September 29, 2022

Why This LA Creative Says Every Adult Should Have A Hobby

GEM is dedicated to revolutionizing how people think about wellness and self-health, and that means meeting you where you’re at. In our new interview series, Get To Know Them, we chronicle the lives and wellness routines—no matter how robust or lackluster—of real women with bustling careers, busy family lives, and an ever-growing to-do list. 

Shelby Eastman is an LA-based creative who runs her own consulting firm that focuses on social media marketing and content creation for boutique hotels and restaurants across the country. Not only is Eastman the brains behind #shelbcake, a baking side hustle that’s equal parts aesthetic and hilarious, but she also just launched Daisy by Shelby, a playful line of pet accessories with tons of personality. Here’s how she finds balance in her busy schedule.

Tell us a little bit about your path to where you are now:

I went to college for business and fashion in New York right out of high school and held several internships—including one with Prada, as well as with wardrobe stylist Brandy Joy Smith—which really set me up with a hustle mentality and strong work ethic from a young age.

As a young creative in New York, I met a few people while working who quickly became mentors of mine. These special relationships are what ultimately led me to my first job working as an Account Manager at a small boutique advertising agency. I worked there full-time throughout my senior year of college and beyond.

I eventually realized that I enjoyed digital marketing and social media but wanted to transfer those skills to an industry I was growing more and more interested in: hospitality. I made the move to an in-house role at Ian Schrager Company and PUBLIC Hotel where I ran all creative social strategy before going freelance in 2019. Many small hotels and restaurants don’t have the budget to afford large ad-agencies but still need an immense amount of social media help.

More recently, I decided to launch Daisy by Shelby as a second company and put to use my degree in fashion combined with my experience in marketing and brand building to offer a fun and bold product in the dog space.

How has the industry, as well as the work you do within it, changed over the last couple of years?

The hospitality industry has been through a lot the last couple of years. I remember receiving calls almost daily for a week straight about clients having to let me go due to the hotel or restaurant having to physically shut down at the beginning of lockdown. A few lucky ones were able to still maintain a social media presence during lockdown and get creative with “virtually” transporting people on vacation which was definitely a fun pivot. However, what goes down must come up (yes, I know it’s the other way around) but the hospitality industry is booming right now and the work has come back 10x stronger, as hotels are eager to make up for lost time, and consumers are more excited to travel than ever. It’s just been very interesting overall to watch the industry completely bounce back and in a huge way.

What sparked my idea for Daisy by Shelby was first and foremost my dog, Daisy, who passed in December 2020, but also the increase in millennials becoming dog parents during COVID.

There’s so much data to support how the younger generation is getting married and having kids later in life and supplementing with dogs in the meantime, especially while they are able to work from home. I wanted to take advantage of this trend and offer a cool product that felt exciting, fun, and representative of the millennial generation.

What sort of routines do you implement to keep yourself engaged?

I’ll be honest, though, it’s very hard for me to disconnect and that’s something I’m really trying to focus on this year. I notice that after I disconnect and take time off, I come back 110% better and stronger than before. However, I always make time for my dog Ruby! It’s so amazing what an animal’s companionship and presence can do. I have a daily routine and scheduled walks with her that are really important to me. I also actively partake in figure skating lessons and baking (#shelbcake) as a mental health release.

Are you a morning person or a night person? How does this manifest?

I’m a night person when it comes to work. In the mornings, I like to take my time waking up, take my dog for a walk, drink coffee, etc. and find that I get huge sparks of creativity and ideas the later the day goes on.

Tell me a bit about your health/wellness journey.

I started figure skating lessons before the pandemic started after watching the movie I, Tonya. I had to pause my journey during lockdown but picked it back up about a year and a half ago and it’s been amazing. I go once or twice a week and take private lessons with my coach, who also happens to be named Tanya! Having an adult hobby is so rewarding and also so humbling at the same time as you quickly realize how much more difficult it is to acquire new (physical) skills the older you get. (If you’re wondering, I now have my waltz jump, salchow jump, and spins! Olympics,  here I come!)

I also try to get in my kitchen and bake (#shelbcake) as much as possible. Although cake is not a wellness journey, it is a mental health journey for me.

Think of someone important in your life. What would they say is your greatest strength?

I just asked my best friend and she said my ambition, and my mom said my tenacity, integrity, and ability to stand up for myself.

What's a new habit that you've committed to in 2022?

Mental health walks around the neighborhood with my dog—and being a frequent customer of Face Gym!

You can find more by following Shelby at @shelbyeastman or @daisybyshelby.

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