LOS ANGELES – A Filipino marketing professional and social media expert recently launched a blog that celebrates all things Los Angeles, and promotes local brands and companies that show the diversity and color of the city.
Gwen Paja is the lady behind www.thelagirl.com, a blog that ‘spills LA’s secret sauce on cool brands, hot spots and happenings.’
Paja was born in the Philippines and moved to LA at age 5, so she experienced living in the motherland and has seen the differences between the Filipino and American cultures.
Aside from marketing, Paja has also worked in finance, advertising, fashion, retail, and merchandising. She attended Santa Monica College and UC Santa Cruz, and finished with a major in Business Management Economics.
Providing an inside look
The name “The LA Girl” started out as Paja’s alias on social media. She used the name on Twitter, where she shared events, food, restaurants, and fun things to do in LA. On Instagram, she posted photos of places she went to, food that she ate, and her artistic outlets.
Paja, who is also an avid yoga practitioner, said that she started the blog to have a creative writing platform to share her original content.
“I wanted to have a place of my own to promote and talk about the people of LA and the local brands that I love,” Paja said. “I was inspired to start this blog when I saw the positive reaction from my social media following and people wanted to learn and know more.”
The blog aims to give an inside look on the places to visit, things to do, and a closer look at the people who live in Los Angeles.
The target audience of The LA Girl is the people of LA—locals who are looking for new places; those who have just moved to town and want to learn more about the city; those looking for fun activities for the weekend.
“I’ve also gotten a positive response from people who are thinking about moving to LA and only know the common misconceptions about the city,” Paja noted.
Fueled by social media
Paja said that her content is mostly fueled by the information that she gathers from social media.
“It’s where you know what’s current and trending, and I like to write about things that are relevant to people today,” she said.
Most of the subjects of her blog posts, according to Paja, are people who she has encountered through social media and has come to like the concept of their brands.
“So I ask to feature them [on my blog],” Paja said.
People featured on The LA Girl include upcoming brands and local artists. Paja said that she wants her readers to learn more about a personality or brand—beyond what the About Us page on their respective websites.
Paja, who describes herself as transparent and very expressive, said that she pours all of herself into the blog and everything else she does.
“I like to write like I talk—upfront and real. I am passionate about sharing information and ideas and I’m very happy when my readers tell me that they’ve learned something new or excited to learn about something they read about on my blog or social media channels,” she said.
For Filipinos who love to do things with the family, The LA Girl could be their perfect resource for new things to explore and do in the City of Angels. They can find free or cheap things to do, and experience new things and places.
“With so many things to do and events happening in LA, sometimes it can be difficult to find these events and free opportunities,” Paja noted. “My blog and channels are updated regularly throughout the day, so you can get up-to-the-minute information.”
(LA Weekend September 27-30, 2014 Sec. B pg.5)