DIY Together with Evan and Katelyn
The week we chat with husband and wife team Evan and Katelyn! We get into what it's like to DIY together on both projects and videos as well as lessons learned from starting their YouTube channel in March of this year.
Brandon: We want to welcome you guys back to the Make or Break show we're hanging out with Evan and Katelyn calling in. You guys are in Houston right now. Is that right.
Calling all the way in and we are excited to chat with you guys. The very first husband and wife team I think for I think he's the only husband wife team I've seen on YouTube doing DIY videos which is really fun because you are hanging out and looking forward to chat with us.
Katelyn: Yeah for sure.
Evan: There are a few other husband wife teams but most of them are furniture makers who are doing it just like in business.
Brandon: So when I was watching your first video like my wife loves like almost everybody like Chip and Joe like up in Waco and I was like and like your guys banter I'm like oh they got like that going on. That's so cool.
Brandon: Well we want to kind of get into your guy's background I guess individually before you were do stuff together when you guys were both growing up was like making and DIY was that something like part of because stories.
Katelyn: I was really into art.
Evan: Which is making.
Katelyn: Its making something you know.
Katelyn: And I would do more like crafty things but never picked up a tool.
Katelyn: So all of that is very I guess didn't really start till adulthood.
Brandon: What's type of art stuff were you in to.
Katelyn: I mean I did mostly super nerdy like fantasy and I fight hard and like video game fan art.
Evan: Legend of Zelda, she has some solid sketches.
Brandon: Oh yeah that's awesome.
Evan: Well even from when she was like less than ten she just like real drawings. She has notebooks full of them.
Brandon: That's cool. That's cool.
Evan: These modest they get really good.
Brandon: I was super into like Lord Of The Rings so I had like Aragorn like all over the place drawing like that so.
Katelyn: Yeah I definitely did like Elijah Wood or Frodo like fan art. And I would send it to Elijah Wood and I got back signed.
Brandon: Are you serious.
Katelyn: Yeah. Well I don't know who signed it. But. I was pretty excited.
Brandon: That's really good. Evan what about you. Were you into the DIY.
Evan: I always love going to a hardware store is like as a place to go. We're like do you want to go get ice cream or something. No I want to go to Ace Hardware. And I got a tool kit really early on I didn't really get into making or DIY early on I always wanted to be an inventor. So I loved tools and hardware and stuff like that.
Evan: And of course you know the Legos and everything but it seems like those are wide enough that it doesn't isn't really an indicator anything. But definitely loved doing things by hand. I always knew I was going to be an engineer. It was an easy career decision for me. But yeah I always knew that I wanted to head down a path of making and inventing and eventually doing my own company.
Brandon: That's cool. That's really cool. So did you guys meet in college and me after college.
Evan: First for first class.
Brandon: And what would you guys get. Where do guys get a college university.
Katelyn: San Antonio University, it's like a smaller school. Yeah.
Evan: And then the first time I came on I had a crush on her.
Evan: And she was dating someone else.
Katelyn: I had a crush on Evan like a couple of years later when I was single and he was dating someone else.
Katelyn: So we were basically.
Evan: Just friends for five years.
Katelyn: And then we started dating!
Evan: It Worked out really well.
Brandon: Yeah. That's also that's real cool. So after you guys got married what brought you Houston.
Evan: Yeah I had a job here.
Evan: So when we when we first started dating she was actually in San Antonio and I was in Houston.
Brandon: Oh gosh.
Evan: So the first time we hung out together after college it was in San Antonio and I had so much fun.
Evan: I was like we've got to do this.
Katelyn: And he just started coming every week.
Katelyn: And then we were dating and then I moved here.
So we did the "long distance". I mean I'm doing long distance in air quotes so people have a real long distance three hour. So not that big of a deal.
Brandon: We went to San Antonio for the first time I think the last Christmas I had no clue because I'm from Athens Georgia. So I like east of Atlanta and I had no clue the Alamo was like in the middle of San Antonio like for some reason I always saw it as like just out in the desert. So we're like driving and we're like oh there's the Alamo so this is really cool.
Brandon: So you guys. Full time job. Are you still full time other than YouTube or kind of. How is it a little bit of both.
