Eden LIU: How to Turn Your Smart Phone Into an Amazing Webcam Using Camo (Plus a Creator Chat!) (#306)
Our Guest Today: Eden LIU
Eden Liu runs Customer Success and Community at Camo. Camo is the app that gives you video superpowers. With Camo, you can access the incredible cameras on your phone and get powerful effects and adjustments for Zoom, Meet, and more.
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Watch Our Interview
Live with Eden Liu: How to use your phone as a webcam to look amazing 🤩 on video calls – powered by Happy Scribe
Takes a second, but hey, everyone, this is Fei from FeisWorld Media. I’m here with a lovely Eden Liu from Camel. And Eden is a customer relationship. I see you as a brand ambassador, basically, and you’re on the Camel Channel. And for those of you who don’t, what Camel is, I actually purposely didn’t set it up on my end. So you can see the big difference between kind of my video just right through Logitech versus Eden’s, and that is fully controlled and is going to really demonstrate a lot of the features. So I think if you guys are anybody watching here today, author, entrepreneur, creator, and frankly, also like, if you’re running webinars, you’re moderating large sessions, you know, zoom webinar or like fancy hop in hulu, whatever it may be. Definitely this is the session for you. And Ian is going to demonstrate some new features as well. So we got people hopping in already. And this is fantastic. We’re doing a pair streaming between phase world and Camel. Really appreciate that you are here today. Please leave us any questions and even feel free to moderate with me whatever questions you want to ask your audience as well.
Cool. Thank you so much for having me, Fay. I’m really excited to come on your show. You just came on my show not too long ago. Even though the episode hasn’t been released yet, but it’s on the way. The game plan is being ironed out as we speak. But, yeah, as Faye said, camo is a great tool for anyone that is on video. That’s whether you’re live streaming, whether you’re just doing a lot of videos calls on Zoom, or whether it’s like just if you’re creating content. Camo isn’t just for streaming. It’s not just for video calls. It also can record video. So it’s basically anything content, video related. Camo is here to facilitate that. I have so many cool ways to suggest for people to use camo, even if they have awesome setups. So I will let them leave the conversation. But I’m just so excited to be here with Bay today.
If I could be in New York right now, we’re probably grabbing tea coffee somewhere and be chatting about how to leverage guys your phone to be the ultimate webcam. I wish I knew this.
I mean, I think a lot of.
People wish they knew, especially going into the beginning of the Pandemic, because you remember Eden, how rare it was, how difficult it was to find a webcam anywhere.
They were sold out entirely in 2022. In March, April, you could not find a webcam for like at least three months. And that is actually sort of camo’s origin story was during the Pandemic when webcams were about as scarce as water in a video game or something. And our guys came up with the idea that we have these awesome, amazing cameras in our pockets. Everyone has a really amazing camera on their phone whether it’s iPhone or Android. Like, these people at Apple, at Samsung, they put so much RND into that camera and being able to shoot beautiful photos and shoot amazing video using your phone. So it was like the idea was just like, why can’t we use it as a webcam? Like, why are we limited to only shooting on our phone? And I don’t know. I’m not a developer, but our genius team development team made it happen. And that is Camel’s origin story, is we wanted to facilitate better video for everyone.
It’s fantastic. And a Camel’s origin story is something I have to thank my producer, Herman, once again, who is actually one of the paintings, for those of you. Oh, nice little background. And Herman literally recommended Camel to say, you’ve got to check this out, because as a world, both live streamers and to be able to control the orientation to use the front and the back of your phone. And one situation I ran into was I’m also a moderator for these virtual events. As a strategist trainer moderator, I love everything from Elgato, but the green screens width is literally this much. It was just not wide enough for my Zoom window. Traditional green screens are not designed to be 16 nine. And I ran into this issue last minute, and Camel was such a savior for me to basically be able to zoom in and out through a simple control to facilitate that session in front of 50 people. So that was fantastic.
That’s awesome. Yeah. I was kind of going to ask, I was like, if this was already into your sort of webinar training and zoom training, because you are such, like, a zoom whiz. I’ve watched your YouTube videos, and I still sometimes when it comes to being in zoom, I’m like, oh, if they did that really cool thing, do I want to try it in this meeting? But no, I totally know what you mean. It’s a great tool, especially for zoom. That’s actually our, like, starting out, that was our marketing push, was to help you elevate your Zoom calls. And just like you said, that zoom and pan feature that we have is so useful. I joke that because I eat lunch in my office, I leave, like, a half a sandwich behind me sometimes, and I don’t realize that I don’t have a cropped out. But using Camo, I can just slide that zoom bar in a little bit and pan up so that you don’t see my leftover lunch in a meeting.
Exactly. And it’s like it’s so subtle, yet something about I have this kind of admiration towards British design and software company, and Camels one of them. It just works. First of all, I’m not paid to even say this, but the user interface is so intuitive. Maybe Eden at one point, something you can demonstrate. Do you think we should do that now? We’re a little later.
Sure. Yeah, we can go ahead and do a little demoing now.
Okay. Look at how good even looks with our background and how smooth the transitions are.
