By EHM Editor Jade McKenzie
I am thrilled to introduce you to our very first EHM cover girl – Gala Darling! And this vivacious lady really is a darling of both the blogging scene and speaking circuit as an author, teacher, and speaker who has been teaching radical self love for close to a decade. Her site, galadarling.com, helps over 1,000,000 women a month (yes you read that right!) find their voice, live without fear, and fall in love with life.
Born in New Zealand, she moved to NYC with one suitcase when she was 24 years old, and used radical self love to heal from an eating disorder and depression. Gala has been called “a spiritual revolutionary”, “the oracle of all things mystically glam”, and “a modern-day guru”. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, New Zealand Herald, Teen Vogue, New York Post, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Time Out New York, Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, The Age, Sunday Herald Sun, The Dominion Post, Inked magazine, MiNDFOOD, Stuff, Viva, and countless others.
She has been interviewed on CBS, ABC News, and Hay House Radio. Gala has spoken about radical self-love and entrepreneurship at SXSW Interactive, TEDxCMU, and dozens of other events across the world, in addition to lecturing at NYU (twice). A co-founder of The Blogcademy, she taught over 1,000 women how to build their business through their blog on several continents.
What I love about Gala is not that she has a huge list of achievements that come after her name, but the fact that she has passionately pursued her dreams and is dedicated to living her truth. She is a beautiful example of a life well lived and well loved.
A big part of Gala’s work is connecting with her community which she does regularly through all types of events and speaking gigs. It feels like there isn’t a stage that this lovely lady hasn’t graced so we are going to dig deep today and get a backstage view of what happens at Gala’s events!
Thank you so much for chatting with us Gala, we couldn’t think of anyone better for our first cover! And speaking of firsts, I am curious to know, what was the very first event that you ever organized?
I think the first event I ever organised was The Blogcademy in New York City! Before that, I had been invited to speak all over the place but had no experience putting an event together from scratch. It was totally eye-opening... And addictive! The rush was massive.
To me, the word ‘events’ represents endless opportunity to engage, inspire and take positive action in unique settings. Something you are great at is having vision for what is possible and then making it come to life. How do you come up with the ideas for your events?
Thank you so much for saying so! It's a combination of two things: seeing a gap in the market that I think I can serve, and something I actually want to do. You absolutely have to be enthusiastic about what you're doing, because you're going to come up against challenges, and your passion is the only thing that will keep you motivated!
The events you put on and are involved with are such a wonderfully eclectic mix ranging from a handful of people at a high tea to thousands of people in a lecture theatre. Do you have a favourite type of event and why?
I love all kinds of events, from the huge to the intimate. Any opportunity to connect with my readers is a total delight and my favourite part of the work I do. Writing can be so solitary, so getting to meet so many like-minded people at once is really incredible.
You have a deliciously full and exciting calendar which involves a lot of travel and external commitments, not to mention tending to your own online space and all of the book writing you have been doing lately! How often do you run your own events and does this change depending on what projects you are working on?
It really ebbs and flows depending on how the rest of my year is looking. My co-founders and I just did the last of our Blogcademy live events, which we held for 3 years on 3 different continents and taught over 1000 women! I like to run my Radical Self Love Salons when the weather starts to cool down, because the temptation to hermit and stay inside (especially in freezing cold NYC) is so high! It's great to bring women together on a regular basis.
The last time I saw you was for the Melbourne Radical Self Love Ritual event at the Cullen which was super fun and fabulous! It sold out really quickly which I attribute to having such a deep and honest connection to your worldwide community. What do you think helps sell tickets quickly and easily?
It's important to offer something original and inspiring, as well as teaching skills that people can take away and actually implement. I loathe theory without application, so my focus is always on how people can take action in their everyday life. I think this really resonates with my audience!
Just like musicians have riders, business owners usually develop their own little list of must haves. What can’t you live without at your events?
Now I feel way too low-maintenance... All I need is water and hot pink lipstick and I'm ready to rock!
You are fabulous at putting a positive spin on things and always looking on the bright side. Can you share the ways in which events have challenged you and stretched you in a positive way?
Every event is a challenge in its own way. Sometimes it's a bigger audience than you're used to, or the venue isn't ideal, or a supplier didn't come through... I try to see the blessing or silver lining in everything. I often find that the solutions you come up with can inform your business in the future, or even end up being better than the original plan!
And finally, for all of those entrepreneurs and business owners out there who want to make events a part of their business, what is your biggest tip for running memorable and unique events that people talk about for years to come?
It's important that YOU'RE having fun at the events because the person who hosts sets the tone! When we started talking about my radical self love event in Melbourne, I was really keen to have a tarot card reader on site, and it made the event so much more fun. It encouraged the attendees to talk to one another while they waited for a reading, and added a level of magic, mysticism and fun to the evening. I also think it's important to be deeply gracious and loving towards your guests. I am so in love with the people who come out to see me, no matter what city I'm in, and I think that comes across!
What gorgeous words and advice from a woman who truly knows her stuff! You can keep up to date with all of Gala's upcoming events and speaking gigs HERE.