“I’ve been trying to grow plants for the longest time. And even though I followed the instructions and bought those potted ones which are like fool proof, I can still kill it.”
As Janice said this as she spoke about her interests and I didn’t expect to relate so much to one of my favourite Youtubers.
Throughout the years, TreePotatoes has garnered 394,000 subscribers on YouTube. They have also collaborated with local talents like Benjamin Kheng, as well as International YouTubers such as Wong Fu Productions.
This is amazing since none of the three had studied anything media-related in school. Janice was actually a Biomedical Science graduate from NUS, however it wasn’t what she wanted to do since she preferred a people-oriented environment.
When she chanced upon an opportunity to join the media industry, she had to learn everything on the go which led to watching videos online about why things worked or didn’t work.
“When we first started, we really didn’t know anything. To me at that point in time, for the camera, I only knew how to press one button which was to take a picture and that’s it.”
As she said that, I felt inspired by her story as despite having no experience, she still went on to be such a recognizable face in the media.
Becoming an Influencer
“I am sure with how Wah!banana and TreePotatoes became so popular, you gained your own following on social media as well. Was it difficult to manage?” I asked her
To which she responded with:
“It was quite difficult, I think all three of us were never really the kind who wants to be famous or anything.”
Astonished by her statement, I thought: Who wouldn’t want to be famous?
She confesses that she is the kind of person who values her own privacy, which made me nod understandingly.
She could no longer leave the house with just a simple outfit – T-shirt, shorts and slippers. People were recognizing her on the streets, and it affected her image as a Youtuber.
Although her business is dependent on how she should present her public image, it never once changed her self-image.
She didn’t feel the need to put in extra effort to look better, instead, she found power in knowing that she had a voice that would be seen and heard. This made it easier for her to voice out causes that she supports and help increase awareness among her followers.
In turn, she grew mindful of what she says online because whatever she says or does on the public space has consequences.
One of The Boys
“If you ask them, they never thought that I was a girl.” she chuckled as I grinned at her joke.
Despite being the only girl among Aaron and Elliot, she never had a problem hanging out with guys and working with them, as she never felt different because of her gender. Adding that when her male counterparts joke around, she joins in on their fun as she knows that it’s just “boy talk”.
Even though being a girl didn’t affect her social life, it had affected her work life in both a good and bad way.
She said that being a girl has its advantages especially since she is in sales, so people tend to stop and listen to what she has to say.
At the same time, being a young lady did have certain setbacks, such as being mistaken for a “xiao mei mei” and not being taken seriously at times. However, after interacting with her the same people go on to understand that she is, after all, a decision-maker who has the final say at the end of the day.
When asked about her visions for the future, she mentioned that she was thinking of setting up a girl’s school for women to have difficulties in accessing education.
Explaining that, even though there are changes being made to provide education for these women, it is not happening fast enough. People are still getting stuck in a poverty loop because of the lack of education.
She spoke with such conviction as she said that “Education is the foundation of growth” and that,
“When a country only educates their men, they are only getting half of what they could be getting, because the other 50% of the population could be also working in generating GDP.”
While on the topic of “in the future”, she said that career-wise she is looking to improving and increasing her skills. Having acquired skills in areas like biomedical science, video production and business development, it gave her a competitive advantage to push her career further as she plans to possibly pursue new prospects.