Yeah. So this is the Camo interface. You can hide these as needed so you can see more of yourself or if you need to see more of your adjustments. We have people that don’t know that you can actually hide these, then only need like one feature and they’re like, how do you get it to go away? But basically we have all of these settings on the right hand side that are your basic camera lighting and image adjustments. You have your white balance. You can shift it to be warmer or cooler. I like to be right in the middle a little bit. Brightness, saturation, contrast. I have it set perfectly so that it makes my hair look really shiny and also really dark and black. So you can really fine tune your image to make it look exactly how you want. That’s the video superpower that we say is Camo. But it’s not just the adjustments. The zoom in pan also super useful tool. Like I said, if I happen to leave some of my lunch in the background, I could just easily zoom in pan so you can’t see it. But I have my set up framed perfectly today.
Well, look at that. I didn’t know there was a little touchpad thing like gray bar in the lower left hand corner. I had no idea you can actually reposition the framing of the video. I did not know this.
No, that’s also, I will say we don’t have a huge video library showcasing all of the ways to maximize camo, which is something we are working on. We can do a lot better at presenting these features to you guys. So that is on our Todo list. But in the meantime, that’s why I make appearances like this, so I can sort of walk people through all of the coolest features of Camo.
Yeah. So I guess I’ll just go ahead and walk through a few of the other features. Sure.
So like Faye said earlier, you can use all the lenses on your phone. I go selfie lens. I have mine pointing towards a BTS photo card. I love going ultra wide to be able to show off more of my setup. If it was cleaner, obviously, but telephoto also it’s going to get really up close and personal. But this could be useful if you have like a dermatologist appointment. They can see every single pore, but yeah, so that gives you a lot of versatility in your different camera angles. You can show as much or as little of your setup as you want. Camo is also really great as a secondary shot. I love to say for people that do have the professional DSLR mirrorless setup, if you have a top down shot, a little iPhone is much easier to mount than a full camera set up, you have all these resolution options. Of course, we want to keep it at 1080 because we like to look nice and sharp here in camo. And also one of my favorite undersold features, which really plays towards your sort of, like, zoom webinar audience, is our overlays. So we created this Overlay gallery that we have built in overlays for you to use, but you can also import your own.
And my favorite thing about that is that you can set up keyboard shortcuts to switch between them easily. So, like, I just imported these in here today. Like, I’m not using anything else other than keyboard shortcuts to run this sort of mini slide show, which I think is just one of our most undersold. Really, really cool, really useful features. If you’re in a meeting and want to, like, you know, stunt for the bosses a little bit and be like, look, I have actually, like, slides, and you didn’t want to do a full PowerPoint or keynote, you can just use camo switch between them using keyboard shortcuts. And yeah, that’s sort of the just rundown of most of the general camo features. But if there’s any specific use cases that anyone wants to know about, feel free to ask and I’m happy to elaborate.
Awesome. I love the demo. Thank you so much, Eden. For anybody who’s watching right now or later, feel free to leave us comments. I do monitor my comments on YouTube. And yeah. Eden, show me one more time how you place the overlay again? Which button was that?
Sure. So the overlays are in the left control panel right near the middle. If you open up the gallery, it sort of gives you a preview of what each one is going to look like. So, as you guys can see, I have wait, can you guys see the overlay window right now?
Overlay window? I can’t.
Okay. It’s supposed to have a pop up window with an overlay gallery that I’m looking at in camo, but I guess something with the screen share isn’t letting me show it.
I see. You might have to do like, an ad source thing towards the bottom. You can do a screen share, you can do an ad source to drop a new window there if you want to, but no worries.
Here we go. This is the Overlay Gallery and what it looks like. So these, you just favorite them and it will assign a keyboard shortcut number to them. And that’s how you can switch between them using keyboard shortcuts. It’s control, like 1234 and five is what I have mine set up to be because it’s easy that way.
Wow, very cool. So I know that I remember being able to use camo for free for a long time. Can we talk a bit about pricing? And pricing is kind of hard to find on Camel site, which I love, by the way.
Sorry about that. So we have a few different pricing options. So I’ll talk about the free version. First of all, the free version actually is already enough to give people a pretty big upgrade in camera quality. It only lets you go up to 720p. But if you are using zoom, a lot of the time, zoom compresses your quality anyway. So even just using your iPhone camera at 720, you’ll see a major upgrade between the built in webcam versus using your iPhone. So that is free. The free version also comes with all of our AR modes, which I will just switch between a few. We partnered with Snap last year to create these nice sort of different lenses. I think this is really good for raising your hand in zoom. We have like an invisible filter, which, if you don’t want to be on screen during your zoom call, how did.
You turn it on?
It’s just in the modes. And these are all available in the free version. We really had kind of fun with these.
That’s amazing. I can’t believe I haven’t explored these yet.
I’m a big fan of this one. It’s nice and subtle, but, you know yeah, still pretty cool. But yeah. So all of these are available in the free version for camo, take off the watermark. Also in the free version, which a lot of people don’t know, it’s just I think people don’t know that you have to try to take off the watermark. They just assume you can. But yeah, in the free version, you’re actually, you’re just able to take off the watermark. We wanted it to be widely usable, even for free. So that’s the free version. And then the pro version gives you all of the cool features that you just saw. And we have a monthly subscription option which is 499 a month, yearly for 39 90 month or a lifetime subscription for 79 99 a month. So that’s our pricing options. And if you think about it, a webcam is going to cost you at least a good webcam is going to cost you at least $150 to $200. So $80 is you can unlock the power of your webcam, get all the cool adjustments, and also get all of the new features we add without any additional cost for life.
That’s amazing. Alright, we got the first question. I’m hearing iPhone a lot. Is Campbell compatible with other Android devices?
