Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed YouTuber Kelly Kanemitsu about her YouTube channel, what inspires her to make videos, and the work that goes into the production side.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Well to start off I’m Kelly! I’m from Virginia and my husband, Clayton, and I have been married for 5 years and we have 2 cats, Berlin & Dublin, and a dog named Tokyo! I used to be a Maternal Fetal Medicine Ultrasonographer but I was part of the Great Resignation of 2021 so we could travel more and now I work from home with my husband on his company, MLO, as the Head of Marketing! He actually used to be a popular gaming Youtuber and streamer on Twitch by the name of “Claytano” before he started MLO (which he got the inspiration to do while we were in Paris in January of 2020!) Aside from being a dog/cat mom and Head of Marketing for MLO, I also post YouTube videos about beauty and fashion!
How and why did you start making YouTube videos?
Because of my husband! He always used to tell me I should start posting videos but when I was working as a Sonographer for so many years I was always too tired to focus on anything else after work. So now that I work from home and have the freedom to make my schedules what I want I decided to try out YouTube and just see how it went!
What is your channel called, and how did you come up with the name?
It’s my name: Kelly Kanemitsu. I don’t really have any clever nicknames and I also wanted my channel name to be simple, easily recognized, and easy for people to find me on other social media platforms!
What do you make videos about?
Right now, I mostly make beauty and fashion videos, but I want to get more into vlogging as well and I also have plans to vlog some upcoming vacations where I may or may not be swimming with sharks!
Do you have a particular series you’re working on, or do you vary your content?
No series at the moment. I’m trying to stay true to who I am and record/post what I enjoy. I would do a series if it was something I had fun doing though!
What inspired you to start making videos and what do you hope to accomplish?
I spend a lot of time on YouTube watching other people. I’ve told myself for years I should do it and I CAN do it! One morning I was watching YouTube and thought, “If I want to try doing YouTube, I need to just do it and see how it goes.” We have an extra bedroom in our house, and I told Clayton that morning I was turning it into a studio and that I was doing this. I knew if I procrastinated on it I probably wouldn’t have done it.
Do you feature in your videos personally, or make your videos from other content?
Yes, I’ve been in all of my videos personally!
Do you feature other people on your channel in the form of interviews or co-hosting?
I haven’t yet but I do have some fun ideas that would feature other people in the future! Nothing set in stone though.
Do you edit your own videos or have someone who does it for you?
My very first YouTube video I sent out for somebody to edit because I wanted it to make a good impression. All of my videos since that first one have been edited by me though and I taught myself how to do it! There are still some editing tricks that I still want to learn though.
Do you script your videos, or just chat as you go?
I chat as I go which means I edit out a lot! Haha there’s a lot of empty space in my raw footage of me sitting there trying to think of what it is I’m trying to say and clips of me fumbling over my words. I would have a hefty bloopers reel at this point.
Do you have any specific equipment you use, such as camera, lighting, screens etc? Or are you a mobile phone camera user?
Luckily, Clayton already had all this equipment from his prior YoutTube days! I use a Canon G7X Mark ii camera for my videos, and I have a lot of lighting equipment and tripods. Although my first couple of videos my camera battery would die and I’d have to keep recording from my phone (I have since invested in more camera batteries!)
How has your YouTube channel changed or developed since you began?
I’m still new to the YouTube world but my editing skills/video production has definitely improved with every video that I post.
What are you biggest challenges with your YouTube channel?
I’d say right now, I just never know what people are going to enjoy watching from me. I have very supportive subscribers and have been gaining subscribers faster than I was expecting to, which blows my mind, but I just want to make sure I’m posting content that is enjoyable! It’s hard to know. For example, I posted a video a couple of weeks ago of my going through my purse and I was hesitant to even upload it because I thought it was going to be lame and it’s now my most watched video on my channel! You just never know!
What are your favourite YouTubers to watch?
I really enjoy watching people who are down to earth and real who don’t try to make their life look perfect all the time. Mainly vloggers!
How and where do you promote your YouTube channel?
Right now I post my YouTube Videos to my Instagram stories for people to check out! Occasionally I’ve seen people ask questions on different Facebook groups about hair or makeup and I’ve posted one of my videos if it’s relevant and I think it might be helpful for them!
Do you earn money from YouTubing, or is it a hobby?
I haven’t hit the monetization requirements yet but either way it’s definitely a hobby for me!
What’s something you never expected about being a YouTuber? What have you learned that surprised you?
How much work goes into each video. It takes me at least 2-3 hours to record each video and then it takes me 5-8 hours to edit each one. I don’t know why that surprised me because I know it used to take Clayton a long time to record and edit his videos, but I never realized how much work and focus it takes. For me, I also wasn’t expecting for my studio to look like a tornado blew through after every video! When I finish recording I have products, clothes, boxes, etc everywhere!
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to start a YouTube channel?
Just start! Record a video and post it. You don’t need to wait for fancy equipment or a brilliant idea.
And, finally, are your proud of what you’re accomplishing with your YouTube channel? Is it worth the effort?
Yes! I’ve danced around our house so excited many times because I’m so thrilled that people actually want to watch me. It blows my mind! I didn’t have any expectations going into it and like I said before I just wanted to see how it would go! Gaining subscribers and having people support my videos is a huge driving factor for me.
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