TikTok is its own universe. That’s been established. There is a myriad of niches and they all have an eager audience.
One of the more common niches among Gen-Z and Millennials, however, is the corporate office trend where TikTokers recreate workplace scenarios. Most of the time, these videos have the humor or satirical component present, which resonates with their viewers. These videos do extremely well, especially if there’s a depiction of a dramatic work event or anything that borders a toxic workplace environment. If anything, it’s trauma bonding at its best.
This niche was first viralized by Rod, a TikToker who presents his contact with the corporate office culture from the viewpoint of a millennial. At around the same time, DeAndre Brown, a queer, Black TikToker started going viral for his corporate office videos. Now, since early summer, another content creator started seeping over everyone’s For You Page with their corporate humor content. Many may know her as her TikTok username, @saraisthreads, where she plays a handful of characters such as Susan, Kendra, Veronica, and more. But did you know she’s Latina?
Even though there are other Latinas making similar content, Sarai’s videos (which often go viral) make it to various FYPs, regardless of anyone’s typical FYP. It’s not surprising to find her videos with her many personas popping onto your screen.
TikToker Sarai Soto as a positive figure for others
The question is: Who plays all these characters? This creator doesn’t disclose much about herself on her platform. So, we did some digging and were able to speak with the woman who makes thousands of people laugh, Sarai Soto.
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, her journey as a content creator hasn’t been linear. She was nervous for a long time and remained in a state of intense contemplation as she debated what to do. Becoming a content creator can be a scary decision and needs lots of dedication, despite what others might say.
Though her Puerto Rican parents and sister supported her through all her decisions, she always knew she wanted to use her voice as a Latina to be a positive role model and empower others.
Soto graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications and moved to Florida. Once that milestone was checked off, she took on what she recalls to be her “dream job.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Hence, it became her motivation to jump on the video platform. That, and the pandemic was at its worst, so there was plenty of time to spare.
#greenscreen This was before her vacation, of course. 😉 #fyp #work #working #corporate #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #corporateamerica #corporatehumor #office #officelife #manager #managersbelike #career
The meaning behind her content
She started creating work skits because of the experiences she previously had in different jobs. The Puerto Rican content creator felt as though she couldn’t be the only one who went through similar events at work – but she hopes no one ever has to experience a toxic work environment ever.
After seeing how many resonated with her content, Soto created a mini-series, similar to a novela, that has taken her audience through the journey of unacceptable corporate behavior and cleverly weaves in how to combat it. She’s done this with her effortless and quirky humor.
#greenscreen ✨We can revisit in the morning at 9 am✨ #fyp #work #working #corporate #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #corporateamerica #corporatehumor #office #officelife #manager #managersbelike #career
In a recent Zoom meeting, Sarai sat with BELatina News to give us more about her story. She jumped in with the same curly hairdo we love and flashed her infectious smile that many of us are used to seeing in her videos. I will say, it was hard not to imitate her catchphrases during the interview, but we got through it – even without saying a high-pitched “bye” at the end of the call.
Nevertheless, we spoke to Sarai Soto about her career as a TikTok content creator, her journey, and more.
Read our conversation below.
The interview has been slightly edited for clarity and brevity.
When did your interest to become a content creator start?
I have always been interested in as long as I can remember. I always wanted to start a YouTube channel. I used to post aesthetic lifestyle stuff on Instagram, but as far as posting, like, on TikTok and YouTube, I was always afraid to do it. I just had so much anxiety and fear of failure – fear of what people are going to think. I was always afraid that I would start and then people would see my journey leading to failure. It held me back for so long, but I knew ultimately this is what I wanted to do.
How did you combat this fear?
So, finally, I just said, “you know what? I am going to be brave, and I’m going to go for it, and I’m just going to start posting.” And I did.
What changed? Where did the sudden bravery come from?
At the end of 2020, I got a job that I thought would be my dream job. I got a job at a for-profit university and I was an admissions representative. And I said, “Okay, this is it. This is going to be my long-term career.” Well, it turns out that it was the worst job I’ve ever had in my life. I was so miserable that I was getting physically sick. My mental health deteriorated. I was so depressed at that job and it just made me feel really lost and disheartened. I was about to be 30, so I questioned what I was doing with my life. The future seemed so uncertain. After that job, because it made me feel that miserable, I told myself I needed to find a way where I never have to work a job like that ever again.
So, after this realization, what were the steps you took?
I read this self-help book and it really helped me navigate everything. It helped me understand that I can create my own future. It’s all up to me if I just believe in myself. I had the privilege of quitting that job and taking some time to just reflect and be with my family. Also, kind of to recuperate because I was traumatized after that job. Then after I turned 30, I went for it [content creation.]I started posting and didn’t care. I continued because this is what I ultimately want to do. I feel like this is my purpose.
Tell us about the Veronica series.
The whole Veronica series was very random. Honestly, I didn’t know what my niche was going to be on TikTok when I first started. A few of my videos when I first initially started, went viral, and they were about work, and I was like, “Okay, people can relate to this.” So, I kept trying to navigate that. Then, one day, I posted a video of a manager telling me to do all this extra work and me being like, “respectfully, I decline.” And that was the very first video before I named anyone Veronica or Susan. At that point, I had two options. Either keep posting random stuff or go with this. And I felt like a lot of people resonate with this, so I continued posting these scenarios. Then someone commented, I need a name for this character.
How did you go about naming your characters?
I don’t even know why I named her Veronica. (laughing) I was just thinking and thought that she seemed like a Veronica. And then Susan seemed like a manager’s name to me. It was all just kind of random.
I just picked names that I felt went with the character.
What’s been the most challenging thing about being an emerging TikTok creator?
Recently, I think just trying to come up with new scenarios and new content. Sometimes, it just comes to me, and sometimes just the pressure and feeling like people waiting for a new one, something funny has been challenging. Now, I have all these brands reaching out and different things and I just feel kind of lost and overwhelmed.
How did you explain to your Latino parents your new profession?
So they didn’t know at first, but they love Lejuan James so much, so they saw his journey and they saw what content creation has done for him.
He was able to buy his mom’s house, and he does this full-time. So, they understand now that this is something that you can do full time. When I first started my TikTok, I was doing videos that they didn’t really understand. But once I started doing these videos, they definitely understand and they love them. They think they’re so funny and they’re really excited about it and supportive of everything that’s going on.
Where did your humor come from?
So I have always been like a jokester. My family loves to joke and laugh. My sister, my dad, we’ve always been like that. And I have been like that since I was little. My parents have always told me, you always made us laugh and everything.
Did you have any content creators you looked up to before starting your own journey?
So my favorite person that hopefully I get to meet one day was Liza Koshi. Love Liza so much. A lot of people would always tell me and still tell me to this day, like, you remind me of Liza. I felt like we were just the same person. We have the same humor, and she was just so silly and authentically herself, and I just loved that. And she was always my role model. I always said, if I create content, I want to be myself and I want to be silly like her.
What is next for Sarai Soto?
Well, I am not entirely sure. I’m still navigating everything, but I have a lot of goals in mind. A huge goal would be to have my own show. I’d like to have my own little version of “The Office.” I also intend on continuing to create corporate office skits as a form of advocacy. I want to bring awareness because there is so much corporate toxicity in workplaces nowadays.
I receive messages daily of stories similar to the ones I depict and am hopeful things will change as I and other creators continue to bring awareness.
You can support Sarai Soto, or @saraisthreads, by engaging with her content or by buying some of her merchandise. She sells shirts on Etsy that say “respectfully no” and “thank you, bye.” Find the link to her store on both her Instagram and TikTok profiles.