Ten years ago today, I started my YouTube channel which was initially named SarahsFabChannel. I didn’t know if I wanted to do fitness, health food, beauty, news, or vlog style. It took a year for me to decide on “Sarah Fit.” That was 2009 and I thought I was so original. It was easy to remember and I didn’t know a single person whose blog name was *first name* fit. They were all like Mojitos and Mangos, Running and Rollos, not literally but you know what I mean.
Fast forward a decade and theres a *first name* fit for every single name out there, I’ve written a book, been featured in major magazines and newspapers, worked with some of the top global brands that I admire, run 2 marathons, starred in 2 fitness DVD’s, created my own fitness series, saw that same business fail, travelled the world and birthed two babies.
I was embarrassed by my videos at first. My friends teased me and even would prank email me asking for diet advice with the most ridiculous requests. I thought I was “paying my dues” and building a reel so that I could get a job as a TV reporter. It wasn’t until 2012 really, 4 years later, that I’d realize TV wasn’t the goal anymore. I was unknowingly an “influencer” who called themselves a full time youtuber.
Brands started putting aside money to pay people like me, creating online content. I started blogging and realized I was the only “healthy living blogger” making videos. So even though I didn’t have the best photography or highest traffic, I had something the others did not and was able to carve out a niche and gained the attention of major brands.
There’s a lot of talk about privilege these days and I fully acknowledge that it has helped me but I also want to share exactly how I got here so this is a very honest look at how I became my own boss at the age of 24 and have been ever since.
It started with an internship at WHDH Sports. It was unpaid at night 2 days a week. I worked 5-11:30 pm and then would drive down to Cape Cod and work the breakfast shift at a small family run restaurant, the Marshside the summer going into senior year. I was able to stay at my sister’s apartment couch in Allston the first night and then would drive back to Cape Cod after my second shift. My dad got me the internship through someone he had worked with back in the day.
The man who got me the job at WHDH moved to NESN my senior year and offered me a position as a production assistant in the Spring of 2006. It was $8/hour, part time and meant I’d be working the same hours as the Red Sox. As a new college graduate who liked her beer a little too much, working weekends until 3 am was no bueno but I stuck it out for the summer, waitressing in the cape when I wasn’t working in Boston.
The goal was to work at NESN, build my reel and send it to TV stations to get a job reporting on air.
When the summer ended, I needed a second job since NESN was part time. I applied to be a waitress at Cask’n’Flagon and got it but they never called me back to start. I then answered a Craigslist post to create online videos for a diet website on YouTube. I got the job. It was part time.
They really didn’t have much of a vision other than they were a diet website and they wanted health content. I pitched to them that we should do workout videos. I thought my favorite magazines like Shape and Women’s Health were missing video from their workout articles. The descriptions were so confusing. So, we started doing videos showing how to do the moves. I was the host and I found a few trainers to be in my videos. The first trainer I introduced to our fitness YouTube endeavor worked at the BSC across from NESN. A friend of my sister’s was in sales there and introduced me to a blonde girl named Katrina, who would later go on to co-found Tone It Up.
I worked my butt off between the two jobs with zero days off essentially for about 3 months. Tired of the schedule at NESN, I chose to work for Diet.com full time as their video producer. Shortly after, I was on my way to Park City, Utah at the Sundance Festival to shadow Bethenny Frankel. I had no idea what I was doing. This was January 2007. She was still pushing her cookie business and lived in a small studio apartment where I visited to shoot videos at 7 am in March the following year.
Our videos as Diet.com were thriving. I noticed girls starting make up channels and doing really well. I started my own (10 years ago today) but didn’t have the time to post anything. It took a month for me to actually post something and a year to decide fitness would be my thing. It coincided with the housing market crash.
My videographer was laid off and I suggested to my boss that I go part time. He agreed. I got to use the camera equipment and laptop without buying my own.
Inspired by local trainer friends Mike D’Angelo and Stephen Cabral, I began studying to be a certified personal trainer through the ACSM. During a weekend intensive, I learned that a girl named Elle (AllThatGlitters on YouTube) gave me a shout out and I went from 2000 to 10000 subscribers in a weekend. Back then, a shout out was all it took to launch a career. I tried to continue to pay it forward over the years with other aspiring YouTubers.
Through working part time for Diet.com and personal training, I was able to make enough money to scrape by while dedicating a large chunk of time and effort into SarahFit.com. I can’t remember when I finally left diet.com but I think maybe like 6 year ago??
There were a lot of small events that led me to be where I am today and I just wanted to share my story and thank the people along the way. While YouTube is extremely frustrating and I find Instagram much more enjoyable, it is the reason I am where I am today.
So happy birthday to SarahsFabChannel. I never thought you’d be so good to me.