Last Updated on May 14, 2021
GiGi Ashworth is a former competitive snowboarder and horseback rider who has since become a popular allergen-friendly cook and certified nutritionist with a master’s degree in Nutrition Communications. She run the successful website gigieatscelebrities.com, which focuses on food and cooking, but also a whole lot more.
According to her site, Gigi is a self-proclaimed extreme eater (she can eat 6 pounds of salmon in one sitting, no joke) and a rather blunt and vulgar diehard food enthusiast, GiGi is proof that you can educate and inform as well as entertain at the same time!
GiGi’s interests include food and drink, nutrition, health, wellness, fitness, fitness clothing, beauty, lifestyle, kitchen, home and garden and sports.
Can you tell us a little about your background including how you got your start in Influencer Marketing?
I moved to Los Angeles maybe seven and a half years ago. And when I first moved to Los Angeles I came here with the idea that I wanted to be this entertainment reporter. I wanted to go and interview the celebrities because I was so enamored with their lifestyles and blah blah blah. Anyways when I got to Los Angeles I was actually gifted with a job, or not gifted but blessed if you will with a job at E! Entertainment and anther place called Buzz Media. So I did have the opportunity to go and meet with celebrities and that sort of thing,. However, when I spoke with the upper ups at E! they were telling me that the only way they would hire me as an on camera talent is if I left the company and gained. outside experience. And in order for me to obtain jobs like that I needed an online presence. So that’s when I started my blog and my YouTube Channel, Gigi EatsCelebrities or quote my influencer life, if you will. However, back then I had no idea what influencing was. and back then as well it really wasn’t a thing and that was about six and a half years ago. So, you know, influencing has sort of like really come to what is it today over the past six years or so I’ve noticed.
But anyways I first started my blog Gigi EatCelebrities and it was making fun of diet and fitness trends of celebrities. Haha. But you know it actually worked. My online presence did in fact get me jobs working for many different outlets for entertainment reporting. And I realized that maybe I shouldn’t really be making fun of the celebrities I could potentially be interviewing. So instead I morphed my blog more into be about food since I have a huge passion for nutrition health fitness. Because I have celiac, crohns, ulcerated colitis, IBS, no large intestine, and a whole large of food allergies and stuff like that So I morphed it more into initially reviewing food products that I deem amazing and not a lot of people have heard of. Because this whole paleo, keto, whatever the thing is like exploded in the past four or five years but I’ve been doing it for seventeen. So I knew about a whole bunch of products that people didn’t really know about. Then I decided okay well it seems people are more interested in this avenue that I’ve taken versus the celebrity lifestyle approach. So I’m going to keep doing this, I’m going to keep talking about myself and my own ailments, and I’m going to create allergen friendly recipes. Which then my brand has thus expanded into allergen friendly travel because I’ve been gifted with opportunities to go abroad and showcase how you can eat allergen friendly in Italy for instance, or Greece or Thailand or whatever. So I’ve been able to go across the world with my little camera just showcasing what the hell I’m doing. Haha. And since about three or four years ago I’ve actually been able to make this my full time job because brands do come to me and they want to work with me. Thus we collaborate and we come up with stipulations and terms and all that sort of thing in order to make that happen. So yeah.
There are a lot of different philosophies when it comes to healthy eating. How did you develop your approach to nutrition and also how do you come up with a recipe
Actually what’s interesting and what I actually pride myself in is I do not make any of the recipes before I film a YouTube video. I think it’s really fun, organic, and unique when I’m on camera and I’m like “ah crap. This is not working haha” and you know I totally screw up because I’m human. And a lot of these recipes online are perfect in every way, shape, and form because they’ve been making this recipe or adapting this recipe a million times off the camera and then on camera it can be perfect. But what I like to do is showcase my personality, which I feel like overall I’m more of a personality over anything else. People do get great recipes from me once and awhile, But I do think that I’m more here for an entertainment value over anything else. That being said I have created amazing recipes and I love them. But what happens is I think of a recipe, for instance like my sister-in-law asked me to recreate the panda express chicken teriyaki. And so what I do is I look at the website and I look at the ingredients that are listed and I look at them and I think “okay how can I replace them to make it healthier”. And then, you know, I was brought up in a cooking background so I sort of know measurements and how much you should use of this and that and so on and so forth. So I sort of guesstimate but at the same time, as I said I was brought up this way, so it just sort of works for the most part. I mean I’m not going to lie once in awhile I put too much salt or too much lemon or something like that and I’m like “ew gross”. But I showcase that on camera so I’m like “guys this was really gross. Thank you for watching this video. If you have an adaptation of this recipe that you want to tell me that would be great. Like try it at home but do things differently.” That’s generally how I come up with recipes. And you know everyday recipes I love in the past, for instance I love cinnamon buns and stuff like that. I will look up the ingredients online, of like a hostess cinnamon bun or whatever it is, and try and create quote Gigi approved because I have so many food allergies that is not only delicious to me but is delicious to people who even don’t have food allergies.
