What started out as one Fort St. John resident's side-project two years ago to keep herself accountable about keeping her house clean has turned into a growing passion helping people across the world.
Stephanie Giesbrecht's Youtube channel "The Secret Slob" has amassed more than 57,000 subscribers, and the two videos she posts a week are regularly seen by more than 20,000 people, and sometimes by much, much more.
Giesbrecht's five-to-10-minute web hits aim to, in her words, "empower people to do their best and not worry about the pressure to be perfect, and that it's OK to struggle at times."
With a focus on how to keep a clean and tidy house when there are so many distractions and stresses in our lives, and given the reality of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Giesbrecht's videos have never felt more important and relatable.
"I started the channel just to keep myself accountable, but I've found all these people that are experiencing the same things I was. It's cool to find a community like this were other people area going through the same problems," Giesbrecht said. "With this whole COVID-19 thing, moms especially are pulled in so many different directions and it can be intimidating."
A stay-at-home mother of three, Giesbrecht said she'd felt like she felt like a slob in secret, and the thought of frantically cleaning her house before people came over was overwhelming.
Slowly, over time and through practicing basic daily routines, her cleaning has improved and trickled down to all areas of her life, leaving her more peaceful and calm.
"A really positive community has formed, and it's overwhelming in the best positive way. I've made lots of friends through this, and have people commenting from countries like Kenya, Jordan, Cyprus, and ones I hadn't heard of," Giesbrecht said.
Recent videos include a guide to decluttering every cupboard in your house (posted on May 22) and a weekly cleaning schedule for the week of May 24 to 31.
"Growing up she was known as 'Miss Messy' by her family and definitely wasn’t born with the natural tidy gene. We’re all so proud of her for all her recent accomplishments, not only including her YouTube success, but how she’s taken back control over her household!" said Jill Woodwark, Giesbrecht's sister.
Though Giesbrecht's videos are seen by thousands, she hasn't told many people in her hometown about it. She didn't tell anyone outside her immediate family for the first year, and many people don't realize there's a budding social media star in their midst.
"Her motto is 'progress not perfection,' which inspires people that doing something is better than nothing at all," said Woodwark.
To date, her most popular video, titled "One Year of Using the Flylady System," has more than 560,000 views.
Giesbrecht said her videos started out as something she would just do for herself and her kids. She has improved greatly since she started making them, and encourages people to put themselves out there and try something.
"Just be yourself and be vulnerable. Not everyone is perfect, not me, not you," said Giesbrecht.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.