Probably Pride With "Probably This"
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Episode · 2 years ago

Probably Pride With "Probably This"

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Have you ever daydreamed about quitting your job to pursue your passion? Most of us have at least at some point in our lives. But very few people actually have the guts to take a chance and go for it. It’s scary enough even thinking about it, let alone actually doing it.  But someday, when the moment feels right, you may find the courage to take that leap, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll stick the landing. That’s what happened for Matt Armato and Beau Ciolino when they decided to reimagine life as they knew it and drop everything to create content full-time for their food and lifestyle blog, Probably This. Today, Matt and Beau share the story of how they made their entrepreneurial dreams come true, and take us behind the scenes of their Instafamous blog.  Be sure to follow Probably This on IG! Your host is Levi Chambers, co-founder of Gayety. Follow the show and keep up with the conversation @Pride. Want more great shows from Straw Hut Media? Check out or website at strawhutmedia.com. Your producers are Levi Chambers, Maggie Boles, Ryan Tillotson and Edited by Sebastian Alcala Have an interesting LGBTQ+ story to share? We might feature U! Email us at lgbtq@strawhutmedia.com. *This podcast is not affiliated with Pride Media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Straw media. Have you ever day dreamed about quitting your job to pursue your passion? Most of us have, at least at some point in our lives, but very few people actually have the guts to take the chance and go for it. It's scary enough to even think about, let alone to actually do but someday, when the moment feels right, you may find the courage to take that leap and maybe, just maybe, you'll stick the landing. That's what happened for Matt our motto and Bo See Alino when they decided to reimagine life as they knew it and drop everything to create content full time for their food and lifestyle blog. Probably this today, Mattin bow share the story of how they made their entrepreneurial dreams come true and take us behind the scenes of their instan famous blog. I'm me by chambers, and this is pride. I'm Matt our motto and I am born and raised in New Orleans and, along with bow, we write the food and lifestyle blog. Probably this this is a very brilliantro because I'm both Celeno and all of the above. In addition to being business and creative partners, bow and Matt are also a couple. They found each other six years ago and were instantly attracted. I remember the first time I ever saw matt was like a cross was so cliche. was like across the quad and he was sitting with a friend that I knew and I was just like, is that boy gay? And my friend was like yes, he's very clearly gay and she introduced us and we end up hanging out a few times together. And even though they developed their love for cooking, design and men's clothing over the years, it's not how they initially connected. Actually, the first thing we probably bonded over was travel,...

...or like a desire to travel, because we met in college. I was working with a study abroad organization that would send students abroad to volunteer or go on internships, and Matt and I met and started dating and actually ended up two months later, going to Vietnam together to live in a small apartment and her cheam and city and teach English. We're already dating, but it was kind of like our first intro to like being a thing, very sink or swim moment. Way Before Matt and bow moved to Vietnam, before they even met, they each came out, although everyone's coming out story is unique. For Matt coming out was relatively easy. When he was twelve, his dad came out as gay and sort of pave the way. This is actually kind of funny. I did some like detective work. Hum they didn't tell me immediately that he was gay. They just kind of like separated and they said that it was for you know, differences or whatever. On then he moved into an apartment and I we always played the SIMS, the video game the Sims, as a family, like my brother and I and my dad. I'll played it and I logged onto his file and I found his name is mark, and I found a little family called the Armatto family and it was mark and Scott living like in a house together with like a relationship at a hundred level or what. However, it wasn't the SIMS and so I was like Hey, Dad, who's Scott? He said it was. That's when he finally kind of had to tell me. For many queer people coming out is a really challenging milestone, but for Matt it wasn't overwhelming. I don't want to say it was like easy to like, I don't know, like dumb play it at all, but I I have a very like my mom's side of my family is like just very, very loving and accepting and kind of like they're Catholic but like Catholics are Pretty Liberal Christians. So I guess really the hardest part of it was I went to an all boys Catholic high school and so like that was kind of the last like frontier. Like being...

...out at school was something that happened for me after I even came out to my family, which I think is maybe the opposite of what most people do. I think that they're generally like more out to their peers and friends before they come out to their family. I don't know. I'm sure that you know common enough to go the way that I did it as well, but I don't know, I it wasn't. I can't really definitely did not have as hard a time as I know a lot of people do. Matt's Dad's coming out was his first introduction to the gay community. He realized at an early age that some people experience same gender attraction and it's totally normal. It was kind of the first time that I realized that there are were like real people who were gay. If you know what I mean, like I feel like growing up it was always like an insult that was hurled at people, and I did. It didn't register to me that that was like a real thing that people could be. It was just like a thing that you said to like take people down, and I knew that it was. But on the other hand, I also knew that I found myself attracted to, I guess, boys at that time, because I was a boy, and I think that him coming out was what it finally put like a person to a word like it made me realize that that, oh, there are real people who are like this. And how weird that that was your dad, because if everybody has that first experience where you put the person to the word and understand what it means like to be gay, but for it to be your dad is like pretty unusual. Definitely. Bow, on the other hand, did not have a gay dad to set the stage for his coming out. My coming out story was a bit more I don't mean to say traditional, because there really is no like traditional or singular coming out story, but I came out to my friends and family, or no friends, and high school first. I was lucky to go to a pretty like a liberal high school. It was not a private school, and New Orleans is a lot of private Catholic schools and where a lot of folks go, and I went to a public charter school, so it was Co ed and I had a bit...

