Why This DIY Creator Left 7.5 Million Subs Behind 👋

Life after a successful, family-owned YouTube channel

Good morning. Today is Juneteenth, a holiday that celebrates the freeing of all enslaved Black people in the US in 1865.

To learn more about Juneteenth’s historical significance, head to the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s official page. We also love the Lincoln Center Orchestra's new jazz album in celebration of the holiday.

Why This DIY Creator Left a Channel with 7.5 Million Subs

Joseph Frederick left Team Edge in 2023 (left) and now creates DIY projects on his new channel, Man Made (right) / Team EdgeMan Made

Joseph “J-Fred” Fredrick co-founded the challenge YouTube channel Team Edge with his relatives Matthias and Bryan in 2015—and helped grow it to 7.5 million subscribers and 3.6 billion views.

But after taking nearly a year off from YouTube, Fredrick is back with a new venture: DIY channel Man Made.

Context: Fredrick announced his departure from Team Edge via a joint video with Bryan in October 2023.

  • The duo explained that, after years of content pivots to address viewership decline, they were going their separate ways.

  • “We all came to a family decision that we think it’s time we move on and let go, not try to just hold on to what we used to have in the past with that level of success,” they said in the video.

Fredrick is now kicking off his second act: He documented the process of building his “dream” garage workshop over the last eight months. That workshop will serve as the new home of Man Made, where he’ll be tackling DIY projects and creating videos about them moving forward.

Zoom out: As we’ve covered frequently so far in 2024, “retirement” takes many different shapes for YouTube creators.

  • For Fredrick, it means downsizing and taking on a unique niche from scratch.

  • For other creators like MatPat and Tom Scott, it means appearing on camera less frequently in order to pursue bigger creative projects, such as MatPat’s first fashion show.

One Creator’s Plan to Revamp the Wheelchair Industry

Zack Nelson (left) and his wife, Cambry (right) make off-roading wheelchairs The Rig (right) and The Kids Rig (second from left) / JerryRigEverything

Zack Nelson, aka JerryRigEverything, is on a mission to make wheelchairs less expensive. He told us how he’s doing it…with the help of his YouTube channel.

Context: Nelson has amassed over 2 billion views in 12 years of making DIY and tech review content on YouTube. 

  • Five years ago, he met his partner, Cambry, who was paralyzed from an equestrian vaulting accident. 

  • Nelson has partnered with local manufacturer Utah Trike to make off-roading wheelchairs The Rig and The Kids Rig, but now? He’s taking on manufacturing himself.

The pitch: “We can manufacture wheelchairs for 80% cheaper than other people right now,” Nelson told us. “Here in the US, insurance and the middlemen are what drives these medical equipment prices through the roof. So we’re bypassing them and selling direct-to-consumer.”

The cost: Nelson said he’s spent over $1.5 million on a 26,000-square-foot facility, equipment, and staffing this year. He can make 1,000 wheelchairs a year right now, but the goal is to reach 10-15,000 per year.

The plan: Nelson is financing the project via his YouTube channel (which counts brand deals with companies like Anker and The Ridge as its biggest revenue source), pocket knife sales, and site donations.

“I’m in a position now where I feel super lucky to be where I’m at with a large audience but also financially,” Nelson said. “Me and my wife are never going to make money from this business. We’re just making wheelchairs as cheap as possible so people can get out, explore, and have fun.”

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The Leap Helps Creator Earn $8K via Mini-Course

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That’s all Andrea Casanova (a creator with over 200,000 TikTok followers) needed to create a mini-course that made more than $8,000 based on one of her most popular videos.

How’d she launch it so efficiently? With a little help from The Leap.

The Leap is a free, all-in-one creator store that lets you build, sell, and promote bite-sized digital products straight to your audience.

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TikTok’s New Tools Allow Ads Featuring AI-Generated Avatars

TikTok Symphony introduces Avatars, which can generate AI representations of people in videos and dub their voice in different languages / TikTok

On Monday, TikTok announced that it’s testing a new ad offering: AI-generated avatars, which will appear in feeds with a “Made With AI” label.

What it means: Brands that use the feature can choose to produce advertisements with one of two options →

  • A stock avatar “created from video footage of real paid actors,” according to TikTok.

  • A custom avatar that looks like a specific creator who licenses their likeness to brands.

Big picture: With multi-language dubbing included, the new tool “will enable new ways to scale creative strategies on TikTok,” the company wrote in a blog post.

We’re curious—do you approve of AI avatars in advertising?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

➕ Community Tab

Thank you to everyone who came out to our NYC creator event last night! It was such a pleasure to meet you, talk to you, and hear where you are on your creator journey. You were engaged, came with great questions, and made it easy to host. Objectively, the best readers around.

Stay tuned for a recap and more pics from the event. See ya next time!✌️

📽️ From The Studio

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Hint No. 1: This 19th century developer and conservationist wrote several books, including The Conquest of Death and Tasks By Twilight (both published in 1893).

P.S. The drop will officially go live for everyone at presspublish.store on Friday, June 28.

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