybody and be able to meet them and, and kind of do that in one big weekend. And it's it's a lot of fun.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:40

You guys, because you didn't you didn't do a panel or you did a meet and greet last year, we

Kate Thomas 26:43

were only done meet and greets

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 26:46

this way young, I feel like you wouldn't really have much to say on the panel. Right? Yeah. But I feel like everyone probably recognizes him at those events, because they're for like YouTube, and you know, Instagram stuff. So that's kind of crazy. So let's talk a little bit about I like how you guys work with brands? Because I think that's really interesting. Like you have a manager out of New York out of la la. Okay, and how did you find them? And how does that work?

Kate Thomas 27:10

Yeah. So we, we work with a management company, they?

Yeah, so they're based out of LA, we actually have a friend named Ryan AM who's based out of New Jersey. And so when I started realizing like, okay, we're having companies contact us, you know, my biggest thing is Gavin's eight years old, he's not really able to make these decisions on his own. And, you know, I, I don't have experience in this industry at all. And so for me, it was like, all right, I need to protect Gavin, I need to make sure that, you know, at the end of the day, he's not going to come back and say, oh, my goodness, you know, like, you know, why did we do this? You know, and so, I wanted to have kind of a team in place to be able to make sure that the decisions that we were making, were the right ones. And so I needed somebody who was kind of an or, you know, definitely an expert in this in this industry, and was able to walk us through it. So we have, we have a two managers, and then we have an attorney. And we have an accountant as well, just to make sure that everything kind of on all fronts of Gammons is taken care of. And yeah, so when he's 18

Unknown Speaker 28:21

will be all set for

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:24

for sure. And so for the brand deals, like they come to the manager to come to you, and then you give them to them, they come to the manager, okay. Because that's probably your contact.

Kate Thomas 28:32

Yeah, so I, so I changed it about a year ago. Okay. So any of our contact information, anytime you click on Instagram or anything like that, all emails, all contact goes directly through him. And then he's able to talk to them and kind of go through our lawyers review everything. So there is an entertainment lawyer, so she reviews everything and kind of goes through. So before we haven't signed anything, everything's kind of Yeah.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 28:56

So now, how many What? So like, what kind of brand deals do you end up doing? Like, do you only partner with people that you kind of like, like, their products? Or how does that work?

Kate Thomas 29:07

So I think it kind of depends on but we definitely, it's always somebody that we, you know, you know, look, yeah, look at, and we're very conservative too, because, you know, if something were to kind of go the wrong way. Unfortunately, Gavin isn't able to, to come back and say, This is why I did this, or this is why I worked with them. overseas and stuff. Yeah. And so yeah, so we're very careful with anyone that we work with. You know, just making sure and, and so yeah, we're able to kind of go through and see, because you guys recently started selling merge. Well. Yeah, it's and all that. Was that part of the China stuff, or how did that work? So we had one this last summer that we did with represent. And so they did like, my four moods.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 29:51

Yeah, it's all those ones t shirts and

Kate Thomas 29:52

sweatshirts and, and

mug mugs and all that. And then we are working in China, we're working with a company called named biscuit. Okay. And so they're doing all of our merchandise over there with phone cases and sweatshirts and all that. And so we actually got to go to their studio, and then they have, like, kind of a little, like, shop down, okay, on their first level. And so we got to kind of hang out there and cool.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:18

So cuz I saw pictures of Gavin wearing his own shirt. Yeah.

Kate Thomas 30:22

He's like, because he has, he has a couple of them. So he's always like switching them out and wearing them. And, and so, yeah, it's so cool. It's like, it was like, all right, you know, there was one day where he showed up to the mall to America, and he's wearing his own shirt. And I think he was kind of like, I wore that that's right, you know, like, people came up to, you know, people will come up because sometimes people are kind of like, like you said, People don't know, we live here. So a lot of times people will be like, hey, has anyone ever told you he looks like that kid? And I'm like, Yeah, no, that actually is him. Yeah.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 30:50

And so we freak out. I'm like something, maybe

Unknown Speaker 30:54

he's had a few. He doesn't like screaming.