...more freedom, I think, than Matt did and my teen years to kind of be out at school with my peers, which I'm like super thankful for. And growing up I kind of always my mom wouldn't be an issue, but I was a bit concerned about my dad just because he leaned more religious. He's Catholic and he kind of leaned more conservative in a lot of ways, whereas my mom was kind of always, I don't want to say like a Hippie, but kind of she was very zen, very like, you know, kind of a free thinking person. And so after being out at school and to my friends for a few years from like the ages of thirteen or sort of maybe seventeen, I came out to my mom when I was seventeen or eighteen and then stayed out to her and everyone and went to college. It was out there, but didn't tell my dad. He was actually the last one to know. After being out for six or seven years in his social life and two or three years with his mom, he finally came out to his dad because I had met someone who I wanted him to meet, which was Matt. How did he take it? He was actually like, I mean, I don't know. I had hyped it up for so long that I don't know if I was surprised by his reaction. But I did it at a Sushi restaurant and it's comical to me in my memory, because he started like crying and asking a bunch of questions and like the waitress would not leave us alone, like I'm not sure what she thought was happening, but she kept asking us if we wanted the refills and like taking plates and all I wanted. I was like, Oh my God, I should have done this somewhere or less public, because I felt bad that he was not crying. It took a second, but he wasn't like, you know, he didn't reject me. He told me he's loved. At that conversation he told me he still loved me, and then we didn't really talk about it much for the next month or so. I think maybe he sent me one email like asking me what the pope thinks about being gay. I was like, I don't really know, work care. After coming out to his...

...dad, the next step was coming out to his family. What was it? I guess the holidays were coming up and a few months and I was like how do I what do I do? Should I bring that to the Family Christmas party, because that it was his side, but my big family party was always my dad side and none of them knew. Still even after I told my dad and I was I should bring that to the big Christmas party. I'm really worried and I think it's exact words were like Oh, fuck them, yeah, bring it, bring that. So my dad and I and Matt walked in together with like you know, to this forty plus person Catholic, very good, servative Christian Christmas party and nobody told me that that was how boat was going to come out. I did not know. You knew. Okay, that's not true. We talked about this story in the last week and you agreed with what I'm saying right now. I didn't. I had no idea that I was walking into like up it was like a hundred plus part person party. It was not that big. It might have been that big. I'm sorry, and nobody knew that bow was gay and I was the boyfriend he was bringing go. I don't think that I realized what a weird situation that was. I was like twenty and like also very confused and the unsure, and to me all I knew was like my dad didn't care. So I was like okay, this is fine. I mean, no one was mean, everyone was nae know, everybody is sweet. It was just like you told me when we're walking in the door, you like, by the way, nobody knows I'm gay yet, like right as he opened the door. Yeah, so glad to kill. This is going to be Super Fun. No one. Yea. So this is a coming out party you didn't know about. Welcome, right. I really my intention was not to do that. It was really just negligence on my on my part being that young and not knowing how to like properly do that kind of stuff. When we come back, Matt and bow take a leap of faith. After graduating from college, Matt started working in the service industry.

I was bartending and serving and then I was a I was in I worked in this one restaurant group in New Orleans and then I was managing like a brand new restaurant that they opened up, while Bo worked in the art world, managing a gallery and trying to figure out what he was going to do with his degree in PR neither of them were satisfied with their jobs. Yeah, we kind of barely saw each other because you would work, because you would work at the gallery, and then I would go to work before you got home and I would be out late. Yeah, it was awful. Even with their crazy work schedules, BOA decided to start a blog in two thousand and fourteen before probably this fully took shape. Their blog was called probably baking. It was meant to answer the world's most annoying question for college students. What are you doing when you finish college? What started as a blog about baking in food slowly morphed into something much bigger. Matt got even more involved than he already had been before, and they decided to rename the blog probably this so they could focus on anything and everything that happens after college. Probably this is a home my style blog. We're what we're going for is like Gay Millennial Martha Stewart. is how I kind of like to describe the scope of it, because people are always like what do you mean? You do food and interiors? And I'm just like well, Martha Stewart does it, so now so do we. You gotta do whatever the Hell you want to do with this recipe. Yeah, more or less. We're going to saw you things that we like to do, that we think that he should try and do. And but originally, originally it was just kind of a space where we were sharing recipes, because Bo has been a baker since he was like, I don't know, ten, maybe younger than that, and...

