As most of you know, I launched The Kind Coalition this past November in response to our current social climate. If you’re unfamiliar with TKC, it’s pretty simple. We believe in kindness. We believe it’s a fundamental necessity for EVERYONE, and that kindness is one of the most powerful unifying forces in the world. With this in mind, we have committed to donating 50% of the net profits from each sale to three amazing anti-bullying organizations.
I’m convinced that social media is at it’s best when it builds community and inspires people. Through The Kind Coalition’s social channels, I met San Diego Food Girl – a savvy, charismatic, passionate blogger based in San Diego, and my beliefs were confirmed.
She and I began talking, and the energy was palpable. She has a passion for people and food and community, and I knew she was someone I wanted as a part of mine. Today, I’m so excited to share that she will serve as The Kind Coalition’s first brand ambassador! Read on to learn more about the difficult circumstances under which we connected, what her life as a food blogger is like, and her recommendations for a full day of food in San Diego!
San Diego Food Girl! We are so excited to chat with you! Tell us – how did you get started as a food blogger?
Becoming a food blogger was the suggestion of a friend and I immediately took to the idea because I was already THAT girl taking pictures of food and drinks and posting them to my personal social media. The next day over an açaí bowl, San Diego Food Girl was born! And the last three years of building this brand have been amazing!
What is a typical workday like for you?
I work full-time in an unrelated field, but my brand consumes my every spare and usually overlapping thought. I’m a one-woman brand, so I am the one posting, blogging, creating content, documenting, and fielding every inquiry, every email, every direct message, and every everything. If I’m not out brunching or having dinner and drinks, I’m often catching up on the busy work that goes into making all those brunches and dinners and blogs happen.
What is a common misconception about life as a blogger? The hardest part?
A common misconception about food bloggers in particular is that “all we want is a free burger.” This can be true in some cases, but has never been true for me. From day one, I’ve taken this very seriously. Building a trustworthy brand and promoting food businesses and local restaurants that I believe in, in the community of San Diego, is of utmost importance to me. My goal is to build relationships and partnerships with the community and businesses while connecting people to each other along the way. This has been a rewarding and reinforcing perk of what I do.
The hard part about what I do can sometimes be creating content. There’s a lot that goes into getting the shot. It’s never as easy as just snapping a picture. The lighting and presentation have to be right and your editing needs to be point. I have completely re-plated food before. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “the devil is in the detail,” this is no exception.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Blogging was never on my radar, but there are soo many awesome things about what I do. I’ve always thought my job was super cool because I get to meet a lot of amazing people on a regular basis and connect those people to each other which provides endless opportunities for growth, exposure, collaborations, and partnerships. I get to eat a lot of really incredible dishes that continue to push me outside of my comfort zone and continuously broaden my palate. For someone who never anticipated being a food blogger, it’s truly the best job I’ve ever had. People tell me all the time that “my posts make them hungry,” and it’s truly an honor to hear that.
I have one day in San Diego – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Where do you send me?
I love when people ask for my suggestions on where to eat in San Diego. Interestingly enough I’ve never thought about where I could send someone for 3 meals in one day, but I love this question! Here are the first things that came to mind.
For breakfast/brunch, I would send you to the beach. Brockton Villa in La Jolla has an amazing ocean view and you can visit the sea lions while you’re there! For lunch, the super casual Liberty Public Market, provides a variety of foods and cuisines (and shops!) under one roof. For dinner, Coasterra and Island Prime/C-Level provide downtown views, the harbor, and the Coronado Bridge with reasonable happy hours, specialty cocktails, and decadent dinners.
Most memorable dining experience?
My most memorable dining experience happened last month. I started with happy hour at The Fish Market downtown and over some delicious drinks and bites; we were able to enjoy the most amazing cotton candy colored skies while hearing taps playing from the Navy base across the bay for sunset. After happy hour, we moved upstairs to Top of the Market and enjoyed dinner next to the lights adorning the USS Midway and views of downtown. You can read more about this memorable experience here: https://sandiegofoodgirl.com/2019/02/22/san-diegos-freshest-catch/
Recently, you’ve been the subject of some pretty cruel and disheartening social media bullying. Can you tell us a bit about this?
Early this year, a peer used social media as a way to launch a series of personal attacks to smear and vilify my brand by creating a fake account and stealing my content. Their strong accusations and demeaning attacks with how I conduct my business and how I represent my brand were met with the following recourse: reporting and blocking the individual, followed by reporting and blocking the fake account, and finally notifying Instagram. This incident has really opened my eyes to the depths of hatred and people hiding behind social media. We won’t always win the battle, but my goal is to use this experience as a lesson learned to support those who are suffering from bullying so that they can feel heard and be encouraged to take action.
What effect do you think that social media has played in the rampant bullying in our society?
Bullying weighs heavily on my heart. Social media unfortunately allows bullies to (usually) hide in plain sight and tear others down, and sadly sometimes they succeed with no consequence. I was bullied most of my life for one reason or another and I thought that was bad enough. Thank goodness social media didn’t exist then. As an “adult” with “coping skills,” I was greatly affected by what I went through. I can’t imagine being a child without those coping skills battling bullying with social media. It hurts my heart that bullies take a foothold and make someone second guess their worth and value and that tragic things happen as a result of bullying.
How do you respond to unkind comments? What advice would you give others who have been the subject of bullying?
My grandfather, who is THE wisest person I know, has always said “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!” So when negativity is coming my way, I do my best to take the high road and kill them with kindness. I don’t want to let one person’s opinion affect my truth. The advice I’d give anyone who is a victim of bullying is to stand up for yourself! We’ll never win the war against bullies if we cower and say/do nothing. By standing up, you just may encourage someone else to do the same. Bullies are only bullies because they are insecure, and it really has nothing to do with you! Be strong and courageous. Stand in your convictions of being a valuable and worthy person who deserves to be treated with respect and kindness.
We are so excited to share that you are coming on board as a new Brand Ambassador for The Kind Coalition – what do you hope to accomplish in joining forces with TKC?
Joining forces with The Kind Coalition as a Brand Ambassador is honestly the best part of my year so far. It’s important for me to use my voice and platform for good to spread kindness and positivity. My hope is that in partnering with The Kind Coalition I can help grow a community of people who want to participate in demonstrating kindness, to create a space where people feel supported, and empower others to do the same!
Just for fun – on a night OFF from work – what do you cook for yourself at home?!
When I’m not being wined and dined, I tend to keep it pretty simple with meals at home! I find myself eating a lot of Cauliflower Gnocchi from Trader Joe’s! (Not a sponsored statement, but feel free to sponsor me @TraderJoes!)