We had the good fortune of connecting with Julianne Barbas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julianne, how do you think about risk?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been terribly averse to risk. When I was a child, I embraced a lot of challenging activities that involved heights. As a young teenager, I ventured to Australia + New Zealand with an ambassador organization for 3 weeks. By the time I was 19, I started to travel internationally alone. Taking risks and pushing myself through discomfort over the years allowed me to witness my own capabilities time and time again. Of course, there were also countless moments where I came face to face with failure — but I saw these as opportunities to collect valuable lessons that ultimately would aid in my growth. I would not be where I am now without having taken many risks. In fact, I can trace back this stage of my life and career to a domino effect of decision making. Upon graduating from college, I moved to Milan, Italy solo to pursue a career in Public Relations and Photography. During my time of living abroad, I made a connection that landed me my next job in the states. I gained a great deal of experience over those years and really began to refine my trust muscle in myself. By the time I was 26, I left my stable job to move to Los Angeles and pursue being a Blogger + Digital Creative full time. The first year was anything but easy — but by the end of my second year, my work had really started to pick up momentum. I think if I hadn’t taken so many risks in my life leading up to that, I wouldn’t have the confidence to believe in myself. Risk-taking often creates new paths that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible regardless of the outcome. My own life experiences have taught me that I can’t always achieve my dreams by “playing it safe”. The risks I’ve taken throughout my life have opened the door to so many amazing opportunities while cultivating my self-confidence.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I definitely didn’t get to where I am now by following a straight path. There were so many moments that were filled with self-doubt, tears, and frustration. But I think that’s the most beautiful part of any journey — being able to prevail and remain resilient despite the many obstacles. I feel like I’m a perpetual student of life and because of that, I am always craving more for myself. It’s not always easy for me to recognize my accomplishments but over the past few years, I’ve really started to feel more excited about them. I feel really proud of the fact that I’ve never once lost sight of my core essence in any pursuit. Early on in my career, I made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t conform and chase any aspect of success if it meant compromising my values. Being a nonconformist in itself can be risky because you end up feeling more vulnerable at times. There were so many moments where I feared that I would be rejected for being myself but quite the opposite ended up being true. The more I opened up about my experiences with solo travel, body image, and my wellness journey — the more I began to attract an amazing community. The biggest lessons I’ve learned while being self-employed are to take risks, believe in yourself, have a vision, love what you do, and be true to your core essence. I’m really proud to be in a place today where I get to create and empower women all around the world. My brand has an especially large emphasis on body positivity, wellness, and encouraging others to live out their most enlivening dreams!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ah, there are so many places I love in LA and a week doesn’t feel like nearly enough time. But if I had to narrow it down, I would do a blend of touristy and off-the-beaten-path activities: – Firebreak Trail to Griffith Observatory – Ike’s in Burbank for sandwiches – Shopping in Studio City – Facial at Face Haus – Botanical Gardens at Huntington Library – Amoeba Music and browse the extensive record collection – Chandelier Tree in Silver Lake – House of Intuition in West Hollywood for crystals – Gracias Madre (the tacos are unreal)! – Malibu Lagoon State Beach – Venice Canals – LACMA – Rodeo Drive – Santa Monica Pier – Picnik at Lake Hollywood Park – Grand Central Market for lunch – Dinner at République – Matcha Boba at Alfred’s Tea Room – Brentwood Farmer’s Market – Bike ride in Echo Park Lake – Temescal Gateway Park for a killer view of the coastline – Rose Bowl Flea Market
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom has always been one of the leading supporters in my life. She has really nurtured my desire to explore and try new things for as long as I can remember. I’m forever grateful for her allowing me to take risks and travel as much as I did growing up. I know it took a lot of pushing through her own personal discomforts as a mother to be able to offer me such support! My fiancé has also been an amazing pillar of support for me. He’s my biggest cheerleader and voice of reason. He believes in me even when I have a difficult time believing in myself. Having that type of constant love & support during my self-employed journey has made me feel like I can continue to take calculated risks because I can’t fail… I can only continue to learn and grow — and that is a beautiful feeling!