When Barbara Barnes Gravesteijn moved from the Netherlands to Los Angeles in 2014, she brought with her two things necessary to make the transfer of her strategy consulting business a success: a genuine passion for communicating with people and the agility to react quickly to change.
She also imported a few must-haves for a happy life: a hot husband, a wonderfully willful son and a collection of designer handbags and shoes.
Barbara was born in Heemstede, a community populated by castles and tulip fields near Amsterdam, to an American father and half-Hungarian mother.
Barbara remembers a simple, tradition-filled childhood that included traveling by foot with her dad to pick out the family Christmas tree, trekking to The Hague once a year to buy shoes and searching for Easter eggs in the same friend’s yard year after year.
She also recalls, but tucks away, her most painful childhood memory: losing her mother to breast cancer.
Barbara worked in executive assistant positions for about 20 years before launching Fashiontweet PR, a small public relations firm that morphed into Socialnesss when she realized she enjoyed online marketing more than pitching stories to journalists.
Today, she helps small to medium business owners in both Europe and the United States build social media strategies through workshops and consultations. For clients too busy or overwhelmed by the ever-changing demands of social media, she also offers social media management services, including hands-on posting.
Barbara is naturally chatty, online and off, and engages just as easily with C-suite executives as she does with hair stylists, plumbers and restaurant wait staff. Her friendliness and kindness extend to animals as well – she has adopted two cats and a German Shepherd since moving to LA.
She takes daily walks in her European-like neighborhood, frequently visits art museums and rearranges the furniture in her home far more often than her husband appreciates. She likes books by Isabel Allende, movies and music from the 90s and fashion by natural-chic brands such as Everlane.
Fashion may someday steal her away from Socialnesss – she plans to open a luxury clothes line for plus-size women – but, for now, she’d love to chat with you about how to make social media more fun and profitable for your business.