And we are. But Skyler and I also have a lot in common. We met while both interning at the same food site The Daily Meal years ago, we both love eating, and we are both young ambitious women in the Manhattan media world. I hold her as one of my best friends actually. I've sat on her couch venting about my fears about work, she's texted me for advice at 3:45am on a Friday, and we share a special friendship that I'm so happy to have.
Sky is one of the most ambitious women I've met in the social media industry, and even in New York. Not only is she brilliant (she graduated from NYU early), beautiful (I shot THIS photoshoot after she ate a $30 Seamless order of takeout and was recovering from the flu!), but she is sharp. She knew when to break into the Instagram game, and if you watch any video of her you can tell how witty she is. I am so happy to know her and have her as a friend, and I can't wait to see what she does next with her life (and what she will eat tomorrow!)
Someone want to live a Saturday in your life. What are they going to be doing?
Well, if I'm going to be honest...today they would be laying in bed and watching Private Practice and eating takeout. (A little R&R never hurt nobody!!) But on an an average Saturday, wow each one is different! Sometimes I'll have brunches or lunches planned, I love to go on walks with friends (God bless this nice weather) and I love going on runs on the West Side Highway. Saturday night is a little more fun and usually involves lots of friends, alcohol, music and adventures all around the city. I hate to do the same thing twice.
You always look so happy, beautiful and positive on Instagram, and tend to be a lot of young people's #goals. Do you ever have bad days, and what advice would you give to NYC 20-somethings on shitty days?
Of course I have bad days, especially working in an industry that can really wear out my body. Some weeks I'll have a lot of cooking and eating to do, and while it's all about balance, this is work and sometimes I will have to cram 15 recipes into 2 days for an assignment. Days like that are my bad days and I get exhausted, feel sluggish and lose my mojo.
Advice for shitty days? Take time to laugh and never take your shitty days too seriously. If you feel gross and hate yourself one day, remember...dude it's one day. You're lucky to be alive for that day! Don't stress over stupid little things and try to enjoy yourself. Also, take care of yourself. This is so important. While I'm all "Yolo, seize the day," sometimes I have to remind myself to stop and take time to rest because when I get worn out, I lose touch with myself. Like today I literally promised myself I would sleep until noon because I haven't done that in a year. It felt awesome.
"SATURDAY NIGHT IS A LITTLE MORE FUN AND USUALLY INVOLVES LOTS OF FRIENDS, ALCOHOL, MUSIC AND ADVENTURES ALL AROUND THE CITY. I HATE TO DO THE SAME THING TWICE."
How do you balance your food posts with your health?
This is the hardest part of my job. I cook, I go on eating adventures, I film segments, I'm working on my own show and I am writing a cookbook, so every workday consists of eating and tasting tons of different foods. I try to workout at least 4 times a week and walk everywhere. I also have to balance when I plan certain meals and cooking days because having too many back to back can lead to just feeling really crappy and unhealthy. People mistake being thin for being healthy.
A while back, I was working so much that I was actually malnourished for a few weeks. Of course, I realized what was happening and reminded myself that with this job, you have to pace yourself. But that just shows, balance is truly important and scheduling is everything. I also try to drink green juices as an easy way to get those nutrients.
What's been the biggest obstacle with monetizing your Instagram?
I honestly don't like the term "monetizing my Instagram." I wouldn't ever just post things for money like I've seen some accounts do. My Instagram, blog, YouTube, etc...they're all my brand, which is literally my personality on a page, so it's harder to monetize when I want to do it in a way that fits me as a person, business woman and entertainer. I think the hardest part of finding ways to make money is finding brands that I truly align with and then trying to build a steady partnership with them.
For example, I would love to work with Oreo because I make tons of recipes with them. That would be a natural partnership. A lot of brands just use Instagrammers for a "one and done" deal where they ask for a photo for a certain rate. A lot of the time, those seem very transparent and can take away the value of the Instagram brand and the brand itself. So I think it's careful not to get trapped in those kinds of deals when you need pocket change, and to really seek things out the way that aligns with your brand.
When you were at NYU, and living in Manhattan, and around so many ambitious people, how did you come out with the drive to create your brand as Skyler Bouchard?
Hhaha oh my...I don't think being at NYU or in Manhattan had anything to do with the drive or ambition, but it definitely helped me refine my vision and figure out how I was going to build a career as an entertainer. I was in first grade and knew I wanted to entertain people and leave Delaware and honestly, that's just what I did. Being in New York and going to NYU helped me figure out exactly how I was going to do that and helped me come up with the brand idea. I started everything when I was 19 and it took tons of experimenting and trial and error, but once I got the ball rolling I kept striving to improve and figure out how to succeed. I'm lucky I knew what I wanted to do so early on in life that I could begin all of this while I was in college and pursue it full time by graduation.
What's been the craziest experience of someone recognizing you?
"MY INSTAGRAM, BLOG, YOUTUBE...THEY'RE ALL MY BRAND; MY PERSONALITY ON A PAGE"
What makes a good food Instagram?
Good food. Good lighting. Great caption.
Do you have any New Years resolutions? Where do you see yourself in a year?
I never really make New Years resolutions, but I guess it would be to focus on the now. This industry is so unpredictable and because I work for myself, I find that I am constantly thinking of what could happen and focusing on tons of different things. I wont ever stop working my hardest, but I think I need to be better at accepting what the day gives me and working with what's in front of me instead of thinking of 100 different things at once. I just want to be doing so many things!!
Where I would see myself in a year? Oh my. Well, I would love to say I'd be doing television, but I've been told I'm too young to pursue that dream which has been hard to accept. So of course, I decided to start my own show, Ballsy Bites where I am turning my cookbook into my own little version of a cooking show. In a year, I hope that show will be doing well and honestly, I hope to find some sort of kitchen to work out of so my apartment doesn't look like a tornado at the end of a busy week :)
What's your favorite way to unwind?
Alcohol! Just kidding. On a weekday, I unwind by working out then laying down and not moving. I also love walking and getting myself lost in the city and going on random adventures. On the weekends, I love doing anything with my friends. We always laugh and laughing is the ultimate unwind. Of course, some red wine or good beer doesn't hurt. Tequila is also a great unwinder and really starts the party.