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How She Got There: Rachel Fong, Creator & Host of YouTube's Kawaii Sweet World

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Name: Rachel Fong
Job Title and Description: Creator and Host of Kawaii Sweet World
College Name/Major: Stanford University Intended B.A. in Science, Technology and Society
Website:kawaiisweetworld.com
Twitter Handle:@kawaiisweeteats
Instagram Handle: @kawaiisweeteats

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Rachel Fong:Usually I'm either filming or editing day. I never know if anything is gonna go wrong or how it's gonna turn out. It also depends on what collaborations I’m working on. I’ve worked with Wilton in the past and with some app companies so that always changes up my daily schedule. I have done a couple of shoots in LA but a typical day for me at home is filming and editing. It varies based on what projects I’m working on.

What is the best part of your job?

RF: Interacting with subscribers! I love reading their comments and one of my favorite things to do is stay on my YouTube channel after posting a video and comment. People are surprised when I write back to them. Being a YouTuber this is one of the best parts of the job. The most touching comments are when people say I inspire them to bake or be more ambitious. I always love when people send me photos of deserts that they have made. It’s great to see that my videos have an impact.

How did you get started on YouTube?

RF: I got started in 2010 on Christmas eve by entering this crafting contest. I was into watching these craft videos on YouTube. I didn’t win, but once I had the channel I made more videos and switched from crafting to baking. I built a studio in 2015 which is when I started appearing on camera and got a jump in subscribers. It’s great to be on camera because people have a face to connect to.

What advice do you have for women looking to start their own channel?

RF: Be yourself and be genuine - it's always more fun. Learn to be on camera. It was a difficult skill at first but I eventually learned to take a deep breath and relax. That’s when you produce the best content, is when you are having fun.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

RF: My senior quote by Conan O'Brien, "if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen." That's something I really believe in. Along the way just be a kind person and people will really appreciate it. 

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

RF: I think the biggest mistake I made at the beginning was undervaluing my work. I was working with larger brands who would ask me to whip up a video or something fun and in return, I would get a free cake pan. I thought I couldn’t ask for a fair deal. Don’t be afraid to self-advocate and ask for a fair rate. Learn to not sell yourself short even when working with larger brands. Know that it's ok to say no.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

RF: Speaking at the Los Angeles Cooking Convention in 2013. That was the first time I met subscribers in person and it was a really special moment for me. Sometimes people recognize me on the street which is always crazy because I never thought my channel would grow to what it is now. I'm also an ambassador for the She's The First #BakeAChange campaign. I'm making videos demonstrating how to hold a bake sale for the campaign which encourages people to hold these bake sales to raise money for scholarships given to women in low-income countries. I am so excited to be their ambassador. 

Have you hired anyone to work with you on your videos?

RF: I'm a one woman team as of now - I film, edit, and produce everything. I wanted to hire a production assistant but they would just be a glorified dishwasher.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

RF: Something that's always been important in my YouTube career is always following through. If you tell someone that you’re gonna do something - do it. People will recognize it if you learn to follow through. That’s a priceless reputation, to be someone that's reliable and trustworthy.

 

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