One TikTok creator raises money to open a brick and mortar store.
Welcome to another Friday edition. Nike is diving deep into the metaverse—first with CryptoKicks and now Nikeland. For now, I’ll stay wearing physical kicks (on my feet) in physical Nikeland (Portland).
In Today’s Issue 💬
→ How TikTok’s Dylan Lemay raised $1.5 million to open his own storefront
→ Why a group of crypto investors bid on a copy of the U.S. constitution
→ What Taylor Swift’s banner week means for creators
TikTok Creator Raises $1.5 Million to Open Ice Cream Shop
Dylan Lemay, known for his ice cream making videos that have together garnered upward of 500 million likes, is one step closer to making his NYC ice cream shop a reality—raising $1.5 million for the storefront and landing on a name: CATCH’N ICE CREAM from Dylan Lemay.
The name references the scoop-tossing technique he displayed on TikTok and perfected throughout his 10 years as an employee at Cold Stone Creamery.
Last year he quit to become a full-time creator after amassing more than 10 million followers on TikTok and more than 2.6 million subscribers on YouTube.
For the shop, Lemay plans to collaborate regularly with creators and experiment with delivery options.
The TikTok creator gave us more deets about his NYC store opening. Check out our exclusive Q&A at the end of this newsletter.👇
Posting a 20-second TikTok while working at Cold Stone is worlds away from raising millions to open up your own brick and mortar storefront. It's a high-risk, high-reward move that few creators would attempt, let alone one who's only a year into their content career. If it pays off, it will give Lemay the opportunity to scale his brand and revenue beyond videos on social media.
Power to the $PEOPLE
Last Thursday, a group of crypto investors started a digital autonomous organization (DAO) to pool funds for bidding on a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution from a Sotheby’s auction.
It was a longshot, considering the group formed just one week before the copy went to auction. Sotheby’s expected to sell the document for $15-20 million, and going into Tuesday the DAO had raised about $6 million.
By Wednesday evening, the group’s fundraising total clocked in at $40 million thanks to word spread through tweets, memes, and live chats. In the end, they were outbid. The document sold for $43.2 million to a private collector, with proceeds benefiting the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation’s student educational program.
By The Numbers
$34 million → Amount the DAO raised in a single day.
17,437 → Total number of donors who contributed to the Constitution DAO.
2,300+ → Number of donors who were first-time Ethereum users, according to Dune Analytics.
Despite not winning the constitution, the group was far from losing—they broke records for the most money crowdfunded in less than 72 hours, were the first DAO to work with Sotheby’s, and introduced a host of people to the world of web3.
The rate and volume at which this project moved is testament to web3’s ability to empower and accelerate a group of people with one unifying idea—first a WuTang album, now the constitution. What’s next—a creator, sports team, or town?
Taylor Swift’s IP Battle Makes Waves
Last week, Taylor Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version), a re-recording of her 2012 album Red with 9 new tracks. So far it’s sold more than half a million copies, marking the biggest sales week of the year for any album.
By the Numbers
113.9 million → This week’s views on Swift’s YouTube channel, where she uploaded a short film alongside the album.
91,900 → TikTok videos using the “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” sound.
90.5 million → Spotify streams of Red (Taylor’s Version) on release day.
This album was Swift’s second re-release as part of her effort to re-record all the music she made before her 2019 album Lover, securing her full control of her IP.
Social platforms like TikTok and YouTube have democratized music distribution. When Taylor started out in 2004, labels controlled distribution and had all the leverage over artists. Today, she and others are showing how creators can hold the power and the IP.
🔥 In Other News
Zach King reveals how much money he makes a day on TikTok.
The D’Amelio Show is renewed by Hulu for a second season.
YouTuber Sara Dietschy is hiring a full-time assistant and part-time writer.
FaZe Clan signs partnership with DraftKings.
Instagram makes badges available for U.S. creators to monetize their live videos.
Creator Q&A: Dylan Lemay
Dylan Lemay and CATCH’N ICE CREAM business partner Tejas Hullur share their plans for the storefront, and explain why they’re opening in NYC. (The following interview, conducted via email, has been condensed and edited for clarity).
NYC is a notoriously hard food service town—why open the ice cream shop there?
Every time Dylan is in NYC, he feels at home and is willing to spend his next chapter there. He loves its fast-paced and walkable culture. Additionally, demographic survey data across all his platforms showed that the majority of his fanbase lives in the northeast and around 70% of his fanbase wanted him to host an event in NYC.
One of the main reasons Dylan is creating this ice cream shop is to connect to his fans. NYC is a catalyst for this with its large population, vast options of quick public transportation, and its draw to tourists.
How will Dylan’s Cold Stone experience inform how the store operates? What will be the same? What will be different?
Dylan’s 10 years at Cold Stone taught him a lot about who he wants to be as a leader and also who he doesn't want to be. He worked for a variety of different franchisees and the ones who did it right put their employees first. He hopes to provide untraditional opportunities for employees outside of just a paycheck. By creating an atmosphere where employees love their job, they will then provide the best customer experience.
As far as ice cream creations, Dylan is looking to combine the experiences of not only Cold Stone but other dessert shops that he has worked at, but with an unprecedented spin.
Who is the ideal demographic? Will the store be a place for super-fans, those unfamiliar with Dylan’s content, or both?
The plan is for the shop to be semi-independent of Dylan’s already existing brand. This means that a customer may not necessarily need to know Dylan to get value out of the location. The design of the shop is to emphasize a fun experience and create a show for any customer who walks in the door. However, within the shop, there will be easter eggs that only fans will know, adding another level of enjoyment to their experience.
Have a great weekend. Do you have a subject or interest you’d like to see in an upcoming issue? The creator world is vast, and we want to cover all the bases. Reply with your ideas and we’ll consider them for an upcoming issue.