So do I have it right that your husband is your camera operator?
No, he helps me once in awhile but for the most part I do it all myself. We did just move to a new house and he has been helping me do all the camera since moving to this new house. But I got to do it myself. My favorite videos though are when he is in it with me. Because he’s a comedic actor and he’s so smart and off the cuff constantly. And the things that he says I’m like “how did you come up with that in literally five milliseconds?” it’s crazy. And people love that dynamic anyway. They love to see the relationship. Actually my most recent video I post we cook this recipe from this company called Home Chef and it was pretty comical.
What has been your most successful partnership with a brand?
My most successful partnership.. I mean well Nuzest was a very successful partnership because it’s very ongoing. And I always think that ongoing partnerships are the most lucrative and obviously thus the most successful. I had this partnership with a coconut oil company for a long time that was very successful as well and, you know, got a lot of clicks. Thus they got a lot of return for their investment and that sort of thing. I’ve been working with this air fryer company for a very long time and my next video I’m going to be do with them is compare their air fryer to a competitive air fryer and so we’re going to see what crisps up more. But the thing is I build relationships with all the brand that I work with and I make sure they know what I’m about, they know I can get raunchy, they know that I’m off the cuff, they know that I fly the seat of my pants kind of girl, so you never really know what to expect. And if they cannot take my personality and say “alright cool, let’s do that” then they don’t have to work with me. There’s this company called chickapea pasta that I work with on a consistent basis and I make a bunch of outside of the box recipes for them and they adore all of them. So I’m going to continually be working with them, which is great. I have an amazing relationship with them, I’ve met them a couple of time actually in person, which is wonderful. And I think my – again I find success in the quality of friendships I have with brands. So I have a lot of friends who are brand owners and I pride myself in that because I think that it’s the most important thing to continue to have success with a brand. You need to be friends. Yeah business is a part of it but you can’t just be all business because they’ll see you as potentially just wanting to earn money and then bye and that’s it. And then also like you have to be extremely transparent with your numbers and the behind the scenes stuff. And if you’re simply like well I’m going to charge this and this is what you’re going to get but you don’t really give them the dirty details if you will then they’re never going to work with you again because they might not see the same return that another brand saw.
How do you determine which products to review and which ones to skip?
Oh I turn down so many brands it’s not even funny. I don’t care how much money they are throwing my direction. Like I would never in a million years go against my brand and work for like McDonalds or Burger King or anything like that. Even if they were like “hey showcase our salad”. I would look at all of the ingredients within their salad because guess in like a chicken salad from McDonalds their chicken has sugar in it. It could potentially have wheat in it and all that kind of stuff. So unless McDonald’s wants me to make a video showcasing the fact that it sucks, I won’t be working with them. Also you know, dairy companies come to me and then they’re like “hey look at my ice cream” or stuff like that. Now since I have my husband and I’m pregnant so i’m going to have a child soon thus you know who knows what this kid can eat. But like that does expand my horizons in terms of foods that I can potentially be promoting on my blog because ,you know, there’s things like whole grain wild rice. I find that to be very nutritious, I just personally cannot eat it.
So – in fact a rice brand did come my direction and they really want to work with me and I’m like that’s wonderful however I personally cannot eat your rice. However, whenever we do videos together my husband will be there we’ll create a recipe together, he will be the taste tester, and so on and so forth. So I like that I now have my husband to eat, you know cause he eats everything, so I have him for the types of brand that I think are have ,you know, a great moral value and have great products and that sort of thing. I just personally cannot eat them. So like grass-fed grass-finished dairy for instance like if a butter company came to me that was completely free range yeah I would consider working with them. However mention that I cannot personally eat dairy but my significant can. So if you’re okay with a duo video and or blog post then yippee so am I.
