Kevin Espiritu is a popular content creator, and gardener.
He has more than 2.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, ‘Epic Gardening.’
Kevin is also an entrepreneur, and an author.
Kevin Espiritu was born on 6 August 1987.
He hails from San Diego, California, United States and grew up here.
He has a brother, Bryan Espiritu.
As a kid, Kevin was a nerd and academic and was into science and skating.
Being self-sufficient & education-
As a kid, Kevin loved self-sufficing activities like collecting coins and rocks, capturing bugs, and playing video games.
Since 18, he has been financially self-sufficient.
Kevin used to play online poker and with it, he paid for his school and post-graduation travel adventures; later, he also started coaching and investing in poker players.
In 2005, he joined University of California, Santa Barbara to study Business Economics with an emphasis on accounting; he graduated in 2009.
Kevin continued playing online poker while in university, and as he was earning handsomely with it, much more than an accountant would earn, he didn’t want to work long hours as an accountant and continued playing poker after graduating.
He also felt that he had more freedom and control over his destiny as a poker player than he would have as an accountant; in his early twenties, he started scorning traditional jobs.
As Kevin was uncertain of his career path after graduating, he continued playing poker.
Later, even though he was doing well at poker, he started feeling unfulfilled and he didn’t want to continue it all his life; the upcoming poker legislation also influenced his decision to quit poker.
As Kevin felt video games to be very similar to poker; in 2010, he replaced playing poker with video games.
Getting into gardening-
As Kevin became obsessive with video games, he decided to take up an activity in the real world for a break, to get off from the computer.
At that time, his younger brother, Bryan, had come home from college for the summer; he pitched Bryan a few activities like surfing, skating, gardening, etc.
Bryan chose gardening, and both of them started gardening in a confined space.
Even though Kevin didn’t grow up as a gardener, he had travelled to New Zealand and Australia, and this sparked in him a love for nature.
His brother grew basil in pots; he grew hydroponic cucumbers in the indoor system; even though the cucumbers were not the best, the gardening experience hooked him, and he got fascinated by the natural systems of the world.
This started Kevin’s gardening journey in early 2011.
Starting ‘Epic Gardening’ & getting humbled-
In 2013, Kevin bought the domain for ‘Epic Gardening’ and set up a simple WordPress blog; at that time, it was just a hobby blog for him.
He started the blog because he realized that at that time most of the gardening resources were laden with jargons, which he found difficult to understand, as he didn’t have much experience with gardening.
Also, Kevin observed that at that time, there weren’t many good gardening resources available in easily accessible formats; this too inspired him to start his blog.
He was doing web designing, offering marketing and SEO services for local clients in the San Diego area; but he was earning barely enough to pay the bills; in 2010, he started ‘Supreme Strategies,’ a website investing and consulting company; later it went defunct.
Kevin also started ‘Espiritu Microgreens,’ and grew and sold microgreens to San Diego’s restaurants but shut this business a year later, to focus on travelling.
Prior to starting ‘Epic Gardening’ blog, he started another blog, ‘Xponics,’ to focus on hydroponic gardening, aquaponics, and urban farming; later, he redirected ‘Xponics’ to ‘Epic Gardening.’
In the initial phases, Kevin used to drive traffic to his blog by creating a Subreddit about hydroponic gardening.
In 2014, he raised money for his personal relationship app, ‘GreatMate,’ but it couldn’t succeed.
This failure nudged Kevin to get humble; and he decided to work for someone or a company and learn his shortcomings.
So, in January 2015, he joined Scribe Media (previously known as ‘Book In A Box’); he was the second employee of this company and worked in marketing & growth; he executed over 30 book launches.
Prior to this, in 2011, Kevin worked as a Marketing Manager at Square Foot Gardening Foundation, here, he learnt gardening from Mel Bartholomew and was inspired by him; in 2012, he worked in Marketing and Operations for serpIQ SEO Research Tool.
Quitting his job & going full-time on ‘Epic Gardening’-
At Scribe, Kevin’s role was getting split into three different roles, and he didn’t like one of those roles; he also felt that he had learnt enough regarding business to work on his own; so, in June 2016, he quit his job and went full-time on his Epic Gardening blog.
At that time, his blog was monetized with affiliate marketing and Google AdSense; and was earning around $400 a month; he was confident that he could scale up his blog to the point where it could pay the bills.
