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Creator and Artist Stories

The next project for DIY creator Mr. Kate: build an app

  • By The YouTube Team
  • Aug.29.2022
The next project for DIY creator Mr. Kate: build an app
Known for their stunning room makeovers and current Hawaii fixer-upper series, Mr. Kate is YouTube’s premier DIY couple. With all their success, they’re taking on a new project: building an app to help channel their audience’s creativity.

Mr. Kate is one of YouTube’s original top creators. Since joining YouTube in 2009, the DIY dream team has amassed 4 million subscribers, nearly 500 million views and 76 million hours of watch time. Composed of husband-wife duo Joey and Kate, they are known for their stunning room makeovers, collaborations with fellow creators and, most recently, taking their audience along through their purchase and renovation of their dream Hawaii fixer-upper home.

The duo gained notoriety through multiple video series — from humble beginnings with various DIY tutorials to renovating their LA home and office space. But it was their wildly popular “OMG We’re Coming Over” series — where they helped renovate other popular YouTube creator’s spaces — that truly took their channel to new heights. More recently, they chronicled the birth of their child, Moon, and moved to Hawaii where they have been transforming their fixer-upper to become their family dream home.

Now, with the knowledge only 10+ years making content on YouTube can provide, they’ve created an iOS app, AEOU, aimed to assist their “creative weirdo” (their words!) community with content creation. Armed with results from Mr. Kate’s personalized aesthetic quiz, various filters, photo challenges and community resources, AEOU allows folks a chance to bring the magic of Mr. Kate’s videos to life. The app is part of a broader trend in the creator economy of YouTube creators expanding their businesses outside of their channels.

We sat down with Joey and Kate to learn more about their journey on YouTube and the inspiration behind their new app.

Let’s start with the basics — why did you decide to create an app?

Our goal has always been to be a helpful resource for people to find their own creative voice and their own unique aesthetic. We’ve always done that on our channel through our “What’s My Aesthetic” and “OMG We’re Coming Over” series. Both projects are all about helping people find their unique aesthetic and not being judgmental of people’s aesthetic. Everyone can have their own perspective that is uniquely valid and uniquely cool.

This app is a manifestation of our desire to take that helpfulness a step further by giving our audience a tool to discover what their aesthetic is.

Got it. How did you take your learnings from your YouTube series into the app?

This app is the next iteration of something we developed on YouTube: our “What’s My Aesthetic?” series where we made a 10-part video series based off of a quiz we created. People would answer questions based on their personal aesthetic and we would makeover their room based on the results of the quiz. The quiz became super popular, millions of people took it to help find their own aesthetic.

Now, we’ve revamped our original quiz for the app. It will help you refine and define your personal aesthetic. We have a variety of questions within the quiz that are all visually wired to hone in on what you are immediately drawn to. Questions like: what photos do you like from a design perspective? What filters are you drawn to? What photo framing do you prefer?

The end results are super specific and nuanced to match your creative style. We’ll recommend a bespoke set of filters based on your personal aesthetic (although all the filters on the app are still accessible!)

People struggle so much with what to create and it's overwhelming because there’s almost too much stuff out there ... We tap into our AEOU community for inspiration and compile a series of photos or videos with a blurb to prompt creation.”

Joey and Kate Mr. Kate

Fun! We desperately need to take that quiz … what is your favorite feature on the app?

Our favorite feature is the “Creative Challenges” section. People struggle so much with what to create and it's overwhelming because there’s almost too much stuff out there. For us, it’s especially important because as a creator, the number one question we’ve always heard is, “where do you get your ideas from?” The “Creative Challenges” section is our way of answering.

We tap into our AEOU community for inspiration and compile a series of photos or videos with a blurb to prompt creation (i.e. “share a short video of you mid-process in a creative project”). In our early tests of the app, we’ve had all kinds of creatives including photographers and chefs share their art on the app and it’s inspired others to create as a result.

Also, there are a ton of filter options and editing tools that can lead to more creation. The entire Mr. Kate wallpaper line is in the app, so you can see how wallpaper would look in your space; there are overlay grains, high-tech editing tools — we even have our BeautyMarks in there for you to see what different kinds of freckles or tattoos could look like on you.

AEOU family

Awesome, it sounds like creatives who use AEOU also could post their creations online.

Totally, this is the perfect companion app to YouTube Shorts, Community Posts or other social media.

The core of this app is helping you discover and create within your unique aesthetic voice. We're really trying to create an aesthetic toolkit. It helps you create something very bespoke to your personal interests and vibe and, obviously, naturally is a great companion tool to all these other apps. While all the apps have basic editing functions in them, we take it sort of a step further with the stackable filters and a more personalized set of tools.

Also, there's a sense of approachability here that was super important for us to include. There are obviously are a lot of apps with editing tools out there. We wanted to be sure the app was community-focused — to celebrate what is unique about yourself, encourage others to be unapologetic in their creative expression and just use AEOU as a tool to help refine it.

You both have been working on renovating your Hawaii fixer-upper, raising your son and are full-time YouTube creators. How have you had time to build this?

Well, we are currently doing this interview outside of our son's pre-school after dropping him off for school while also working out, so multi-tasking is the name of the game!

We have been developing this for over a year, with the intent of making it perfect. We’ve done weekly calls with our app development team and been doing multiple rounds of beta testing, tweaking the filters to work perfectly with both outfits and interior design photos.

I feel like there are a lot of apps that have filters for photos of people and style, but not directed at the lighting and color considerations for interior design photos. We literally do not use any other app to edit our photos now! We’ve let our life inform what we want the app to be like!

Is there anything we haven’t talked about that you feel is important for people to know about AEOU?

It’s free to download on the App Store!