I Tried Being A Food Instagrammer That Makes Over $300,000 | Lucie For Hire | Refinery29

I Tried Being A Food Instagrammer That Makes Over $300,000 | Lucie For Hire | Refinery29

I’m Lucie Fink, I’m a video producer at Refinery29, but every so often I like to try other people’s jobs. I’m spending the day with Chelsea White of Chelsweets to learn the ropes when it comes to being a food content creator. This is Lucie for Hire. Chelsea White is not your typical content
creator. Her subject is cake. Layers upon layers upon layers of it. I started making cakes about six years ago, and it was really just a great way for me to unwind after work and kind of have a creative outlet from working in public accounting at the time. Four years, over 600 cakes, and almost 650,000 Instagram followers later and Chelsweets is still unique for most
content creators. Something a lot of people don’t know about
me is that I actually have a full-time day job in corporate finance, and that Chelsweets
is really just a side hustle for me. It’s not every day you meet someone with 650,000 Instagram followers, who says their Instagram business is their side hustle. Money, money, money. When it comes to money I obviously still
have my day job, where I do have a six-figure salary and a lot of people I think would be
surprised to know that with Chelsweets I make almost twice my corporate salary. Part of it is through ongoing partnerships
with different networks, and then I also have some revenue come in from advertising on different platforms like on my blog, or on YouTube and things like that. My first challenge was to create the cake
concept. I’m a content creator of my own. I’m making videos and telling stories all
the time, but Chelsea’s audience repeatedly comes back for one thing and one thing only, So, she needs to be continually innovating
and coming up with the next big cake idea. So, the first part of this is gonna be coming
up with kind of the design and the concept of a cake you’re gonna make. It’s important to note that Chelsea typically spreads her work out over the course of a few days. One day after work, I’ll make the layers, another day I’ll prep frosting, I’ll get everything ready and then on the weekends, one day I’ll decorate the cake and film it and then I like to usually edit it the following day, or the
following week whenever I have time. But for the purposes of this episode, she
challenged me to do it all in one day only. We began by brainstorming the way Chelsea typically does pulling up inspiration images online, and sketching out designs in a notepad. We came up with a few thought starters, scratched a few ideas, and then ultimately settled on a holiday-themed present cake. Okay here’s our idea red buttercream Christmas cake shaped like a package with a white fondant bow, red, green, and white tie-dye Christmassy layers inside, this is it. This is the one. Alright, let’s get started. Let’s do this. We got to work making the cake batter, mixing all the ingredients, and then creating rings of red, white, and green, that would ultimately
make the inside of the cake look very cool. So you wanna – yeah, get it like inside of
that, and then it’ll eventually start having that really fun pattern. We pop them into the oven and moved on to
my second challenge. Setting up and prepping for the shoot. For people interested in creating their own
food content, this part of the video should give you some great insights into how Chelsea
works. So for my setup I really like to use two of
these I call them, “umbrella lights” I’m not sure what their technical name is but
I think that’s right, and I also have a tripod that has like a pivoting head which makes
it really great, because if your legs are a little bit uneven, or your floor is a little uneven which mine is, it’s really great having on being able to adjust. But that’s all it is it’s two lights, a tripod, and a camera that can shoot video. She uses adjustable softbox lighting and a
Canon Rebel t5. And she keeps her lights set up in her apartment
all the time for easy access. It is always like this? It is always there, my poor fiancé has stare at 24/7, but there’s nowhere else to put them, so that’s where they hang out. I have lights like this in my bedroom, so
production life. Yep! We work together to move them, and assemble
the lights into the right position. And afterward, we pop the camera onto the
tripod, and made sure it was level and centered with the cake stand. I think that looks pretty good. Yeah, it looks center, looks nice. It’s important to have all of the ingredients
you’ll need pre-prepped and ready to go. So that once the camera starts rolling you’re
ready to work. So we trimmed the cakes. We got Lusweets in the kitchen today, she is making moves, trimming some cake layers. You called me Lusweets? And gathered our essentials. There is the fondant. My third challenge was to shoot. While filming these videos Chelsea’s running
the camera and lighting by herself, but she’s also the
one in the video making the cake. So she’s managing the technical side, but
also the creative side as well. This challenge involved a lot of technical skills. Firstly frosting a cake properly is not easy. As I was working I realized how different
Chelsea’s job is from a classic cake maker. She’s not just making the cake and hoping
the finished product looks, and tastes great, but her art is actually the process of making
the cake. At every step of the way she needs to be aware
of the camera, how low the battery is, what the lens is focusing on, and if she’s working on an area of the cake that’s within the camera’s view. How do you do it? Do I start from here? Yep! Exactly it’s all about the reach. This challenge took the longest amount of time, but the final payoff was magical. Once the shoot was wrapped, my final challenge
was editing and programming the content appropriately. I use iMovie to edit my videos, which is just a free software that came with my Mac, it’s super simple and straightforward, and I taught
myself how to use it. I’m usually only making like two or three cakes a week, and to kind of help maximize my content and spread that out to fill my feed, I like to divide each cake into one video of the build and the assembly, and then another video of the decoration and the cut. I chose to edit my video with Adobe Premiere
since it’s the software I’m most familiar with it work. Thankfully I have some video editing skills from my job, so I just pulled all of the footage into the software, and began cutting the clips. I exported two versions the way Chelsea does. One showing the assembly and frosting of the cake and another showing decorating and the cut. Stay tuned on my Instagram at @luciebfink
for these videos. My favorite part about being a food content
creator is the flexibility, and I mean that in so many different ways, where you can make
your cakes when you want for the most part partnership deadlines, you can try different
designs, different techniques, there’s not as much pressure because you really have full
creative freedom to do whatever you want. You’re not confined to an order or a certain flavor that someone wants, so I really love that. My least favorite part about this job, and by job I mean being a cake content creator has to be sometimes the negativity on social media, you know you, people, don’t realize like how much time you’re putting into something and how much work, and I think it’s so easy to just like to make a simple statement and
that’s critical and I just like doesn’t make you feel like your time and all of your efforts is really being valued. Overall, my day as Lusweets was a major success. My Christmas cake was not only beautiful but it was delicious too, and I think my Instagram audience will love watching it come together. As the sole proprietor of Chelsweets, I would absolutely hire Lucie in a heartbeat, maybe it’ll be called Lusweets, who knows. Chelsea is blazing the trail for female entrepreneurs that want to build their business on social media. She’s true example of the fact that doing what you love can bring you immense joy and financial gain, and as we all know the cake
is always the answer. This is really good. Hey YouTube, thanks for watching click here
for another episode of Lucie for Hire, here to subscribe to Refinery29 on YouTube, and here for my personal YouTube channel. And there’s a car!