At the time, Kevin also thought of becoming a farmer; he planned to farm in people’s front yards, aggregate the unused lawn space; then, turn it into vegetable plots and sell them to the local market or a restaurant; but he paused this idea in order to fully focus on his blog.
In just three months, he started earning around $3000 per month; after six months, at the end of 2016, he was making $5000 in revenue; this was enough to pay his bills and support himself.
In 2017, Kevin bought a website focusing on the houseplants for $1000 and migrated those articles to his blog; this greatly helped in the growth of his blog.
Diversifying across podcasts & YouTube-
In 2017, Kevin switched his blog’s advertising networks from Google AdSense to Ezoic, and then to AdThrive; thanks to these changes, his blog earnings quadrupled.
From 2016 to 2017, he was the sole writer for his blog and wrote the first 400 in-depth gardening articles; at the time, he was writing blog posts 12 hours per day.
Later, Kevin realised that he had enough articles on his blog, and he decided to market his blog in order to attract more readers; so, in 2017, he hired a writer for his blog and started focusing on promotion, and link building.
Later, he realised that his blog was excessively dependent on the search engines’ rankings for its success; so, in order to solidify his business, in 2017, he started his gardening podcast.
Also, since 2013, Kevin has been publishing gardening videos on his ‘Epic Gardening’ YouTube channel.
His YouTube channels & books-
On 22 February 2013, Kevin started ‘Epic Gardening’ YouTube channel.
On 28 February 2013, he published the first video on his channel, ‘Deep Water Culture (DWC) Hydroponics System Tutorial.’
Initially, Kevin selected the top fifty blog posts and repurposed them as videos and podcasts and then, embedded them into his blog posts; this helped in the growth of his podcast and YouTube channel.
Initially, he used to produce videos (based on his blog posts) with slideshows designed with Adobe Photoshop; after accruing around 100K subscribers, he started producing videos specifically for YouTube.
As of August 2023, Kevin has 2.56M subscribers on ‘Epic Gardening’ YouTube channel.
He earns from a variety of sources like advertisements, and ‘Super Thanks’ on his YouTube channel, affiliate marketing, etc.
In addition to ‘Epic Gardening,’ Kevin also has three other YouTube channels, an eponymous one, ‘Epic Homesteading,’ and ‘The Beet.’
He hired Jacques Lyakov, a popular gardening YouTuber, as a Content Creator and Researcher.
As of August 2023, Epic Gardening has 1.1M followers on Instagram, 882K followers on Facebook page, and 84.2k followers on Pinterest.
Kevin has a couple of podcasts, ‘The Beet Podcast,’ and ‘In Search Of Soil.’
The goal of 100 million-
Inspired by Kevin Kelly’s idea of ‘1000 True Fans,’ he set himself a mission to teach 1,000 people to grow food.
Later, as his blog and social media channels started growing, his mission also grew with time, which is now to help 100 million people.
Hugely successful entrepreneur-
Kevin featured some metal raised beds from an Australian company in his videos; and his audience implored him to make them available in the United States.
He emailed the company requesting permission to sell the raised beds in the United States, and in 2019, the company agreed to ship the raised beds to the United States.
So, Kevin bought a shipping container loaded with around 550 beds for $35,000.
And he set up a simple Shopify store on a subdomain and sold off the raised beds on the water, that is, sold them while they were on transit from Australia to the United States; with the earned money, he bought another container, which too got sold out on the water.
Thanks to this, in 2019, products made up half of the entire revenue of ‘Epic Gardening;’ Kevin is the CEO of Epic Gardening.
Over the years, ‘Epic Gardening,’ in addition to being a content business, diversified to selling physical products, having a warehouse and around 80 employees; the products contribute to more than 90% of the business’s revenue, which is in millions.
Kevin also manufactures and sells products through his company, ‘American Trade Company.’
In late 2021, he raised a capital investment of $17.5 million from The Chernin Group.
In 2023, Kevin acquired ‘Botanical Interests,’ a seed company; interestingly, the first plant (‘Marketmore’ cucumbers) he ever grew from seed was from this company.
His business generates eight-figure revenue; his plan is to make digital courses.
He hasn’t revealed his net worth.
An interesting fact- Much like Kevin, Alessandro Vitale is also a popular urban gardener and YouTuber.
Kevin hasn’t revealed much of his personal life except that he was in a relationship in his late twenties.
He lives in San Diego, California at Epic Homestead.
Kevin is tall at 6’4″.
He is a polyglot as he knows Spanish and English; and his hobbies are travelling and rock climbing.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Kevin Espiritu?
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