Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Nelson.
Victoria, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started off playing around on social media like everybody else – snapping random pictures, connecting with family and friends and following the occasional aspirational feed that caught my eye. Instagram came out when I was in college in San Diego so it was really just about connections which I try to keep that same mindset today rather than chasing a number – meaningful connections are key. While I was living in SD, I fell in love with beachy aesthetics and always being in the sunshine. After I graduated, I realized that I’d have to clear time out of my busy LA schedule to follow my creative passions and that nobody was going to carve that time out for me. Outside of my job in the digital marketing space, I spent more and more time building my own audience and connecting with like-minded women through social media. I really got started in the swim space and found that a really female-focused industry was actually littered with… men? I took it upon myself to encourage girls in the space to vet their photographers, bring a friend, ask girls who have shot with the male photographer before prior to going to a gig – safety first, right? I spent about a year or so really heavily in the swimming world and found myself getting harder and harder on myself – seeing yourself in a bikini all the time can really do something to your self-confidence.
About a year ago, I really decided to shift my mindset (and business) into the lifestyle space. I wanted to create content I wanted to create and not be put in a box. I didn’t want to just be the girl in the bikini because I’m so much more than that! I slammed the brakes on the swimming world, almost completely, and dove into just working with amazing creatives doing what we wanted to do and sharing that content with the small following I had grown. What really surprised me was that this is actually where I found my core audience! Girls just being girls – girly, tomboy, whatever you are – we’re all just girls and we deal with the same problems. I grew up with brothers, so having a girl squad on the ‘gram was a really cool feeling. Now, I share my experiences in a super honest way and I think that’s why I have some really loyal women followers. Instagram is so curated and about the aesthetic, that I like to keep my IG Stories super raw – I open up about my skin problems, insecurities, etc. and I think girls everywhere can really relate to that which is the best feeling!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I always try to remind myself: if it’s easy, is it worth it? I have to balance my full-time job with my own personal brand which can get tricky, at times. I’ve always been pretty organized but juggling my schedules can get tricky given how much I want to accomplish in both realms. I’ve gotten pretty good at committing time to shoot when I can and am grateful that my boyfriend is often open to picking up the camera so I can get the content I need! Also, putting your life out on the internet is always a hard thing because I’m insistent on being vulnerable with my audience and some people are always going to have problems with that or voice negative opinions. I’ve learned to have a thick skin and focus on the positive but getting to that mindset is definitely tough at first! I think my best advice for other girls trying to get into this world is to just remember that “haters” aren’t really haters – they’re fans in a way and care so much about what you’re doing that they’re taking time out of their day to say something to you. Time is the one thing you can’t get back in life so if they want to waste theirs being hateful, that’s much more their problem than it is yours!
The other thing I’d mention is that it is not easy and nobody is perfect. I think social media has such a stigma of needing to look and live these perfect lives (a lot of which isn’t 100% real, let’s be honest) which sets these wildly unrealistic expectations for life. Your life is great, you are beautiful – don’t ever forget that! I also created a Facebook group for girls to get advice, share tips and really connect on another level so joining that could be a great start (www.facebook.com/groups/XOVGirlGang) – there are some really amazing ladies in there!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’d like to think I’m known for putting out creative content with witty (sometimes sarcastic) captions. I’m not going to be the girl posting a bikini pic with a Marilyn Monroe quote (no shade, just not my style!). I started with my captions being mostly puns or absurd rap lyrics (shoutout Lil Dicky for some QUALITY lyrics) to kind of break through the noise of the “always positive” facade a lot of people try to put out there. Sometimes you’re posting a picture because you think you look BOMB and that’s FINE! You don’t need to put an inspirational quote for people to think you’re deep – just BE YOURSELF. If inspirational quotes are your thing, that’s totally fine – just be authentic! I’m super proud of myself for being open and raw. It’s sad to see so many people hiding certain things about themselves and try to portray this glamorous life that may not be 100% accurate. I really pride myself on showing my bad days and letting my audience in on those times and reminding them that not everything is a picture perfect day!
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Well, first, I’m only 26, so I hope “later in life” is still to come haha. But I do think the way I grew up really helped me get to where I am today. My dad is a genius… a legit genius and the most brilliant guy I know but really instilled the importance of working hard but also not always taking yourself too seriously. Life is too short to be serious all the time and he did a great job and making sure I remembered that. My mom is an actual angel on earth – the sweetest, most genuine lady you’ll meet. She’s always great at reminding me that I don’t always have to be witty and sarcastic and that sometimes compassion is what somebody needs. I also grew up between two brothers to whom I can definitely thank for my thick skin and ability to understand the male perspective. We’re also all really competitive so that’s for sure been a quality I think has pushed me further into where I’m at today. My whole family is the ultimate picture of work hard play hard and I’m super grateful that they’ll check me, on either end, to make sure that balance doesn’t get out of whack.
- Website: www.victorianelsonn.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/victorianelsonn
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/victorianelsonn
- Other: www.facebook.com/groups/XOVgirlgang