This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
When Catherine Grace O’Connell, founder of this fantastic initiative, told me that my millennial partner was Julia Comil, I was thrilled since I was following her on Instagram and loved her unmistakable French Style. Since August we’ve been engaging with each other more and started to exchange emails and comments. Irma delayed for some days our more thorough exchange of experiences, but we caught up with each other quickly.
I was thrilled to partner with Julia, another immigrant who started blogging when moved to the US
Julia and I started to share e-interviews so we could learn more from each other, connect and be able to mentor one another, which is something that engaged me to join this campaign. I’ve worked with many young people all my life, and I’ve always learned valuable things from them. Partnering with Julia has given me the opportunity to learn tips and tricks about this (for me) new venture of blogging, as well as to enjoy talking with a brilliant and successful millennial woman, and finding common grounds.
We decided to do e-interviews to know more about each other
CR- In which part of France, were you born?
JC- I was born in Lyon, the second city of France, very enjoyable for its culinary scene! My mother was living between Paris and Lyon, and I love Paris for its incredible arts and shopping scene!
Julia is from Lyon, a temple of French gastronomy, since the 17th & 18th centuries and probably the city that started the movement of eating well.
I’m a huge fan of French cuisine, and if you are too, all those gratins, dauphinoise potatoes or le salade Lyonnaise are from Julia’s city of birth. Lyon’s Cheese and wines are also very famous, and the best green salad with goat cheese has its origins in Lyon.
That might explain a fun fact about Julia that she posted on IG a while ago, about her thighs and the sacrifices she’d have to make to make them slimmer, which might require different sacrifices regarding great food, so she declared herself a hedonist. I relate to her on this point; I don’t sacrifice eating chocolate or cheese to get slimmer thighs because those are small life pleasures, even though we must not overindulge.
Julia has that unmistakable style that distincts French women!
There’s that chic touch that you immediately recognize in French women no matter what they’re wearing. She can mix and match high-quality clothing pieces with fast fashion labels, and all you see is a very chic and stylish young woman. Living in LA and being a fashion blogger obviously, gives her the freedom to wear more edgy styles than she used to in her career as a business consultant.
CR- How your experience living in LA has influenced your style? (or not at all)
JC- Before moving to Los Angeles, I used to have very polished and sophisticated styles: well-cut pants and fitted dresses were my outfits during the work week, and I was wearing more rock chic clothes during the weekend. Since I move to LA, my lifestyle is way more relaxed. If I wear a suit people will think I will go to an interview! I am wearing skirts, shorts, and jeans most of the time! My style is a bit edgier! I also walk in the street in leggings after a Pilates session! I would have never done that in France.
It is awe-inspiring how this “Forever fierce” movement is giving us the opportunity to connect and engage with women of all ages and backgrounds.
I do not doubt that every single one of us has found in Catherine a source of inspiration, so I was curious how they two met.
CR- How and when did you meet Catherine?
JC- I connected with Catherine on Instagram! We went to a blogger event together, and I highly appreciate her exceptional personality, wisdom and personal story.
I can’t agree more with Julia, Catherine has admirable strength as a Lyme-disease survivor who decided to embrace life and give her best to help everyone to succeed. I’ll always be grateful to her for bringing the two of us together.
CR- Why did you join the Bridging the Gap campaign?
JC- In my former job, I noticed that the senior staff was always anxious around the junior staff. And the opposite was also true. There was a lot of change in the last 20 years socially, economically and technically speaking and I really think that we can learn from each generation. Also, I am convinced that in 20 years from now there will also be a lot of changes and I would love to connect with a younger generation too and keep the discussion with every woman.
I agree with Julia 100%! I love working with younger women, especially in this digital age, because they’re savvier than us boomers. On the other hand, Julia is a very authentic person; she is the type of woman you can reach out for advice, and she’ll give it to you with the honesty you need.
It is so great when women support other women; midlife women can learn a lot from millennials and vice versa
CR- What do you think you could learn/gain from this experience partnering with me and participating in the campaign?
JC-I am super grateful to learn more about your PR and international experiences! I am very impressed on how you decided to start over in Miami after years of success in Venezuela. I am starting over too in the USA, I change the country, and I changed job. From Finance, I decided to focus on Fashion and Blogging. I need a role model like you! Indeed as an immigrant, the journey is always challenging, and it really helps to hear your success story!
Julia and I started over again in a foreign country, which is always challenging. We talked about monetizing, outsourcing different tasks, time management, and the truth is that this new business of blogging is a lot of work. Julia is undoubtedly a source of inspiration to me, not only because of her great talent and style but also for her focus on creating quality engaging content. If you read her blog posts, you too will find inspiration in her. On the other hand, for both Julia and me is hard to write in English, but we are both determined to overcome the language barrier and do it better every day.
CR- What category of business were you advising at Deloitte?
JC- I was advising medium size businesses in the consumer business and financial sector. It was super interesting to see how companies needed to shift their business models to keep up with regulations or with the globalization and digitalization of the economy. I feel like in our current economy, maturation does not exist anymore, ever you continue to grow, or you decline. I learn that differentiation or innovation, thinking forward and being the best in your niche were the elements for success and growth.
Wise girl! She’s quite clear, and I think that unfortunately there are still people who don’t get it! Definitely, in this global world, no matter your field, what differentiates you is your uniqueness. Julia stands out from the crowd because she’s authentically Julia, so if she has an innovative way of putting together a look, it has her signature all over. And many other women will find inspiration in it.
Julia Comil is not only a gorgeous and stylish blogger; she’s a brilliant business consultant with international experience
CR-What would you like to advise me, or any other over 50 blogger that wants to grow our blogs? (Different from consistency)
JC- For me, blogging is a more and more saturated market. So having good content is very important. I think, as a blogger, we need to have great pictures but most importantly: having a story to share behind each picture. I started to be a blogger because I was so inspired by them. So sometimes my pictures are not super-curated, but I want to share a unique experience which I really think my followers would love to know about.
Starting a blog over 50 is really niche, and it is a great way to differentiate yourself from the mass. When you are in your mid-life, you know all the tips and tricks to smooth your daily life. These type of experiences are so valuable!
In term of strategy, using different hashtags, commenting on pictures or blog posts of like-minded individuals are the best way to build your audience. Using Instagram Stories and videos are also a good way to grow. I am still very shy when I am shooting a video for my IG story as I am doing them in English (which is not my native language). But I am working on it to feel more comfortable and being able to deliver video contents on a regular basis.
Also to grow your blog, it is very important to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization), using the help from SEO professionals is a good way to grow your platforms.
I also think that being consistent does not mean posting on a regular basis I would rather have a consistent content in term of quality than quantity. I started to post 6 times a week on Instagram only when my following reaches 10’000. The same for my blog only when I have reached a certain milestone, I decided to post on a weekly basis, and now I am posting on a bi-weekly basis. Between each milestone, I focus on improving a skill: photography, creativity, writing, SEO, etc.
I’m starting to do more IG stories, following Julia’s advice, and I agree with her about quality vs. quantity, as well as improving one skill at a time. Julia Comil is one of the millennial bloggers that I will always follow, and pay attention to her advice. I love her energy and her joie de vivre, and I admire her. She’s beauty and brains, she’s a role model to me and I loved partnering with her in this campaign.
Follow her on every social media and read her blog posts on House of Comil, you’ll thank me later, I can assure you!
I want to give thanks to Catherine for bringing us both together; I can call both my friends and I would love to be able to partner with them again in the future. This “Forever Fierce” community has evolved quite rapidly, and I can’t wait to continue to relate to everyone in this amazing group of talented women.