Natalie: The Hungry Hour
I was recently introduced to Natalie by a mutual friend and avid AHD reader (thanks AG!). We clicked instantly because we had so much in common, professionally and personally, as single career-driven women in finance living in NYC. We commiserated over the demands and challenges of our jobs as institutional salespeople. We also bonded over the joy we get from being part-time “bloggers”. Natalie has a warm, infectious personality and you can immediately tell she’s hardworking and intelligent. I’m so excited to share more about here below.
Q: Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate, driven, fun-loving
Q: What do you do for work?
I work in Asset Management Distribution at Credit Suisse, particularly in Institutional Sales & Consultant Relations. My role is a combination of raising assets for our investment funds managed in-house as well as maintaining client relationships with institutions that are currently invested. I travel a lot for work - almost every week! During my travels I am either trying to raise new assets or retain business with clients we currently have.
Q: What motivated you to start your own food instagram account, The Hungry Hour?
Reading about restaurants and trying new places has always been a hobby of mine. I was studying abroad in London my junior year of college when I decided that it was time to take this hobby and turn it into something more material. I thought that starting a food page would be a fun way to document and remember all of the places I have been to, while also sharing these experiences with a network of people that might also be interested. I met one of my best friends in life, Sarah, on that study abroad program and we started The Hungry Hour together. It’s been such a fun thing for us to share ever since.
Q: What surprised you about the initial response to The Hungry Hour?
I think what surprised me the most was how much my friends and colleagues enjoy following it! It has turned out to be such a great conversation starter across the board. It’s a fun thing that a lot of people can relate to and find at least some interest in. That reaction across the board makes me so happy.
Q: What has been the hardest part of running the account so far?
One thing that has been really challenging as of late is keeping up with Instagram and their algorithm changes. When The Hungry Hour was first starting, we were consistently getting 1,000+ new followers per year. Then in 2018, Instagram changed the algorithm to promote use of new features (going live, using the ‘promote' feature for posts). Because we have not fully adopted use of the new features, we have actually remained pretty flat in terms of followers since then… crazy! But at the end of the day, it’s not about the number of followers that you have, its about having an engaged audience that actively enjoys following.
Q: How do you stay fit?!
It’s all about balance. I will go out to restaurants a few times a week, but apart from that, I will try to cook healthy meals at home. It also helps that a big hobby of mine (in addition to eating) is working out! I love being active and go to the gym in the mornings - working out is my way to get ready for the day. I tend to mix it up between going to the gym and attending workout classes but regardless I find exercise fun and rewarding which provides a nice balance.
Q: What's the best advice you've ever received?
Hard work pays off. It’s the truth in every aspect of life too - in work, relationships, hobbies, “side-gigs” like The Hungry Hour - you get out of it what you put into it. There wont be shortcuts but if you really want something then you will figure out a way to put in the time and effort to get it.
Q: What's the best lesson you've learned in your career so far?
Attitude is everything and treat everyone with respect. Not only will a positive and team-oriented attitude result in a higher quality output of work, it will also lead the people you work with view you in a positive light. In turn, they will respect you, enjoy working with you and ultimately want to see you succeed. If everyone thinks along these lines then we all benefit.
Q: What outlets do you turn to achieve work-life balance?
Friends, family & exercise or sport are the key ones for me. On the weekends I try to spend time experiencing new things around the city with friends & family and also try to be active. I feel lucky to live in a city where I have a lot of friends and family near so that I can share new memories with all of them regularly. It’s really amazing and I try to not take it for granted.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a side hustle?
If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you will end up meeting amazing people and having such fun experiences from it! It’s absolutely worth it, but I would advise to think about where you will carve out time before you start. After that, be consistent with your side hustle and then good things will happen.
Q: What are your favorite accounts/blogs for inspiration and advice?
My two favorites are The Infatuation & No Leftovers. The Infatuation is an amazing company - they have an app, website & instagram page through which they review specific restaurants and also produce guides on different types of restaurants. The guides provide witty, comic relief with titles along the lines of “where to eat with a second tier friend” and “where to eat with someone that is cooler than you”. No Leftovers is just all around an awesome instagram page & blog. They showcase restaurant reviews, travel, homemade recipes, etc. Both are fantastic and I highly recommend following each!
Thank you Natalie!! We loved getting to know more about you. Follow Natalie over on Instagram @thehungryhour for drool-inducing food recs!