Women in Fashion: Founder of Gal Meets Glam, Julia Engel

Gal Meets Glam, a Charleston based style and beauty blog, was born in 2011 when Julia Engel was a junior in college and looking for a place to put all the things that inspired her in one place. 

Today, Engel has 1.2 million Instagram followers that regularly flock to the blog to get her perspective on fashion, travel, entertaining and home design. A blog first started as a hobby and creative outlet has transformed into a growing style empire, even making the jump from the screen to the racks at Nordstrom. 

In 2011, Julia was studying Marketing in the Business program at the University of the Pacific and looking to create something. Without thinking much about it, Engel signed up for Blogger and wrote up her first blog post. Thomas Berolzheimer, her then boyfriend (now husband), helped her research html code and they figured out how to use DSLR cameras. 

On her website, Engel writes, “I went into the process without any expectations, but just to have fun and use Gal Meets Glam as a platform to be creative. It’s amazing what can happen when you truly love what you’re doing”. There, she talks about her fears of taking the leap from part-time blogging to full-time blogging. Engel ultimately decided to take the risk in 2013. 

After quitting her job in San Francisco, Engel hit the ground running. Hours were spent working on her blog, answering emails, running social media accounts, working with brands, styling and shooting looks and finding inspiration for the next thing. 

Last spring, Engel’s classic feminine aesthetic moved from the screens of iPhones around the world to the hands of thousands of followers thanks to her first fashion line, the Gal Meets Glam Collection. The collection, which took over four years to launch, has now collaborated with large retailers like Anthropologie to create exclusive styles. On her blog, Julia writes about her feelings. “We set up our TV to broadcast our analytics on both the blog and our e-commerce site. The traffic just kept climbing and climbing…our customers blew away our expectations, and we hit our first month’s sales goal on the first day”. 

Recently, the collection just announced a Gal Meets Glam coat collection and a collaboration with New York City-based shoe designer Margaux. Both the shoes and coats offer hints of Southern charm and East Coast prep, both of which are the perfect style mix that Gal Meets Glam always provides for readers. “I’ve always wanted to bring Gal Meets Glam Collection to life head-to-toe,” Engel said when the collaboration was announced. Engel has now worked on campaigns with brands including Tory Burch and Tiffany & Co. 

Julia also blogs about entertaining and interior design. Occasionally, Thomas comes on as a special guest and writes blogs about landscaping and gardening. 

Engel’s advice for other young professional women is to “find something that you are truly passionate about that you can be better at than anyone else,” and to “work extra hard” and not be afraid of failure, saying that you’ll only learn from your mistakes.

Find more of Julia on her blog and on Instagram @juliahengel. 

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