The American Dream with Gabrielle Adrian | @Gabby_adrian
When we first got to meet Gabrielle Adrian, who you might know as @gabby_adrian, on Instagram we were experiencing an influencer trip in Hawaii. During this trip we had the ability to dive deep and get to know her. Born February 5th, 1997 in Mt. Vernon Ohio but currently living in Los Angeles, CA. When it comes to where she sees herself living next it is either Columbus or Los Angeles… or bicoastal, it’s hard for her to choose. She likes to follow her heart and opportunity that makes sense at that point in her life. So destination unknown, but lots of places she knows she wants to go.
She really has two homes. A home that has been her forever home, Columbus, Ohio. Then her new home that has been calling her name since she’s been a young girl. With Columbus, she loves the nostalgic, prideful and authentic essence. It gives her the calmness of the country but the electricity of the city, both reflecting a lot within her. With Los Angeles, she loves its infinity. By infinity, she means its endless possibility to be malleable and fluid. You can be whatever you want, however you want but built and raised upon your work ethic and morals. Like many places, there is a yin and yang to everything. With Columbus, beyond the mundane weather and occasional traffic jams, she dislikes that Columbus’ creatives, entrepreneurs, and young professionals aren’t on the map as much as she thinks they should be. Slowly but surely, Columbus is being discovered for the great city it is but she personally thinks it should have happened sooner. With Los Angeles, she dislikes conformity. As much as she loves what she just praised… about its uniqueness and limitless boundary, there are still so many lost and easily conformed to whatever that bubble encloses them in… something she has caught even herself in. She strives to not only maintain her individuality but to embrace it and brand it with longevity.
She originates from a small small town in Ohio called Mount Vernon. At age 2, her parents divorced and her mom took us to what they thought was the “big city”, Columbus! This became their new home and it was one of the most pivotal and essential parts of her life as she wouldn’t have created the life she has now in the original small town of Mt. Vernon. A few years passed, she enrolled in a dance studio and fell in love. She quickly found a burning passion that she did extremely well at, launching her into a competitive dance career. She traveled all across the midwest, making many trips back and forth to New York to perform with Broadway Bound. She loved being center stage, performing, the makeup, the costumes, the whole experience was truly whimsical and she loved every part of it. It was all she ever wanted to do and she truly thought it was her one life calling! Being a dancer and performer still highly transcends into aspects of who she is today.
Middle School rolled around and she wanted to be more involved with school activities since her dance life was so consuming outside of it. She tried out for the volleyball team and without any hesitation, she found another love. She ended up giving dance up for volleyball which was a difficult but necessary move at the time. Fast forward, she ended up being a 4 year varsity letter winner in high school and on a National Club volleyball team for Elite Volleyball Training Center where they won Nationals in Dallas, TX when she was 16. That is a very dramatic fast forward, so as you can expect, a lot happened in-between this time. But the important things you need to know are about her development.
Volleyball truly developed her as a strong, passionate and resilient leader. She was every team captain from 7th grade to college. She aspired to be that role once she felt its pride and power. She found that it was natural for her to lead and she enjoyed it. This leadership role is what led her to then be a member of the National Honor Society, Class Cabinet as Class Secretary and be in the top 10 of her class. She loved achieving, it was and still is one of her favorite things to do… and whilst fully transitioning to adult mode now, she is realizing it is a blessing and a curse because the real world doesn’t give out gold stars, points or grades for working your ass off.
Senior year of high school, the lovely senior picture time comes around. She was put into contact with a senior photographer, David Beckham, who had a Senior Model program where you take one of his workshops and then he also takes your senior photos. Today, she has David to thank for starting her modeling career. He was the first person she got professional photos from which lead her to submit them to a local agency, who she is still signed with today! Modeling was never really a first thought for her, just kind of something to do on the side for fun. So what happened after high school?
She got into Ohio State University to study Finance in the Fisher College of Business. She played volleyball for Ohio State the first year until she ended up getting hurt and needing surgery. She joined Alpha Phi Sorority, Order of Omega Greek National Honors Society and Undergraduate Women’s Business Association. During this time, she was getting booked on her first modeling jobs in Columbus for La Senza, Victoria Secret, Express and Abercrombie which was huge to her at this point. If you didn’t know, Columbus is a huge fashion hub for headquarters, so she was blessed with working very early on.
College was the beginning of the whole instagram world for her. At the beginning, it was just another social media platform she posted her silly friend pictures on. It slowly transitioned for her when she started posting more of herself and it began to do well. The sorority world also launched the instagram content with it being “the” thing to do. Again, fast forward a few years, she has about 20k followers and is interested in doing more modeling and what her life looked like post graduation.