Evan: Yes I'm a full time mechanical engineer working the oil and gas industry. I do a downhole tool design working on new new product development like R&D type stuff.
Katelyn: And I'm graphic designer doing some freelance right now I'm kind of been gradually decreasing the amount of hours of work I do. And in that regard I can do more for YouTube.
Brandon: Yeah that's cool. So how did the YouTube piece come out. Whose idea was it to do it.
Katelyn: I think your idea of starting building a new video.
Katelyn: We we when we bought our first house the house where we're selling right now we started a blog like document D.I.Y. and everything.
Katelyn: I mean we were kind of well I was kind of cheap so I was like we can do everything today. And then you know it was always just kind of a hobby doing the blog. And then we were like you know we should get more serious about this.
Katelyn: We wanted to find some sort of work that we both enjoy that we can do together instead of you know working typical nine to five jobs. And so we decided to try videos. It was Evan's idea to start getting into video. So we were we started thinking about it the end of last year I think and then in March we actually started the channel this year.
Brandon: What was it about the video piece the kind of drew you guys.
Katelyn: I think.
Katelyn: I mean there's a few things. One is we learn so much from videos like watching other videos because we you know went into redoing our house with no experience. So we found them super valuable. And I think another thing is just from like more of a business perspective even though the YouTube space is crowded there's a lot of people it seems like there is us like more of a barrier to entry than the other types of content creation like blogging just because you know for most people a little bit harder to pick up a video and edit video than it is to write a post.
Evan: And because there is that barrier to entry it's there aren't many people doing it yet.
Katelyn: Still alot but not.
Evan: Like business level.
Evan: That we wanted to go for. So it wasn't it didn't seem as crowded. And also looking like the type of media and content that you know people are moving towards. TV seems to be going... down in viewership a little bit and like online media really seems to be increasing. And I think that more and more companies are going to realize where people's eyeballs are and they're going to want to you know put ad revenue there.
Evan: And with with YouTube it's kind of a win win win. Like add money instead of going to a big company is going to small businesses and instead of watching annoying ads that are ads on YouTube, but its not like it's it's not as bad. I don't know.
Katelyn: But like most watch sponsored videos.
Evan: Yeah. And like I think the more annoying thing are the pre-roll ads that YouTube plays. But I think of more sponsors sponsor people in this space and I think that most people are going to get rid of those and just go with the sponsors.
Evan: [00:08:00] I'd rather hear one of the people that I love YouTube talk about a company that's supporting him as opposed to know something that they haven't kind of pre-veted. You know I know that generally the way that this works, at least what I've heard so far is you're not going to work with a sponsor if you don't like them or their product. You know what I mean. So it's like that's why everyone's positive about the things that we're talking about. If they didn't like it then say no. [29.6]
Evan: So is it as kind of works out for everyone. I don't know. I like win win situations.
Katelyn: Back to your question.
Evan: Oh yeah like totally side tracked.
Katelyn: It seems like a good like business wise seem like a good decision.
Katelyn: But also we just like doing as would be really.
Evan: Fun. Yeah.
Katelyn: We kind of got into it because we on the side sort of documented like vacation and then we did the whole thing where we take, well we tried to take.
Evan: One second today.
Katelyn: A second a video and just at the end of the year. Stuff like that. We kind of like done some video stuff just for ourselves so the combination of it seeming like a business decision and just wanting to do more with the video led to the decision to try YouTube.
Brandon: That's cool. That's real cool. So what was that like then.. Was your first video was is it the Ikea hack the [00:09:24] Malm dresser. [0.3]
Brandon: Is that how you say that I don't even know to say it.
Katelyn: Malm... we're guessing too.
Evan: We thought we would stat with something like a little bit smaller and easier.
Katelyn: Mainly because we never found the project before and you're like OK we are totally terrible at filming something like like we don't want to get through an entire super difficult project and realize that the video sucks, so we will test it out.
Evan: Like retrofitting our garage upgrading our garage was one of the ones we did shortly thereafter. And all the lessons we learned on the Malm. Oh my gosh we have to started with that big garage renovation. We would have missed so many clips missed so many important things.
Evan: The first video that we made was such a big learning experience. I think that we put like 50 hours into filming.
Katelyn: Way too much. For such a small project.
