Entrepreneur: Jeanelle Castro

Biz: Jeanelleats

Tilt: Globally inspired hidden food and travel, emphasizing her Filipino heritage

Scene: Website, YouTube (996K), Instagram (108K), TikTok (286K), Facebook (217.8K)

Snack Bites: 

  • Jeanelle left her job as a product marketing manager at a tech company to do YouTube full time. She went through her savings and two years later was working other jobs to make ends meet.
  • In 2021, she pivoted from long-form videos to YouTube Shorts, growing to 600K subscribers and just under 1M views a month.
  • She also has done content partnerships with brands like Butcher Box, Kettle & Fire, and GEICO

Why We Stan: Jeanelle is realistic and didn’t expect overnight success on YouTube, saving money to quit her full-time job and picking up odd jobs when that ran out. She also listened to other creators and pivoted to YouTube Shorts. Plus, she is building an email list, so she isn’t reliant on rented land.

The Story of Jeanelle Castro

Even Jeanelle Castro had doubts when she left her day job as a product marketing manager to focus all her energy on her YouTube channel – Jeanelleats.

“I was freaking out, thinking, ‘What the heck did I get myself into,’” she tells VoyageLA. “I had a lot of limiting beliefs around Jeanelleats. I didn’t think it would actually be able to support me full time and that I needed to stick to my chops as a (video) marketing consultant.”

She toiled for over two years, producing about one video a week, though taking time away from the routine when her subscriber numbers didn’t rise.

But Jeanelle persisted. As she explains to Shoutout LA, “The toughest part of being an entrepreneur is battling your internal thoughts. There’s constant chatter in my head telling me that I’ll fail or that success isn’t meant for me. This chatter doesn’t end, but you can take action to help silence it. Surround yourself with people who love you and support your crazy ideas.”

The toughest part of being an entrepreneur is battling your internal thoughts, says @Jeanelleats (Jeanelle Castro) via #ShoutoutLA. #stan #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

In 2021, her crazy idea shifted from producing one long-form video a week to three short-form videos every day. Jeanelle tells tubefilter she made the change based on the advice of creator Lisa Ngyuen. But it wasn’t an easy decision.

She says, “I started long form, and then all of a sudden went cold turkey and did short form. And that was scary at first. I was like, ‘Am I going to lose subscribers? Am I gonna alienate my audience?’”

But then she thought about the recent popularity of short-form content like Instagram Reels, TikTok, and other YouTube Shorts. That’s when she realized she shouldn’t think about the pivot as all about her but as a positive move for her content business.

A pivot from long-form video to YouTube Shorts propelled @Jeanelleats growth, but it wasn't an easy decision. #stan #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet

Growing a brand

Jeanelle travels the country and world, creating videos, blog posts, and other content featuring the food of others as well as her own cooking.

Her partner now works with Jeanelleats full-time, too. She has done sponsored content deals with brands, including Butcher Box, Kettle & Fire, and GEICO (yes, the insurance company).

As for the future, Jeanelle tells tubefilter she plans to release a merch line soon and would like to sell a food item. “That would be so fun … I would love to have something physical, other than merch, something you can actually taste, that’s a good representation of what I’m trying to do on my channel,” she says.

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About the author

Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.