How Pokémon YouTuber PokiChloe is Paving the Way for Women - Prima Games

How Pokémon YouTuber PokiChloe is Paving the Way for Women

Pokémon isn't just for men.

by Meg Bethany Koepp

Growing up, it was impossible to avoid the gawps and stunned tones of voices from the boys on the playground who would question why I’d brought my Pokémon cards to school. “You like Pokémon?! But you’re a girl!” they’d exclaim in what felt almost like horror, as though it was blasphemy for a female to like their hobby. With that being 20 years ago, you’d expect times to have changed a bit since then, though in my experience, it hasn’t much. Take a look at a woman’s Instagram comments, and you’ll see what I mean.

But that’s where strong women like PokiChloe come in. A 20-something-year-old from London, UK, the office worker-turned-YouTuber and Pokémon extraordinaire is an expert at all things Pokémon cards, with a collection to be envious of and an ambitious mindset that is an inspiration to all.

I was privileged enough to sit down with Chloe and rack her brain about Pokémon and her experience with being a female collector in a male-dominated hobby. Which, I must say, was a dream because I’ve been following her pack-opening livestreams on YouTube and Whatnot for the last 18 months, and she’s one of my favorite creators. Definitely a “pinch me” moment(!!!).

Girls Love Pokémon Cards Too

PokiChloe got her start by sharing snaps of her purchases on Instagram.
(Credit: @pokichloe, Instagram)

Like me, Chloe got into collecting Pokémon cards at a young age, spurred on by her equally-eager brother. “It was when Pokémon first released,” she explained. “I must have been about seven or eight, and I had my brother, who’s three or four years younger than me; it was something we did together as kids.”

“It lasted a few years but completely stopped as I got older. Then, a few years ago, my husband and I found a few binders that we’d had, and we didn’t plan to do anything with it, but we started looking online to fill some gaps in [the binders] and then we realized there was this whole community and world. And then the “boom” happened, and it all just exploded.”

Related: Pokemon YouTuber PokiChloe Makes History With Luckiest Pokemon Card Pulls Ever

If you collected Pokémon cards around late 2020, at the height of the pandemic, you’d remember the boom. And if you didn’t, you’ll likely remember it anyway because of the utter chaos it caused. Everyone and their mother was into Pokémon, spending hours digging through their attics to find lost cards in the hopes they’d score big. Even popular YouTubers like Logan Paul got involved, which played a part in card prices absolutely skyrocketing. To give you an example, a PSA 10 1st Edition Base Set Shadowless Charizard sold for $8,800 at auction in 2016; the same card sold for $399,750 in 2021. That’s a 4,443% increase. Wild.

The Road to Success as a Woman in Pokémon

Speaking of 1st Edition cards, PokiChloe just reached 50,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she uploads pre-recorded videos and livestreams Pokémon card pack openings regularly. And she plans on celebrating the major milestone by opening up a heavy 1st Edition Base Set pack in the hopes of pulling something massive like a Charizard. If you’re unfamiliar, you can predict the holo chance in old Wizards of the Coast packs by weighing them: the heavier they are, the more likely you’ll get a hit.

But Chloe’s road to success hasn’t always been easy. “When I first started [my Pokémon Instagram account], I never in my head thought “Oh, I’m female, the majority of everyone else is male.” But as things got a bit busier and bigger and I started my YouTube channel, I did start to notice there are people who, not that they couldn’t accept it, they just had a problem with it,” she explained.

“When I first started, I never in my head thought, “Oh, I’m female, the majority of everyone else is male.” But as things got a bit busier and bigger and I started my YouTube channel, I did start to notice there are people who had a problem with it.”

“But then I feel like it’s in any space in any hobby if there’s a majority somewhere. For me, I’ve never had any massive issues or run-ins, but I have seen friends of mine online, the stuff they put up with, especially in a male-dominated hobby, it can be a bit more of a problem. Though for the last year, I’ve seen more women and girls involved, especially from when I first started being involved in the online community, so it’s good that it’s moving in the right direction.”

Surely Women Can’t Afford Pokémon Cards?

As a woman in the hobby myself, there is definitely this misconception that we perhaps don’t work as hard at our successes as men. A female got her hands on an expensive card? Oh, she must have been gifted it because there’s no way she got that herself. This is something Chloe has also has first-hand experience with, especially when posting her pick-ups on Instagram.

“I get that a lot,” she said, having quit her full-time job in late 2021 to focus on collecting, buying, and selling Pokémon cards, turning her hobby into a fully-fledged successful business. “It’s really tough because I did quit my full-time job, but I only did that when I was in a position where I knew I’d be able to look after myself financially and obviously keep the business going.”

Related: All Mystery Gift Codes in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

“I work seven days a week. I think people think when someone streams, they just jump on stream for a couple of hours. I’ve got my business partner PokeDean, we’ve got an online store, I do YouTube, I do Whatnot, and I have other commitments. It is round the clock. When people are like, “Where did you get the money for this from?” I’m like, “Well, I worked like the rest of us do.” But how do you say that without coming across in a certain way?”

PokiChloe’s Advice for Women Wanting to Get Into Pokémon

Whenever something is male-dominated, whether it’s a career path, a business, or a hobby like Pokémon cards, there is that element of fear of being judged for wanting to get into it as a woman. Chloe has some solid advice as someone who’s experienced that firsthand.

“I always say start somewhere you’re comfortable and where you’re enjoying it,” she explained. “I think what people might end up doing is they try and do something, whether it’s filming a video or making a purchase, that’s completely out of their comfort zone – and don’t get me wrong, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone – however, if you’re starting to get into it and you really want to build it, you’ve got to enjoy it.”

“If they are performing better than maybe you’re comfortable with, that’s a you problem. If that’s the thing that bothers you, that someone’s a female… You’ve got to get over it.”

“As soon as you stop enjoying it, it’s going to come across like that, and I think that’s where people sometimes struggle and they think, “Well, if I don’t do the most outrageous, outlandish thing, I’m not gonna get the views or the clicks.” But actually, you will if you have a decent community and you have that personality that people want to watch and enjoy, it doesn’t matter.”

Chloe has collaborated with other popular Pokemon creators such as Leonhart, Don Diego Trading, and PokeRev.
(Credit: PokiChloe, YouTube)

And as for the men who do judge women for being involved in male-dominant spaces? “If you’re so offended or you struggle to comprehend that women want to be involved in whatever it is, whether it’s Pokemon or another area, at the end of the day, how does it affect you?” Chloe said. “What are they doing that is damaging you? If they are performing better than maybe you’re comfortable with, that’s a you problem. If that’s the thing that bothers you, that someone’s a female… You’ve got to get over it.”

PokiChloe streams on YouTube and Whatnot several times a week and owns a Trading Card Game store with fellow Pokemon YouTuber PokeDean. You can check out her videos and livestreams here and here.

Also, don’t forget she’s going to be opening a heavy 1st Edition Base Set pack soon, making it the perfect time to see what she’s all about if you don’t watch her already.

Meg Bethany Koepp

Meg was a video games journalist in the UK before moving to the US and eventually becoming Managing Editor at Prima Games. When she's not working, you can find her playing her Steam Deck, training Pokémon, or facing off against opponents in Overwatch 2.