Christian Hull: On Starting Up And Closing Down

Christian Hull: On Starting Up And Closing Down
Image: Image: Supplied

Foul mouthed and sassy internet personality Christian Hull has come a long way from his days as viral sensation Trish to becoming a full-time content creator and business owner. 

His journey has been filled with many ups and downs, lessons learned, and an ever-evolving career that this week has taken a new turn. 

In an exclusive interview with the Star Observer, Hull opened up about his career transition, his experiences running the Fuck Off Shop and why he’s made the difficult decision to shut it down.  

Christian Hull: Turning content into cash

Christian Hull is a rare kind of content creator, while online influences are a dime a dozen lately, Hull has lead the charge in creating unique, engaging and entertaining content, whilst successfully managing to monetise it. 

From comedy sketches to reactions videos and even writing his own book Christian has amassed an audience that can’t get enough of his content.

But before his success Hull spent years forging his way in the entertainment industry. Whilst crafting his online comedy work Christian spent his days working full time as a radio producer for Carrie and Tommy.

“I’d been making content for myself, as well as for a bunch of radio shows. I was on social media, particularly Facebook, for about four years and was doing really well. I realised I was earning enough to leave full-time work.”

He eventually took the leap and started working for himself, loving the freedom, however that freedom came with its own challenges.

“The worst part is you’ve got to go and find the work. It can be really stressful. There can be periods where there’s no money coming in, but then suddenly you do a sponsored video or a viral video, and you’re okay.” 

However transitioning careers wasn’t the only big change for Christian who made the move from Melbourne to Brisbane in late 2019 and the timing couldn’t have been better.

Leaving his stable job in Melbourne, Hull moved to Brisbane, bought an apartment and embraced his new career. “Thank God I did, because that was the time to do it,” he noted, “If I waited? I would have been screwed and been stuck in Melbourne during Covid.”

Relocating to Queensland during the pandemic allowed Christian more freedom to get out and create more content, with more people stuck in their homes during lockdowns the demand for online entertainment increased, eventually making the gay content creator an instantly recognised face nationwide. 

“I started making resin pendants called ‘Fuck Off pendants,’ and they sold incredibly well”

The idea for the F*ck Off Shop emerged during the pandemic. Hull explained, “I had a national comedy tour booked for 2020, which would generate a substantial income. But then COVID hit, and I had to pivot quickly.” With the country in lock down Christian’s hopes of continuing his tour faded quickly. “That’s when I started sort of making merch to sell and it just all happened accidentally” he recalled.

“I started making resin pendants called ‘Fuck Off pendants,’ and they sold incredibly well.” His fans flocked to buy the unique and quirky products as they watched him create them online in a series of hilarious videos. 

This accidental business venture spurred him into creating an online store after he sold a remarkable 17,000 pendants, netting him a tidy sum. 

From here he started to branch out into other products, branding them with his trademarked “Fuck Off” logo, from umbrellas, to stickers, wine decanters and board games, the Fuck Off shop launched with an impressive range of stock, but despite positive reactions it failed to match the success of his pendants.

“Everything was downhill from that” he says. 

“And so what it taught me was I thought I could order thousands of a product and sell it when in actual reality I couldn’t.”

“The reason why the pendants did so well was because of the product journey.”

“I’d built up this whole story around the pendants and everyone wanted one because they saw me making them. I was doing [Facebook] lives, I was constantly talking about it. It was a fun little thing to do at that time and and so that’s why that product did really well.”

Christian Hull
Image: Supplied

Christian soon realised that people were more invested in himself and his journey than they were in the products he sold.

“There’s no journey in it. It comes on a ship. I put it online. People are like, oh, cool. I can get a umbrella with a rude thing on it. That’s great. But like, what does that have to do with Christian Hull?”

“Essentially people were more invested in a journey that I took them on and then they could buy something and then they felt like they were a part of that journey.”

“So, when I started the business, I just thought I could sell anything, but I couldn’t and I’d wish I’d ordered a lot less because it’s better to sell out than it is to have excess stock remaining.”

Running the shop taught Hull many valuable lessons. “I made $500,000 in pendant sales, but I assumed all that money was mine. I didn’t factor in taxes, business costs, and other expenses. That money quickly dwindled down to pretty much nothing,” he admitted.

“One of the biggest lessons I learned was about the importance of managing finances and understanding taxes.” 

His advice to anyone thinking of starting an online store?

“Start slowly. I started rapidly, and it set unrealistic benchmarks. It’s better to sell out than to have excess stock remaining.”

Christian Hull prepares to close the Fuck Off Shop

After four years Christian made the decision to close the store, announcing the news to his fans online.

“It’s an emotional and relieving moment to close this all down” he said. “Running a business is a lot of hard work, extreme stress and high anxiety.”
“There have been HUGE HIGHS and a few devastating lows. I have been unable to keep the business afloat and it’s time to cut my losses and FUCK OFF.”

The decision to shut down the Fuck Off Shop came after challenging times. “The last 18 months have been torturous. With the cost of living and interest rates going up, products just weren’t moving. I sunk over $150,000 into keeping the store alive, but it just wasn’t improving,” Hull revealed. His warehouse managers, Trudy and Sam, advised him to close the shop. “I’m exhausted, I’m stressed, I’m anxious. This is keeping me awake at night. Let’s just shut it down” he said. 

With so much stock left Christian commenced his closing down sale, pulling out every trick in the book to move what remained.

 “I have about $180,000 worth of stock sitting in the warehouse. So, I decided to set sales goals with rewards. For example, at $10,000 in sales, I’d eat the world’s hottest chip; at $30,000, I’d ride the slingshot on the Gold Coast. If we reached $100,000, I’d get a piercing, and at $145,000, a tattoo,” he explained. The response was overwhelming. “In the first 24 hours, we sold $110,000 worth of stock. It was really rewarding to see how supportive everyone has been.” 

Whilst Christian is putting his shop to bed, he continues to explore more different and exciting avenues for making money.

Most recently he has begun shifting his content to different platforms in a move to monetise his work more effectively. “Facebook changed its algorithm, cutting my revenue in half overnight. Patreon has been a lifeline, providing a consistent income stream. It’s a subscription-based service where I offer exclusive podcasts, videos, and updates,” he shared. “It’s much more of a community vibe than any of the other social platforms.” 

Beyond social media Christian has also enjoyed life returning to the stage joining his friend Christopher Wayne for their show “Bad Friends” touring the country. 

“Sharing the stage is one of life’s best joys. Our show is a mix of comedy and magic, with a lot of audience participation. It’s been an incredible experience,” Hull said.

“Doing a show with Christopher, who, by the way, has an enormous penis, is just so much fun. We bounce off each other so well” he laughs.

“We just get along so well and our show is great. It’s not really like improv comedy, but there’s no plan or structure to it.”

“You know, we are neighbours and we know nothing about each other and so the bad friends title came from the fact that we just I couldn’t tell you his birthday but we get along so well.”

“The show is us asking a lot of questions of each other, learning some things about our lives and just some of the really funny stories. And then we involve a bit of audience participation and we end with two incredible magic illusions that we’ve practiced and practiced, and they’re pretty good!”

As for future projects, Hull is taking a well-deserved break. “I’m winding everything down and taking a break. Then I’ll come back,” he concluded.

You can catch more of Christian Hull online on Facebook, Youtube and all other social media platforms.

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