In a universe where individuality and authenticity are foundational to attaining any social media virality, TikTok has served as a melting pot for creators to utilize this formula and skyrocket to online fame. Joining the ranks of household name creators is Kirsten Titus – better known as pepperonimuffin – whose public diary is rapidly growing across all her platforms, with over 4 million eyes strong. Her content showcases a bit of everything: thrift hauls, tongue-in-cheek storytelling, and beauty videos.

The Collectively Community team members had the chance to chat with TikTok’s latest trailblazer, and in true Kirsten fashion, her candidly hilarious answers are ones you won’t want to miss. Read the full interview below:

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Source: @kirstentitus

Hi Kirsten! So excited to be chatting with you. Do you want to share a little bit about yourself?

My name is Kirsten Titus. I am 24 years old and was raised in O’ahu, Hawai’i. I just graduated from college with a degree in public relations and a minor in psychology and non-profit management. Do I plan on using this degree? Probably not. But I do, in fact, have it (insert laugh).

When you think of the most successful stories of virality on TikTok, a critical ingredient in the formula is selecting and sticking to your niche. This was no different for Kirsten, who identifies as a lifestyle creator.

All of my TikToks are based on whatever I’m doing that day. My sister and I love eating sushi, so it’s not uncommon to see videos of us talking while devouring salmon nigiri. Other than that, the posts range from beauty and fashion to videos of me complaining about various things. For example, a couple of months ago, I got a terrible haircut and was super unhappy about it. My content was strictly about my hair for the next week. I use TikTok as my outlet to vent, so I can’t help but talk about anything and everything at the forefront of my mind.

With Kirsten’s combined social audience of 4 million followers, it’s no surprise that achieving this level of online fame has its caveats. We were curious to hear more about how her social presence has impacted her life and evolved her new normal.

How has TikTok changed your life?

It has completely changed my life. Before TikTok, I had multiple jobs and internships and wasn’t very good at any of them. I had no passion for them and couldn’t bring myself to do anything more than the bare minimum. I was also working at this awful job with a boss who would constantly make me feel inept, and I was dating a guy who didn’t think very highly of me. I started to question who I was and whether or not I was even a competent human being (insert more laughter).

Shortly after, I dumped the guy, and while I was still working at that terrible job, I made my first TikTok. A lot of my content at that time consisted of me venting about everything I was going through. From there, my videos began to gain traction, and most importantly, I realized I had a real passion for content creation.It sounds cheesy, but the main change TikTok made in my life is that it gave me purpose. I finally have something to do with my life!

"It sounds cheesy, but the main change TikTok made in my life is that it gave me purpose. I finally have something to do with my life!"

You have a knack for hilariously sharing both your highlights and lowlights on TikTok while chopping fruit. What are some of the implications of being so forthcoming and honest about your life online?

What’s funny is I’ve always been a very private person online. Before TikTok, my social media accounts were private, and I would post maybe three times a year. Even further, and still to this day, I have never posted the face of a guy I have dated (haha).

However, I’ve always been very open about my life in person. Almost every story I’ve told on TikTok while cutting fruit, I have also told previously in a social setting. I think I started to be so open on social media was because a) I was in a bad place, and I needed to vent, and b) I didn’t think anyone would ever see my videos (which is funny to me now looking back). When I started making videos, I only had about five people following me (my closest friends who already knew everything about my life). I felt comfortable thinking nobody I knew in real life would ever see my videos hahaha.


This is another story that was too hard to change the details so if ur him and ur seeing this i’m sry king

♬ original sound - Kirsten

Some people might imagine that a content creator's job is easy. The truth is, it takes an enormous amount of hard work, planning, strategy, and not least of all, courage. Kirsten spilled the tea on what being a creator is actually like.

What role does your audience play in your content strategy? Do they impact topics that you choose to cover within your content?

My audience definitely plays a role in the type of content I create. I will often repeat a content idea if I notice those videos perform well. For example, I know people love the storytime cutting fruit videos, so I make lots of videos doing that. I also get asked questions about what it's like to live in Hawai'i or what it was like to go to school in Utah, so I make videos addressing those types of questions as well.

