food, fitness, mentors + transitions.


I met Joanne Wilson 8 years ago after moving to NYC for culinary school and before interning for @foodandwine magazine with the dream of being a food writer. She is the face behind blog Gotham Gal, a force to be reckoned with, mother of 3, and investor in over 90 companies. But her writing felt like home, honest, open, wise but humble – with a love for food, family + investing in women entrepreneurs. I admired her + as such, I let her know via email and followed up often with questions and comments especially regarding the NYC food scene I was diving into head first.

So, it was more than coincidence when I recognized Joanne from her blog picture sitting across the dining room at Joseph Leonard. Carpe diem. I went to say hello.

There was something about her honesty that was captivating. She is straight to the point, no BS, with an edge that can often come off biting + quite harsh…exactly what I needed, to be honest. After introducing myself in person, I followed up via email + naturally asked her to set me up with the guy she was dining with (always proactive).

Many emails and sporadic meet ups ensued. Over the course of just under eight years, Joanne became my sounding board during times of transition, work + love. She helped re-negotiate my salary when I was particularly undervalued and led with, “no one is just going to give you more money, even if you are the best of the bunch, you have to ASK.” So I did, and was rewarded, with a raise + the ability to form my own consultancy side hustle to compliment my day job. 

Joanne + her husband Fred vetted many of my ex boyfriends at events or charity fundraisers and provided gentle feedback when it came to love.

The toughest love came when I started questioning my box + flow journey. At the time her feedback felt harsh + unrelenting, but in hindsight, it was exactly what I needed. “You want to own a gym? No Joanne, its not a gym. It’s a brand, a concept, a feeling. Olivia, that doesn’t just happen overnight. To start, it’s a gym. Other peoples’ sweat – employees, customers, issues…”Why would you leave the food world with all of the foundation + network you built?

Well – I did. And here we are. I’m so grateful for Joanne’s tough love, hard questions + ultimate belief in me. And for my courage to finally embrace life transitions, smoothly + #flowthruthefight.

It is such an honor to be featured on Joanne's podcast, link below:



Olvia YoungComment