For this week’s Spotlight On feature we’re focusing on New-York based Cork native Ruth Walsh, otherwise known by her online moniker Ruthy Ruby.
The beauty maverick has documented her experiences moving from Ireland to New York, and the highs and lows of falling in love with a demanding city like NYC.
While there are plenty of ‘moving to New York’ bloggers out there, Ruth has recorded her experiences in her distinctive style of content creation – glam but grainy, a little edgy and always real.
Ruth has joined fellow Irish Newyorker Tara Marzuki (@tarmarz) on the pursuit of delectable digital content, as creative assistant to the mega-influencer.
The pair work from numerous coffee joints in their local Williamsburg, in between shooting one another’s style on the streets of the city – alongside Ruth’s 9-5 in PR.
For Ruth, that style can vary, from perfectly fitting jeans teamed with a peasant top one day, to a micro mini dress and boots the next – but her glossy beauty look (all brows, dewy skin and pinky-taupe lip liner) is always present.
We caught up with the content creator before her move back to Ireland:
1. Can you describe the experience of moving to New York from your home county of Cork?
Moving to New York was the best decision I’ve ever made. It was a quick transition from an idea to the actual process. I always dreamt about doing it when I was younger but I never thought I’d get the chance. I didn’t realize how much I needed to be thrown into the craziness of this place and how much my soul needed it.
2. Why did you move?
I was nearing the end of a contract in a job and it just clicked one day. I was at a stage in my life where I wanted to discover myself completely. And New York is definitely somewhere where you will find out a lot about who you are, what you want and what you can do with yourself.
3. What have been the highs and lows of living in New York?
The highs have been meeting all my beautiful friends and growing so close to some really special people, expanding my social media, and figuring out what life is all about for me. New York attracts a certain type of person and when all those minds are together it’s really empowering. There haven’t been any extreme lows to report but definitely being away from my friends and family at home has been the toughest thing. Every other low has revealed something that I turned into a positive and that’s the way I’ve looked at it all. I mean, getting stood up on my first Tinder date was pretty enraging and when my bedroom window broke during the -14 degree cold snap was also a low moment but other than that it’s been a great time.
4. How has it changed and impacted you?
I was talking to my mum about how much I have grown in just one short year. I’ve gone through some super high highs and those have been balanced out with some challenging moments but all in all everything has made me so strong and so confident. I’ve realized that no matter what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, you’ll get to where you need to go. Just stay focused. The biggest impact has been how my mindset has completely changed. I appreciate things now that I never would have before moving here.
5. Do you think your perceptions of New York have changed since making such a big move?
Not really. I think I just realized its not somewhere I could live permanently. There is a lot of money to be earned here and the lifestyle can get really overwhelming but it feels like a bubble. I’ve dipped my toes into a lot of different things and had fun doing it but I think I’m made for Europe.
6. What advice do you have for others who have living in New York on their bucket list?
Just go for it. Don’t expect anything. Let it all happen and flow for yourself. New York changes you for the better.
7. What was the process of job hunting like?
The job hunt over here is very tough. It took me 12 weeks to get the job I had. On the J1 Grad Visa you have 120 days from when you arrive to find a job in your field of study so it’s a very intense few weeks. I spent every day sending out my resume and networking, having coffees with people in the hope of getting a job lead. When I think back to that time I quiver a bit. This was probably the most formative period of it all for me. It was horrible at the time but I grew so much from it.
8. What role did you find, and how has that experience been?
I got a job in a PR firm which I was sure was the right one for me, but the job was not what I thought it was so instead of hanging on and hating going into work I just left. The decision to quit was really hard as I was so scared about making the wrong decision but when my brother visited me he made it very clear that I shouldn’t be unhappy in a job during my year in NYC. I don’t believe in sticking with painful situations. People who do that become bitter and unhappy and that is never something I want to be.
9. What is your background in content creation?
I suppose I’ve been actively doing this Instagram thing since my masters. It’s a bit of fun for me and I always want it to be like that but people are starting to become more interested in me and my life which I love. I really love sharing my thoughts, experiences and just my life. There’s a strong beauty and lifestyle focus at the moment.
I also love how I can talk about something and for someone to reach out to me and tell me that I’ve helped them in some way. Since moving here I’ve become really close with Tara Marzuki. She has made my experience over here so lovely and I’ve learned so much about this blogging crack from her. She took me under her wing and had me work for her and we just bounce off each other.
10. How do you find the motivation to keep creating alongside your 9-5?
One of my best friends always asks me this. “How you have the energy and time to do this everyday I never know” but it’s just how I am. I absolutely love Instagram and I make sure that everyone I follow brings some sort of inspiration to my life. The motivation is just natural. I’m a really enthusiastic person and I just eat up good content that I can connect with.
11. What are your main influences when it comes to style and beauty?
I love when people just are happy and confident in what they are wearing. That’s how my vibes highlight on Instagram was born. I was seeing all these really cool people, owning their look and it just resonated with me. You’d swear I was a hippie from the 60’s sometimes lol. Spread the love and all that. Pinterest is another app that I get a lot of ideas from. I love photography, art and music and I spend a lot of time just discovering content online.
12. What’s next for Ruthy Ruby?
Good question. I don’t know for sure but I’m coming home soon and I’ll be moving to Dublin.
Whatever I do, it’s going to be great. I’m really excited to get back home and start a new chapter with a very clear understanding of who I am and what I want. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably get a big culture shock moving home and I’m hoping it won’t impact me too much but all in all I’m ready.