Yes. So we are compatible with Android. We just sort of put our Android into a public open beta last fall. I will be perfectly honest with you guys. We don’t have as many features for Android as we do with iPhone. Like, we don’t have the AR mode yet, we don’t have portrait mode yet. But it is available and it is for free right now on the Google Play store while it’s in beta. So please go check it out. It’s free to try for Android users. So my best recommendation is to just give it a try. And I actually have one of my friends, Ella Glasgow of Beyond Virtual Events, she prefers using her Android camera because she likes the way the pixel color palette looks compared to the iPhone. And she’s used both and she’s like, sorry, I know you guys are iPhone team iPhone, but I like the Android better and I’m like, you know, whatever works. Different people have different preferences and that’s why we wanted to expand to Android and Windows is so more people can unlock the power of their smartphone cameras.
Yeah, I love that. And it’s true, sometimes people say the same thing about OBS. Windows version has all these gadgets and features and bells and whistles and the Mac version is very minimum, which I like so much better because I do need three things. Don’t dispute anything else. Yeah. So I would love to explore. So funny. By the way, I’m obviously very interested in talking to you about your origin stories. But before we go there just yet, you’re a young person living in New York and you’re the face to a brand and there’s just so much excitement to that. And I think your career probably can be very compelling to some of the other people, like, I think in their twenty s, in their early thirtys and beyond. I gotta say, envious of that myself. But just curious, in your tenure as Camel, what have you seen as the primary audience? Like people who are really crazy about Camel, I assume creators like podcasters, live streamers, gamers. What have you seen so far as trends?
Yeah, so it’s actually been really interesting. So I started at Camo last summer, so we’re coming up on my one year anniversary in like a couple of months. So in the beginning I will say I feel like mostly it was a lot of people that were using it for zoom calls. A lot of people teaching over zoom. I will say teachers was one of the user bases that first really stood out to me. And when I say teachers, I mean everything from teachers that do art, to yoga teachers, to math teachers, to science teachers, just everyday elementary school classroom teachers, to college professors, to like I said, these sort of niche art, yoga, fitness, fitness teachers. That is like a huge part of our user base, which if you think about it, like with the timing of the pandemic, when things basically all had to go virtual, it makes sense because that’s when everything had to shift to online instead of in person. And those are the people that sort of didn’t really have a choice when it comes to continuing their career. So, yeah, a lot of teachers. But recently we’ve been seeing a lot more like people that do content creation livestreaming, live streaming and video content because we are an app that facilitates creating video.
So, yeah, it’s been really interesting to see the shift. And as our user base kind of shift, so do our features that we sort of plan for. So it’s been really cool to see it happen from the inside instead of being like looking at a product from the consumer point of view.
Yeah, for sure. That’s kind of fascinating because I think a lot of people who are in touch with me because of Facebook media also happen to be creative entrepreneurs. And I know that’s a pretty broad spectrum of people podcasters, YouTubers writers and solopreneurs. And how do you envision people who are, I guess, kind of new to this or have some doubt questions of like, oh, what if this breaks? I think some people are thinking about, I have so much to focus on for Zoom and what would you say to that crowd to kind of try Camel for the first time? What are some of the best practice and kind of dip their toes in and just to see whether this is right for them or not?
Well, first I’d like to say we do have that monthly option for people that aren’t sure if they want to commit. And it’s $5 a month to try and we have a 30 day money back guarantee. So even if you spend the $5 and you weren’t happy with Camo, we will be happy to process that refund for you because we want everyone to be happy with the product. But for people that aren’t sure if this is a road that they want to go down, because I fell into content creation in my podcasting, which I’m sure we’ll talk about in a little bit. And it is like the Nike logo. Just do it. I grew up outside sports. I know you did too. So it’s like I’m a big sports mentality kind of person and I know it’s super cliche, but honestly, it’s just do it. Get in front of the camera even if you are. It was Doc Rock that’s been saying this recently. He’s saying, just get in front of the camera, even if it’s your phone, selfie cam and just like record yourself saying a few sentences about how your day went to get used to seeing yourself and listening to yourself on video.
You do get used to it. Everyone hates the sound of their voice, but you don’t have to get hung up on that. You can get used to your voice. I always thought I had the most awkward sounding voice. It’s not very girly, but it’s not girly either. It’s like this very like, you know how some girls have this really cute tone to their voice? That isn’t me. That’s just not what I sound like. And I was really self conscious about that because I don’t know why. Because people are self conscious about their voices. Also because I think the voice that we hear when we talk is different than when we hear a recorded version of our same vocals. But I’m really lucky to have my podcast producer that really was just like, dude, I love your voice. Like, you need to stop overthinking it. Just, here are some sentences. Please read them for me so I can use them for a voiceover. And so I just fell into it. I got used to listening to the sound of my own voice, and now I love it. And I wasn’t always comfortable on camera to begin with, but after a few live podcast performances and when the podcast went virtual because of the pandemic, also we had to cancel one of our big live events.
We went virtual for it, and you just get used to it. So that’s why I’m going with the Nike. Just do it. You’re not going to be great your first two, three, four, maybe ten takes, but you will get better at it. It’s all about reps. And that might be, like I said, a little jock, sort of cliche, but it’s true. And honestly, every creator that I’ve spoken to has kind of echoed that. It’s all about reps.
