If you’ve been around Pemberton for a while there’s a good chance that you either know or have heard of Laura Zgud. When I moved here six years ago I would see her around town and when I discovered The Paddle Barn is when I began to follow her on social media. Her Instagram account fascinates me and as a professional communicator, I knew she would be the perfect creator to feature first in my 12-part creator series.
Her Instagram account is an ode to her passion for travel, surf and her daughter, Indiana. The pictures are beautifully taken and have a way to transmit FOMO and curiosity. She posts regularly to her Instagram feed and frequently takes you behind the scenes of her life via her Instagram Story.
Upon getting to know Laura, I’ve come to the conclusion that she is one of the happiest and most positive people I know. She has a certain glow…perhpas it’s all the yoga she does or her deep passion for life? I feel as if she is a hybrid between a unicorn and a mermaid (this vision is fuelled by her love for water/surfing, I assume).
I’ve learned that Laura’s motivation is driven by the circular effect that health has on not only her body but even more so, her mind. Feeling good, feeling healthy, feeling strong, feeling confident and feeling body positive are all very important to her. This importance is so that she can go out and be the best version of herself. She’s inspired by women who press into handstands, women who defy aging through health, real women who she sees in her fitness classes and women who stand out because of their smiles and kindness.
(See, isn’t she awesome?)
BKV: What’s your social media weapon of choice (aka platform that you can’t live without)?
BKV: When you aren’t on social media what can you be found doing?
LZ: I’m always on Social Media LOL, JK. Making healthy food, walking my dog, reading to my daughter, setting her up with paint, cleaning up after her trail of toys, art supplies and crumbs, working out at a fitness class, tending to my garden, doing yoga in my living room, biking around on my cruiser bike (it’s a pedal bike, not a motorbike), dreaming up my next surf trip, and working between The Longhorn Saloon, The Paddle Barn, Berry Mobile or helping my husband with Pemberton Cell Repair.
BKV: Where’s your favourite spot around the globe to post from?
LZ: Where surf and sunshine meet aka a beach anywhere.
BKV: How did you get started on social media?
LZ: Instagram started while on a trip to NY where my best friend lives and she told me I needed to start posting on Instagram so I immediately took a photo in her NY apartment and started posting, it therefore really started with Travel.
BKV: What other social media platforms are you active on?
LZ: Facebook, although its mostly through sharing my Instagram posts to Facebook.
BKV: How much time do you dedicate to social media every day/week?
LZ: It varies, but if I have my phone out I’m on Instagram. On top of that, at least an hour before I go to bed connecting, liking, commenting and watching all the people that I enjoy the content of, as well as draw inspiration from and exploring new accounts that I am drawn too for motivation and admiration. I also spend at least 30 minutes to easily an hour on my posts for the day. I am learning some helpful tips to enable my social media time to be more productive. But, yes I’m addicted to Instagram so lets round it out all out to 1hour/day, 9hours/week and pretend it’s not an understatement LOL.
BKV: What inspires your content?
LZ: Inspiration comes from an appreciation of beautiful places near and far. It comes from a desire to share with others healthy choices that make a positive impact on my life and hopefully will for them as well.
BKV: How do you get your creative juices flowing?
LZ: The best way for me to get things happening is to start moving my body, whether that’s going out for a walk, rolling out my yoga mat or heading out on a photo mission with my husband and his camera gear to explore, surf or model (those last three usually happen altogether). All of the above have multiple beneficial effects on creativity, from feeling good to being outside, to having the intent to take photos, the mindset to get in front of the camera and the passion to create.
BKV: How do you set yourself apart from others on the platform?
LZ: I try to post really good high-quality photos to my feed and then also keep it real with lots of raw stories from my day to day. I want people to see and be visually stimulated by beautiful photos but also connect to who I truly am, relate and hopefully take away some inspiration to add into their day, to do something that feels good for them. Whether that’s some self-care time to stretch, getting outside, practicing an inversion for the first time or 100th time, ticking a visit to a tropical destination off their bucket list, sowing their first garden seeds or jumping into the water.
BKV: What feature(s) do you wish existed on social media?
LZ: I actually was in love with the old Instagram video editing. I found it so user-friendly for editing my yoga clips and splicing them together and haven’t been able to make a video in the style that I used too since they updated it and took that style away. So, I guess I mean better built-in video editing features to make it super easy to create masterpiece videos from the Instagram app.
BKV: List 3 social media accounts that inspire you:
BKV: What message do you have for your fans who want to follow in your footsteps?
LZ: Be You, everyone else is already taken. I believe people are drawn to positivity so let your light shine bright. You are the sum of the people that you surround yourself with and so follow and connect with people that influence you in the direction you want to grow in. It’s never too late, there will always be space for creators, people will love you as you are and more then you think they will. Be Real, it’s the best version of you.
It’s okay to not have a master plan on what you’re doing or where you’re going. That is AMAZING if you do but you can also go with the flow, keep creating, do your best and shape your direction as you go. You don’t have to wait until you have the best content to start, just start.
BKV: What’s something that no one knows about you?
LZ: I’ve never had a can of pop in my life because I don’t like carbonated drinks…I make an exception for Kombucha and Champagne ;).
BKV: What’s your guilty pleasure?
LZ: How about pleasures… Macadamia Nuts while in Hawaii, I literally have to factor in a budget for them when I plan my trips. I must also mention anything coconut, especially coconut milk cappuccinos. Hide the chocolate. The sweetest thing in my house is usually dates because I would binge eat anything that would be considered a “treat”.
Laura’s final words of advice:
“Compliments are free to give out, have no limits and give huge results. Your happiness is most important, strong work ethic is honourable, manifestations do come true, less is more, take in the view, smile, book the trip, laugh more, doors will open, money comes and goes, kindness prevails, clean the house tomorrow and take time for you today, you’re health is your wealth, do a nude shoot.”
Want to follow Laura on Instagram? Click HERE.
The Creator Series is a 12-part series where Blair connects with social media creators that inspire her. Each month, on the 15th, the spotlight will be on a new creator. Each interview is meant to help ignite creativity, inspire content creation and to connect one another together. Dig deep and create.