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Business Observer Friday, Mar. 4, 2022 3 months ago

So cool: Tampa sewing entrepreneur takes a star turn on YouTube

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So you want to be a YouTube star? Former TV news producer Jennifer Moore shares some tips for that.
by: Mark Gordon Managing Editor

When Jennifer Moore was growing up in the 1990s, she and her friends would make parody infomercial videos for fun. “My biggest regret,” says Moore, who went on to a career in the news business, culminating in a five-year stint as a producer for CNN, “is they didn’t have YouTube while growing up.”

Moore is making up for lost time. The Tampa-area resident is now a fast-rising star YouTube content creator, with up to six channels that churn out videos on everything from sewing to Asian culture to flipping houses. Her Sewing Report channel, with over three million views of videos that explain a variety of crafting projects in step-by-step tutorials, was recently selected to be part of a YouTube marketing campaign. 

Dubbed the United States of YouTube, the campaign, according to statement, highlights “a thriving population of everyday people across the country who use YouTube to start businesses, learn new skills and share their passions.” A campaign spokeswoman, citing a study from YouTube and Oxford Economics, says the video social media giant, a unit of Alphabet, which also owns Google, currently supports 394,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the United States — up 14% over 2019.

Moore, an assignment editor and producer for ABC Action News and Bay News 9 in the Tampa market prior to CNN, says being in the news business helped her see the trend lines clearly. Mainly, that means she saw that individualized quality video content, catered to specific niches with the right marketing, could be a sustainable business model. And YouTube, she says, is a great platform to showcase that belief. “I know a lot of people don’t like YouTube as a company,” she says, “but they really do a lot of offer a lot of resources for content creators.”

Courtesy Jennifer Moore. Jennifer Moore first tried sewing as a hobby.

From monogramming to quilting, Moore has created a library of how-to videos to help beginner and advanced sewers tackle any project. But while the 39-year-old exudes sewing confidence on the videos, she’s not a life-long sewer. Instead, sewing was something she started while she worked at CNN, living in Atlanta, when she sought a hobby. “I thought it was something I would like doing,” Moore says “I bought the sewing machine — and then it sat in the corner for six months. I was really intimidated about it.”

That was in 2016. She soon started watching videos — on, where else, YouTube — and began experimenting with small projects. Soon after that, in October 2017, she left her CNN post, what she had called a dream job. (She documented her last day, and next-day plans, on a YouTube video.)

Moore didn’t journey into YouTube land cold. In addition to 15 years of news business experience, she had been doing real estate videos since 2009, as a hobby/side hustle. When she and her husband relocated back to the Tampa region, she began to build up her audience for the sewing and other channels. “I don’t consider myself a sewing expert,” Moore says. “I’m a sewing enthusiast. I feel like if I could do it, so could you. This is tailored for people who don’t know too much about sewing.”

Moore says YouTube is her primary social media channel, mostly because the posts stay up longer than Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. She has about 86,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, with a goal to hit 100,000 in 2022. “While I see the importance of posting content everywhere, I put the most time/effort into YouTube and break down each video into shorter clips and photos for the others,” Moore wrote on a recent LinkedIn post. “My YouTube videos consistently get views and draw new eyeballs for YEARS after initially uploading.”

Courtesy Jennifer Moore. Jennifer Moore founded her YouTube sewing channel, Sewing Report, in 2016.

In addition, Moore, saying she knew her sewing channel wasn’t “going to blow up overnight,” made a point to have a diversity of revenue streams. Beyond her YouTube channels, where she makes money off Google AdSense, among other networks, she’s an Amazon affiliate seller and has an Etsy store, where she sells some sewing supplies. In addition to creating a thriving business model, Moore says her another goal is bigger, and connected to the first goal: to grow her niche’s client base. Says Moore: “My main goal is to help as many people get into sewing as I can.”

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