Life
95-year-old grandma and grandson are melting hearts and living their best lives
Ninety-five-year-old Pauline Kana and her grandson Ross Smith have a bond unlike any other. ❤️
D.G. Sciortino
04.14.22

At 95-years-old, Pauline “Granny” Kana is living a life that is more colorful than people a fraction of her age.

She’s a comedic social media star that can be found dropping “f” bombs, shooting guns, reviewing the coolest products on the internet, and posing in matching outfits with her grandson Ross Smith on his social media pages.

She’s known as “Gangstar Granny.” Kana and Smith do just about everything and anything in these videos.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

It all started about five years ago when Smith was a college student at the University of Dayton and became a Vine star.

One day he posted a video asking his grandma to block one of his basketball shots and it went viral.

“Our humor is universal,” Smith told CNBC. “Everyone knows Granny is funny.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

The grandmother and grandson’s videos weren’t profitable at first. So, Smith went on to pursue an MBA and play pro football in Europe.

Eventually, he decided that he’d much rather hang out with his grandma and make silly videos and was able to make it pay off for him and his grandmother

“It’s very rare for us to see a grandmother and grandson grow close and have fun with each other like BFFs. It’s this cross-generational BFF relationship that makes them so special,” said 9GAG’s head of sales and business development.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

Grandma didn’t mind participating (she thought she was just posing for photos for the first three years) and didn’t really have any idea how big their reach was until Smith bought her an iPad for Christmas where she was able to see the videos on Facebook (it’s what she calls all social media platforms) and see how many people they were reaching.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

“It’s interesting. You see different parts of the space, the world and the people all around having a good time. Seeing people doing things, I like it!” Kana said.

“Even when I’m walking to the plaza, which I live about three blocks away, sometimes people going by with their cars they stop and say, ‘You’re Granny! When I get to the plaza, the people in the stores they come up to me.”

“It’s just a party at times.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

Her social media career has brought her to do things she never would have done in her life.

Like meeting her crush Chuck Norris.

“First time Chuck has been beaten in his whole life,” Granny said.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

She also loves working closely with her grandson.

“He’s easygoing, happy-go-lucky,” she said. “He likes to try everything, and everything just seems to fall in place.”

The grandmother/grandson duo has a TV show in the works and are hoping to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

Smith’s thought his vlogging career was over when Vine shut down in 2017 but picked up after a Facebook video went viral.

Now he spends about $200,000 a year creating content. A single photo can cost up to $1,000 to make.

“Props, cameraman, equipment, promotions, building the brand … I’ll just get up late on Amazon some nights and I’ll drop stupid money,” Smith told Money.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

But he knows that staying true to this brand is the most important business decision he can make.

“Things are changing every day. There’s no consistency there. Quarter four? You’re getting 50 brand deals from big Fortune 500 companies. The other three quarters? You’re getting like one app who wants to sell you dating services or whatever, and it’s not good money,” said Smith.

“Treat your brand as your most important thing,” he says. “I’ve seen so many people sell out and just try to make money as fast as they can. Think about the long game. Think about trying to stay relevant for as long as you can.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ross Smith (@rosssmith)

Smith has focused on diversifying his income streams and hopes to get to the point where he doesn’t need to rely on ads in his videos and can randomly tip waiters $1,000.

He also tries to give his grandmother money but she won’t take it.

She grew up poor and refuses to let him buy her a new house.

She likes the one she lives in just fine. Out of frustration, he started buying her poop-themed gifts. But he and his mom are coming up with a plan so that he can dump funds into her bank account.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Article Sources:
To learn more read our Editorial Standards.
Share this article
By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
Advertisement
Advertisement