I actually really like the message that you’re sending out here, because whenever we post something and I think there’s, like, the Asian Hustle network or, like, creator network or podcast movement, whenever you share, like, what are something that you’re struggling with? And I always expect people to say something specific, like technical or something they’re struggling with, it always ends up to be like, I don’t know how to star, where to star, what if my ideas don’t work? And what I don’t like my voice and like, the way I look on camera, all these things. And then I think this is where when you find the right coach and the right someone, like a strategist or consultant can really push you through. Because I know I’ve done that a lot for my clients. And once you are yet, it’s absolutely true, once you get over that hurdle, that you just, you know, you’re actually not afraid anymore. And also, like, once you’ve done it once or twice, you get addicted. You start to really enjoy them. The great process. I love the transition, by the way, and for people, by the way, thinking about, like, our background, I want to show you, like, we literally right now, it is just Eden and me, and we just have you know, I’m just, like, clicking on these things and looks kind of magical.
This is so fun. Yeah, it’s so fun. And it’s just us. We don’t need a cohost. We don’t need some fancy team to be supporting us. And yes, of course, I could add all these things, add all these people, but I just chose not to. Like, I don’t want anything to come in the way as an excuse to not be able to do this. It’s too expensive. That person’s not available. I don’t want to learn this myself. Like, remove the excuses and enjoy the process. Yeah, for sure. So yeah, let me ask you, let’s talk about your podcast. First of all, you mentioned it went viral. Interesting life events. Tell us about your podcast.
Sure. So I used to basically be on a basketball podcast. It was called the Athletic NBA show. Actually previously before that it was used to be on ESPN is the True Hoop podcast. And then it was the basketball analogy. I came on at the very end, tail end of that and then we moved to The Athletic. So basically the podcast was sports show is called the NBA Daily Ding which is still running right now. I’m not on it anymore because it requires a little bit more time and effort to still be able to do. But I come from a sports background and it’s basketball, basketball stats, basketball analysis and also lifestyle and how sort of basketball was like sort of the glue that held the group of people together for the lifestyle podcast. That was our common interest. But we’d also like take listener questions and just talk about culture and life and how sports kind of plays into it for all of us. I will say it was an experience that I totally fell into. And the podcast shows so like just for example, me coming on Faye podcast and when Faye came on my show, we were sending each other topics that we were going to cover at least and general rundown, what are we going to talk about, etc.
But there was none of that for this basketball show. It was very like, hey, we’re just going to get five or six of you guys on a call together and you know, the conversation will run itself. I really learned sort of like things like timing and, you know, listening to be able to pick up, like pick up other points from what people were saying. Like, I really learned it all on the fly. I came from a events background. Like I produced events in New Orleans for ten years and fell into podcasting and ended up doing that for five years. I still love it. Like I still do the Friday Mailbag show with my old podcast group just because it’s like a fun show that I don’t have to do very much prep for. It’s called the mailbag. So we just kind of take listener questions. But I just learned so much from that experience and there’s a lot to be said about being very prepared. But I think sometimes through the experiences where the people that you’re working with aren’t that organized, you can also learn a lot about both yourself and about like the podcasting process.
So counterintuitive, I think we need to break down some of the things because I think whenever we’re in an organizational situation or creative endeavor, we do want to line up. Certainly we want to feel ready, but ultimately you’re right and sometimes the more spontaneous conversations are more compelling and sometimes even no matter how prepared and how good of a job you’ve done, it might still not go, you know, might not go sideways, but it might still disappoint you in some way. So you said something like two minutes ago, I think, of basically picking, paying attention, listening and picking out keywords or things like that. How do you do that? How do you do that for a live show versus, like, an interview like this?
Honestly, active listening. A lot of the time I feel like people come on podcasts or interviews and they have points that they are ready to give, they have takes, they’re ready to shoot off. All of these points, all of these stats, all of these very poignant points. Call to action. Yeah, call to actions, they’re all ready to go. But I think what makes for a really good podcast conversation or just in person conversation. Whether it’s being recorded or not. Is really. Really paying attention to what the other person is saying and responding to that instead of like. I know it’s actually sort of a flaw of mine as a podcast host sometimes is I can get caught up in wanting to stick to the rundown. But something that I’ve been trying to let go of is not sticking to the rundown. And whatever my guest says, I will really try to make it a point to keep that talking point going because it feels more organic, it’s not as planned, it’s not scripted. And I think that comes through from the viewers’point of view. It’s like it doesn’t feel like it’s just one person asking question and another person answering them.
It feels like a free flowing conversation. And that’s more relatable because those are the conversations we have in real life.
Yeah, for sure. So, you know, like, just now you mentioned New Orleans, and you were an event planner there, organizer for ten years. Is that where you grew up? Or could you tell us maybe about your origin stories?
Sure. So I actually grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born in North Carolina, Duke Hospital, so I’m a big Duke fan, but I moved to Arkansas when I was two because my dad got a job at the med school there. Super Cliche Asian thing. I know, right? Dad got a job at the med school. So we moved somewhere in the Midwest. But yeah. So I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. Very immigrant parents and not around a lot of Asians at all. So now living in New York, it’s actually like sort of a culture shock because I have so many more cultures around me. But yeah, so I grew up in Arkansas and then I went to school in New Orleans and then just stayed there for a decade after graduating. Yeah, there’s a lot of events in New Orleans, a lot of fun. It’s a great city for your 20s, but at some point it was time to sort. Of grow out of that phase of my life.
Oh, my God, I feel so embarrassed. I just assume you’re like 24, 25, and I realize as you’re describing it, I’m a little bit off.
I wish I was 24 25.
