Dylan Lemay had just started working at Coldstone Creamery. He was 15 and petrified. “I was so afraid to mess everything and everything up.” he said. “Every time they asked me to do something, I asked a million questions. Like, even just to let the water out of the sink. I was like, ‘Okay, how do you do that? So you take the grate out?'”
“Where is that? Like… at the bottom of the sink? Like, where else would the drain be? I was just so afraid.” he said.
Originally from Taylor, Michigan, 24-year-old Lemay has 4.9 million followers and is known for creating videos of colorful and well-decorated cakes that reach millions.
Convinced to join TikTok by an artist he followed on Instagram, he bought a tripod. His sister spotted him taking it out of its box. “What’s that for?” she asked. “I’m going to become famous on TikTok,” he replied, joking. He posted his first TikTok about making a cake on May 4th. More than 801,100 people have now watched that TikTok.
@djlemay2##genderreveal ##cake ##may4th ##pregnancy ##foryou ##itsa @arianicole4♬ Buttercup – Jack Stauber
He discovered that he had to structure TikToks in a way that would entice viewers. “I record where you can see both my hands the whole time. And so it’s like you’re doing it from your perspective.”
As a high schooler, Lemay played hockey his freshman year, but dove into the creative arts. His senior year, Lemay’s art teacher chose him as their favorite artist.
But Lemay had other plans: he enrolled at a Bible college while working full-time. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and so I figured learning more about my faith would be a good idea.” he told TikTok Newser.
He started preparing for missionary work by studying intercultural studies, but switched to biblical counseling halfway through his studies. “[I thought] it might be a good idea to actually understand how to properly speak into people’s lives.” he said.
But he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after he graduated, and eventually became a manager at a Coldstone Creamery in Missouri. At one point, he considered moving back to Michigan. Then TikTok came along. “Now I have to rethink everything, because my whole life has changed because of this opportunity.” he said.
“My mom is like, all about it. It’s so funny. She like, freaks out about it, shares on Facebook, she wnats me to go live all the time, because then she feels like she’s a part of it.”
For many kids, Lemay recognizes that their For You page is filled with dancers and celebrities born to wealthy families in luxury houses. “I don’t want that to be all these kids see on [Tiktok]. I want to be able to brighten people’s day by just doing something that’s relaxing and that’s fun to see and just help them know that like — I was you at one point — and I just got a job and worked hard, and that’s how I got to where I am. That’s possible for you. Like, you can do that.” he said.
Lemay plans to continue growing his TikTok audience over the next five years of his life. “I would love to help a friend or somebody also grow on social media through the experiences that I’ve had. That’d be a lot of fun, but also to find a way to give back in some meaningful way. Because all of this is just so crazy to me.” he said, “I’m just trying to find ways to grow and give back.”
His favorite musical artists are Chelsea Cutler and Jeremy Zucker. “They’re just young adults around my age. And you can tell that they’re passionate about their craft.” he said. “They don’t make music just to become popular, they make music because they enjoy doing it, and that’s like their artistry. And you can totally see that in there.”
Lemay’s favorite TV show is Avatar: The Last Airbender, although the show he’s currently into is Big Brother on CBS. “It’s pretty much just a big social experiment, and I’m a very social person, so I think that’s extremely interesting.” The lowest cell phone charge Dylan will let his phone get is flat. “Oh, I’ll run that thing to the ground.” he laughs. “I try not to let it get all the way there, but now I’ll run it down to like, ten, six, four, like, it can get pretty low.”