“Hey Kathryn, I’m gonna move to California.”
That’s what Aurelia Paquette said to her friend in the middle of class last year. And thus the magical whirlwind of a native New Englander’s journey to the West Coast began. A recent graduate of Harvard, Aurelia has garnered quite the following with her blog, “Aurelia” (originally dubbed “The Golden Age”), over the past couple years. With well over 41K followers on instagram and a gorgeously curated blogsite, the aesthetically pleasing world of Aurelia is easy to get lost in. Bob Cut caught up with the Bay’s newest local last week at Cafe de la Presse, where we talked life, work, and love of our now shared city.
BC: You’re a recent New England transplant to the Bay Area. How has that affected the direction of your blog?
AP: I think there’s a twofold change occurring here, one of them being moving to the West Coast and the other going from being a college student to someone “adulting.” I’ve always been passionate about interior design and personal wellness and all of those little niceties that make a home a home, but I never really focused on it in my blog before because I don’t know how inspirational my dorm would be. I didn’t necessarily want to set myself up as a college blogger knowing that was a very finite opportunity. So I’m really excited that I can start sharing my apartment or favorite flower shops, that kind of thing… I also find that I’m very inspired by the pastel architecture all over the city and the opportunities to constantly go into nature. I think there’s a general creativity that pervades the city–that’s not just in tech, but also in food and art and in blogging, so it’s definitely a very exciting place to be for that.
BC: Before moving to San Francisco, you had some time to prepare for the move and get ready for your lifestyle change. What were you most excited about experiencing here in SF? Conversely, are there any New England traditions you are adamant about keeping alive as you live on the West Coast?
AP: Other than living in warmth year round, I was especially excited for the vast array of weekend trips. Just being able to be in wine country in an hour or two, or traveling down various cliffs along the sea, it’s all just unreal and so beautiful. Inside the city, I’d say there’s a very interesting balance of ambition and relaxed nature that’s difficult to strike, but I’ve been able to enjoy that and absorb that since moving here. And in general, picnic culture, which comes with the weather. Things that I want to bring with me from the East Coast, I think there’s a certain amount of that slightly preppy style that I’ll never shake, but for the most part it’s just about keeping in touch with my family.
BC: Moving in general can be a difficult process, but moving across the country is definitely a daunting task. How did that process go for you this past summer?
AP: I had a blissfully smooth moving experience. I had the summer off between school and work, so I spent that time with my family in Boston. I did the whole Marie Kondo cleaning through every single one of my possessions and [my boyfriend and I] actually moved by checking all of our stuff as boxes on a plane. That made it easier so that we felt very refreshed in our place once we found one here. We were just so lucky in every respect while moving; our apartment was posted on Craigslist about an hour before our plane landed, and I had been obsessively checking Craigslist for months. I saw this listing and set up a meeting. It was that long weekend [of summer] it was really hot in the city. No one was here, so we were actually the first and last people to look at our apartment. We just snapped it up and I had a couple weeks to go consignment shopping and check out a lot of stores in the South Bay, which I think a lot of the best [home] finds are to be had. My aunt took me all around and we reupholstered chairs and sewed pillows together.
BC: As a successful blogger yourself for some time now, what wisdom or piece of advice would you want to impart to those just diving into that world? How would you go about suggesting bloggers find their niche in such a vast and populated sphere?
AP: I’d say that I probably spent too much time thinking about what my niche would be in the beginning. If you have a really clear idea going in, that’s wonderful. But you don’t want to let that up-front thinking stop you from creating content that you care about. It’s only through creating that you find your voice. The beginning was just a lot of creating for me. It started as a hobby, a personal passion project, a portfolio, if you will.
From a hobby to a full-blown, multifaceted project, Aurelia has traveled across America and beyond, producing blog posts that offer insight to far-off destinations as well as the cozy comforts of home. She considers writing about lifestyle topics her favorite verbiage, while photographing travel brings more visual inspiration. In 2018, she promises the content will keep coming. Keep up with Aurelia on her blog and Instagram to experience San Francisco through her eye view.