The Baker Behind Kawaii Sweet World Reveals Her Favorite Recipe and Tips For YouTube Success
That type of popularity doesn't happen overnight. Rachel's channel is more than six years old, and originally focused on polymer clay charm tutorials before Rachel decided to make the channel mostly about baking.
To find out how KawaiiSweetTreats came to be the channel it is today, we chatted with Rachel herself and found out all about the channel's origins, plus Rachel's new Etsy shop, her acceptance into Stanford University and the tips she has for succeeding on YouTube.
Sweety High: Have you always been passionate about baking?
Rachel Fong: I've always had a sweet tooth, so I loved baking with my mom when I was younger. She taught me all her favorite recipes, and then I started finding new recipes to make online. We had a new dessert every week in the house. My favorite recipe to make when I was younger was my mom's chocolate chip cookies—probably because it made a huge batch that I could snack on for the whole week.
SH: When did you start baking super cute, miniature foods?
RF: I had wanted an Easy Bake Oven growing up, but never got one. Once I started doing baking videos on my channel, I thought it would be super fun to buy the Easy Bake that I always wanted to bake some yummy, mini desserts with. The series ended up being a hit with my subscribers, and I've just recently brought it back. It's very nostalgic and I think that resonates with a lot of them.
SH: When did you decide to take your arts and crafts to YouTube?
RF: One of my favorite YouTubers was holding a crafting contest where you had to submit a video of your clay charms to enter. I thought it would be a fun challenge, so when I was 12 years old, I created my channel under the name "Kawaii Sweet World" and submitted my video entry. Although I didn't win the contest, it gave me some exposure on YouTube from people looking at the different entries, and from then on I just kept making videos.
SH: When we first spotted your YouTube channel a few years ago, you mostly did clay polymer charms. How did you get into making those, and what drew you to that style?
RF: I'd always been into crafting growing up since my mom is a big fan of arts and crafts. She even used to take me to Michaels every weekend. On one trip, I spotted a cute set of clay tools and decided to buy some basic clay supplies to go with it. I ended up loving clay since it was so simple to work with, and I made dozens of charms the first week I had it. As for the kawaii style of the charms, I was always drawn to the cute stationary and plush at San Francisco Japantown, and eventually found that it was all called "kawaii" style.
SH: When did you start moving away from the charms and start doing more food?
RF: I had been making clay charms for a few years, and wanted to try something new on my channel. Since I had been doing lots of baking on the side, I decided to share some of my favorite recipes with my subscribers. They seemed to really enjoy the baking tutorials, so I kept making them.
SH: Tell us about your new Etsy shop.
RF: It's been so fun! I wanted to learn graphic design for a while, and one day I decided to watch some tutorials on Adobe Illustrator to make a graphic for a video. I ended up on Illustrator for hours creating different kawaii icons. I've also always loved using and decorating my planner, so I decided to combine the two and make planner stickers using my own designs. So far, it's been lots of work to personally fill all the orders myself, but I am loving the whole process. Plus, it absolutely makes it worth it when I hear feedback from my subscribers once they receive their stickers. It sounds like they're really enjoying them.
SH: Has it been tough to balance the end of high school with your channel? Do you think it'll be even tougher to balance once you start attending Stanford in the fall?
RF: It was always difficult to balance high school with YouTube, especially since I also did ballet twice a week and was president of Key Club senior year. But since I truly loved everything I did, the stress and extra hours of work were worth it to me. I do think it'll be hard to balance YouTube with college since I will want to explore the opportunities at Stanford, but I trust myself to reflect on what really matters to me and spend my time doing that.
My main tip for time management is to find purpose in everything you do, which may sound a bit abstract, but I realized that's what got me through high school! For instance, since I found value in getting good grades, I was intrinsically motivated to study and get my work done. I knew that while studying may not be fun, getting good grades to go to a good college was more important to me than anything I would be doing procrastinating. Plus, I would think about how good it feels to have all your work done. There's no better relaxation than after working hard all day.
SH: What has it been like to become an online personality?
RF: It's amazing to see how many people love to bake and craft kawaii things. My favorite part of social media is when my subscribers share photos of treats they've recreated from my videos. I love that they're able to have that experience of baking something cute and tasty, and I'm so glad they enjoy my videos.
Is there one baked treat you've done that you're the proudest of?
RF: I made these mini cakes in an Easy Bake Oven on my channel, and I was pretty proud of how moist the cakes were despite their small size. I did a lot of recipe testing to get the cakes just right and the decoration was super fun since they were so cute and tiny.
SH: What baking advice do you have for our readers?
RF: Don't be discouraged by a failed bake! It's happened to me more times than I can count, and I've just learned to let it go and eat the leftovers.
SH: What advice do you have for girls who want to curate their YouTube channels and have a huge page like you someday?
RF: Make sure you truly love what you do. It's essential for starting a YouTube channel, because chances are it's going to take some time to build an audience, and you need that inner motivation of loving what you do to continue. You can't rely on the success of your channel at that point to push you to make more content—you just have to do it because you love it.
Can't get enough or Rachel's cute concoctions? Click HERE to find out why we made her our Woman Crush Wednesday.