She always had her eye on California but wasn’t sure how she, Gabby from Mount Vernon, Ohio, would ever get there and actually have a place there. Her oldest sister, Jessica, lived in Huntington Beach for 10 years so she would often visit. It became more familiar and enticing each time she went. The goal was to get a job in marketing or finance after graduating college, that was until she found NewMark Models in summer 2018. She was in California for the summer and she wanted to visit agencies while there. She ended up visiting all the main ones in LA but truly connected with Jules NewMark, the owner and creator of NewMark Models! There was just something different about her, her energy and the potential she saw in her.
So, she graduated early in fall of 2018 with my degree in Finance. She moved to Los Angeles, CA in January 2019 and she has almost lived there for a full year now. She does modeling full time whilst working remotely for a tech start-up called Aesthetic Record. She loves that she still gets to use my degree in business but can still pursue this new passion of her. If you would have told her that at 22 years old, she would be living in Los Angeles pursuing modeling, working for a tech startup and flourishing as an entrepreneur … she probably would have believed you, but she would’ve asked, well how did she do it?
Her ambition as a young girl was unlike anything else but it’s what has gotten her to where she is today. She constantly has a fire burning inside of her to go further and achieve more, not because she is necessarily looking for the finish line but because she loves the process. She loves to learn, she loves challenges, she loves to push herself. She says yes to everything because you never know where a single opportunity, encounter or experience can lead you.. that is so thrilling to her. She is in an infinite process of goal setting, dream chasing and becoming the best she can be.
She, like most, has had many struggles along her journey. With each new goal, at each new point in her life, new struggles arise. She thinks one of the biggest struggles she has faced was her worry of not being good enough. She thinks this insecurity is deeply rooted in another reason why she aspires to achieve so much. Growing up her parents were very loving and supportive with anything she did, so she ultimately thinks this adversity was something she created herself. It is a common problem many people face, especially in this era of social media and constant comparison, but it is one she now has some insight on.
To overcome this adversity, a powerful tool is to self-reflect. When she looks to the past, she feels a lot of gratitude to remember times where she was mentally and physically to then compare that to where she is today. When you self reflect, you go through the journey again and you can see things more clearly. Self reflecting has given her the ability to show herself gratitude, respect and empathy rather than deploying judgement and insecurities. The truth is, everyone is insecure and unsure of themselves. If you bridge that gap with understanding and compassion, the world seems a bit less lonely and you can be kinder to yourself. Her favorite ways to self reflect are to journal, revisit goals and to do audible journaling with this app called Day One!
We wanted to know where she would be 10 years from now and this question is always a little tough/silly for her because her mind changes like the wind. She has so many loves in life and places she wants to go. She has direction but no destination because she lives very fluidly. The common answer would be to be financially independent, be in a strong, healthy relationship and to “be happy”. Of course she wants those things too! — but ultimately, in 10 years, she hopes to be happy on her terms by living out her passions through her talents and strengths, alongside the people she loves. We found out she also has a couple poems published as well. She used to think she wanted to be an author!
Her favorite collaborations are ones that directly reflect who she is as a person and the kind of brand she wants to be perceived as. One of her earliest and ongoing partnerships is with an Australian health and wellness brand, Tropeaka. They are plant based, organic, non gmo, cruelty free…. etc. Their supplements actually taste amazing and she loves their marketing/branding! Another collaboration she is proud of is with Meshki! She has always loved their product and girl boss vibe, so to be working with them now is really exciting!
But what about dream brands? Tesla – She deeply aligns with Tesla’s values and mission to be more environmentally friendly. She also loves Tesla’s business model. She thinks their marketing and branding is very lucrative and sexy — but they have a market lacking in women. Men are typically the consumer of Tesla products, so to do a collaboration with them would not only empower women to make this transition to electric vehicles for sustainability but to transition it to be the “cool thing” for women too. LuluLemon — she loves their latest marketing images embracing all body types. She is a returning customer so she believes in the brand and the quality. Dr. Axe — One of her favorite holistic doctors who has a brand called Ancient Nutrition. Incredibly intelligent human with science backed products.
In closing, we asked if she can leave one message to her readers what would it be?
“My favorite quote, like I mentioned before… “I am the captain of my ship, and the master of my fate.” You can create whatever it is you want in life, you just have to realize everything that does or doesn’t happen is in your hands and you can take the reigns.”