Evan: Plus. I mean I'm sure that anyone who started a YouTube channel.. unless your very perfect for video charismatic. You don't talk the same way. You know it's like you have to learn how to be yourself but also on camera.
Katelyn: Yeah. Well I mean I get your channels one of the few. I mean there are you know of course some but where you do a lot of talking to the camera instead of just voiceover I feel like most people rely on voiceover. So I mean, you know, it definitely like... I mean at least for us we had to get used to seeing ourselves on camera and talking to the camera.
Brandon: I was I was filming like an end shot of like a table in my backyard and my wife was inside like watching TV and I had to keep saying the same thing over and over again. And I look up and she's just sitting there like filming me for like Snapchat and then I was like I can't I can't do anything now. So I have to I have to go away now. It's it's crazy. Alright.
Brandon: So how do you get split up. Is it do you have like a clear like this person edits this person has the idea or how do you get to do that.
Katelyn: It's kind of a mix. So some things are more on you know on my end some things are more on Evans and some we share. So like an ending of mostly me. Yeah. Like 95 percent me maybe, but like Evan does a lot more of the like...what technical design work like if we need to do a 3D model of something or come up with like actual plans.
Evan: Or Web site maintenance.
Evan also does our website. And you do like...like like I don't know what the right term would be like what you better at the business side of things.
Evan: Well she's great at the business side of things. I think that I might be better about like just doing something and dealing with the consequences later.
Evan: I get us into stuff yeah. Katelyn we're doing this thing now and she's like what.
Brandon: How do you guys split the shooting. Do you guys kind of alternate. Or does that work.
Katelyn: We kind of alternate, it sometimes it depends on what's being done like it was something that Evan's better at I'll be like OK you do that because it will take me longer and all.
Evan: Or. Well one of the things I did I just built a workbench this was I wish we had a filmed it. We have this that was like mobile rolling mega workbench.
Brandon: Cool Yeah.
Evan: And I just, I was home and I'm going to build this and I built to them size. I'm 6’ 5 and Katelyn is normal size she just looks small because I'm tall.
Katelyn: Like we have like our bandsaw on top of there. It's like reaching up here for me to try to do anything on the bandsaw. I can only do it on a stepping stool which is very safe...
Katelyn: There are certain things that you know one of us has to do instead of the other but we try to split it up pretty 50/50 so we're either like we're either both on camera and we'll just have it on a tripod or one of us will have the camera and we try to get like a pretty even split of who is off camera and who is on.
Evan: And the good thing is all both of us like everything and both of us can do everything I d on't honestly have the patience to do the fine tuning of the editing that Caitlyn does like she really gets that time to the music and she does everything.
Evan: I just slap it in there.
Evan: I love doing the rough cut the edit the story good scripts kind of like if you need to say anything in particular.
Katelyn: And getting cool shots.
Evan: I love getting cool shots so so it works out really well. We haven't ever had anything where one of us wanted to do something one of us didn't want to do something.
Katelyn: Yeah. Yeah.
Brandon: That's really cool. Yeah the editing is fun. You guys have some like the Casey Neistat and I like the vblog style and I like the music that thrown in there too. Plus like the DIY side too. So, I was just watching your guys...I guess you're six... Was it six videos in like five days or something like that like your ground tour of California.
Evan: Yeah. So this is cool so it was really fun. The personality piece is funny I was actually talking with William Osmand earlier today. I didn't make the connection you guys had been with him so I mentioned you guys is like oh yeah they were in my shop a little bit ago. So. So how did the idea of doing what collabs with other creators like Chris Salamone like how did that all come about.
Katelyn: I mean it seems fun.
Evan: Well because also I mean like in these interviews in these podcasts and stuff we can talk about all of the things that go into this.
Katelyn: Like go into making and YouTubing.
But most people out there in the world don't even know that this exists.
Katelyn: Well.. I don't know if I would say that.
Evan: I would say that!.
Evan: OK. It was on the Making It podcast Jimmy is out in L.A. talking with like movie or TV producers and they don't even know that people are making a living off of YouTube and doing DIY. I mean these are people who are in TV and they don't even know that YouTube is for stuff like this.
Evan: I mean we're in it. So we see a lot of people who understand it. But I think that the majority of the US doesn't even know that this exists.
