Hey ladies, it’s Anna from Fash Boulevard here with another edition of our Ladies Who Laptop interview series. This month’s spotlight is easily one of the most recognizable fashion bloggers in the world. From her girly style to her oh-so-Pinterest-worthy travel photos, Julia Engel has earned her spot at the top of the blogger pyramid with her insanely successful blog, Gal Meets Glam. Today, she opens up about common blogger misconceptions, her tips for healthy living, and her favorite celebrity doppelgänger story. Let’s dive in:
Let’s start from the beginning! What inspired you to start Gal Meets Glam?
I started while I was a junior in college as a fun, creative outlet. It quickly grew into much more as I started to figure out my voice and narrative with it.
What are some common misconceptions about bloggers?
1. That we are all created equal. Every blogger has their own reasons for wanting to share and every blogger has vastly different levels of dedication to it.
2. That we get everything for free. While it’s completely possible for some bloggers to get everything for free or at an extreme discount, I believe there are significant downsides to doing so. We actually prefer to pay for nearly all of our own experiences and products. That way, we stay true to the messages and content we share and only recommend things we really love.
3. That follower count is all that matters. Especially with Instagram numbers being so public, it can be discouraging for smaller bloggers to watch their follower count slowly grow. But what’s always been most important to us is engaging with the followers we do have. I know some bloggers that have built incredible businesses despite their total follower count being low in comparison to other bloggers. A friend of ours in the industry once brought up a great point: “Imagine that all of your followers are sitting in one room and all of them are there listening to you. It doesn’t matter if the room is the size of a country, a football stadium or a classroom, your message is somehow impacting these people, so focus on making their experience amazing and the room is sure to grow as word spreads.”
Can you give us a peek into the amount of work that goes into maintaining a blog of your caliber?
Like any business, there is so much work that goes on behind the scenes. We’re pushing out five blog posts a week, four weekly newsletters, multiple mini posts on GMG Now, creating content for our social channels, shooting campaigns for brands which involves constantly creating unique concepts, location scouting, props and products, and editing photos. That doesn’t even include all of the managerial work or tedious things like answering emails, staying on-top of reader questions and the time commitment of travel. There’s always work to be done and there are still so many more things we want to pursue.
If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing?
Realistically, I would probably be working in marketing. That’s what I studied in school and what I was doing before I started blogging full time. In my dreams, I would be a florist.
What are three of your favorite posts from your blog?
Kenwood House quickly comes to mind as one of my all-time favorite posts because it brings up wonderful memories of one of my favorite days. If you were to dream up what a perfect day spent with great friends, picnicking in a London Park would look like, this is pretty much it.
Let’s Talk was my first post that solely focused on personal topics in a narrative format. I’d wanted to write posts like this for so long, but never did because I was afraid of what people would think. Finally finding the courage to do so was amazing. The feedback I received from readers was incredible and taught me that readers want a forum where they feel comfortable to open up as well.
Isola Del Garda was another surreal day spent in Italy this past April on Lake Garda. We took a boat across the lake to a beautiful restaurant on the water and later boated to a castle on the lake. Everything about this day was so special and I’ll never forget it.
I’m a huge fan of your Instagram! Do you have any tips or tricks for achieving an aesthetically awesome Instagram page?
Thank you! It really depends on what you want to share. My biggest suggestion would be to stick with your own style and make it really you. Following another person’s model for success may get you new followers, but ultimately people will stay with influencers who share their own unique take on the world.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m a country girl at heart. I feel most comfortable and at home in the country. Nothing makes me happier than being outdoors, surrounded by family and friends.
What has been the best moment of your career so far?
It’s honestly been the whole journey, from start to finish, not just a single moment. I think it’s important to share that there’s never just one thing that ultimately defines your career. If you want to be successful you have to find happiness in every moment, including the absolute highs and the absolute lows. I’m of course, thankful for the really amazing opportunities that I get to experience, but none of them would have been possible without the hard work and long hours behind the scenes, as well as support from family, friends and the most amazing followers.
On Gal Meets Glam you share about fashion, beauty, décor, life and traveling. What is your favorite thing to blog about?
I love to share fashion through travel stories. I prefer to plan my outfits ahead of travel based on what I expect to find on the trip. Travel opens up doors to new experiences and the chance to gain valuable inspiration through new cultures, foods, plants, architecture and scenery. Writing these posts is so enjoyable, because I get to re-live our experiences while creating a story that transports our readers back to our journeys.
We’re all about healthy living here at LC.com. What does a typical healthy day of eating consist of for you?
I’m all about finding a balance between eating healthy and allowing myself to indulge every so often. I always start my day with breakfast, usually scrambled eggs with avocado toast and mint tea, a bowl of granola and almond milk or a smoothie packed with fruits and vegetables. Lunch usually includes looking for a quick option, typically a salad with some sort of protein. I like to work out in the evening, so I’ll have a light snack a little bit before, usually around 5 or 5:30, like an apple and peanut butter, hummus and carrots or a banana. For dinner, we’ll grill fish and vegetables or make a big bowl of roasted vegetables with quinoa, beans, hummus and avocado.
What is the best part of working with your husband? What is the most challenging part?
The best part of working with Thomas is that we’re building something together as a team. We respect one another and understand that we both bring value to Gal Meets Glam. It’s our baby. The most challenging part is separating work life from personal life. We have to really make a conscious effort to leave work behind and spend time together, just us. It’s hard because we’re both so passionate about what we do and we want to always be growing and getting better.
You and your husband travel a lot. What has been your favorite place to visit and why?
We’ve been to some really amazing places around the world, so it’s hard to pick just one because they’re all so different! I really can’t select a favorite, although Hawaii will always be “our spot” because we really feel the most relaxed when we’re there. Nothing compares to the beaches in Hawaii.
It’s no secret that you share an uncanny resemblance to Emma Watson. Do you have any funny stories of mistaken identity?
It happens ALL the time! Honestly at least a few times a week and it’s happened all over the world. I get people shouting out “Emma, Emma!” on the streets, people asking for my autograph and even had paparazzi follow me across town in NYC once. I find it absolutely hilarious! I think the funniest story was when a girl came up to me on the tube in London and asked for my autograph, thinking I was Emma. When I told her I wasn’t, she thought I was lying and trying to play it cool. She wouldn’t leave my side for about five awkward minutes, during which I tried to explain to her that my name was Julia and I was from California. English was not her primary language so maybe she couldn’t tell the difference in accent. Everyone around us (except the confused Emma fan) was giggling at the mix-up.
Words to live by?
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Who would you like to see me interview for my next Ladies Who Laptop?
Let me know in the comments below!