"When I first started making videos on YouTube, I didn't have one cent to my name," says the YouTube star

By Gabrielle Olya and Patrick Gomez
Updated June 23, 2016 02:00 PM
Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Rosanna Pansino was a little lost before she skyrocketed to YouTube fame.

“When I first started making videos on YouTube, I didn’t have one cent to my name,” the online star said during the #GirlLove on YouTube panel at VidCon 2016 on Thursday. “I was completely broke for four years.”

The baking enthusiast – who was on the panel at the Anaheim Convention Center with Cassey Ho, Lilly Singh and Lindsey Stirling – went on to chronicle her struggle as she attempted to make it as an actress and social media creator in Los Angeles.

Pansino’s schedule was so intense, “I was sleeping in my car, working on sets for 16 hours a day, saving every penny to put into my channel,” she said. “Finally I got to a place where I was living on someone’s couch full time.”

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Pansino said her life “started to build from there” as she accumulated 6.3 million YouTube channel subscribers.

“But I don’t [want to] make it sound like it was easy,” said Pansino, whose Nerdy Nummies Cookbook hit shelves last November. “For four years, it was a true struggle.”

Pansino will be a guest on the INSTANT interview stage presented by PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly on Saturday.