We had the good fortune of connecting with Muriel Ottoni and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Muriel, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
People usually think that to be an influencer is super simple and it’s all about fun. Well, that is definitely not the whole picture.

Of course I have fun visiting new places, meeting the business owners and their staff. But just like in everything I do, I take it very seriously and professionally.

I talk to the managers, ask about their story, how they started the business, what’s so special about their places and what they would like to show to our audience.

In the meantime, I take a great amount of footage composed of many photos and videos from different angles of the environment, the food and the surroundings. So I enjoy the meal, have a great time and that’s not it yet.

Once I’m home, it’s time to organize the content and start my storytelling. Selecting the best shots, videos, editing, writing about my opinion.. well it takes time. It is a job. A fun one that I am passionate about, but it is a job.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I believe that everything that comes from our heart will be successful. The key for me is to do what you love and to have fun while doing it. I see a lot of people focused on getting famous or making a lot of money. They forget to enjoy the journey, the moments and to focus on TODAY.

The California brands started to make me learn more about the best places to go, things to do and restaurants to eat. I never really thought about changing my career in the Procurement field to Digital Marketing.

Today I have my own consultant firm, was invited to talk about the influencer world at UC San Diego, and so many great things happened with that.

To be an Influencer is not easy. Sometimes we get tired, we meet mean people making very bad comments, gossip. It’s a lot of exposure. But I learned a lot on how to interact with those people, and to not let them interfere with my mood and vibe. Just like in everything we do; we have positive and negative things coming together. But it’s up to us to decide how we handle the situations. It’s not about what happens to us, but how we react to it that matters.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In San Diego I like to take my friends to La Jolla to see the beautiful nature, the sea lions and to have a meal at George’s at the Cove, one of my favorite restaurants. Other places I love are Balboa Park, the Seaport Village, hanging out Downtown SD, watching a Padres Game, and visiting the breweries of course. If you love Mac n Cheese, you can’t miss Barleymash.

Then driving up to Oceanside by the coast and stopping in Del Mar, Encinitas, Carlsbad and finally Oceanside. To be honest I would spend more time in Encinitas on this itinerary. I had the pleasure of living in Cardiff and Leucadia, so I know great spots there. The Meditation Gardens is wonderful, the Moonlight Beach, and the lovely 101 are a must. My fav spot for a drink is The Roxy. My fav taco is The Taco Stand, and you can’t miss the Cali Cream Ice Cream. To hangout, I like Best Pizza and Brew, and for a full Mexican experience I like Casa de Bandini.

Going back to SD, Pacific Beach has some of my favs also. The burger is Rocky’s Crown Pub, the seafood taco is Oscar’s and for brunch, The Waterbar.

I also love to go hiking, so Potato Chip is one of the most famous in town. But my favorite ones are Three Sisters Waterfalls, Torrey Pines and Cuyamaca Peak.

Around SD, Temecula – the Wine Country at Callaway Vineyard and Julian, famous for hikes and apple pie.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve started my experience on Instagram by 2013-2014, when I started hiking in Rio de Janeiro. Back then Instagram was not so popular, and hiking was definitely not a thing. So I joined this group called Trilhando Montanhas that I met through Instagram and started my crazy adventures. My photos went viral all over the world and I started gaining followers globally. Thiago Hirabai, the page’s creator, was the crazy friend finding the great and risky angles for me. We are still great friends and I am very grateful for it.

In 2015 when I moved to SD, I created @california4fun, which took me to meet Chris Blankinship, who had an App called BlitzDeals and a food page on Instagram. Chris invited me to manage his SD Food page, which I loved doing it. That food passion combined with Instagram and photography inspird me to create @california4food. I am trully grateful for this opportunity with Chris.

Instagram: @california4food

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/muriel-ottoni-1168a655

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