Taking Brunch to an Artform

Cheers with The Gilded Bellini

Brielle Galekovic is the creative inspiration behind a delightful blog called The Gilded Bellini. I’m thrilled to introduce you to this amazing 25 year old who formerly was a NYC PR girl, now transformed into an LA blogger & on-camera personality. Aren’t we all looking to follow our dreams? Brielle is cutting her own path while leaving her old life behind in the PR world and creating a new one in the digital world. She was even featured on FOX’s The F Word with Gordon Ramsay! I can’t wait to share more of her story!

CGO: Welcome, Brielle. It’s been lovely getting to know you and your story. Aren’t we all fascinated by people’s stories? It sounds like you have been making some major changes in your life. It can be scary to leave the safety of your current life in order to follow your dreams. Can you take me back to what was going on in your life that led you to make a decision to leave your PR career behind and make a change?

BG: I went to college in New York City and landed a position at a PR firm a day before I was finished with school. However, as can happen in life, the reality of my dream didn’t match my vision. Entry level PR is extremely demanding and stressful, and for me it led to 14 hour days at my desk and not eating or taking care of myself. The constant stress and anxiety led me to realize that my well being was more important than my job. Moreover, I did not feel like I was being challenged creatively, and I was yearning for a more creative work environment. I then joined my mom and brother on their move to California. Even though my beginning in PR was quite rocky, I’m grateful for the lessons I learned.

CGO: Your blog is focused on sharing the entire brunch experience. It’s wonderful that you found your niche. I’d love to hear more about how you found this niche and what inspired you to create the blog.

BG: The brunch culture is huge in New York City and it was what my friends and I looked forward to after working all week. One of the perks of working in PR is being the first ones to discover the best new places and hotspots at the moment. My group of friends and I loved going to all the trendy spots and just being able to hang out, relax, have cocktails and leave the week behind. We always ran into young professionals like us that were going to brunch every weekend, laughing and eating, popping champagne and even dancing at some spots. We didn’t have to wait until 11:30 pm to go out and have a good time. I noticed that the brunching lifestyle never really had a presence online. Of course, there are people who blog about aspects of the brunch experience but never the whole package: the food, the cocktails, what you wear, the ambiance, the kind of crowd who goes to those places. This developed naturally as people came to me for my recommendations. I knew that I wanted to create something unique. Someone needed to capture the experience and make it relatable. I wanted that person to be me.

CGO: I love that you celebrate the whole idea of brunch and even shoot videos to bring people into your experience. I believe you refer to it as “honoring the brunching lifestyle.” What does this mean to you?

BG: There is so much that comes into play to enjoy a memorable brunching experience. What are the great places? Does a restaurant have any really cool signature dishes or distinctive cocktails … What’s the ambiance and typical crowd like? Oftentimes, it’s a younger crowd who want to have a great, relaxed time at a chic social hang out spot at 11 am on a Saturday. I realized there needed to be a place online that could be the home for all things that related to the brunching lifestyle. It’s so much more than just pictures of food and cute outfits. It’s tied into the brunching culture, and it is something that’s honored by a huge part of millennials as a lifestyle. Brunching brings people together and allows you to connect to new friends that join in the fun. It’s the perfect situation to be social and meet new people. That motivated me to move into video. You could go on Yelp and find a brief review of a place, but you won’t really get a feel for how an experience really will be unless you can see it before you go there. Essentially in all my videos, I am my viewers’ “host” into previewing their next brunch destination.

CGO: There are so many wonderful restaurants. What are your personal recommendations for a relaxing brunch on a Sunday afternoon in LA?

If you want a relaxing, yet still very chic brunch I would recommend Cecconi’s in West Hollywood. It’s known for being “very LA” but I love everything about the space — it is on the quieter side and I love how the sun just shines in while you’re dining. The food and the drinks are always fabulous. It’s a great spot to take photos, to catch up with a friend without having to shout over the loudness and just soak in a great moment while brunching in Los Angeles. You escape a little bit every time you dine at Cecconi’s.

CGO: What advice can you give people that are looking to start a blog but might be intimidated by the process?

BG: It’s important to realize you’re in a vulnerable state, whether you’re writing or you’re on camera. It is often difficult for people to make the decision that they actually want to go through with launching because they’re nervous they won’t have any privacy. My advice is just do it. For me, it opened up a creative door that I never knew was missing. Find your niche. Your journey will be filled with ups and downs but you will be proud of your ability to create original, captivating content when it’s all said and done.

