Zoe Elizabeth Sugg (born 28 March 1990) is an English fashion and beauty vlogger, YouTuber, and author. She is best known by her YouTube username Zoella. Her debut novel, Girl Online, was released in November 2014 and broke the record for highest first-week sales of a first-time novelist since Nielsen BookScan began compiling such records in 1998.
Sugg is the older sister of Joe Sugg, who is also a vlogger and internet personality known on YouTube as ThatcherJoe. She grew up in Lacock, Wiltshire, where she attended The Corsham School secondary school and arts college, and currently lives in Brighton.
Sugg is in a relationship with fellow YouTube personality Alfie Deyes, known on YouTube as PointlessBlog.
Sugg was working as an apprentice at an interior design company when she created her blog, “Zoella”, in February 2009. By the end of the year it had a thousand followers and as of September 2015 it has received over 540 million total visits. The fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog expanded into a YouTube channel in 2009, while Sugg was working for British clothing retailer New Look.
In 2013, Sugg was named as one of the National Citizen Service’s ambassadors, helping to promote the newly launched youth service. The following year she was named as the first “Digital Ambassador” for Mind, the mental health charity.
Sugg’s main channel, Zoella, first named “zoella280390” after her birth date, is mostly fashion, beauty hauls, and “favourites” videos (showing her favourite products of the previous month). Her second channel, MoreZoella, contains mostly vlogs where she shows her viewers what she does in her day. She is a member of the Style Haul network and is represented by Dominic Smales at Gleam Futures. Sugg also appears alongside many other YouTubers on the channel DailyMix, which is managed by Gleam. Sugg has done many collaborations on her channel Zoella with other YouTubers, including: Louise Pentland, Tanya Burr, Alfie Deyes, Tyler Oakley, Troye Sivan, Grace Helbig, and many others.
Sugg is influential through social media, being mentioned by The Telegraph as one of “Britain’s most influential Tweeters” in 2013.As of December 2015, Sugg’s main YouTube channel has over 9.5 million subscribers and over 625 million video views, and is the 50th most subscribed channel on the website; her second channel “MoreZoella” has over 3.4 million subscribers and over 290 million video views. She also has over 3 million followers on Twitter and over 6 million on Instagram.
In December 2014 Sugg was criticised for filming whilst driving her car. A member of the Metropolitan Police said “She could have killed someone. How can anyone who has their eyes off the road for that amount of time be in complete control of a vehicle?” Sugg’s spokesperson stated that “at the time of filming she was in mostly stationary traffic.”
Sugg signed a two-book deal with Penguin Books in 2014. The North American publishing rights were purchased by Atria.
Sugg’s debut novel, Girl Online, was released on 25 November 2014. The book is aimed at a young adult audience and surrounds a 15-year-old anonymous blogger and what happens when her blog goes viral.While based around similar experiences, Sugg has stated that the book is “in no way autobiographical”. The novel achieved “the highest first-week sales for a debut author since records began in 1998,” 78,109 copies.As of December 2014 it is also the fastest selling book of the year.
Penguin stated that “Sugg did not write Girl Online on her own”, stating that she “has worked with an expert editorial team to help her bring to life her characters and experiences in a heartwarming and compelling story”.It has been reported that young-adult novelist Siobhan Curham was a ghostwriter for the novel, although neither Penguin nor Sugg have stated this. Penguin stated that Curham was an “editorial consultant” for the novel.
A sequel, Girl Online: On Tour, was released on 20 October 2015