It sounds like the easiest job in the world, and a pretty good one too. Stunning red carpet selfies, lavish vacations abroad, receiving thousands of dollars for a single Instagram post – the life of an internet influencer seems like a walk in the park.

But life has been anything but easy for Shantania Beckford, one of Birmingham’s most influential people. A quick tour of her glossy Instagram page would suggest that she’s lived a life of luxury, but the 29-year-old beauty and lifestyle influencer knows the true meaning of hard work.

From battling homelessness as an undocumented immigrant to working the night shift at a Walsall fried chicken shop, Shantania’s path to internet royalty has been something of an unconventional one. This is the story of how Shantania Beckford launched an internet empire from her social flat bedroom, now earning up to £3,000 for a single social media post.

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Shantania, 29, moved to the West Midlands from Jamaica when she was just nine years old, initially as an undocumented migrant. Having settled in Walsall, he quickly learned the importance of hard work from his mother, who worked three jobs at the time.

Shantania Beckford has over 300,000 YouTube subscribers.

Three days a week after school, Shantia would travel to Birmingham to help her mother with her cleaning job. Living as an undocumented migrant and being bullied at school because of the color of her skin, she says her childhood was a “stressful” time, but that she found solace in hair and beauty, a passion that sometime day would turn it into thousands.

“I have always liked art, drawing and creating,” he says. “Makeup and hair have always been art to me; I’ve been doing people’s hair since I was little.”


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