I wanted to take today to talk about last Thursday’s event with Birchbox and Gala Gonzales from Amlul. The events purpose was to introduce Birchblogger's to Gala’s Color Club nail polish collection called Gala’s Gems. We also got to know a little bit about Gala and her blogging career. She gave us many useful tips for improving our blogs and also gave me a lot of inspiration; to learn more about it keep reading.
The event took place at the Mondrian SOHO Hotel. This was a perfect choice because the hotel is very gorgeous, people were so attentive and polite, from coat check to serving hot coco and appetizers witch were delicious by the way. Birchbox staff was there to receive us and accommodate us. First we got our nails done by Color Club Nail Technicians. I picked the color Gold Struck even though the other three were gorgeous colors too. After I was done with my nails it was mingle time, time to get to know other bloggers. Meeting new people is always fun, learning a little bit of what they do and what they love.
Then it was time for the Q&A with Katia and Gala. I was really glad to see Katia again, for those who don’t know who Katia is she is one of the co-founders of Birchbox. Also it was really nice meeting and getting to know Gala Gonzales a little. You can visit her site here at Amlul.com.
Gala spoke about when she first started blogging, for her it was just like having a journal, taking pictures of her outfits and posting them. For Gala it was more of a hobby at the beginning but things changed a bit when she was featured in the national newspaper. People started talking about her clothes rather than her pictures itself. At that time, she was reading other blogs that did street style and she thought maybe she could do something with her blog about fashion and what she liked about fashion. During that time Gala moved to London and attended Central Saint Martin’s University School of Fashion. Gala mentions that while attending school she was invited to attend many parties where she met so many great people. She felt that she needed to share it with the world and also the outfits she wore to those parties as well. Gala was asked many questions from picture quality, school, if she had her family support, to her blogging career and when it started to pay off.
When she spoke about pictures and their quality I paid really close attention because it’s something I have been trying to improve on my blog. I don’t really have the luxury of hiring a photographer. I do have a pretty decent camera most of the time I use my IPhone. She said at first when she first started picture quality wasn't that important but as time has passed competition has become a big deal where now quality is very important. So she invested in her own photographer. I think that even if you can’t afford a photographer you can learn how to take good quality photographs with a good camera and maybe you can take a class or two. Practice also makes perfect, it’s all about creativity and how you use it.
I was also intrigued to know how she decided to make her blogging a career, where she is now a successful entrepreneur. Gala explained that in 2010 after she graduated school, she found herself thinking of what she wanted to do. Whether she should get a job and be a slave for someone else and save money until she can open her own company or she would take the risk and become an entrepreneur and be her own boss. So she decided that she was young and had nothing to loose and she gave her blogging career a go. She said it works, if you work hard and you do what you like and you know where you’re going. Gala grew up in a fashion family where everyone around her was working in fashion, but it took her a while to realize that, that’s what she wanted to do. She also talked about her family’s support mentioning that at first her mom didn’t know much about the school she attended, but she told Gala that she would let her go with the condition that she would provide her with proof such as grades at the end of each term/semester or simply just proof that she was enrolled in a school. But she has always had support with the career she has chosen. Honestly my mom would have done the same thing, ask me for proof.
Katia asked us how many of us were full time bloggers and guess what everyone raised their hands, Katia: “so all of you blog full time all while working full time” we all said yes it takes a lot of work time and dedication to do it, but it’s a price we pay to do something we like, I totally think it’s worth it even though I do get stressed sometimes there is nothing putting on some makeup won’t cure lol…
Gala also gave us very valuable tips and information. She told us to always be true to ourselves, she said to blog because we like and love what we are doing. She mentioned that when you are a blogger for a long time you begin to realize that you like the voice in between a big crowd, where people listen to what you have to say and appreciate and understand your opinion. That you can fit in perfectly in between the brand and the clients. You can tell them “well they are trying to sell us this, but I don’t think is that good or you can say this product is amazing”, and I totally agree that you have to be very careful with the way you present things and not try to make it look like an advertisement. I also like that she said that you should try writing about the things you can relate to and like, because when you don’t like it that much your post seems more as advertising. I also liked what she said about collaborating with brands, she said that it’s always good when they reach out to us but that we shouldn't be afraid to reach out an approach brands. That we need to be confident and positive to show them what we can do for them and why it will work.
What I love, that she mentioned is that she didn't believe in numbers like for instance so and so has this many followers etc… she says that it doesn't necessary mean that all those followers are going to buy the product or are active it’s more of the quality of the blog rather than quantity. So times it is discouraging when you see people with a lot of followers but after hearing her say that I’m just going to concentrate on writing and doing what I love because that’s what I want people to see, a girl with a passion willing to share her love for beauty, fashion and life. I want to feel free and be me and do what I love, the rest will follow. I also totally agreed with her when she said that it takes time to find what you really like and what you feel comfortable with. That is so true; I’m still trying to figure it out. Also, she said that after your blog starts paying off its always good to invest in a team to support you and help you grow even more, she has her very own PA (Personal Assistant), Photographer, and Agent.
The Nail Polishes, Gala did a collaboration with Color Club which is really cool. I would love very much someday to do that, have a nail polish line. I love painting my nails they just look so pretty. It was funny because she said we don’t even imagine where polishes come from. Katia told us that there are only two companies that sell the raw materials for polishes and although there are many different brands that mix up ingredients to give us glossy, matte finish, fast drying nail polishes, they all get the main ingredients from these two companies. That was really interesting, I really had no clue. Something else I learned which I found a bit awkward was that Gala said someone told her polishes last longer when you put them in the fridge. I would have to try that to see if it’s true. When talking about her line she said it was all about coverage and fast drying, just like many of us who are always on the go and hate having to apply a million coats of nail polish before heading out. She wanted a nail polish that you only need one or two coats and that would dry quickly. We actually got to have the four shades which was a nice gesture and we also got our own Birchbox as a treat. Below are the four nail polishes and their shades:
Left (top to bottom): Gold Struck, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Heirloom Pearls and Aquamarine Azulino.
The nail polishes are great for spring and summer, I only used one coat on the above pictures and they dried completely in about 60 seconds which is awesome. My favorite color is Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a nice pastel green just beautiful, the others are great too I just liked that one more.
I want to thank Birchbox for the invitation and Gala for sharing with us a bit of her life. I had an amazing time and learned many insightful tips.