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Meet Trailblazer Melissa Curtin McDavitt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Curtin McDavitt.

Melissa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As soon as I landed in LA 11 years ago, I screamed for joy every day. I was in love with LA the moment I arrived. After many years writing about LA culture for someone else who didn’t even live in Los Angeles, I decided to start my own site to share why I was so passionate about this city. LaLaScoop was born out of a desire to share and record my love affair with the city that I have now called home for 11 years.

I was teaching third grade during the day and covering events (food, beauty, fashion, theater, charity, and more) at night for many years, where I made many connections with PR teams. This made starting my own site an easier transition because I had built relationships with people who repped everything from gallery openings to food. Since co-founding the site with a dear friend (who is now in Seattle), LaLaScoop has branched out to include many writers from different areas of the city who are passionate about real estate, beauty, dogs, fashion, beer, mindfulness, and more. LaLaScoop’s goal has always been to inspire readers to take advantage of what LaLa Land has to offer and to make everyone want to #NeverLeaveLA.

Now, I not only write for our own site, but I have been writing about travel and food since 2012 for a variety of publications both online and in print.

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 tell people who want to start a blog or become a food or travel writer to just start writing. Find a place that your work can be published, whether that be your friend’s site, a well-known magazine or your own blog. Share your ideas. People often decide if they want to work with you based on what they find online.

Networking and being out and about connecting with other writers/influencers/media has helped too because then you are not just an image, but a person that people can relate to, get to know and decide if they want to collaborate with you, help you or invite you. People will want to continue to work with you or invite you to their events if you are someone that is going to deliver (whether that be social media posts or content creation) or just showing up when you say you will.

My biggest struggle is SEO and of course, monetizing the brand but also staying true to our mission. The biggest thing (like anything in life) is you have to be dedicated. You have to want to do it. I love writing, travel, and being in the LA know. I’d like to think I am highly curious. That is why LaLaScoop started.

We’d love to hear more about LaLaScoop.
As a brand, I am most proud of the fun positive content we have rolled out from numerous Angelenos. We are really an online hub sharing the Best of LA from the people who live in LA. LaLaScoop aims to be more than a blog by not filtering content and allowing personal flair and opinions in the articles. We don’t have to abide by strict magazine publisher guidelines or only work with certain brands because they paid for ad placement. We want to be authentic, a place you can go to find what’s hot, hip, and happening in LA.

Another thing I am proud about is since the beginning is that we have been consistently next to major media outlets, whether that be on the red carpet beside People Magazine or sitting next to a writer at a charity gala from Forbes. We may be a small outlet but people see the value in having us attend too. I think LA is the only city that this could happen. I am thankful and feel lucky for our 5-year ride bringing the LaLaScoop.

Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I definitely gain travel and LA exploration inspiration on Instagram. I really enjoy following LA-based Jediah Jenkins on Instagram for his thought-provoking and inspiring words. His new book called To Shake the Sleeping Self comes out this October. Camera+ is an app I use frequently to edit photos, especially to add light and sometimes high definition. Mixing up my workout routine by using the ClassPass app has kept me sane and hopefully mindful and healthy. We wrote about and covered ClassPass’s LA launch many years ago. Since I love to try new restaurants and am constantly inspired by the chefs in our city, I have enjoyed perusing numerous cookbooks from LA’s best culinary gods and recently read Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Lately, I’ve wanted to go to LA’s past by reading works by Joan Didion. My husband is my best editor. My friends with LA sites (specializing in cocktails, red carpet, fashion) are my best resources.

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Melissa Curtin

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Ray Clare

    March 22, 2019 at 16:13

    I’m a retired Angelino architect curious to identify the high rise building in the BH penthouse photo. Re:January 20, 2018 Bleu mag azine travel description: “Tulum is magic”. Tulum may be a place that personifies magical realism to mass tourists but that’s simply the short version: the common essentialist view of magical realism. Illustrating the long version, the real magical realist elements of Tulum in a photo shoot is a much more challenging literary criticism task. Magical realism is subversive. Trust me, the adventure traveler cannot satiate his or her magical realism curiousity of Tulum by listening to the explanations of local ruin guides.

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