CGO: Blogging, as I’ve learned, is a lot of work. What do you do to keep yourself motivated?

BG: I always try to envision the bigger picture — my goals and aspirations. I know every step I take is one day closer to reaching my goal. Thinking positive and believing is key for me.

CGO: Brielle, what’s your ultimate vision?

BG: My ultimate vision would be to turn The Gilded Bellini into a full fledged lifestyle brand and have it be a household name! I intend for people to connect with The Gilded Bellini as the home base for all things brunch and lifestyle. I would love to have the video side of my site really take off and be able to brunch & work with influential people on a much larger platform.

CGO: I admire your passion and tenacity. So many of us stay in our comfort zones even when they are uncomfortable. What advice do you have for women looking to make a change in their lives by following their dreams?

BG: I think that you are the only one who has the power to take your life in a different direction. If you stay in one spot, either mentally or physically your whole life, how will you ever continue to grow? Most dreams or goals require a person to step outside of their comfort zone. There will never be a “right time” to do anything, so don’t wait for it. Sometimes you need to just take a risk and see where it will get you on your journey.

CGO: What has been your greatest challenge in the blogging world and what has been your greatest triumph?

BG: The biggest challenge is probably trying to keep up with creating content each week on top of expenses. With blogging, quality matters. You need to pay your photographer. If you’re doing video, you need to pay your videographer. You pay for clothing, your travel, your frequent outings. Those are just a few of the things. It’s a constant struggle, but the quality must be met in everything you do because it’s a direct reflection of you and your brand. The greatest triumph has been being recognized for my quality work and connecting with some really influential people I never even dreamed I’d meet!

CGO: Your blogging venture has created quite a path of recognition for you. What are a few of your favorite opportunities that have come your way since you launched?

I recently was featured on FOX’s The F Word with Gordon Ramsay where I got to celebrate my 25th birthday and talk to him about The Gilded Bellini on camera! It was a surreal moment for me that I’ll never forget. I also got the opportunity to interview Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell. Another cool experience was being cast in a Cosmopolitan.com skit about brunch!

CGO: I love that you also share beauty tips as our experience really depends on how we feel on the inside. What’s your philosophy on beauty and inner beauty?

BG: I think everyone struggles a bit with what they look like on the outside. However, as I’ve gotten older I realize it’s irrelevant in the grand scheme of life. Inner beauty is so much more important. It radiates through someone even stronger than a pretty smile. I think the key to being a beautiful person on the outside is having good intentions and a good heart. Be happy for your journey on your path. That will transcend to your outer beauty.

CGO: Brielle, it seems that you don’t allow anything to hold you back in life and that’s an amazing quality. Thank so much for opening your heart to myself and our readers and sharing your story. Is there anything else you would like to share in closing?

BG: There is more to me than just going to brunch. Some people are surprised when they first meet me and they’re like — Wait, so you do more than just go to brunch? I’ve found my niche, but I am not just a blogger who likes to eat good food and take photos. I am a millennial who believes in happiness, creativity, taking risks and not conforming. I am essentially an entrepreneur doing my best to blend business with my passion in this new social, digital world with endless possibilities. Brunch may not be the most serious topic yet my ultimate goal for my blog is to provide a little escape from my readers’ typical day. It’s important to know your potential follower. What do they want to see and what makes them happy? The Gilded Bellini is more than just a blog — it is an easily relatable, fun platform and brand serving as the foundation of my entrepreneurial endeavor and the home base for connecting with other people.

CGO: Thanks Brielle! It’s been wonderful getting to know you!

Brielle can be found on her blog The Gilded Bellini. You can also connect with on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. And for for a real treat, subscribe to her YouTube channel and never miss brunching in style.

You can find Catherine Grace O’Connell on her blog at CatherineGraceO. She is also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @catherinegraceo. Tune in to Cat & Kaehler: Fiercely Empowering Women of All Ages Through the Lens of Midlife with Catherine and co-host Kathy Kaehler live every Tuesday at 2 PM EST/11 AM PST or download as a podcast on LA TalkRadio, iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. You can find out more about Forever Fierce: The Midlife Revolution and how to join us by sending an email to info@catherinegraceo.com.

Like what you read? Give Catherine Grace O’Connell a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.