Oh, my goodness. How could I be so wrong about this? But I was like, why don’t you talk about your career to other people in their mid 20s? So, yeah, I should probably double check. That’s definitely a good thing, for sure. But I was wondering how you’re able to kind of pivot your careers, because I know that every job has many dimensions and many responsibilities, but from the outside, we can see you as basically a YouTuber. You’re on Camel’s website. Like I mentioned earlier, I love how streamlined it is, and you get the points through. Frankly, it’s like an example I’ve been using for like, a new product I’m developing, and it’s like, oh, that’s so clear. I love the workflow of it. I have another friend who designed this video editing tool called Recut.
Yeah, that’s the one I was watching earlier today.
Oh, my God. Get Recut. Same very small approach. Like, guys, if you’re developing, thinking about products or courses or whatever, software in general, definitely check out Camel’s website for sure. But yeah, you’re doing it. You’re on the website, you’re creating videos. You’re doing this with me. And do you think this career is designable? I mean, if people want to do something like this, what’s the best approach? I don’t know. Is there an answer to that?
My answer would be if you want. So just like they said, I fall into this sort of purgatory between content creator and working for a brand, because to be honest, my job is to create content to represent a brand. So it’s a little different than me going rogue if I wanted to create content myself. But I will say there’s less financial pressure. So I really enjoy doing this for Camo because I get to bring in all of my random, crazy ideas to Camo and to see if this is something that we want to explore for our content. And that really knowing that I have a team to sort of cater that content to helps me drive the creative process a little bit. So I will say, though, a lot of my ideas and the work that I do is very heavily influenced by my past experiences doing podcasting, sports podcasting more specifically, because it is very like, I got comfortable doing live streaming and more on the fly, less prepared things from covering basketball games for the NBA Daily Ding. We would watch a whole nights of basketball. We’d have 15 minutes from the time the last game ended to prep for the show.
So it was very much like just taking notes as I go and then come up with cohesive talking points without really that much prep time. So I really attribute all of my podcasting experience to get me to where I am today. So I would say if someone is looking to work for a company and get to create content for them, do content on the side, even with the job that you have now. Because creating content, there is no excuse. There’s so many tools out there, camo, all of these other tools that you can use that are low cost and easy and intuitive to use, like get on YouTube tutorials. If you don’t know how to use OBS or ECAM, there’s all these resources out there, even if it’s not your job right now, start to build up a content library. I got hired at this job because of my podcasting experience and because I’m comfortable being on camera. I don’t know if my bosses will admit that, but I’m pretty sure that’s why I got the job. We just always say because basically the team is mostly developers and my CS team, and every time I’m doing a video, we drop it in, the team slack.
And everyone’s like, oh, that’s so cool. Yeah, but I would never be able to do that. And I’m like, that’s why you guys hired me.
That’s such a good point. So for people who are watching, in case that you haven’t started the channel where you’re halfway through your podcast, where you think, oh, is this thing even working? I started podcasting it years ago. YouTube since 2019. I gotta say, in the past few months, every single business lead, just like Eden said, they all came through. First of all, from my website. But I know it’s not because of my website, I know it has this decent traffic, but I don’t rank high for every single keyword. And it’s certainly not for zoom necessarily, maybe just a few blog posts. But the idea of creating your own content inventory, a content library, it’s so huge because all of them came in and said, yeah, I watch one of your videos on YouTube, and that’s how people find you. So I’m sure not all the videos are necessarily the ones I’m proud of, or high production quality. That really doesn’t matter. So creating something and I think sometimes we ask ourselves to be pro, to be experts so soon. Treating yourself as a new learner is very liberating, actually. Like Eden said, audio, video content, spontaneous live streaming stuff, you just present yourself.
People can click away, they don’t want to watch it. But the people who do find your content resonating, I mean, they’re just you’re welcoming an infinite amount of opportunities for me for eating, sponsorships, new employment opportunities, consulting gigs, and they just keep popping up and you can choose from them. So it’s really liberating.
Yeah, totally. And I just want to add on a little point to that, that I thought of as you were talking about starting out, creating content, how some of Owen video that you create might not have been your proudest work, but someone found it and found value in it, and that’s how they ended up hiring you. I think that there’s so much value in providing value for one, but also not getting stuck in a lane that you want to provide value for. So just using you, for example, say you don’t just do the zoom stuff. It’s like you do the zoom stuff, and you have your podcast, and you do YouTube strategy, and I’m not sure exactly. I mean, all of it seems aligned to us. But you started out with one, right?
And then you started to branch out because you realize a lot of the techniques were probably applicable across the field. And so that’s just another thing that I want people to think about, especially they’re just starting out, is like, there’s so much talk about finding your niche, cater to to your niche, but it’s like your niche doesn’t have to stay the same, first of all. So whatever you start out thinking that you want to be your niche, maybe you start doing it for a month, and then it turns out you actually like, don’t you’re not that into that niche. It’s okay to pivot. It’s okay to branch out and make videos, make create content around other topics. Like, it’s okay. I think people think that they have to get stay really focused in order to be successful as a content creator, but I really think that it’s really okay to do exploring and just trying different things until you find what you really love, for sure. I know that kind of sounds cliche, but yeah, it’s about trying different things.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s as if back in our college days, and especially I went to college right around I graduated around six. So back then, and unfortunately still today, as I’m surprised to find out, all these kids are sometimes like, 1516 years old, 17, you have to decide your major, and that’s something you need to focus on. You find a career following that major, and it kind of doesn’t make sense. Whether you’re 1727 or sometimes even 37, you’re starting your first gig. So I think everybody is different. So you and I are different people. For me, I kind of like to get my hands in three to five things. Now, some people really like two things, like, oh, I don’t want just the one thing, but I need about two things. And some people have family, they have their obligations, but everyone is slightly different. It’s okay to pursue multiple tracks, and it’s also very important to respect your own boundaries and just take care of your mental health, avoid burnout. At the same time, I actually think focus on a few more things, as opposed to putting all your eggs in the one basket and waiting for it to be successful.