100 thoughts on “I Tried Being A Food Instagrammer That Makes Over $300,000 | Lucie For Hire | Refinery29

  1. I would love to see Lucie work with another popular type of content creator: ASMR Artists on Youtube. Some have over a million followers and make bank. It would be interesting to see the behind the scenes (or screen, rather) of how the do it, what equipment they use, how do they make the video (is it scripted out or more improve) how long it takes to cut each video, what the asmr community is like, how sponsorship works etc.

  2. It's great to see the behind the scenes work that creators go through to make their dreams and visions possible. Thanks great video!

  3. This girl is smart. I commend her for not just quitting her practical job for something as prone to change as social media, go chelsweets !

  4. Don’t click

    I told you


    Good luck….

    Ok only a little while later…

    Ok your done… here have some money 💵 💵 💵

  5. This was really fun to watch. I didn't know the amount of effort required to set up for the mini videos you find on instagram.

  6. My question is where do the cakes go. Like,are they aten by the Chelsey, or are they sold, or are they donated, do they get thrown out, are they shared with friends?

  7. Wow!! 😍Those are amazing cakes! That’s awesome that it’s her “side hustle” because then she can make it her hobby and not her job. She probably enjoys it way more because she doesn’t have deadlines and can be creative and not having people telling her what to create! Her work is awesome and your cake turned out amazing!!

  8. How does she monetize her Instagram? I don't see sponsorships or anything of the sort. Hats off to this lady, doing this with a full-time demanding job … in a video format!

  9. Wait… it shouldn't take you three days to make a cake unless you have work in between. You can make more than four cakes in one day lmao

  10. Wow 6 figure salary plus double of that and still living in a small apartment and kitchen. Does that mean these figures are norm now where she lives? So happy for her success though! Good job!

  11. Love seeing someone’s side job being fun and practical is so amazing
    Especially when she still keeps her daywork

  12. Learn to listen to yourself, not the bad comments. If you want to be successful at everything you do, you will always have the hater. If you dont have it, that mean you haven't made it. Believe me, they will never able to do what you do

  13. I watch a lot of Chelsweets videos and she does a great job producing them. My friends tell me that I should start my own channel teaching people different things because I love baking and art. I think I would be good at it considering my day job is teaching volunteers how to build houses. It just feels a like awkward in front of the camera as opposed to a group of people face to face.

  14. We are SO PROUD OF HER for leaving her corporate job and fully dedicating her time to this account! She did it about 2 days ago

  15. To all of the immigrant parents(like mine):

  16. OMG, I would be soooooo Happy😃 if you spent a day as a zoologist or wildlife conservation🐃🐆🦏🦒🐘 🐅🦓🦁🐗

  17. what if Lucie knows she's gonna get fired soon and the only reason she does this is because she wants to find a new job as soon as she gets fired

  18. the fact that she makes twice as much from her Instagram cake influencing than she does her actual job which she went to school and college for, is just fucking sad. it's a sad reality. Why is America like this?

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