Her life looks like one straight out of a fairy tale. Li Ziqi impresses millions with her videos, where she makes seemingly everything from scratch with her own two hands, from dying a dress with fresh grape juice to fashioning traditional lipstick from roses in her garden to foraging on horseback in order to prepare one exquisite meal after another. She has some 50 million fans in China and another 8 million overseas, but she remains a mystery to many of them. In her videos, she doesn’t speak, and she rarely gives interviews. But now, she’s ready to open up to us. To find Li, we had to travel to rural Sichuan Province in southwestern China, where she grew up. Li grew up with her grandparents here. She says she came to live with them after her stepmother mistreated her. But they were poor, so when she turned 14, Li went to work in the city. In 2012, she decided to return to the countryside to take care of her grandmother. Four years later, she started filming her life there. The dishes she prepares range from a single condiment to elaborate multi-course meals. But whatever she makes, she leaves no stone unturned, going as far as raising baby ducklings just to make a sauce out of salted duck eggs. Some joke that she’s brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “from scratch.” Some of her other recipes are wholly original. In one video, she uses magnolia flowers to make pastries and even deep-fries the flowers themselves. Apart from food, she’s also known for her videos demonstrating traditional crafts, like building this bamboo furniture set, which she says was inspired by one of her grandfather’s old benches. Li’s stylized depictions of rural life stand out in China’s ultra competitive field of online videos. The market has become lucrative, estimated to be worth $6.5 billion. Li’s pensive and ethereal take has struck a chord with young people hustling in China’s big cities. But Li is not without controversy. Some viewers have been skeptical of her claim that she started as a one-woman band. Two years ago, Li posted a behind-the-scenes video to refute those claims. Li says she now works with one videographer and one assistant, but she’s still the one calling the shots. We weren’t able to verify these claims because we were not allowed to observe Li filming. But today, three years after she first picked up the camera, Li is one of China’s most successful online video makers.