Kate Thomas 30:58

So everyone's all he will have, you know, like, gotten excited and screamed, and he's just kind of like, no, but it was funny. When we were in China. The second time, I actually asked them how to say shy because when Gavin gets into a new situation, a lot of times people kind of get kind of shy. And so I wanted to explain to them that like, you know, he wasn't like, you know, trying to get out of the situation. He just was feeling shy. So we learned how to say hi show. So now he walks up to people in his late me house and he'll say hi show. Like, kind of your icebreaker is that you'll tell people that you're shy, we're sure.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 31:35

I want to talk a little bit more about some of the local stuff because I feel like you guys have gotten plugged into like, you know, jingle ball and all that. So how did you get was that kind of like your first taste of like, you know, brand influence or events kind of so

Kate Thomas 31:46

we've actually with jingle ball, we've actually been, we were invited a couple years ago by Camilla bellow. And she was in with Fifth Harmony at that time. And so we got to kind of go hang out with her and do that. And so and then the next year, we just want the pre party because the bed time and

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:08

all that so funny.

Kate Thomas 32:08

So we just want the pre party and then we hung out with Max at that way. And he ended up playing like tight with Sabrina carpenter and oh my gosh. And we've done other events with go 96. And so we did there. Gosh, we we've done a couple of

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:22

their little shows. with you guys. Oh, yes,

Kate Thomas 32:24

yes, yes. And so yeah, it's been it's been kind of fun to kind of hang out. And we did something recently we did a live broadcast recently with love your mouth. And so it's really fun. I don't think Gavin ever wanted to leave their office. They have this huge like that. Oh, yeah. And

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:41

that day to remember that. Yes.

Kate Thomas 32:44

Yeah, we have coffee. Right. So So yeah, it's been kind of fun to, to kind of have these

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 32:49

you don't have to travel, which is to drive your car. Stuff like this at the at the podcast, but oh my gosh, I kind of like what every time I meet with you. I'm like, so many questions. And I I just think it's so interesting. And I'm like, so glad that we finally found a time to meet up. But let's just talk a little bit more about like, kind of what the future looks like. Because I think Gavin is kind of like now starting to build his own person. And like he's really in a fortnight and like YouTube. So like, what do you kind of see like, because I mean, eventually, he's almost going to get too old that he won't look like his childhood. So, like, how is that going to work? How is he going to transition into like being almost like a teenager?

Kate Thomas 33:25

Yeah, you know, that's really it's an interesting thing. Because, you know, like, we were talking about that the other day. I'm like, you know, he's not that cute little like, you know, toddler who was kind of, you know, why milliner Yeah, doing, you know, and so I think for him, it's been really important. We bought him a blogging camera. This last, after we got back from playlist, we were like, all right, we have to have the same camera as everyone else. And so he's been grabbing his own camera, and kind of, you know, jumping in and being like, okay, you know, it's Gavin here, and I'm gonna make this video. It's been fun, because he has a couple of his friends in his class that, you know, when we went to New Jersey, he, we know, we left. I think I picked him up like a half hour early before school was over. And we went to the airport. And he was telling his friends that, you know, he was like, All right, I'm gonna go and they said, All right, have fun making YouTube videos with all your friends. And so, so it's been kind of fun, because, you know, now he'll go back and say, Hey, did you guys watch my newest YouTube video? Or he's like, Mom, I have to make a YouTube video. So my friends can watch it and, and so, you know, it's kind of fun for him. He likes to everyone's want to wake up and go, okay. You know, it's Saturday morning, I want to do a broadcast and I'm like, okay, at 6am nobody's gonna be able to watch morning. Wait, at least until people start waking up a little bit China.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 34:41

But it's interesting, because like he is, he's kind of on and off in terms of personality. I feel like there's times when he's like, good. Like, even when he came into the podcast today. I was like, I hope he talks, you know, cuz it's like, you never know with him. I've been to events. We've been to a bunch of events in the last year together. And like sometimes, like I remember when we went to that Halloween one, he did not want to be there. Do you remember that? My goodness, we did not want to ride that carousel at the zoo. Yes. You remember that? Yes. Like he just was complaining about dives. I was just like, Okay, well, it's funny, because like, some days, he's like, really into it. Yes. It's not. So I it's like, it's interesting. Like, how when you work with brands, like, do you like guarantee things? Or is that where

Kate Thomas 35:19

we they'll kind of give us like a script. But that's a lot of times where his manager will then go back and say, Okay, okay, this is kind of a general idea of what we're going to say, you know, because, you know, a lot of times Gavin will kind of give it his own Gavin spin to things or word things kind of how, you know, kind of how it sounds? Yeah, for him. Yeah. And so they kind of know that going in, for sure. I'm

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:41

an actor, but he's taking acting classes.

