In The Moment Jess and Gabriel Conte on Becoming a Social Media Power Couple

by Mike Varallo February 28, 2019

Nicole Balsamo Photography

Fans of Jess and Gabriel Conte know them as video superstars, filmmakers and entrepreneurs who share their daily lives on social media through mini films, song covers and hilarious challenges.

The couple also has had the rare experience of simultaneously navigating a personal relationship and a business partnership, all in front of a growing social audience.

They met online while Jess lived in Australia and Gabe lived in the U.S. Now married and living together in Los Angeles, CA, they’re building a successful business as video influencers with a combined social following of over 4 million. On their channels, the couple shares fun and inspiring moments on everything from lifestyle tips to their daily adventures.

Life and Money by Citi caught up with the power couple to discuss what they’re doing, what’s next and what it’s like to build a business with your partner.

Can you give us some background on how you met?
 

Jess: Toward the end of 2015, I had planned a solo trip to the U.S. — a trip I had always dreamed of taking — and, knowing that Gabriel lived in Los Angeles, I messaged him online. He already had a large audience on social media, so when I sent the message I thought I probably wouldn’t get a reply, but the next day I did! We talked a little bit back and forth online before exchanging numbers, and then my first day in Los Angeles he picked me up and we spent the day together. It was so nice and he was such a gentleman.
 

Before you met, were you already popular across social media on your individual accounts? How did your personal relationship take your social media business to the next level?
 

Jess: Before we met, Gabriel was already doing this as his full-time job. He started his career on a short-form video app where he had millions of followers, and from there he started full-time on other social platforms, too. For me, this was just my hobby. I was a full-time student studying graphic design, and so in my spare time I would post and upload, and I had gained a small following.  

It wasn’t until we both announced our relationship online that it all grew to the next level for the both of us. We started a channel together a few days before getting engaged, and people really just loved seeing our long-distance story, to getting engaged and then married all in the space of one year. Our audience has seen our relationship grow from literally the beginning to where it is now, and I think that’s really special.
 

How do you find the right balance in a relationship that is both personal and business oriented?
 

Jess: I think that’s something we are still learning — it can get difficult because our personal lives really are our business — so it’s really important to learn to switch off and to keep certain things private. We’ve started a “rest day” once a week, which is a day for us to hang out with each other, go on a date, not do any work and to just be together. I think another important thing is to have hobbies or moments that aren’t shared online — it’s nice to have something that you can just keep to yourselves.
 

What’s the best part about working with your partner?
 

Jess: It’s a dream! It’s so special to be able to wake up every day knowing that I get to work with my best friend. We really understand each other, motivate each other and encourage one another, and I think it’s really nice having each other’s support through everything we do.
 

What is driving the next big thing for Jess and Gabe?
 

Gabe: Honestly, just doing what we are passionate about and enjoy. So often we get caught up in the hustle of taking opportunities as they come, but we’re working on slowing down a bit and focusing on things we truly care about.
 

Building a business and a large, passionate online following involves hard work and takes time. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
 

Jess: I think the biggest challenge that we’ve faced — definitely for me, at least — is the criticism. It’s not really a normal thing to have thousands of people critiquing your life as if it was a TV show, but we are slowly learning how to deal with that and how to block that out. In saying that, though, we have such sweet and supportive viewers and that really helps us, too. Knowing that there are so many people supporting us helps us put it all in perspective and not focus on the negative.
 

How do you know what’s going to appeal to your audience? What do you think differentiates you among other video influencers in the space?
 

Gabe: At the beginning, it’s a lot of trial and error, but over time you really find your flow and niche and what resonates most with people. We definitely do our best to give our audience a lot of different types of content. We have our vlogs, lifestyle content, music and music videos — I’m an actor, Jess is great at design.
 

How do you define financial wellness and success?
 

Gabe: I think financial success is different for different people depending on what they would consider success in their own life. Some people might consider it as having enough when they retire to comfortably sustain their needs, while someone else might consider success as running a billion dollar company. Regarding wellness… I believe wellness is having enough financially to sustain the essential needs of yourself and your family.
 

Mike Varallo creates digital content for Citi across personal finance and entertainment.

 

 

The content reflects the view of the author of the article and does not necessarily reflect the views of Citi or its employees, and we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article.