That is so financially and monthly I don’t know. Very draining and very stressful.
Yeah, for sure. Eden you talk about sports a lot. I didn’t even ask which sport did you actually do? Growing up or in school?
Alright, so let me run through the list. I played basketball, obviously, because I’m obsessed with basketball. Basketball is my first love forever. I still go shoot around today. My pick up days are behind me, but I’ll still go put up shots. I figure skating. And I know you played hockey. Yeah. So one of these days we’ll have to meet on the rink and, you know, do some skate offs or something.
But figure skating is hardcore. I mean, just the amount of bruising and practice that go into these competitions, I don’t think people can truly imagine it. It’s not just your job, it’s your parents job. Like whether you go pro or not, it’s just wow, that’s some serious dedication.
Oh my God. Totally. It was such a contention point when I told my parents I wanted to try out for the basketball team because they were like, you’re already doing figure skating five days a week, where are you going to put basketball? And I was like, well, they have 07:00 a.m. Practices open at the rink, so I could do that before school, then do basketball after school.
Are you tall? I know, such a that’s a real cliche question, right?
No, I’m actually very I’m tall for an Asian, though, I will say so I am like a tall five six. Throughout my basketball playing career, I thought I was five eight, but it turns out I was just patting staff like they always do on rosters because I got measured at some point in college. And they’re like, now you’re like, you’re very close to five seven, but technically you’re five six. So all good.
If you don’t mind, where are your parents from originally? Which part of China?
So my dad’s part of the family is from the Guangzhou area of China. My mom is Taiwan native though.
Yeah. So my parents actually they met in Taiwan. That’s where they got married. And then they came here in their mid to late twenty s. Yeah. So Taiwanese American. Although if you ask my dad, I’m Chinese American. They like to get really technical with where my roots roots are. But I’m just like, you guys are from Taiwan, so I’m going to call myself Taiwan. He’s American. I know. Our family is from the mainland also, but like yeah, you got to pick one. Yeah.
The reason why I’m asking is I think it’s so interesting I’ve been here I wasn’t born and raised here, like Eden, but I’ve been here for 22 years and counting. And I notice it’s so funny. My dad was Cantonese. He passed away twelve years ago. But Canton area, my mom is Mandarin from the Beijing area. And people don’t realize that there are a lot of really big people in northern part of China. Because a lot of people here. I’m 54 and I’ve always been the smallest kid in my class since I know I’m not tiny. I believe in that first row, okay. Since 6th grade, all the way through 10th, 11th grade until I came here. And there was a lot of contention there, too, right? There could be some bullying. I was like, Just because it’s so easy. I was, like, the smallest kid. People don’t realize that. And I only recently reflect that, you know, kind of gave some feedback to my mom, like, you know, bullying is a really bad thing. It was actually very real because I was small. How come you and dad are small? And therefore she was like, oh, my.
God, you’re almost like you’re a late.
Thirty s. And this is something that comes to mind. But I just want to say it is something a lot of people in the US are outside of China don’t realize that at all. Wow, this has been so fun. I mean, we’ve really taken it to, like, a corner of making this about, like, I don’t know, coffee shop situation. But you live in New York now. I want you to maybe highlight maybe your lifestyle. I know it’s been challenging the past couple of years, but what are some of your hot spots in New York that you recommend people to check out if they do visit? And where do you work? If you work in a coaching space, what is it like?
So I work from home. I always joke that I have to commute so far from one end of my apartment to the other because also living in New York, the apartments aren’t that big. So I work from home. I actually do enjoy it. I think I’m someone that’s very comfortable in my working environment, especially. I like the familiarity. So I think conceptually I would like to go to, like, a WeWork every once in a while or post about a coffee shop. But I have a really nice office set up. I’m really blessed to be able to have a separate office from my bedroom because in New York that is a bit of a luxury. But as far as it goes for places to visit, I love food. Food is, like, my love language. I just love food. And actually, I’m in the process of pitching a mukbang. Have you heard of mukbang eating live streams?
No. Wait a minute. You have to drop in a link or something. How do you spell that?
M-U-K-B-A-N-G. So mukbang is korean? Muk is to eat, and bang is room. So mukbang is like eating room technically at the restaurant? No, it’s a live streaming genre where people eat massive amounts of food. They just livestream eating massive amounts of food.
And I’m aware of that.
Yeah, it’s very popular in Asia because I read an article once and the psychology behind it and why it’s popular in Asia and especially like, korea is because a lot of young people live alone. There’s a lot of singles in their twenty s and thirty s and into the 40s even. And so being able to sort of put on an eating livestream as you’re eating your meals, it’s like, comforting. It’s like, makes you feel like you’re not eating all your meals by yourself. So I really like to sort of draw inspiration. So I’m really into, like, Asian culture. I’m really sort of going through, like, a rediscovery of my Asian roots in the last sort of five years, if I’m being honest.
I did too, believe it or not.