Katelyn: But I guess what Evan is getting at is that one of the reasons that we wanted to like, you know, work with some other YouTubers and makers and get to know people in person is you can talk about that kind of stuff that only other YouTubers and other makers can talk about and relate to. And if you try to talk about it with your friends they're like... what you know.
Evan: So that was definitely another motivating factor.
Evan: [00:15:57] I mean everyone knows a little bit from their experiences that could help so many people. And there probably are books or guides are learning resources out there. But the best way I've found is to talk to people. [15.8]
Katelyn: Yeah. Yes. Especially if we're still relatively... we feel relatively new. We're still very much in the absorbing knowledge phase.
Brandon: Yeh, I think it was in Chris Salomone's video that he did with you guys. And they're like... It was one of your guys first time using a jointer or something along those lines and I was like oh like that's cool.
Brandon: Like that's the stuff you can't get like over even just like the podcasts like the hands on stuff.
Katelyn: Yeah yeah. It was cool.
Brandon: That's really cool.
Evan: Definitely want to do more. I think that the goal is for both of us to eventually go full time on this and would love to go on like road trips and just go see people and do collaborations. It just seems like so fun.
Brandon: So did you guys have a moment where like a video really started to take off like you like woke up and what just happened. Or anything like that.
Katelyn: We did! With one when one video in particular the concrete planner video went kind of crazy. There's a period of time for like two or three weeks where we were getting between 1000 and 2000 subscribers a day. I mean it was crazy and even maybe that was like for a week of it and then for the other week it was still like 700 and 800 subs a day. And we were like, "Yes we made it! Like we've figured out YouTube of then it and it went back down.
Evan: It was just the algorithm and YouTube just doing its thing and no one knows what it is. I mean you can you can try everything you can and there's a lot of best practices but no one knows the algorithm.
Katelyn: But we did, we did get to have that experience and hopefully we will have again.
Brandon: That cool. I think that was the first one that popped up because I was getting pushed on the algorithm side of things.
Brandon: So on the, you mentioned a little bit like I mean you've only been going since March like doing. Is that right? When you get started your first video?
Evan: And you mentioned wanted to go full time. Are the videos you guys are doing now is that kind of like do you kind of feel like this is like the niche we want to be in are there like other things out there you guys want to get into like other types of projects.
Katelyn: We definitely, I mean we definitely probably can (definitely probably). We would continue the type of stuff we're doing now. But we also want, like we come from the home blogging world where it's a lot of home renovation and that kind of things. You want to incorporate some of that as well.
Katelyn: We would probably start on our own house because we still have a little bit that we've been meaning to fix up. But were.. we would like to get like an investment property or buy a new house and fix it up for us and like rent out our current house.
Evan: But we have some ideas.
Katelyn: We would really like to get into that.
Evan: We don't want to drop anything we're doing right now we just want to add more.
Evan: But want to keep on doing what we're doing and a whole variety.
Katelyn: Yeah. We want to keep it like like a pretty wide variety almost like like Bob from I Like to Make Stuff, you know. Where it's you don't really know what to expect every week.
Katelyn: So we would like to be able to do whatever we want too. Y.
Evan: And I mean I think that's that's one thing that has worked well for us. We just do what we're really excited about and we have a lot of fun with it and people catch up on that you know and it's... I know. It's hard to think being enthusiastic.
Evan: [00:19:39] So doing things that we like will be good for our audience too because, you know it's a lot more pleasant to watch someone being happy than sad. [8.9]
Brandon: And I think that was the first thing when I was watching your guys videos it was that sense of like you guys really enjoy like being together working together and then like working on the projects. I was like they're not like just faking this it's like this is this is really fun.
Evan: [00:20:01] And that was one of the main reasons why we wanted to do a channel together. We wanted to start something where we can spend more time together. I mean the person that you work... or the people that you work with... your coworkers or who you spend the majority of life with. Which is a crazy thing to think about.
Evan: And I found this wonderful person that I love and I have this crazy connection to and yet I won't spend the majority of my life with her and I'm like let's fix that. [24.3]
Katelyn: Yeh we need to be coworkers.
Brandon: How do you guys handle. And you can get as personal as you want. But how do you guys handle.. like.. the marriage piece and then also you're kind of doing this as a business like do you guys have to separate it like conflict and that kind of stuff like has that been a learning curve for you guys have you guys been good with it.
