Welcome to All in the Creator Family, where in partnership with upcoming YouTuber event FamFest — a two-day, all-ages festival starring family vloggers — we profile content creators whose families are at the heart of their videos. Each week, we’ll chat with a featured family-oriented creator about how they established their own unique platform within the booming content space.
Here’s a non-secret: there are a lot of teen parents out there, and things are tough for them. But though most people are aware of this, many young parents still struggle to find empathy, understanding, and a little reassurance that everything can turn out okay.
That’s where Kyra Sivertson comes in. Sivertson, now 23, was a teen mom, and getting pregnant in high school turned her entire life inside-out. She dropped out, moved states, and was facing an uncertain future when she decided to start documenting her journey on YouTube.
At first, YouTube was a way for her to stay connected to her family back home. Her earliest videos are weekly updates on her first pregnancy, letting folks know she and her son, Levi, were both doing well. To her surprise, her videos reached an audience beyond her family members, and began regularly amassing hundreds of thousands of views. And when her videos about Levi’s birth brought her view counts reaching into the millions, she began to look at YouTube as a real career path.
In the four years since having Levi, Sivertson has had two more children, Alaya and Averie, with her partner Oscar Morales, and has grown her channel to 1.53 million subscribers and around 5 million views per month. Despite having a much bigger audience, she’s kept her content close, uploading personal vlogs that feel like updates for friends or family. Another big part of her content is being open about both the struggles and the triumphs she and Morales encounter as parents. Sivertson is clear that being a parent isn’t always easy, but is also determined to show other teen parents that they too can end up with a loving family and a thriving career.
The latest developments in Sivertson’s career are the launch of her lifestyle brand, Baby By Kyra, and her spot as a featured creator at upcoming YouTuber event FamFest. At FamFest, Sivertson will appear alongside some of her family vlog icons, like JesssFam and britneyandbaby. Ahead of the fest, we sat down with Sivertson to talk about her past, present, and future as a parent and a creator.
Check out our chat with her below.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! What did you do before YouTube?
Kyra Sivertson: My name is Kyra Sivertson and I am a young mom of three. Before I started YouTube, hmmmm…What was I doing before YouTube? I was in high school and didn’t really care about much or have many goals. I always loved the idea of being a “creator,” but felt that was way, WAY too big of a dream. It was like looking at famous singers and thinking, Oh yeah, I want to do that. It’s rare you actually get the opportunity to be.
Tubefilter: What made you decide to start a YouTube channel? What specifically appealed to you about running a family channel?
KS: I wanted to start a beauty channel back in ninth grade, but because of being embarrassed (it wasn’t the cool thing to do back then), I decided not to. Then, in senior year, I got pregnant and dropped out of high school to move to a different state with my boyfriend. We thought YouTube was the perfect opportunity to share our life with our families while we were away, and also to share our life with hopefully some other teen parents, to show that it’s not all MTV makes it.
Tubefilter: Why is it so important for you to let other teen and young parents know things can turn out okay?
KS: It’s super important for us to share the message with other teens because we want to show that you CAN and you WILL if you are determined enough. It’s scary as heck, and the weird looks get old, but also it’s so rewarding.
Tubefilter: Why do you think family content is so popular with people across social media platforms? What are some key things you’ve noticed about your own audience?
KS: I think family content has become so popular over the years because it is something most people can relate to, whether it’s relating to the kids or the parents or the lifestyle or the activities they do. Something I have noticed about my audience is that they watch as an escape, which is something I definitely relate to, because when I was a teen, that’s a huge reason I turned to YouTuber. There weren’t too many people I connected with in my “real” life, but online, there are so many different people to watch. You start to feel like a part of a community when you watch a creator.
Tubefilter: How do you balance your content production? Is there a certain number of hours you film each day, or do you just film when it feels like something vloggable is happening? Do you keep space for downtime/non-filming?
KS: Balancing filming, editing, content ideas, etc., for two channels can be extremely difficult, especially now that I also own another business on the side (Baby By Kyra). We personally do try to set hours to film. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. is for other types of work, such as household work, emails, brand work, BBK work, and then 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. is for vlogging, and 8 p.m. to midnight is for editing. It hardly ever works like that, though, because being a FAMILY channel means we have kids and things just really rarely go as planned. We are still contantly on the lookout for a better way to organize our time.
Tubefilter: How do you keep your content fresh and standout in such a crowded space?
JS: We used to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to think outside the box, come up with ideas no one has, be different, etc., but it became too much pressure. At this point, what hasn’t been done on YouTube? It is extremely hard to make yourself 10000% unique, so we stopped stressing so much on that. We came to YouTube in the first place to connect and show our real situations, so we really try to focus on honest, relatable content rather than over-the-top fabricated content. There isn’t anything wrong with that style at all; in fact, a lot of what we watch now on YouTube is that kind of content. But as far as what we put out, we tend to stick to the other style.
Tubefilter: Are there any other family content creators who inspire you?
KS: We don’t watch too much family content on YouTube ourselves, because again, YouTube is our place to escape and possibly take a break from our kids, so we tend to watch things like comedy, pamper routines, and shopping hauls. However, if we do watch family channels, Jesssfam is our go-to. I started watching her about eight or nine years ago, and always felt that I related to her personality and lifestyle. And about two years ago, I got the opportunity to actually meet her, and it made me love her channel EVEN more! britneyandbaby is another huge one that I dive into at 3 a.m. on Saturdays because she is extremely inspiring. She’s the hot mom that’s got all the best recipes and tips and tricks. 🙂
Tubefilter: What are the challenges of running a channel where your kids are the stars right alongside you?
KS: Something that may be a bit of a challenge is that they don’t always want to be in it. Our kids are just now getting to the age where they are able form their own wants and needs, and it’s a bit of a new challenge for us. Our daughter doesn’t mind too much, but our son, over the years, has realized we are talking to people on the other side of the camera, so when we start to talk about certain things, he starts to get embarrassed. If you watch our channel, you may realize you haven’t seen him be embarrassed, but that’s because we are extremely aware of how important it is to respect our kids. YouTube is something we as the parents choose to do; we can’t force that upon our toddlers, and we would never want to. So when our kids are having off days or days where they don’t want to be filmed, we do not film. From a business standpoint, we have started to brand ourselves as more than our family, because one day our kids may want to be completely out of it — which is okay! And we are prepared for that.
Tubefilter: Is YouTube your full-time job? What else does the average day involve?
KS: YouTube used to just be our only full-time job. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., we would be creating, editing, preparing, planning, etc. But now we have two full-time jobs with Baby By Kyra. We love it, and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but not in ANY world did I think YouTube could even be a full-time job, so the time commitment was unexpected.
Tubefilter: What plans do you have for the future, both for your family and your channel?
KS: For the future, I hope we get to continue growing our community and continue to have the opportunity to help people feel like they have someone out there they can relate to or understand. I hope that we never take one day for granted and that we get more days of meeting our viewers.
FamFest is the biggest two-day family festival featuring your favorite YouTube stars. Our mission is to bring families and creators together in an immersive environment to create memories through engagement. FamFest will be featuring one-of-a kind experiences and “Instagrammable” moments at the OC Fair & Event Center on June 20th & 21st, 2020. Tickets (use the code OKBABY50 to get $50 off any ticket), sponsorships, and more information available now at famfestusa.com.