Yeah, I think it’s kind of crazy. When you were talking about the bullying, I was sort of tangentially thinking about not bullying because of size, but bullying because of being Asian in Arkansas. And I was just like, you know, I actually kind of went through that too in my 30s, just sort of processing all of that because you don’t really process it when you’re a kid.
You block it out.
It’s like, yeah, you’re just trying to survive out there. I really spent a lot of time in the last sort of five years doing a lot of reflection about, like, basically kind of like, having racial identity crisis growing up, and just like, sort of the coping mechanisms throughout all of it and coming to a place now where I’m just, like, so proud of I’m, like, so proud and so happy to be Asian. But my whole point is that I draw a lot of inspiration from Asian culture, right? And I’m working on pitching this idea called Lunch with Camo, where it’s just going to be me eating lunch. People can drop in. I’m probably going to have you drop in and hang out. Just like you said. Coffee talk, just hanging out.
We can eat food, do some food ASMR answer questions. So that’s sort of like the pitch lock I’m working on right now.
We can use the restroom too. Like, go live on, you know, I’m really not kidding again. Restroom didn’t pay me to do this, but I was going to say that. I’m not sure if you knew, but restroom can actually live stream on more than 30 platforms, and a bunch of them are based and there’s some a lot of Asian ones, for instance, but where live streaming has been popular for ten plus years, it’s incredible. So I think what I think it’s interesting is about, like, Asian Americans living here versus the lifestyle over there. I think people can see a lot of parallels and kind of there’s that run where you’re talking about, like, how to UnDiscover your roots for you especially moved around, whereas for me, there’s kind of reverse cultural shock. Sometimes you go back and like, one thing that comes to mind is I just love the diversity that we get to experience in the US. I love the ability in new York to walk down one street and literally walk down a single street and discover 18 kinds of food and meet people from 30 countries. By the way, before I forget, you have to go to Lower East Side.
So we’re Chinatown in Lower East Side?
Oh, my God. Have you been to Ali mama?
I don’t think I have.
Oh, my God. Ali mama new York. I’m sorry.
I am writing that down right now.
Ali Mama has the most incredible it’s basically rice donuts. So donuts made out of mochi? Yes. Oh, mochi donuts. And it’s just like it’s just when I had all the bubble teas, there mochi donuts in Ali Mama. Every time I go to New York, that is a must visit for me, for us. And I’ve introduced so many friends who go there, it’s just like, wow, life is really good. I just died and this is so satisfying. I was always going to say in terms of diversity and all that something I love. And talking about our origins, our skin colors, to me, it is something so rich about the culture here. It’s something I really love. Then going back to Asia, I have to say, like, you know, it’s something that could be kind of a sensitive topic you go to. Like, I remember in my twenties, I would go to meetings. Like, I don’t wear any foundations. I have nothing on right now. But you remember the days you have to figure out the foundation that actually matches your skin color will take. You have to go to Sephora. You’ve got to pay the money.
You’ve got to find the actual color, whereas it won’t work. But I remember going back to Shanghai a few years ago at least, and walking into any makeup shops, and it’s crazy because any color will just work right for me, I never realized this. I remember getting anxious again, looking at the makeup products and everything is kind of just designed for a specific skin tone. And I thought that was also kind of interesting. Right? Like, for me, that was kind of a cultural shock. I wonder how you would feel like visiting Asia. Have you been to like, Beijing? Shanghai?
So I’ve been to Taiwan a bunch of times. Like, we would go to Taiwan every other summer growing up. The last time I’ve been was December of 2017. So it has been a while. I will blame the pandemic a little bit for that, but I totally can relate to what you were saying. It is like skincare products just let me say color.
Using American Skincare products. Basically my entire life, it just never felt like there was anything that worked for my skin type. And now I just remember going to Taiwan as an 18 year old. It was after senior year of college, and one of my older cousins was just like, you know, we’re just talking about girl stuff. Makeup comes into play. And I’m like, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t really have that much luck with any of the products in America. And she’s like, yeah, it’s because you’re in America and American brands don’t understand your skin type. And she kind of, like, walked me through her skincare regimen. And also like, now ecommerce is so much asian things are much more accessible than they were ten years ago.
It’s like, yes. Style. Thank you. Thank you so much for basically my business. I will be an affiliate for you guys. That’s where I get all of my makeup products, just like you said. I am always worried about going into Sephora, even if I can get the color to match at Sephora, I have had that foundation Oxidized later, and it just doesn’t work out. Whatever. I have very, very few fails with Asian skincare products and Asian makeup because it is just so much easier to find something that works for me. And that is like, something I appreciate so much about. Being in New York is not just the Lower East Side rushing Queens. Yeah, all the time. They’re in Chinese. I swear, every time I go out there, I’m just like, I’m home.
It’s so true. There’s that admitting there’s, like, the separation from you and your culture and then meeting it again. There’s something really to be said about, I think, sort of our generation before, after, and it’s really interesting to see how we all come together and that’s trying to be more powerful. It’s so funny. I’m still looking at it. Why am I still displaying oh, God. We’ve conversations moved on beyond that. But it’s really interesting to talk to another Asian creator that’s always really look forward to this. As soon as we connected, the first minute, I knew I wanted to do this and kind of amplify celebrate each other’s stories and voices. But before we conclude, because I want to give you back to your audience as well, I want to mention the Hue lights, whatever. You don’t have to buy it from Phillips Hue, but please tell people who are watching right now how you created this amazing set up lighting set up.
