Do-it-yourself videos are among the oldest content creation genres around. The advent of YouTube has only made it more prevalent. Even so, Evan and Katelyn manage to stand out due to their unique approach to building things.
“We don’t really have fun getting into [the] details of a tutorial,” Katelyn explains to us. “We have much more fun just goofing around. So we started choosing projects that are less practical and choosing things no one’s ever gonna make … it lets us have a bit more fun and not get too caught up in trying to communicate what we’re actually doing.”
Evan and Katelyn
Video views: 219,290,580
Content type: How-to
User created: May 29rd, 2013
With backgrounds in engineering and graphic design, the pair bring legitimate qualifications to audiences. Their genuine and authentic disposition, however, has made them successful. We recently spoke with the married couple about how they turned a desire to spend more time together into a full-time job.
In the beginning
Having met on their first day of college, the pair quickly became good friends. However, it took them all through college plus a year to end up dating. But once they started dating, they knew they were right for each other.
“We were living in different cities, had both recently gotten out of long-term relationships, and started hanging out again in person,” Katelyn says. “[We thought] ‘Oh, hey, maybe we should date,’ And then a month later, we said, ‘We should get married.”
Fast forward to the early 2010s, Evan and Katelyn shared relatively simple goals. They wanted to be creative and spend more time together. For a while, their day jobs made it difficult to realize these goals. However, they could see that the online space — along with YouTube — was becoming a viable way to make their goals a reality.
Though it wasn’t initially the plan to do content creation for money, the pair enjoyed creating things and sharing them online with others. “[Our] blog was the first time we started posting content online,” Evan explains. “Because Katelyn really likes blogs.”
“I liked reading other home DIY blogs,” Katelyn elaborates. “We had just bought a kind of fixer-upper. So I [thought] we’re gonna be doing these projects, what if we put them on a blog? It was very small. We didn’t have a huge readership or anything like that. It was more just for fun at the time.”
Evan and Katelyn soon began creating their own products: little “tchotchkes” they would turn around and sell at local craft markets and online. They’d also document the creative process behind their crafty trinkets and knick-knacks, which garnered them more attention.
While Evan and Kathlyn already had a YouTube channel at this point, they mostly uploaded quick spotlight videos for demonstration on their blog. But although they weren’t fully into creating content for YouTube, the seeds for growing the channel were sown.
“I was kind of getting burnt out at my work,” Evan says, “and we were starting to look for alternatives. I’m an engineer [and] Katelyn’s a graphic designer. With our powers combined, we can make some stuff. I figured if we came up with a product that was selling well, we could start by producing it on a small scale, then ramp up to, like, ordering in bulk. That’s kind of how I thought I’d escaped the daily grind of being away from Katelyn: starting a business where we could spend more time together.”
“But we very shortly realized that we don’t like making the same things over and over and over again,” Katelyn picked up. “We like making things. We had a lot of fun with the prototyping, but when it came time to actually fulfill bulk orders, we got kind of bored of it. So [the thinking was] we still want to be making stuff and it’d be cool if that could be our job somehow. We realized YouTube could let us do that.”
Unlike so many other channels that start off as a hobby and eventually morph into a full-time gig, Evan and Katelyn knew exactly what they wanted to grow their channel into: a full-fledged business.
Evan went into detail, “We both worked in corporate jobs … so we had a lot of business knowledge from those jobs. We started [our channel] as if it was going to be a full-time thing. We created the LLC before we even started making YouTube videos.”
Steady as it goes
In March 2017, Evan and Katelyn formally launched the Evan and Katelyn YouTube channel with five tightly edited videos.
“We’d been working on those videos for months,” Evan reveals. “We edited them and re-edited them. But yeah, we launched with like five videos … and we had some decent luck because … we had been engaging in the [maker] community for a while. We had made some friendships and connections. Thankfully, we were really lucky to be noticed by a few podcasts in our space and they recommended us.”
Instead of becoming viral after just a few videos, the Evan and Katelyn channel enjoyed steady growth. After roughly six months and gaining around 80K subscribers, Evan and Katelyn were able to quit their day jobs and focus on YouTube full time.
They tell us that the key to achieving their goals and finding success on YouTube hinges on the joy they find in each other’s company.
“Our main motivator for starting some sort of business was ourselves,” Katelyn says. “We didn’t know where we’d end up; we just wanted to spend more time together.”
“I think having that intention from the beginning allowed us to put more time into it than we would have otherwise,” Evan continues. “We were working every evening after work, every weekend, and we noted to ourselves we [wouldn’t] be spending as much time with friends or family for a year or three. Growing a channel takes a lot of time, effort, focus, stress and all that other stuff. I think knowing why we were doing it and having that goal in mind really helped us accomplish what we’ve accomplished.”
The team is the dream
Over the years, Evan and Katelyn’s YouTube channel has grown to 1.41 million subscribers, and they’ve mostly kept the creation process in-house. Aside from a handful of editors they contract out, Evan and Katelyn handle practically all aspects of their multiple YouTube channels. From pre-production to post-production, there are no assistants, managers or even other people to hold the camera. It’s just the two of them, and that’s exactly how they want it to be.
The couple walked us through their typical production process. “Typically, the ideas kind of just happen,” Katelyn says. “We don’t typically sit down and say, ‘Let’s brainstorm something.’ We have a huge list with hundreds of ideas that we rank based on excitement level for the ideas; we come up with ideas faster than we can execute them. Once we decide to do one, Evan handles the pre-production.”
Evan continues, “I do some work on those ideas … [to] define the scope and the scale. Then I’ll take it back to Katelyn for another round of meetings, where we’ll choose the final [project] that we’re going to actually proceed with.”
If there’s any design work needed, such as 3D modeling, or if the couple needs to buy something for videos, Evan handles that. When it comes to filming, Katelyn takes control.
“I’m more in charge on the filming side,” Katelyn says, “making sure we’re filming things in a way that makes sense story-wise.”
Usually, they start the filming with an intro in mind and may have a rough script. Or they might have a one-liner written down that they can start with. But from there, the two let the content flow from their genuine, un-scripted interaction.
During our time meeting with Evan and Katelyn, it was clear that their dynamic as a pair is one of the major draws of their channel. Their dynamic makes for a cozy atmosphere that’s more like hanging out with friends while they work on something than a simple tutorial. Combine that with creative topics and professional execution and you’ll have a winning formula for success.
“Anytime we have a really hard day,” Katelyn explains, “we look at each other and [think]: our worst days doing this are still better than when we were working our old jobs. So keeping that perspective is really important.”
This is the biggest thing that sets Evan and Katelyn’s channel apart from so many others. Their genuine love and desire to have fun together serve as the driving force behind their content. More so, how they interact and play off one another is what has helped drive them to nearly 1.5 million subscribers.
Beyond all else, this authentic approach to their content — from conception to publishing — is what has endeared their audience. As Evan and Katelyn continue to grow their channel, they assure us they will continue to find new creative endeavors while still realizing their original goals.