TBV Babe of the Week // Social Media Maven Calli Cholodenko
Hi babes! My question for you is… HOW is it already Friday again? This week whizzed by, and everyone I’ve talked to about it unanimously agrees. I am always so fascinated by how some weeks feel very fast and others feel slower, and somehow most people tend to agree on the rate at which they felt it went by. It makes me think that there is something in the universe (or even just in the air) making that all go down, ya feel me?
I love it. I’m all about anything that makes us feel connected to each other and to the earth, so if this week flying by super quickly has anything to do with the cosmos — give me the deets, universe! I wanna know.
Anyway, I love Fridays even more than I used to because they are now our designated day to feature our TBV Apparel Babes of the Week!!! Typically I would explain what the babe of the week is and how I go about choosing each week’s awesome human, but for those of you who read this bloggy regularly you’ve heard me talk about it here (Natasia!) & here (Rachelle!). For those who don’t, peak back for an overview.
Today is all about miss Calli Cholodenko, a.k.a the girl who puts nearly all other Instagrammers to shame, because, well, she has a ridiculously good eye for the ‘gram game & she may or may not have a lot of practice, otherwise known as her business.
The moment I met Calli I knew we were going to be very good friends. Actually, I met her in the funniest & the most modern, tech-savvy, two girls who social media up a storm kind of way. I was at a “Disconnect to Reconnect” event at the Mountain Mermaid in Topanga Canyon back in February or so, and since the point was to disconnect from reality for the day & get back to our true selves, we left our phones in a basket at the front door.
Very cool, very unlike me. I was so obsessed with the Mountain Mermaid event space and I am so passionate about sharing the pretty places/things that I stumble upon, I was getting annoyed I couldn’t share a photo. I had taken a grand total of zero while I was there, and while I tried to be cool with having no imagery from my awesome day I really wasn’t. It’s in my bloggy blood! I never do this, but I decided to scroll on through the Instagram geotag for the Mountain Mermaid and find whichever photo I felt represented the space the best.
After skimming a TON of photos (oh, you know, casually flipped through every photo in the entire geotag like only a tiny bit of a #maniac), it was very, VERY clear which photo I was going to go with to share on my IG. This photo, right here, by a girl named @callicholo…
I posted it, credited her, and silently hoped that this chick wouldn’t hate me for stealing her photo and blasting it out to my followers. Some people get very offended about that stuff, as you can imagine. However, Calli was the sweetest ever, thanked me for digging her photography, and we set a date for coffee. I could continue on in this great amount of detail about how much we hit it off when we hung out, but that’s another story for another day!
I soon learned that Calli has the DREAM JOB of managing business’s social media accounts for a living — specifically businesses in the wellness and lifestyle space. So for those of you beauties who are curious about how to get into the digital space & do it well, take note with our Calli Q&A below…
Q: Calli! We are so excited to have you on TBB today, as we believe you encompass our mottos of truth, balance and virtue to a tee. (And you rock the shirts way well, obvi.) Can you tell us what the elements of truth, balance and virtue mean to you in your life?
A: Ahh thank you, I am BEYOND thrilled to be here! Let’s see, starting with balance. This is a concept I really had to master, and still work hard at. I have so many interests and priorities, so between work, fitness, family, friends, eating healthy, going out and having me time, I had to get real comfortable with the concept of balance real quick. For me it’s all about moderation, and making sure I have time for everything important in my life. I have a pretty addictive personality, so it’s easy for me to focus on one thing and run with it, but the more attention I’ve put into balancing my life, the more happiness I seem to find. Virtue to me can be summed up in a line: to build self esteem, you have to do esteemable acts. I try to remember that to have is to give, and to practice being grateful for what I already have in my life, otherwise how could I expect to handle more?
I saved truth for last because it’s the one that I hold closest to my heart. From day one, my mom taught me never to lie. She’d probably kill me for saying this, but she always told “if you killed someone and told me, I’d help you hide the body!” She taught me to always be honest, and I’ve lived my life that way. In later years it took on a new meaning for me, in being true to myself. Trusting my gut and my intuition took me some time to learn, and now that I’ve started meditating and sitting with myself a bit more, I’ve finally learned how special that relationship with myself really is. Everyone is going to have an opinion, but at the end of the day I want to put my head on my pillow and be happy with the choices I made that day.
Q: You are a young entrepreneur with your own social media management business, a.k.a you’re absolutely killing it. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Something Social LA and how you got started?
A: You’re too sweet! Sometimes I still laugh when I think of myself as a boss or running a company. It feels a bit surreal, but also totally meant to be. It all happened so organically and sort of fell into place. I majored in Communication at USC and had NO clue what I wanted to do with it. I had internships in college in PR, events, and fashion, but nothing had really clicked. I always knew I wanted to create a position with the freedom to be creative, the ability to work with people, but that also incorporated an analytical/business element, I just didn’t know what that looked like. Sort of by happenstance I began working for a boutique social media firm out of college, and took to it pretty quickly. After about 8 months I was approached by another business to run their social media internally, and that’s when I decided I would set up my own company, with that new business as my first client. I figured if other people were doing it, why couldn’t I? I also had the encouragement and support of my friends and family, so I felt comfortable making the jump. Within two weeks I had a second client, then a third and fourth through referrals. Social Media is such a growing and necessary element to brands these days, that the inquiries and referrals kept coming in, and in turn my business grew and expanded! It’s definitely been a one foot in front of the other sort of process. I’ve had to make decisions and learn as I go, and I’m lucky to have some really great people in my life I’ve been able to learn from and bounce ideas off of.