Katelyn: Not really...It hasn't been difficult.
Evan: The difficult parts of this for us has been the circumstances under which we're working late at night or you know like tired.
Evan: So it's never been...
Katelyn: ...the work itself. Yeah. If something is stressful it's because like we have to go up or get up and go to work the next day and like we have to finish this video.
Katelyn: But there hasn't we haven't like, I don't know. There's not like a separation between like.
Evan: There's no seperation.
Katelyn: Evan and Katelyn business partners and Evan and Katelyn husband and wife.
Evan: But also we are very... We communicate a lot. We are over communicators. I guess that we are..what I was going to say. So we talked about this whole thing. I mean before we started dating we kind of talked about everything that we can potentially talk about. And for this we talk about our goals and our vision and where we want to go and where we're at. So that we're on the exact same page moving forward. So there isn't any like in the moment disconnect so anything because we've already talked about why we're doing what we're doing and our goals and everything.
Brandon: Yeah that's cool.
Katelyn: I don't know that answers your question.
Brandon: No that's great.
Yeah that's awesome it always comes back to communication seems like.
That's good we'll see as we're kind of wrapping up here and towards the end a couple questions we definitely want to ask everybody and this one will be a little bit different I think for you guys.
Brandon: So it's Make or Break Show. And so the first thing is the project you're most proud of making. But I want you guys to guess what the other person would say first before you answer.
Katelyn: Okay. And this is of our project that are on YouTube?
Brandon: It could be it could be on YouTube or could be I mean it could be something outside of YouTube to. Just something like you really like It doesn't have to be the most popular build. This is what I really enjoyed.
Katelyn: Ok. Let's limit it to YouTube.
Evan: OK. Because we did some for our blog and our wedding and stuff like that. So projects... So the projects we are most part of the end product are the video?
Brandon: Let's go let's go. The product.
Evan: The product. OK I know what it is for me and for Katelyn.
Katelyn: OK. You're very confident mabye I'm going to surprise you.
Evan: You might.
Katelyn: You have to get mine first.
Evan: OK for you I'd guess the side table.
Evan: And for me what did you guess?
Katelyn: Well I'm going to guess the side table.
Evan: It's the side table.
Katelyn: Well ok.
Evan: There's a lot of reasons why we love it so much.
Katelyn: Well it was the first project where we like like in the beginning a lot of our projects like we kind of knew how they were going to turn out. You know they weren't anything too far from what we've done before.
Katelyn: And the side table... And this is the two by four challenge side table. The two 2x4 challenge side table.
Evan: For the Modern Maker Podcast.
Katelyn: It challenged us because like we tried some new techniques that we've never done before like we did angle dadoes which is super fancy for us.
Evan: We iterated through 7 designs before we settled on our final design. So we had that design going in to it.
Katelyn: We went through like a design process like we of course had to redo that because like we didn't cut enough wood...mid project and we just kind of winged it.
Katelyn: But like, we we hit it was one of the first projects where we had a lot of challenges and we tried a lot of.
Advanced things that probably shouldn't have. But I'm glad we did.
Evan: I'm glad we did. We should of.
Evan: Yeh we should have we should have.
Katelyn: It and we really like how it turned out.
Katelyn: It was one of those like like there was a time limit because it was for the challenge and so it was one of those multiple late nights and like running back to Home Depot a hundred times.
Evan: And it's like right there and it's substantial.
Katelyn: We use that every day.
Brandon: Oh so it's in your house.
Evan: So crazy good and I can't believe that it's two by fours.
Evan: We found some awesome 2x4's. I've never found 2x4's that good.
Katelyn: We developed our 2x4 finding skills. All these things.. but yeh.
Brandon: That's awesome, that's really cool.
Brandon: So on the break side of things. Has there been a moment where something has gone wrong that really stands out. And like there's something like On the flipside you'd say you've really learned like because of it like a lesson learned.
Katelyn: I mean.
Katelyn: There's a couple of projects in particular that. I think that.
Evan: We could talk about a lot of failures.
Katelyn: We mess up a lot, we try to include alot.
Evan: The side here will have a lot of failures. We like, we didn't cut enough legs but we dealt that pretty easily to a redesign. Things were bending. We got some angles wrong. We had to cut some things.