Do you have a favorite piece of content you've worked on?

I made a video on my YouTube channel while at the McDonald's drive-through where I ordered what the person in front of me ordered. The whole time we were filming it, I was having so much fun, and I couldn't stop smiling. Growing up, I'd watch YouTubers make videos like that, and I always thought it would be so fun if I could do it too. So that day, while driving to McDonald's in Provo, Utah, in my beat-up 1999 Toyota Camry, I was like, "Dang, I'm fulfilling a childhood dream right now." Hahaha.

You have been coined as the new Emma Chamberlain, falling into that tongue-in-cheek yet honest category of your content’s social voice. Was that an intentional choice you made, or did that surface organically?

10,0000% yes, haha. Before making my videos, I noticed that the TikTokers I watched and gravitated toward had that Emma Chamberlain honest approach. I liked the relationship those creators had with their audiences. When I started making videos, I knew I wanted to fall into that category as well.

Beach Photo Collage Quote Summer Instagram Post

Source: @kirstentitus // @emmachamberlain

Retrospectively, what were some of the challenges you faced creating content in both Hawai'i and Utah, which you note are two completely different demographic landscapes?

When I first started creating content, I was in Utah. Funny enough, I was worried about returning home to Hawai'i over the summer because I thought people wouldn't find me relatable anymore. I quickly realized that people didn't mind the new environment and were interested in hearing about Hawai'i. Then when I moved back to Utah, I was like, "Oh shoot, what am I gonna do without the Hawai'i content?!" Moving back and forth between the two states has taught me that pretty much anything is interesting, as long as you make it interesting.

What has been the biggest highlight as a content creator? Any memorable moments or cool celebrity interactions?

Some of my greatest honors are being followed by Ryan Higa on Twitter and Bretman Rock on TikTok. Both Ryan and Bretman are from Hawai'i, and it was awesome to watch them become total powerhouses in the social media scene. I felt super duper honored when my LITERAL ROLE MODELS acknowledged my existence.

What was your most successful brand collaboration? What did you enjoy about it?

I have enjoyed so many of my brand collaborations. A neat one that comes to mind is the collaboration I did with GOAT. I had been talking for months about how I'd been wanting Air Jordan 1s on my Instagram Stories. So when GOAT reached out to work with me, I was ecstatic. They gave me a lot of creative freedom for the video, which I always love.

What is your advice for anyone looking to grow a following on TikTok?

I think the most important thing to do is to have fun. People like to watch other people who look like they genuinely enjoy their life. On top of that, having fun makes content creating much more enjoyable for the creator as well!

If you had the chance to sit down with marketers in the industry, what would you tell them is the most important part of fostering good relationships with content creators?

I like when brands show a genuine interest in me. For example, I like when I speak to a brand, and instead of them asking me a question like, "Are you in college?" they ask, "How's college in Utah going?" It's cool when they already know about my life and ask relevant questions to get to know me better. Furthermore, I always love when brands hype me up and leave positive remarks on my collaborations with them. Likewise, I appreciate constructive criticism; it helps me grow and improve as a content creator.

As Kirsten continues to foster an intimate, shared space with her swiftly growing community, we know one thing for sure: there are no signs of this hilariously honest storyteller slowing down. When asked about where she sees her account going in the future, she shares that she has “absolutely no idea.” Still, she remains grateful for the little corner of the internet she occupies, hoping to connect with a broader audience in the new year and beyond.

We could not close our interview without asking Kirsten about her experience at the four-night only, sold-out BTS concert in Los Angeles, where her followers hilariously stopped her from posting a Photoshopped picture of herself against the sea of colors that surrounded the stage.



♬ original sound - Kirsten

We saw that you attended the BTS concert back in November. How was it? Who is your bias?

Oh em gee. THE CONCERT WAS SO GOOD. And my bias is V!!!!!!!!!

Will BTS V be in Squid Game 2 Rumors seems to be true

Source: Music Mundial