Sure! On Kawaii Sweet World, I do kawaii (the Japanese word for “cute”) baking and crafting. Think: giant chocolate Hello Kitty cupcake, Pusheen pencil case, black sesame Totoro tarts, etc.
I actually started my channel at age 12 because of a crafting contest! It required a video entry, so I posted a video of some polymer clay charms I had made, and Kawaii Sweet World was born! Then I just kept posting videos throughout middle school and high school of kawaii baking and crafting — two of my biggest passions.
My whole life revolves around Kawaii Sweet World, but I absolutely love it! Even when I’m just browsing social media, I’m on the lookout for the latest food trends and more video ideas. I work on KSW seven days a week from about 9am to 11:30pm because I truly love working on it and believe in it.
[Daniel: On average, Rachel spends 15-19 hours producing one Youtube video – time split shown in right column]
I was born with a massive sweet tooth, so the baking started quite early on! My mom loves baking, so she taught me all her tips and tricks. I even used to pretend we were on a cooking show when we were baking together! I would narrate our baking and act like there was a studio audience in front of us. It was lots of fun, and I baked every single week.
I would say it’s a combination of a process and the “a-ha” moments. If a new dessert trend pops up, I start thinking of ways to recreate it with a kawaii twist right away. Then I try to get the video up as soon as possible so my subscribers can make it at home! But if there’s not a major trend or holiday, then I have a backlog of ideas that I pull from.
Probably my peanut butter crunch brownies. There’s nothing super “kawaii” about them, but they are absolutely delicious. It’s a fudgey brownie topped with a mixture of Rice Krispies, peanut butter, chocolate, and peanuts — super addicting, and my family’s favorite!
Yes – super excited to start at Stanford this fall! Currently, I’m finishing up my gap year in which I’ve just been working on KSW full time. I work seven days a week from about 9:30am – 12:00am. But sometimes I’m more lenient on the weekends to spend time with friends and family. Overall though, it’s a pretty intense schedule since I am a one-person operation when it comes to filming, editing, and promotion. It takes a lot of dedication to build a YouTube channel, but I really believe in KSW and want to work on it all the time — it’s not something I have to force myself to do.
The first 100K was pretty organic, and I wasn’t focused on the subscriber count since I was only a 12-13 year old middle schooler doing it for fun. But collaborations with other YouTubers always gave my channel a boost.
I still love doing collaborations as much as I can, but since most YouTubers are in LA, it’s trickier to organize. Now, I utilize Facebook and Instagram more to promote my videos. But in general, I like to focus most of my time on making more content for my channel. I find that since I already have a presence on YouTube, my time is best spent working on videos instead of pushing them out on social media aggressively.
I started an Etsy sticker shop to sell some merchandise, but it’s mostly a hobby for me since production is limited by the time it takes me to design and produce the stickers.
The main way I generate revenue besides YouTube AdSense is sponsorships. I only work with brands with products I truly enjoy and want to share with my following.. Subscribers are smart — they can sense if a sponsorship isn’t genuine, so it’s important to me that I remain selective in brand deals. I also try to make all sponsored videos bonus videos that come up in addition to my weekly content.
I have a tendency to get super excited about certain ideas and go all in on purchasing the supplies necessary for it, but then sometimes the idea doesn’t work out as well as I wanted. For instance, I thought about starting to do kawaii bento videos on my channel to expand into a bit of cooking in addition to baking. So I bought lots of kawaii bento gear in anticipation of a new series on my channel. But it turns out, my subscribers were mostly interested in the baking, and I was left with lots of bento supplies that I didn’t really have a use for! However, I’m glad I tried it — it’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.
I think the main thing people don’t know is how much time it takes to make a YouTube video, and the time investment it takes to grow a YouTube channel. I work on Kawaii Sweet World all day and into the night as well to maintain the growth I have. That’s not something that bothers me because I enjoy doing it, but it shows that YouTube is not a “get rich quick” industry.
Work hard and be patient. I see so many YouTube channels that make amazing content, and they always have tons of comments that say “You deserve more subscribers!” — and I 100% agree! It’s discouraging to put lots of time and effort into making amazing content, and then not get the return you hoped for. But sometimes it can take time for one video to really “hit it” and get your channel out there. You have to be persistent. I had to make lots of videos before I felt like I had hit my stride on YouTube. New YouTubers should keep in mind that it takes passion, patience and persistence to grow a YouTube channel. If you have all those three things, you’re on the right track!
Camera: Canon Rebel T3i
Laptop: 2016 MacBook Pro
Editing: Final Cut Pro X