At Home With: Bianca Valle
A certified holistic nutritionist by practice, Bianca Valle lends her considerable talents to anything from sculpting, painting and zine-making, to making brands around the world look great, either through her influential Instagram page or by modelling their wares. We caught up with Bianca via Zoom at home in New York to find out how she created her multi-faceted career and how her new Tala table lamps have impacted her practice.
Hi Bianca, how are you doing?
I’m well. Look! *holds up her Table Lamp with Sphere IV*
Ooh, there it is!
So your Instagram bio says you’re a Certified Holistic Nutritionist – for those of us who are unfamiliar with the practice, what does it mean exactly?
What that means I guess on a broader scale is healing through my body and soul versus just the food part of nutrition. So as a holistic nutritionist my approach is to sift though your existence, or a persons existence, in its entirety to see how they can heal themselves through food. And usually the foundation of healing through food is not even through food, it’s just a matter of self-worth.
The other things people might know you for are modelling, fashion and your creative projects: painting, hand-making zines, and clay objects. How long have you been active on this front?
I have been doing my own thing for about two years. I was writing for NYLON magazine, I was an editor on the print team for the US edition and it folded – the whole print team and I got laid-off and ever since then I felt that I should just work for myself and follow my own path. I felt quite disposable in the editorial world, which is unfortunate and that’s not to say that’s like that everywhere, but that’s what kick started the full movement for me.
You have a really strong following on Instagram. How long has it taken you to build your community, and what do you think is the main draw to your posts?
I am 25, so I am defiantly part of the first generation that started incorporating Instagram into their daily life. I started my Instagram when I was in high school, just because all of my friends had Instagram. I think I have always had quite an artist eye, so my page was always a little more curated than others, and I think at the time it was not very common to have a “curated” Instagram. I think when it first started people would be uploading photos of theirs dogs and weird under-lit selfies. So I think ever since then I have used it to share my vision and what I saw through my lens. I then moved from California to New York to go to NYU, and with that jump I got some more curious eyes. Because I was at NYU and I was interning at Nylon, Refinery 29, milk make up, all these really fun places that people properly wanted to talk a look into and then when I became beauty editor at nylon that’s when a surge of followers came. Then after NYLON I started doing my own projects and modelling for The North Face or Gap or Man Repeller. I also think people just like my hair, and my shoes and things like that! So I think that’s how it happened, but then ultimately, like I was saying earlier, we are all just human, I try my best to portray that on the internet because no one is perfect, you know we all have the same things going on and I just try to keep that as visible as possible.
We’ve seen some of your comments and they always seem very authentic, like you’re a friend giving advice. It seems like you’ve got a very good back and forth with your followers and those people who come to your account for guidance or inspiration.
Yeah I do too. I’m really lucky that I have a wonderful community of people that have found me on the internet and been able to form a connection with me and ultimately, its about loving other humans. When I receive, I give, its just right you know. I’m not here to be like “oh my gosh I have the best community” I don’t know, they are humans, I’m human and if they ask me a question I’m going to answer.
Your mantra of ‘A Little Bit Often’ has really captured the imagination of your followers. How gratifying has it been to see people take that on and pursue healthier lifestyles as a result?
It’s been incredible! Sometimes I think I’m shouting into a void, so I get really surprised when people tag me in their Stories videos and they say “a little bit often” and I go, “oh my god that’s so cool!” But ultimately, and it may sound selfish, but I just use my platform for me as well, you know? It holds me accountable, because if I take care of myself and if I say that I em exercising a little bit often, then I need to be exercising a little bit often. I posted it literally once, and about 15 people came back saying they moved to that mentality and I just kind of ran with it.
How important has it been to keep a creative outlet during lockdown?
I have always been a very creative person. I have a degree in art history, and studied film and TV, and I have always been very drawn to making and creating things. All of a sudden Nike reached out and wanted me to model for them, and from then on I’ve been riding this Instagram life of modelling and traveling and working with brands, getting swept off my feet, but it did make me
veer from my true passion, which is making things.
During quarantine the world stopped, and I also stopped, so then intuitively I was just drawn to making things. So I bought a wheel and clay and I have been getting back into this ceramic thing which I used to do so much when I was 15-16. I think because of the pandemic it has shifted my mindset. Even though I have my nutrition practice, I want to keep it afforable, which means I can’t purely live off of my nutritional practice. I think I am going to start selling my ceramics, so that will be my winter project, It’s still pretty sunny here so I want to be outside as much as I can, not in my dark little apartment hunched over the wheel.
Talking more about interior design, have you engaged in any interior projects or redesigned your space in any way to cater for more time at home?
One of my projects at the moment is to clear some of the space in my little Chinatown apartment, and sell a lot of the stuff I have and put the money back into my nutrition business. At the moment I seem to eat, sleep and work in one little corner of my apartment, so space is really important to me.
We recently sent you a few of our Knuckle Table Lamps. How important is light in your daily activities, and have you ever considered light in consideration with nutrition and health?
I live in Chinatown in Manhattan and I only have one window in my living room and the view is of another building, so right now my Tala lamp fuels all of the light in my living room. My home is so dark, and I don’t have any natural light so my Tala light is everything! In general, light is incredibly important and I have noticed that my sleeping, now that I’m spending more time at home working on stuff, has changed a little bit because I’m not seeing the day light. The time from 7am and 7pm look the same in my living room.
Finally, living in New York, can you give us a flavour of your favourite places to hang out and find inspiration?
I love Chinatown. I think it’s the most incredible part of Manhattan. There is an incredible bar that recently oped called Dr Clark. It’s a karaoke bar, but right now they are doing outdoor karaoke so you can walk by and people are singing. The owner did a collaboration with a local designer Bode to make their uniforms and all the young creatives go there. It’s this funky little place, everyone is dressed to the nines and its busy every night of the week
During the day for coffee I really love Little Canal in Two Bridges. I have lived on Canal Street for 2 years and this area is my home. I grew up here really between the ages of 17 to 25, and I have always lived in a 20-block radius. This is home.