Katelyn: I think I think for me. So if we're picking one that we like learned the most from I think for me it was probably the candleholder holders. Like it's one of our more recent video.
Katelyn: Well it was one of the things we're like like we from the beginning ah.. cut things not straight on our table saw. And I'm like we just kept trying to force it to work because we didn't redo those pieces like at every stage of the game there's a different challenge that we had to like finagle because we didn't think straight.
Evan: And we were also under a time crunch because we wanted to get this film before the hurricane hit.
Katelyn: Yeh, so it's that to.
Evan: I mean it seems a little trivial now because of things that happened and the impact of it but at the moment you're like we need to get this done before the hurricane.
Katelyn: Yeah. That was my like the most challenges and I guess lessons learned would just be like...
Katelyn: Well two things. One is it's better to just you know if you're if you're trying to do this like the correct way. [00:26:49] Probably better just like fix that initial mistake because it's going to affect everything moving forward. [4.8] But if you're going to do this the other thing I learned like which is just kind of pushing in the other direction is..
Katelyn: [00:26:59] You could kind of finagle stuff in to make it work. So don't get to stressed out if you mess something up [5.6] .
Evan: I learned a lesson to.
Katelyn: Yeh, I probably learned more of that.
Katelyn: Like you know what we're doing which is for YouTube. It's not like we're making it for a client and selling it.
Evan: If you are making it for a client. We would have done it.
Evan: We see those sitting there too. That just makes me happy seeing them. So it all works out in the end.
Brandon: That's cool.
Yeah I mean I feel bad if I didn't didn't ask as far as hurricane all that kind of stuff like how are you guys doing?
Brandon: I mean I watch the video and saw all the water and like man they have a river in front of their house. This is nuts.
Katelyn: Yeah. Where were ok.
Katelyn: We didn't really know how that was going to be at the time when there was water coming like halfway up our yard. Luckily it never got into the house. The family is OK.
Katelyn: You know we knew a lot of people that weren't OK. It was like you could you know, You could think of someone and flip a coin and you didn't know which side of it they be on.
Katelyn: But you know.
The great thing is like so many people pulled together there are still charities ongoing there's still a lot of volunteering going on. You know I think I was just impressed by the response from the locals around here. And how everyone dealt with it.
Brandon: That's cool.
Brandon: We'll sweet I appreciate you guys chatting with me hanging out. On a what day is this Thursday. I know don't know what day it is.
Brandon: Yeh Thursday night.
Brandon: Yeah. Is there a spot that you guys would send people. Is it just YouTube or is there kind of a home base you'd want people to go to. They wouldn't check your stuff out.
Evan: So we do have a Web site we're going to be upgrading soon.
Katelyn: So don't got to it yet.
It's mainly YouTube so just search Evan and Katelyn on on YouTube and our Instagram we're pretty active on.
Evan: Yeah. We're trying to maybe set up two a day and do more stories.
Evan: Maybe if we say it then we'll have to do it.
Brandon: Yeah yeah.
Katelyn: And we're also pretty active on Twitter. Again our handle Evan Katelyn like we keep it pretty consistent.
Evan: We've definitely picked up our Twitter game because like you can embed GIF's. Yeah I love using GIFS as responses.
Katelyn: [00:29:14] Were just starting GIF wars with everyone. That's our Twitter strategy. [3.9]
Evan: Or Katelyn started a Photoshop war a little bit ago that was pretty fun.
Brandon: You don't mess with a graphic designer.
So YouTube Instagram and Twitter Evan and Katelyn across the board. No. And we're trying to stuff up our Petreon game.
Evan: We're doing more video blogs. We're doing more swag. We're giving away T-shirts to the top level tiers and everything.
Katelyn: So yes.
Evan: So I'm going to focus more there soon.
Katelyn: So if you find us on those other avenues and you like our stuff. Please check us out on Patreon.
Katelyn: End plug.
Katelyn: End plug.
Brandon: Cool, cool. Well thank you guys so much for hanging out with me, uh I mean it was a blast chatting with you guys especially seeing the projects you guys are doing. Looking forward to the stuff you have coming down the pipe. It's really cool.
Evan: So great chatting with you too!