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Meet Nathaniel and Marta Connella of Golden Llama Productions / The Tipsy Gypsies Travel Blog

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathaniel Connella, Marta Connella.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We are a married couple from Los Angeles who left our jobs to travel the world for a year in 2016. After launching our travel blog, The Tipsy Gypsies, which focused on travel tips and unique drinks around the world, Nathaniel began making travel inspiration films to supplement the blog.

As the blog grew, so did Nathaniel’s films which began receiving recognition such as Vimeo Staff Pick’s, features by Nat Geo, Lonely Planet, Travel+Leisure and interviews with BBC. Based on the success and growth of these passion projects for the blog, Nathaniel began receiving inquiries for commercial film work, and so together we developed our second company, Golden Llama Productions.

Through this business, we have developed and filmed projects for Park Hyatt, The Luxury Collection, national boards of tourism and luxury travel agencies. In 2018, our travel film ‘Rhythms of Peru’ was one of four, nominated at the Las Vegas NAB Travel Video Awards for “Best Video by a Tourism Organization.”

Although we are primarily interested in producing travel-related content, we are opening up our services to any type of business looking to film unique and creative promotional content.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Like starting any business, it’s never easy.

For the blog, in the beginning, we didn’t have a clear vision of what we wanted to do with it. It was supposed to be a fun project. We thought since we had such a unique niche a “drinking travel” blog that somehow people would just find us on the internet, and it would explode. But it takes a lot of hard work and persistence to produce great content. Last year, we had a wake-up call and started treating our blog more as a business. It’s baby steps, but we are on our way.

Golden Llama Productions is a more recent venture, and we’ve really only been doing this seriously for about a year. Having a nomadic lifestyle is a blessing and a curse. It means we are available to work anywhere, but it also means it’s difficult to develop repeat business and can create logistical challenges, especially when it comes to post-production. Despite our success and industry recognition, it’s a daily battle to find new clients, yet we’re embracing the challenge and looking forward to where this journey takes us.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Golden Llama Productions / The Tipsy Gypsies Travel Blog – what should we know?
The Tipsy Gypsies is a travel blog that focuses on finding cool bars and drinks from around the world. We are creating a resource for other travelers who want to know what and where to drink in a foreigner country. We also provide travel tips, but we look for off the beaten path places and adventures. For example, when we traveled to India for the first time, we decided to buy a rickshaw, a small three wheeler car commonly used there as a taxi, and we drove it for about 1,500 km. It was a blast, and we encourage others to step out of their comfort zone. If you plan everything, there is very little opportunity for adventure.

Golden Llama Productions is a boutique agency focused on film based promotional content for tourism, hospitality, and other commercial enterprises. We take pride in our director, Nathaniel’s ability to capture authentic moments that connect and resonate with viewers in a way many similar businesses seem to struggle. The most rewarding moments have been when we receive feedback or comments from the local communities where we film, expressing their gratitude for showing their home whether it be the town or entire country, in a sincere and truthful way.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Nathaniel: I have since learned that the nomadic filmmaking community is a pretty close one. And more often than not, everyone is supportive and looking out for each other. One person’s film success is a success for us all. I have made some good friends including filmmaker’s Jessica Peterson, Ansley Sawyer and Caspar Diederik who have gone out of their way to advise, encourage and support me. I’ve also had the unconditional support of our families who have been constantly encouraging us on this journey.

Marta: There are other bloggers that I’ve recently connected with. Chris from Lessons Learned Abroad, who is hilarious and honest in his writing, Marielena from Epic & Travel, who is an amazing photographer and her pictures are NatGeo cover worthy, and Drinking with Chickens, a great drinking blog with great cocktail recipes and handsome chickens.

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