Kate Thomas 35:42

So we've taken a couple of acting classes. And then he has, tomorrow morning, he has he's doing like a teen and, like children and teen acting class. And so I think that's a couple couple weeks off that what

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 35:57

he wants to do, or is it more just to, like, build up his confidence. And Tom right now

Kate Thomas 36:01

he does, you know, he's kind of interested in that. And, and part of it for me is, you know, just kind of building up his confidence, you know, I wasn't very outgoing as a child. And so for me, it's kind of gaining that confidence. Yeah. And getting up there. And so no matter what he does in life, no matter what he decides, at this moment, he wants to, you know, be a gamer and, and be a YouTuber, and kind of do that. So we'll see what that looks like in 10 years.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 36:26

It's funny, because that's like, what all little kids want to do, right? But he's like, actually has the potential because he's already got the following, which is crazy. Yeah,

Kate Thomas 36:32

it is. You know, like, a lot of times, it's really interesting for me to explain to people because they're like, Oh, so you know, what do you do? Or, you know, what? You know, why that's probably weird to explain. It is it's a really high. Remember,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 36:46

when you were at our workshop, and we're going around, and you're like, I'm my child's mother. Like,

Kate Thomas 36:55

yeah, you know, like, all these people are like, okay, you know, I'm the social strategists are you, you know, the, you know, the so and I'm like, I manage my channel.

And social media. And they were all like, Oh, that's cute. And then I'm like, Oh, yeah, you know,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 37:12

but I like it. It's funny cuz I was on I think I followed you guys. And then you fall. Yeah, I like had I used Fun fact, I loved vine back in the day. I was really, I didn't really do it myself. But I was like, I watch all the time. And so I like had heard of Gavin. And so then I like was like, wait, they live in Minneapolis. So that's kind of how that happened. But it's just so cool that like, you're just like, such a normal family that this has happened to like, this is the craziest thing in the world, I think well,

Kate Thomas 37:36

and that's what people say, you know, I think, you know, on the internet, that's what you see is you see kind of like, you know, you see us, like always taking pictures or doing videos or those kinds of things. But I think at the end of the day, kind of like we were talking about with brand new, Gavin and the end of the day is just he's always there to play. Yeah. Like I, you know, you like he brought his, you know, he brought her extra phone with because he was like, I'm gonna go play for it right now. You know, or we recently worked on a project and he took a break. And he went and played soccer out in China, like, you know, so it's kind of like, you know, at the end of the day, he kind of like, does his thing. He makes his videos, he does his thing. And then he just like goes and plays. And that's what happened. So I think for us, you know, Gavin's just kind of just plays. He loves this very playful kid. Yeah, loves

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 38:26

games. And I remember that time we have the water gun. Yes, you scored people.

Kate Thomas 38:31

We know, that's always the funny thing. I've thought about doing something work, because every time we go to Gavin and loves going to concert, and Gavin doesn't always like to go, you know, stand up front and dance to the music or anything like that. Gavin likes to go and like arrange games. So he's like, okay, there's going to be a bunch of people there. You know, and then we're going to play freeze tag. So I think we've been to the garage before in Burnsville and Gavin had like, the entire like garage, and everyone was playing freeze tag. And it was just like, This is crazy. Like, that's amazing. And that's just like, he loves it. And so we're going to show this next Tuesday. And he's like, the entertainment. So to bring all the game, you know, kind of arrange the tag and yeah, I

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:15

feel like he gets to turn these adults with the kids. God, you know, has,

Kate Thomas 39:17

you know, we had that with a with a band once and they said that they were like, Oh, we typically we kind of hang out before this. And they're like, this time, we were playing kickball and ping pong and all this kind of stuff. So like, it's kind of like he

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 39:31

had to go well, because he I feel like he has to be around adults a lot. Yeah, too. So he's kind of like, has still has to be a kid with, you know, within his eight year old self, you know?

Kate Thomas 39:41

Well, and that's like, the funny thing too, is, you know, I think on Instagram, it's a perceived a lot of the way to that he, you know, because we don't take pictures with like, his friends that are that age and all of that. Yeah, just to get that's always like my disclaimer, I give my friends. You know, like, I'm going to be taking this photo, but like, it's not going to go on Instagram, because like my child's out there, but like, I know, a lot of people are very protective. And they have private accounts, or they don't even post at all, or they'll post kind of like a profile back, you know, like, yeah, and so, so that's kind of like my disclaimer that I gave them like, Okay, I'm like, our kids are gonna be playing, I just want this picture for like, my own photo. But yeah, because you're kind of picky about what you share about him. And I feel like that's really good. I like I applaud you because there's some, I'm not going to name names, but there's some moms on the internet that are like, kind of exploiting their kids on a little bit way. And I think you really protect him and like, let him do what he wants to do, but don't like push him into like, move in LA and stuff or whatever. No. And he, like, at some point, if he was like, okay, we're gonna, you know, that'd be like, Okay, great. But, you know, we're kind of just like, you know, whatever he wants to, yeah, whatever he wants to do. And he's like, an excellent negotiator. So let's go, you know, he'll, you know, if we are going to do something where, you know, we recently when we were in China, we recently worked on project, I wish I could talk about it, cuz I'm really excited about it. But

