Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Abbott.
Andrea, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
By day, I’m a producer at an ad agency and I also work as a video editor. Video and filmmaking has always been a part of my life. I’m inspired by creators around me. I also love cooking and trying new restaurants. Very quickly, I found people always asking me for restaurant recommendations. I like taking photos in general and noticed people liked my food photography. So, I started to think about a food blog.
One of my friends didn’t want to go to an Arizona blogging event alone and asked me to go since I do photos/video. I was very nervous to go, but the other bloggers there inspired me to start something of my own.
I wanted to be different. On Instagram, there was a variety of users I followed and I loved how they blogged right there in the caption. No external site to jump through with popups or email lists. I thought this was a cool way to use the platform. I didn’t see anyone using Instagram like this for food. Originally, I started Arizona Bites as a place where I could post photos I’ve taken over the years and blog about the places I liked. It grew faster than I anticipated and what was once a hobby, is now a passion.
The foodie community here in Phoenix is something really special and I’ve loved getting involved and being welcomed into it. The community spans food bloggers, Instagrammers and Yelpers. We all kind of know each other and encourage each other.
Now, I have a posting schedule, I am constantly planning new content and interacting with new restaurants. Arizona Bites continues to grow and I’m excited to keep trying new things.
Has it been a smooth road?
Anything related to creating is a very competitive landscape. There are plenty of people who take amazing photos of food on Instagram. There are also a lot of local Arizona bloggers that have a huge following. I was nervous to start and even more nervous to go to my first foodie event.
When I got my first 200 followers, I was so thrilled. I like to continue to celebrate the small milestones. I still get nervous when I’m invited to a restaurant. I get really excited to try something new and take photos, but sometimes the lighting is dark or I don’t have the right lens or my phone’s about to die. I get more nervous because I want to represent the restaurant as best as I can, not only for my audience but for the restaurant as well.
I think the best advice I can give is ‘fake it til you make it’. There are times, when I meet a foodie I look up to or get a free dinner and ask myself ‘is this real?’. Just have fun with it. Have confidence in your work and take advice from others. I still get nervous every time I post and am frantically scrolling, checking for spelling errors and the like. You just kind of have to dive in. And when you do, the community is there to hold you up and lets you grow together.
We’d love to hear more about Arizona Bites.
I’ve worked in the video/film industry for 8+ years as a producer/video editor (or ‘Preditor’ as they call them). I’m very much type A, super organized and detail oriented, but I also love storytelling and finding the beauty in anything. I feel like I can bridge both worlds – creative and analytical. Which really helps me make Arizona Bites what it needs to be. I can craft and take the right photos and creatively think of new angles and styles while also keeping to a schedule, monitoring data and planning out for the future.
I’m most proud of that Arizona Bites isn’t even a year old and is still moving and growing. I have plans for the future and would love to incorporate my video expertise to better showcase all the amazing food here in Arizona. Arizona Bites is only on Instagram, but I’m hoping to grow to other platforms.
I feel like Arizona is a very special place for it’s eclectic food landscape including all kinds of southwestern fair. I’m excited to keep exploring.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I believe one of the biggest barriers is a lack of mentorship. Mentors are key for helping anyone in their career. Without a good mentor, you won’t succeed. Also, I believe women in my industry sometimes aren’t assertive. They won’t deliberately ask for those raises and promotions. As women, we need to be confident and assertive when pursuing our careers with the help of mentors. Embrace community and work through the failures.
- Website: arizonabites.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arizonabites/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaPAbbott
SoCal Fish Taco Company, Eat Cake Love Gilbert, Fat Ox, Perch Pub Brewery, Little Miss BBQ, Windsor, Vienna Beef 125 anniversary event with AZ Foodie at Helio Basin Brewery