You’ve been in front of the camera for many years and video content is only becoming more prominent. Do you have any advice for Influencers looking to improve their on-camera presence, in addition to the How to Make Love to a Camera guide you made?
Well if you need some tips and tricks by all means email me. I’ve been doing this as you said for a very long time, yes, Well my advice would be to go check out that video, how to make love to a camera. I also have an entire write up on my blog for that presentation I did. But basically, you know, you have to make sure that you have a niche because if you don’t have a niche as to what you’re talking about, a basic genre, then you’re really – you’re going to get in front of the camera and you’re going to clam up because you have no idea what to talk about first of all. So once you get that niche then I highly recommend you write down a whole bunch of different topics within that niche that you would potentially want to talk about, that you feel comfortable talking about. Then from there you take those topics and you bullet point things that are highlights that you want to discuss in terms of that topic. And then from there you can find a good place in your house that has nice lighting. For instance I chose this room right now because the light is coming right in on my face and hopefully it doesn’t look like I have huge bags under my eyes, you know something like that. And you know, there’s a nice blue background because that’s nice and bright so it makes you pop. And I would personally recommend people just get your computer or get you Iphone and just talk. You don’t even have to record anything however I highly recommend that you do so you can see you mannerisms and sort of correct them if you need to. But so just record yourself and just start talking about a topic, you know, you want to talk about and who knows it could be a great video and you’re like “oh my god I already made my first video. Sweet I can upload it” or you might be like “okay, I need to take notes on all the things I don’t like that I’m doing and I need to figure out how to change that”. And one thing that people actually do not do, which is interesting because you know if you’re talking about a topic you like you need to smile and a lot of people do not smile. They’re very monotone and they’re like “hey so today I’m going to talk about Christmas ornaments and it’s sparkly like” and if you’re like okay “why am i watching you if you don’t care about talking about Christmas ornaments”. So smiling and getting – so yeah that’s what I’m going to say my basic tips or whatever are to create a topic and/or niche that you want to talk about and smile when you’re talking. That’s like the two overheads there’s so many more tips but that presentation I made was like a hour and a half. So that’s a video I think a lot of people should watch if they really want to get into video space, which that’s basically where we’re going these days so get on into it.
Where do you see Influencer Marketing in Five years or so?
Influencer marketing is very interesting to watch this trend because I really do believe it’s the new form of advertising. That being said there’s a lot of false advertising out there. The problem I see with influencer marketing is there is a lot of impressionable people and they just read anything and believe it all. So for instance I did this YouTube video a couple weeks where I was debunking healthy foods that are not healthy. And It’ was like acai bowls, i don’t know if you guys ever heard of that. But it’s the most annoying thing ever. I don’t even know how to pronounce it. Sorry, i have an itchy nose. So I was debunking that, granola, and oh gosh I can;t even remember the other thing. But anyways it doesn’t. So with acai bowls for instance they’re very beautiful to photography for Instagram for instance. And I always see people writing captions for hashtags that say healthy or nutritious or low calorie or something like that, which is utter garbage because that’s not true whatsoever. The things that are added to acai bowls for instance are yogurt that could potentially have added sugar. Granola is very high in calories and ,you know, a little goes a long way sort of thing. And there’s just so many things that are not good in regards to these types of foods and it’s not just acai bowls you know, there’s so many other foods that are posted on all social media that people are toting as being very healthy but they are not. So I unfortunately sort of see a lot of influencer marketing going in a negative direction because people are not well educated and people are very impressionable. Like then you think about the Kim Kardashians of the world and how everyone thinks that those people are perfect but they’re all fake and completely plastic and they’re not real human beings. Of course they’re really human beings but they’re just not showing their true sides. And I find that disgusting because it makes people think there’s some sort of perfect that they need to obtain and get to and achieve or whatever, but there is no such thing a perfect. Like when I promote my nutritional services or whatever I may follow a specific diet regime because I have all of my issues if you will.
But for instance if a vegan came my direction, which personally I cannot believe in veganism, however if a vegan did come my direction they’re like “hey I really need help” I wouldn’t steer them away. I would simply adapt to what they’re doing and give them ideas, regimes, meal plans, whatever you want that are catered to a vegan lifestyle. So in terms of influencer marketing being a positive thing for my business it truly is because I can get my voice and my name out there through the internet.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the co-host of the Influencer Spotlight series.