We recently had the pleasure of chatting with YouTube's NerdECrafter, AKA SaltECrafter, AKA Jackie, AKA tHe OnE WHo aLWays dOeS iT WrONg (haters gonna hate). With over 750,000 subscribers and over 98,000,000 total views, Jackie provides her fans with brutally honest product reviews, in-depth tutorials, crazy sculpture transformations, and expert crafting advice. She does it all while keeping an open mind to learning new tips and tricks (and praying to the Baking Gods of Evermore).
Read on to find out more about YouTube's saltiest creator, NerdECrafter!
TheThings (TH): First of all, how did you get started with YouTube? What inspired you to begin creating with your channel?
Jackie (J): I started on YouTube quite unexpectedly, to be honest. It started with a contest on Facebook to win a custom necklace (it may have been a brooch) of your own Parrot. I didn’t win the contest, but I was absolutely determined to make my own parrot necklace, so I researched the material and discovered polymer clay. Since then, I wanted to teach people to make their own crafts if they couldn’t afford [to commission] other crafters. That’s when I launched my YouTube; to help others afford their own custom pieces made by their own two hands.
TH: Being a teacher and a YouTuber, when do you find time to film and edit?
J: Holy Moly it’s NOT easy. You really have to WANT to do both, otherwise, it’s just not sustainable as a lifestyle. During school hours, I focus on grading papers and preparing in-class work (the less fun parts of teaching lol). The fun part about being a teacher is being in the classroom with the students; I love engaging content. However, during non-school hours, I sit down and become NerdEcrafter and have my second bit of fun. Editing was too time-consuming for me, especially when I started making 2 videos a week, so that’s when I needed to hire help to remove that part of the process from my task list. Otherwise, I would never have time to do both teaching and YouTube.
TH: And speaking of teaching, do your students know about your YouTube career? And do you ever get inspiration from them for your projects and videos?
J: Initially, I was very anonymous for the first 3 years, but then, as one student happened to have watched my channel, then rumors spread. Now, almost all the students who come into my class, are aware of my “Batman” identity lol. But I always address it that our main focus in class is the material we are covering, but after class, they can ask me YouTube-related questions. I haven’t really gotten into deep YouTube conversations with my students, so I can’t say I have gotten inspired by them for topics, but I do get inspired by their sense of humor!
TH: Which part of the process do you prefer? Filming your creative projects and tutorials, or editing and adding all of the awesome sound effects (We’re especially partial to the infamous baby cry and the “Oh Hell Noooaahahaooo” guy), video effects, and hilarious text additions? Do you do your own editing?
J: My favorite parts are recording, and then answering comments after the video is uploaded. I used to edit my own videos, but the process is so lengthy that I had to hire someone to take over. You can’t tell anymore whether I edited, or one of my editors (I love you both Angie and Victor!) did. We have a similar sense of humor and style. I love editing though, there’s something wonderful about being creative while putting a video together. Putting a video together is like expressing your inner silly humor but on the outside.
TH: How do you come up with the ideas for the series on your channel? We’ve never seen anything like Salt-E-Crafter before, so how did it come to be?
J: Oh boy…have a seat lol. SaltEcrafter was born out of my own ignorance and trust. By nature, I’m both a positive person and a cynic (contradiction, I know). I was approached by another YouTuber’s team to review and test their Slime Kit. I tried it out, and I thought it was ok since I barely had any knowledge of slime other than OOZE from the Ninja Turtles’ toys. The consistency was similar so I promoted the kit as being good, but I also showed its shortcomings in the video. Keep in mind, the company had also promised that as long as I reviewed the product, I would get a shoutout by that YouTuber as well (and potentially also work together with them). So I did have an incentive to meet with another YouTuber and potentially work together. After the video was released, SO many comments on the video were saying how the quality of the slime is terrible (remember, I showed the good and bad, but chose to focus on the good since I figured maybe I was at fault for the bad parts). I contacted the company, who eventually ignored my emails. So with the guilt of having promoted a potentially bad kit, and the annoyance of a company lying and not fulfilling its promises, I released a video correcting my recommendation for that kit: The First Ever SaltEcrafter. I felt terribly guilty and promised to never let a company sway me. I decided since then to always prioritize my cynical nature for the sake of my subscribers’ wallets, at the cost of potentially upsetting some scamming companies.
TH: Aside from Kiss Naturals, have you ever had any response from brands after a Salt-E-Crafter video? Do they ever reach out?
J: I have lots of companies that reach out, but very few want an honest review (so I decline them). The other company that really appreciated my honesty was KANO (Harry Potter Wand Kit). They even offered to send me more products as long as I also did in-depth honest reviews ☺. I have yet to hear from other brands, but then again, they probably know the quality they are putting out there.
TH: How about other YouTubers? Salt-E-Crafter got into a bit of a tiff with SaraBeautyCorner (#ReleaseTheSalt!), has this ever happened with any other creator? How did this situation impact your followers, content creation, and ideas for future videos?
J: SaraBeautyCorner…well…we disagreed wholeheartedly on what “Fair Use” means. I won’t get into too much detail (since the videos are out for that). The only other “drama”, I had was with Craft City spreading false promises to well over 40 YouTube channels. They promised these channels a shoutout on Karina Garcia’s channel but ignored all their emails. So I became the voice for them. The response from my subscribers has always been very supportive, so I feel quite lucky to have them. These kinds of scenarios only made me realize that being honest with my subscribers can only make us a stronger community; so I will continue ☺
TH: Your polymer clay tutorials and series have been a huge hit with viewers, is that your favorite medium/type of project to create?
J: If I were only allowed to work with ONE craft medium on a deserted island (with a mini oven), I would 100% choose polymer clay. I LOVE polymer clay. It’s such a versatile medium and also very forgiving.
TH: We also noticed that you recently released merch! Congratulations! Who designed the salt shaker and little grains? Do you have plans to release additional merch (or maybe even a craft kit—hopefully not a “crap kit”!) in the future?
J: Thank you! I designed the salt shaker and grains idea, but it was executed by the super talented Appleminte on YouTube. She’s the artist behind my concept. I have plans to release another batch of limited edition merch near the end of January. I haven’t gotten into the craft kit idea yet. I just simply have a shortage of time with 2 jobs.
TH: You’re from Canada, and up in the North, it can be hard to gain access to products that may be popular in other countries. How do you get your Salt-E hands-on products that aren’t available in Canada? Do you find that you’re limited by your location?
J: Canada has almost the same products as the USA, but sometimes I have to shop on USA sites for YouTuber craft kits (crap kits lol). I have a USA address that I ship to and then drive 1h30m to go pick them up. I’m a devoted reviewer lol.
TH: This might be the toughest question to answer, but which of your projects has been your favorite that you’ve created?
J: Ooofff….. *looks at channel*….hmmm probably my Pokemon environment vase.