Who's That Gal: Gabi Valladares of By Gabriella

Name: Gabi Valladares

Occupation: Director of Social Media

Hometown: Danbury, Connecticut

Current ‘hood: Jamaica Plain

Age: 26

Currently Reading: Today Will be Different by Maria Semple

Favorite Boston-based brand: Eek there are SO many! Two of my favorites are Jugos and George Howell


What do you think are the pillars of presence on social media?

  1. Authenticity: Be you. Be real. Having a tough day? It’s okay to share that. It doesn’t always have to be rainbows and smiles on social. Be transparent with your community, as much as you’re comfortable being.

  2. Be present: Proactively connect with others. Yes, sharing content is essential, but actively look for new people to follow - people who are sharing content you truly enjoy. Then, engage. Engage with the photos they’re sharing, connect with the captions they’ve thoughtfully included, and don’t be afraid to reach out directly to establish a connection.


How did steps you have taken lead you to your current career?

Networking has led me to where I am, 100%. All three of my full-time jobs were offered and secured because of my network and presence on social media. Build a community; this is especially where quality over quantity rings true. Grab coffee with your potential and existing community members, put yourself out there, and remember - the worst they can say is no, right?

 

In reflecting on your growth across social media platforms, what stands out the most as an “a-ha” moment in how powerful these channels are in the worlds of blogging and communication?

My a-ha moment came when my friends and community members told me that they either made one of my recipes, tried out a DIY project I created, or visited a spot I recommended in one of my city guides. It was so exhilarating! It was the validation that we say we don’t need, but still need just a bit. It meant that the content I was creating had an effect on others. It convinced them to take an action, no matter how big or small.

 

Who were your influences when you were starting your lifestyle blog?  Where do you find inspiration present-day?

Brit + Co. was the first blog I really started following along with. I read their website religiously - Brit is a genius! I still find inspiration there, as well as from Sugar & Cloth, Cocorrina (she’s a doll!), and How Sweet It Is (my first-ever favorite food blog, and still my favorite food blog to date!).

 

Your instagram account is ever so p e r f e c t.  How did you establish a styling script for your posts?

Thank you! What a compliment! It feels like it took FOREVER to get my feed to a place where I really did love it. For me, it’s all about finding a common thread and creating a consistent feed. My common thread is a pop of color. Every photo has some sort of color featured - whether that be from a (strategically placed) napkin to a cocktail full to the brim with flora, every photo has a pop of color in it.


You are a huge supporter of small businesses.  What are your three Boston favorites and why?

  1. Olives & Grace: This spot is like a little oasis in our fair city. Walking in is somehow so exciting and also so relaxing at the same time. Sofi’s ability to curate a cohesive, yet diverse collection of handmade goods, locally sourced products, and small batch items is simply exquisite.

  2. Blackbird Doughnuts: These doughnuts are the BEST. If you’ve yet to experience Blackbird Doughnuts, please go immediately and get the Everything Bagel Doughnut. It sells out fast and you’ll see why as soon as you give it a try.

  3. Jugos: Jugos is where it’s at. Ron knows how to run a business like no other - his menu is divine and the vibe is on point, always. Go, go, go!

 

We have been following (and attending) BOS Lady Project events for years, and you have built such an amazing network of engagement in multiple communities!  Tell us about the evolution and future direction both here and for our neighbors in Providence, where it all started.

First and foremost, thank you for your support! We’ve been so lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with Just Us Gals on multiple occasions and it’s been a dream.

The Lady Project is expanding, and quickly. Boston was the third chapter just over three years ago, and now we’re in nearly twenty cities! How incredible is that!? Essentially we want to build communities for women that are comfortable, accessible, and affordable. Also - FUN! We’re putting much more of an emphasis on fostering that community, as well as supporting our members. We’ve got lots of fun events planned, and some new initiatives coming later this year. Stay tuned, y’all!

 

What’s next for ByGabriella?

A big move! I can barely believe it, but I’m packing up and heading south, at least for a bit. I’ll be relocating to Atlanta. Don’t fret, though! I’ll be focusing on much of the same content - with added travel content (more fun news on that, shortly!) and finally some grilling recipes! Yay for finally having a grill!