Unknown Speaker 41:02

yeah. But,

Kate Thomas 41:05

you know, it was one of those where he was like, All right, let's do you know, a little bit of work. And then let's go play. And I'm like, All right, great. Like, let's do that. So he's always like, timing out. He's always has a schedule. He's like, all right, so I did that. And now I'm gonna go play and I'm like, All right, great. So he's so cool. That's kind of fun. He

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 41:21

I can't wait to see like what he does, because I feel like he has such an awesome platform. And everyone already knows who he is. It's like, he can kind of pick what he does.

Kate Thomas 41:29

Yeah, it's fun. And it's really fun for me to like that, you know, he kind of gets excited where he like, he'll watch like, all these videos were like, he'll watch these YouTubers, or, you know, he'll watch different people like doing, you know, like, Instagram or those kinds of things. And you know, and so then he'll get to like a different events, or he'll meet people. And he'll be like, hey, do you remember when you did this? And, you know, so it's kind of fun for him that he gets to hear from me.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 41:56

Never know, like, I'm like, Oh, you remember me from like, he

Kate Thomas 41:58

was trying to figure out your

hang on again. I'd love to see you.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 42:05

Yeah. And it's, it's fun, because I get to talk to you about this stuff, which I find really cool. And you probably don't have a lot of people in the area that like, understand what's going on.

Unknown Speaker 42:14

Yeah, that's always nice. When we get together. I'm like, I can finally like, geek out and be like, Okay, this is video we're doing and

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 42:20

I love talking about with you. We're very we have a lot in common. Yeah. So it's just been really fun to be friends with you over the last year. It's been super well,

Kate Thomas 42:28

let us do our first podcast.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 42:29

I'm so excited. I hope that everyone listening is like, Oh my gosh, I need to meet Kevin now. Because I feel like everyone needs to, like, hopefully you guys will be at some local events. So maybe you'll run into him. And now you'll look, you know, look out for him and be like, Oh, cool. That's the guy. I heard the podcast or whatever. So right? You haven't I mean, I'm sure there's people listening that probably haven't heard of you. Because I think most of your audience is like, under like, 25 for the most part, right?

Kate Thomas 42:49

Yeah. Yeah. I think our demographic, I think it's like, a like, I think it's like 18 to 25. And, you know, some young college kind of between there and,

and so yeah, it's been it's been interesting. And that's, I think a lot of times too, you know, I'm not always like, you know, I'm usually the one you're behind the scenes. I never see you on

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 43:07

his account ever

Kate Thomas 43:09

get better. They were asking me like, Okay, you guys need to do more family stuff. And yeah. And so yeah, it's been kind of funny to. So I'm trying to like, I'm trying to do it. But that was always my brother's joke was like when they were making vines. You could always hear me talking to the back. Way too much. I can always hear me talking. My podcast was perfect. I know I need to

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 43:32

start podcasting. But

Unknown Speaker 43:33

well, now that I know he loves. Well, there you go. I mean, I'm,

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 43:39

well, thank you so much for being here. How do you find Gavin and all you guys on social media?

Kate Thomas 43:43

So kind of depends on what but mostly Gavin Thomas, Instagram and Twitter is Gavin Thomas. YouTube is Gavin Thomas YT. We're still growing that I'm excited. I really want

Unknown Speaker 43:53

to help you guys with you.

Kate Thomas 43:54

figure that out. Because let's do it.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 43:57

I want to do my own videos too. And I like having slowly in the heck out of it.

Kate Thomas 44:01

It'll be good. Well, like, yeah, we'll partner with that. And then Facebook is Gavin Thomas FB.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 44:06

So that one has like a million, right? Yeah. Which is insane. Yeah. So

Kate Thomas 44:11

so it's been kind of fun. It's just, it's fun. It's just fun to see the comments. And you know, people are exactly.

Jenna Redfield of Twin Cities Collective 44:19

Awesome. Well, thanks, guys, and we'll talk to you next week. Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. Make sure to click subscribe if you haven't already. And make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks again for Ian at Studio Americana for producing this episode, as well as Melanie Lee for designing the podcast art and thanks to Nikolai had less for the use of the song in the intro intro. Thanks so much again, and I'll see you next time.