I actually have my boss, Aidan Fitzpatrick, largely to thank for sort of guiding me through my setup process because we are an app that facilitates great video. It’s really important for us to look good on video. And let me tell you, when I showed up that birthday, he was like, yeah, you’re going to have to upgrade your setup. He was like, Get you some. So I’m using. These are the Hue Play bars. I love them because you can change the color. I will play around with the color a little bit as I talk, but I just have two set up. This is a blank wall. The colors really give it so much, just like added dimension. It’s really crazy. I never expected just lighting to make that much of a difference. But it does like even just now, switching from pink to green, I feel like I have like a totally different vibe for like, just showing up to a call. Like, I don’t know, this like sort of green we can go like a green purple purplish.
Are they plugged into the wall? Are they like pre charged through USC or something?
These are plugged into the wall, but I also have one that charges and it holds charge for about 2 hours without being plugged in that sometimes I add as a third light. But yeah, right now I just have the two hue lights. A little bit of lighting can make so much difference. And I was telling Ferrari before I got on the call, it’s all about light positioning. My little cheat code is do not put that hue bar too close to the wall. Put it about like a foot and a half, 2ft if you have the space to really let the color splash onto the wall. Otherwise you have something that’s a little more concentrated and muted. But if I set it to about a foot away, it just sort of gives the wall a wash of color. I just love the dimension that it adds to my scene.
Yeah. Also, by the way, the question I didn’t ask, which is they need to be elevated, right? To a degree, they need to sit on something because if they’re sitting on the floor and then the position might not work as well.
Yeah. So I have this it’s just sitting on my little cube right here. And the other one is my little plant table. So it’s just like a little coffee stand height table.
So they are different heights. That’s interesting too.
Different heights. Yeah. So play around. A lot of playing around to find the perfect positioning. I actually did have the light on the floor at first and was like, yeah, this isn’t going to work. And had to sort of like bring in different elements of my room and rearrange it so I’d have something to sit it on. But also, another big key for the lighting to show off is that you have to have really good blackout blinds because I have a huge window right here and I have two towels sort of basically taped up over the window. And I have two more Amazon boxes blocking out the light to be able to see this, like, lighting effect. Otherwise it would be totally washed out and you barely even noticed. Right?
Like, look at me. What’s going on is I got two key lights here. They’re pretty dim at this point and I just have regular blinds turned down. But you can see how bright not just on my face, but how bright behind me looks like when I have one of those I don’t know what this is even called, but I have one of these Gov lights and then if I just change it. You can sort of see, but you can see the big difference between my background and Eden’s background. I just want to say this because it takes a lot of experimentation to get the exact look you want, and you can’t get too frustrated. The good news is, with Amazon, I guess the things that don’t work out, you can kind of return them, too.
Yeah, totally. I totally swear by lighting and makeup tests. I always do lighting tests. Even though I know that these are set up and they work, I still do a light test every single time just to make sure that I never know how much light is coming in through the window, if it’s foggy, if it’s going to be raining, or if it’s going to be really bright. So, yeah, experiment. Try different things until you find what works for you. That’s fun for me. I like that part. I like the rearranging until I get my set up. Perfect sort of feel.
Yeah, I love it. This is so cool. And thank you so much, Eden, for your time. And for all of you guys who hopped on and off during the live stream session. Watch any part of this, even after the live show. Love comments. And I’m going to repurpose this for my podcast channels as well. So Google, Podcast, Apple, Spotify, and for Spotify, I’m able to upload the video so people can actually watch or listen to it.
Yeah, that’s a new feature, right?
It’s pretty new, yeah, since October last year. That’s when I released it. And unfortunately, it’s not really on all the other platforms just yet. Basically, you have to use Anchor as your hosting and then use Spotify as a destination that actually can display video. But it’s so easy. The user experience is very streamlined, like literally one button push. You can switch between watch versus listen. And with that said, I would love to have you come back. There’s so much we can talk about, Eden, but oh, wow, that our timer is up.
Is that our time being up?
No, there’s no time off for us. It’s like my next meeting. Today is kind of a meeting. Heavy day for me.
Yeah. I love this. Thank you so much for your time, Eden. Anything else? Any call to action? Any call to download camo right now?
I also just want to say if anyone has any questions about camo, please feel free to reach out and say thank you so, so much. Honestly, I am new to this industry, and seeing other Asian females in the industry like you, like Stephanie Liu, gave me so much confidence because I had a lot of imposter syndrome when I was just starting out, and I knew you were in the space because of our partnerships. Guy Al, Stephanie Lou, I met early on, too, and it’s like, I really am so grateful that you guys are in this. Space with me. And, like, I mean, I know it’s such a corny phrase, but it’s like, you guys are, like, really sort of paved the road that I’m walking now, and I’m really grateful for that.
Amazing. Please keep in touch. I’m so excited about what is to come and love to share those moments. And I know that sometimes the pandemic, even before the pandemic, we sometimes creators can all feel alone. We’re home. And I think there’s a difference between being alone versus loneliness. Totally lonely. I’m so grateful to be able to connect with people from around the world like yourself. New York isn’t so far.
I was about to say, next time you’re in New York, please hit me up. Love to get coffee, love to get bubble tear. Sure, we can hang out for, like, a whole afternoon, like talking shop or not shop. For sure, for sure.
This is amazing. And, yeah, please go check out Ali mama today or tomorrow.
Oh, I will.
Please do so. This is awesome. We’re going to take us offline now.
Bye, everyone. Bye.
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