By: Gianna Leflar
In this day and age everyone and everything relies on social media. It’s amazing how much attention it can bring to brands, companies and people.I have been asked a lot lately about my foodie Instagram account @swagfoodphilly, but never really opened up about why or how I started it. @Swagfoodphilly is my food Instagram account with over 73 thousand followers. I started Swagfoodphilly because I always loved to eat and would post pictures of food on my personal Instagram account. My friends would get annoyed and said I needed to stop posting pictures of food so I then decided to make swagfoodphilly.
I think the page became so successful because I started it at a time when there was nothing else like it in Philadelphia. It took me a while to gain the followers. I started in July 2014 and it took me until October of that year to gain 1,000. In the beginning I only posted my own pictures and tried to brand my image. It’s also about knowing your customer and it took me a little while to figure out who my customer was, I know now that my customer loves food that’s bad for you. I’m not going to post a picture of a steak from Davios because that’s not what my customer wants. My customer wants a picture of cheese fries with the occasional sushi shot.
With the help of swagfoodphilly I have been able to work with various organizations and charities. I have worked with Philabundance and created a t-shirt that says “Stop World Hunger” with the proceeds going to philabundance. For those who don’t know philabundance is, it’s a non-profit in Philly that seeks to drive hunger from our communities. I have also fundraised with the mayor in the summer at an event called Cooking up Couture which was fun because I got to mix my love for food with my major (D&M). It has also changed my own life drastically. I always say I have two jobs, being a student and running swagfoodphilly. I have had to miss certain outings with friends because I’ve had swagoodphilly dinners with clients that I couldn’t skip. It is more or less turning into a job but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I am lucky enough and so fortunate that my best friend, Megan Dugery also runs swagfoodphilly with me. So it makes the job fun. Megan attended Bucknell but transferred to Villanova since she wanted to be closer to the city so she could attend more events with me. Overall my life has changed pretty drastically over the past year and a half but this platform has opened me up to opportunities I wouldn’t have had without it and I am ever so grateful.