Peterson, from Alexandria, returns home with his fiancé and 1.42 million YouTube subscribers – Mitchell Republic


ALEXANDRIA – After four years of living and working in New Zealand, Shanell Peterson returned to her hometown of Alexandria this month, bringing her new fiancé and business partner with her to visit family and baby community in which she grew up.

She also brought 1.42 million of their friends with them.

Peterson and her fiancé, Kishan Chavan, are YouTube content creators who chronicle their life and adventures in New Zealand and beyond on their channel, known as


. Their videos have caught the attention of viewers around the world, especially in New Zealand, where they are among the top ten YouTube channels in terms of subscribers. They currently have 1.42 million subscribers on the platform.

Peterson, 26, said she was happy to go home and see her family after such a long time, but loved sharing the experience with Chavan and their family on social media.

“I was 16 and one of my favorite things to do was watch YouTubers do eyeshadow tutorials or what’s in my bag videos,” Peterson told the Mitchell Republic during an interview. a recent interview. “I tried this when I was 16. I still have these videos on my solo channel. They are cracking. But I will never get them because it was the start of a passion for me.

Her road to becoming a social media influencer started with a love of travel she developed in high school. When she had the opportunity to participate in the

Person-to-person program

an organization that aims to break cycles of fear and misunderstanding by bringing people together, she and her family have helped her achieve her goals.

The trip would take her to Australia, and she knew the cost of the trip was going to be high. But with a little effort, she achieved her goal.

“So my dad worked overtime, and I did bake sales and I went door to door asking for donations, and we raised the money so I could go. C That’s what started my love of travel,” Peterson said.

After graduating from South Dakota State University in 2017, she planned to move to Sioux Falls, pay her student bills and pursue a career in business, despite not being quite sure what she wanted to do. But her instincts were telling her to hit the road again, so she quickly abandoned her plans and visited Indonesia and Cambodia instead.

When she returned to South Dakota, her vision for her future had changed.

“On the return flight from this magical week, I didn’t want to stop. So I called the property manager in Sioux Falls and told them I wasn’t going to move in. I canceled all my plans, and as soon as I got home, I typed ‘how to move to a foreign country’ into Google,” Peterson mentioned. “And New Zealand was the first one to pop up.”

She obtains a working holiday visa and begins her next trip to the other side of the world. She found work in exchange for a free room and food on an organic farm. She worked shifts at a local cafe. And she serviced the bathrooms and guest rooms of a New Plymouth inn.

It was there that she met Chavan.

“Kishan was going door to door and had a room at this hostel,” Peterson said. “It was late at night and he was doing paperwork in the common area. I was listening to a podcast on the couch and he picked up a guitar.

Peterson said it was a quiet night and she hoped Chavan wouldn’t play guitar for fear of waking the other guests. She didn’t need to worry.

“I didn’t even know how to play,” Chavan said with a laugh.

The Indian native who had moved to New Zealand, a country of around 4.9 million people, to study and start his business didn’t need to know how to play the guitar for the duo to hit it off. hear well. They soon found themselves spending more time together and, ultimately, falling in love.

Shanell Peterson, originally from Alexandria, holds a necklace with a Krishna pendant, a gift from her future mother-in-law. Peterson’s business partner and fiance, Kishan Chavan, is named after the Hindu god of love. The pair are among the most popular social media personalities in New Zealand, where the pair met. (Erik Kaufman/Mitchell Republic)

Peterson had continued to make YouTube videos from time to time, but when it came time for her to focus on a stable career, Chavan encouraged her to pursue her dreams. They started making reaction videos of Peterson watching Indian


films and trailers for the first time. The videos proved to be hugely popular, as fans of the film genre were taken by the American from South Dakota experiencing something they were already fans of.

“People like to watch foreigners see Indian movies and trailers for the first time. So we started with that and it took off. Within a month we had 10,000 subscribers,” Chavan said. “Then we did a video where she tried some Indian snacks. It was our first million view video. So we started doing that kind of stuff and had 100,000 subscribers in two or three months. It was very fast.

Their following only grew. They are currently ranked in the top 10 YouTube creators in New Zealand, and they are also the country’s #3 ranked creator on TikTok. They were previously ranked No. 1 on TikTok with 2.4 million subscribers, but the pair have had more fun working with YouTube, which also pays them for their content. They haven’t posted a TikTok video since January and only dropped two positions in the list.

They hired a video editor working from India who receives their footage and shoots a full video the next day. The couple post new videos daily, ranging from simple day-to-day activities to chronicling Peterson traveling alone from New Zealand to India to visit Chavan’s parents. It was another popular video that resonated with viewers.

“She met my parents for the first time without me, and she vlogged her trip from New Zealand, letting me go to India to see my family, and people really enjoyed it,” Chavan said.

Peterson agreed.

“One small note is that his parents don’t even speak English. And I think people are going crazy that we can still love and accept each other even if we don’t know each other’s language,” Peterson said.

This love and acceptance will reach a whole new level in the near future when the couple are married. Chavan surprised her with his proposal on her 26th birthday, and a traditional Indian and American wedding ceremony is planned with the couple’s families and friends invited to both ceremonies.

The couple expects him to continue producing his videos in the future and think his followers will enjoy watching the wedding plans and details. As these plans grow, they will continue to produce the type of content they like to do, like touring


Peterson gives viewers – with Chavan behind the camera – during their recent stay in his hometown. They posted several videos of her trip back to South Dakota, which for Chavan was her first time visiting the United States.

“I like it. It almost feels like India to me. It’s a small town, people are close to each other, neighbors and everyone is very friendly,” Chavan said. family accepts me so much and we do a lot of things together.”

Chavan said he loves how he and Peterson complement each other.

“I feel like we’re a great team. If we’re together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. She’s really good at organizing and planning, and I’m really good at executing things,” Chavan said.

Peterson admits she hasn’t seen where she is 10 years after her first efforts with makeup tutorials on YouTube. But with a future that includes world travel, a husband, a new family and doing what she loves for 1.42 million subscribers, she finds herself emotional after a few seconds of thinking.

“I always knew I was going to be a successful businesswoman, but I never knew what it would be like. I’m so grateful to Kishan,” Peterson said in a broken voice. “It makes me emotional , because I feel like I could have done it without him, but with him by my side, I feel like we can do anything.”


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