Q: Tell us some funny BTS things that go down in the world of social media management. You know, like moving tables at restaurants because of shadow issues… Lol.
A: Oh man, the things we do for a good photo! When I first started out, I’d be really timid or shy when I was in public places. Now, standing on tables and chairs at restaurants is about as regular as ordering ice water for the table! We’ve literally all had to become semi-professional hand models, aka fresh manis in the workplace are a must! I can’t tell you how many poor donuts and cupcakes have been sacrificed for the good of the Instagram. By the time we’re done repositioning, moving, squishing and shooting them, there’s not much left to enjoy.
Speaking of Behind the Scenes… Sometimes TBB thinks she’s the photographer. And Kyle is always the best moral support. 😉
Q: You were born and raised in LA, annddd you went to college in LA. Top three LA restaurants, go!
A: Such a tough one since I’m such a foodie, and they’ve definitely changed over the years. But right now, I’d have to say Bestia, Gjelina and let’s be real, I still get Joan’s on Third at least twice per week.
( And HELLOOO, check out her Salt & Straw drippity drop ice cream shot. Can we all eat this NOW? )
Q: Favorite hole in the wall spot to grab something healthy in LA:
A: Backyard Bowls just opened up near me in West Hollywood, and I’m addicted! They also have quinoa bowls, which are a nice alternative to acai / smoothie bowls. It’s not exactly a hole in the wall, but Greenleaf is another favorite.
( TBB SIDENOTE: Backyard Bowls is my JAM! So good… )
Q: You are definitely up on your fitness game, just like everyone here at TBV. What are some of your favorite workouts to do and fitness studios to go to?
A: Oh boy do I love a good group fitness class. I mean LOVE. My go-to’s are definitely spin at Cycle House, pilates at Fitmix, boxing at Prevail, weights/HIIT at Training Mate and I finally just tried Body By Simone for the first time and absolutely loved it! I also do Barry’s Bootcamp and Hot 8 Yoga Barre or Sculpt a few times a month. The obsession with LA fitness studios is real.
Hmmm, it sounds like I will be able to drag Calli to an OTF class soon, no problem!
Q: You do social media for a living (#dreams!), give us your top three tips for making a post that meets your criteria.
A: Yes, I do live and breathe social media. For me, it’s all about aesthetic and lighting. Lighting, lighting, lighting. Overall, you want your account to have a recognizable look and feel to it, to the point that if someone saw a post not tied to your account, they’d still know it was you. The image has to be 1. Clear (no blurry images!) 2. Tells a story 3. Speaks to some element about who you are, or what your brand is about.
Q: Something about you that most people don’t know…
A: I spin 5 times a week, and yet I can’t ride a bicycle!
Q: Any funny behind the scenes moments from your TBV Apparel shoot?
A: Let’s see, I was honked at by a friend driving by and sent a Snapchat of myself from another friend who saw our shoot taking place, but the funniest moment by far would have to be when our photographer dropped her poor little iPhone in the gutter at the end of our shoot! Sorry Danika, RIP phone.
Q: Favorite ways to style our TBV tees…
A: I love that you can wear them casual with workout clothes, or throw on a pair of jeans shorts and a flannel (my go-to) and you have a super cute day outfit. I’d even put on a pair of jeans with boots and wear one of the tees out to dinner. My style is definitely laid back, so the tees fit perfectly with pretty much anything and everything I’d ever wear. Plus, my plain black & white tees could use a break from the rotation.
Q: Finish this sentence: Life can be crazy, but it’s worth living because ________.
A: It has the potential to be anything you want it to be, and every day brings on a new challenge, but also a new opportunity to try, fail, learn, succeed, grow, live, laugh and enjoy!
( TBB SIDENOTE: I love this so much. I could not agree more. Wise words, missy. )
Q: Lastly, advice you would give to someone who is interested in following their hearts & creating a life for themselves that is outside of the box.
A: At the end of the day, and I know this is so annoying to hear, but you really have to just trust yourself, trust that the universe has your back, and take the leap. You won’t know until you do it, and that’s part of the excitement of going out on your own! You create the vision, then you put one foot in front of the other. The other main advice I’d give is that you can be attached to how you want to feel in your new venture, but don’t be so attached to the outcome or exactly what it will look like. You want to stay open to any direction or any path that your heart takes you, and not be so rigid in exactly what it’s going to look like.
Q: Where else can we find you?! Social handles, website, upcoming events, etc.
So, all in all, Calli rocks. Yes? Yes. Check out her site & get a feel for what social media management is — her site explains it super well, straightforward, and of course beautifully (photos and all). Which is your fav look of Calli’s from the shoot?!?! I love it ALL, but I think my fav might be the Mermaid crop with the flannel, jean shorts & boots.