Starring in a reality dating show is a good way to secure yourself a few moments in the spotlight. As a springboard for lasting success? Not so much. But it seems someone forgot to tell Jillian Harris that.
The Kelowna-based interior designer parlayed her turn as a contestant on season 13 of The Bachelor into a headlining gig in season five of The Bachelorette, and from there moved into her wheelhouse as a member of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew. Today, she’s putting her expertise to use as co-host of Love It or List It Vancouver.
Without question, her career in front of the camera has been bolstered by a strong, savvy digital presence. We’ve already extolled many of her virtues in the design and decor category (see slide one), but Harris’s s impact goes further, as she’s meticulously cultivated an inviting, informative, broadly engaging brand that influences fashion, food and lifestyle while keeping an ever-expanding base of digital devotees rapt —whether it be for design advice or a new baby pic of little Leo. The proud owner of over 600,000 followers on Instagram and over 200,000 likes on Facebook, this local celeb’s influence reaches far beyond B.C.
Vancouver jeweller Leah Alexandra takes the vaunted Instagram crown on the strength of her breathtaking gemstone pieces that have graced the pages of Vogue, InStyle, Glamour and just about every other magazine that celebrates sparkly accessories. We love the jewels themselves, of course, but full marks too for the provocative, elegantly lensed photography.
Despite the “Our Philosophy” blurb on their homepage, for the most part, the award-winning team behind Blush—husband-and-wife duo Kristy and Ken Yiem—let their work do the talking. Stunning wedding and engagement galleries showcase over a hundred dazzling shots of young love—from Thailand to Paris, from romance on a petal-filled pond to a bride lounging across an elephant.
With over 7,000 likes on Facebook and just shy of 12,000 followers on Instagram, it seems people are getting the message. Still, over in their blog section, Kristy gives her personal account of some of the more exotic, unusual and otherwise memorable gigs.
Through her full-service design firm Winter Daisy, Melissa Barling specializes in creating children’s rooms that are both functional and “magical places to create memories.” Her blog of the same name does an impeccable job of showcasing exactly what that means.
Offering tips on decor, clothes, crafts, Halloween costumes and holiday decorating, the real inspiration comes from the idyllic photos of kids at play in the dream-like spaces she’s created—complete with tips on how to wrangle the little munchkins for a photoshoot. “Full-service,” indeed.
Apparently, social media savvy runs in the Love It or List It family, as Jillian Harris’s co-host/bitter rival also makes it onto The Social List.
The actor-turned-realtor turned all-round-man-about-town offers his fans plenty of insider’s access to his life off-camera, with blogs and videos detailing home-buying advice, his own home-reno projects, family life, his work with Make-a-Wish Foundation and rubbing elbows with local celebs, all delivered with the affable, fun-loving tone that’s made him the inaugural Best Local Media Personality.
Simple, elegant, arresting: a few words that spring to mind when scrolling down the personal blog of the woman behind Cam Lee Yoga. Taking an appropriately minimalist approach, Lee's site features a series of well-lensed images of Cam and her fellow practitioners striking poses, often against stunning natural vistas, with the occasional nugget of wisdom like “Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.”
If the goal of Lee's blog is to recreate the tranquil, enlightened state of mind yoga itself is designed to foster, then mission accomplished.
Food styling is also a hobby of Ireland’s as you can tell from the stunning images of the dishes she showcases. She even makes use of a few celebrity friends like CTV anchor Tamara Taggart and former Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit to dish over their favourite eateries in an amiable ongoing video feature dubbed To Die For Face.
"A style blog where European chic meets West Coast sophistication.” In summing up The August Diaries, Jill Lansky certainly talks the talk of someone who graduated from one of Canada’s top fashion and beauty schools. But what really stands out upon perusing her site is just how accessible it is; here, fashion is not an exclusive club, but an evolving reflection of identity and a tool for personal empowerment.
As the title suggests, The August Diaries is more than a collection of tips; it’s a visual log of Lansky's own personal style development. Serving as her own model, she offers five-minute makeup tutorials and advice on incorporating leather jackets into various ensembles, but she also reflects, for instance, on her love of a vintage Queen T-shirt, a relic from a meaningful time in her life. It’s that intimacy as much as her insight that’s earned Lansky tens of thousands of devoted followers.
When Lansky isn't travelling, she splits her time between Toronto and her hometown of Vancouver.
A veteran of ABC’s popular Extreme Home Makeover franchise and current co-host of one of the world’s hottest home reno/real estate series, Love It or List It Vancouver, Jillian Harris is—if not a style icon—then certainly one of our province’s most visible and influential experts in the field of interior design.
That expertise is part of what earned her the top spot in The Social List's design and décor category. Her website is elegant, robust, easy-to-navigate, and features tips for every room in the house as well as step-by-step walk-throughs of projects Harris has tackled in episodes of Love It or List It.
Just as important as the information, however, is the manner in which it’s delivered. Harris's warm, inviting rapport (often accentuated with “LOLs” and anecdotes from her own life) is personal—to the point where there’s even a section called “Jill’s House." You can shop for clothes and other accessories directly from her Instagram feed. With posts like Setting the Table for Easter Dinner, for instance, there’s a sense here that “Jilly” is not simply offering tips for your home, but inviting you into her own. And indeed, she makes for an attentive, engaging host.
After receiving more than a thousand nominations and tallying more than 12,000 votes, BCLiving is excited to finally announce the winners of The Social List, our inaugural digital influencer awards.
With a combined infuence of over a million followers, these eight social media stars inspire us daily with their astounding talent and we are thrilled to be able to acknowledge them.
A huge congratulations to all of our winners and a big thank you to all the voters who helped us recognize the very best in social media in the province.
Click through to see who won in each of our nine categories: design & decor, fashion, food & drink, health & fitness, best local media personality, kids & family, wedding & floral, best instagram and best overall digital influencer...