...so he started posting like dessert recipes. It is originally like just a baking blog. He would post his baking recipes and like photograph them and put them online and at the time I was working in that restaurant group as a bartender and I had like original cocktail recipes that I wanted a space for. So I started I would ask Bo like hey, can I contribute a cocktail recipe your blog, and he's like sure, and then pretty soon it was more than just baking. And then we also realized we wanted to post about like traveling that we were doing and interior design and all kind of other stuff. So we decided to kind of go in together and just like wide in our scope to be all of that. But this was like six months into him even starting it. So it was kind of getting a start in two thousand and thirteen, two and fourteen. But for me and and then Matt, when we started it we were kind of basing it off of really more like true like blogs that we had followed, kind of like Julie and Julia Style, like longer form in trees and like maybe just trying out recipes or like diy things and really giving a lot of personality and writing into our website. And I remember when we started the blog, I've never had really thought it would be a career or anything, but I remember when I first published the first post, like turning to Matt and being like I'm going to figure out how to like download Google ads and so we can get our add money, thinking like this website traffic would be what generates an income from it. But then, you know, years later, sponsors and things like that became much more popular and accessible. So matten bow loved writing the blog together, but keeping up with it while working their other jobs was becoming unmanageable and even though it felt reckless, they knew probably this had the potential to be more than a hobby. We had begun making some income through the blog and I remember...

...bow just like looking at the projects that we had lined up and he was like, Oh, we have enough lined up to where we could live off of the blog for two months, and we were both like, yeah, I guess that's enough, let's quit our jobs. With three thous in their checking account and another four thousand dollars lined up in upcoming projects, they decided to take the leap. I think I quit my job like a month before you did, and is that right? Like a month before you did, and then you quit your job and we just got to work, like doing things that could be done on a budget. That's a lot of our base is doing recipes and interiors that could be done on a budget and without making major, you know, changes or renovations or anything. And the work, thank God, trickled in and continued growing and becoming bigger projects. And the more time that we put into creating this blog and then the instagram account and putting our faces out there in our projects out there, the more work came in and we got lucky. Certain things took off, like our original pink dining room like went pinterest viral, and then our camper kind of went. It's had its own viral moment, and so we just kept growing and getting more work that way. Today they tag team the business and collaborate with their advertising partners to create beautiful branded content that inspires. Matt and bow run probably this together as a team, with each one playing to their different strengths. We both come up with a lot of the ideas and concepts for the projects we do, but then I'm usually more in charge of styling and photography and maybe providing a general direction, and then Matt's really great at refining and and writing. I mean you'll write a lot of what we do, a lot of the copy and blog posts and instagram captions and things are are either edited very heavily by Matt or written entirely by him, because I talk how I write and I talk very incorrectly. So have you ever had a conflict around either content or a campaign, or have you ever had anything where you were...

...like no, Matt, Hey hate the pillow or whatever it is? Do you mean just today or yeah, I think everything is kind of some sort of conflicts, at least because we we come to we come to pretty much every project with different perspectives. Some are obviously much bigger conflicts, but there's always some back and forth. Even if we're like mostly aligned on something, it might be like one word that we like disagree about on a caption or like in a blog post. But yeah, there's always kind of like we're rotating and like around each other to come to some kind of center point. It really is like so collaborative, like down to every single last detail, and it's not always. Usually does not ever get like ugly. I mean they look we're in this business than has before. But when we I mean when we first started, it would yeah, but I mean we're in this business like have fun, and I think like we've learned how to do that. That took like some polishing to be like, Oh wait, I need to stop caring about this fine print. Like am I getting the full message across or my getting the foot? You know what? I really the original idea and concept across. What is it like to be in business with bow and with Matt? He just rolled his eyes. What does he think I'm going to say? I'm like, what about to say? Um, okay, Bo is definitely a lot more particular than I am. He's much more of a like every single thing must be and look perfect, and that doesn't mean that I have. I don't think that means I have low standards. I definitely think I still have pretty high standards. But part of what I enjoy about other people who are doing what we do is when you kind of see the flaws and like remind remember that they're like Human Um, and so I'm cool with putting out content that is maybe a little bit less polished.

I think bow I wish what it's like working with him is that he's kind of just a little bit more of a stickler for for perfection. I would agree. I think that I think that this comes back down to like why working together has been good for us. I think that I I would not consider myself to be a perfectionist, but I think I am incredibly particular, and Matt has taught me how to kind of like let my guard down around that because, and you do like not everything we do is exactly how I want it from the beginning. He really does play a role and kind of like making me chill out when it comes to getting things exactly how I imagine them at the same time, I think that it's I think it's good to trying Tan a goal, and sometimes I have really particular goals and I like want to get a recipe perfect or like, Oh my God, like painting a wall. If I like this, are freaking current dining room pink wall. We had like probably ten different colors we went through because it was just like the wrong shade at the wrong time of day and it kept it. It bothered me so much. But I think overall, working with Matt is working with someone who is game for anything, but does help me relax a bit. What is the best part about being in business with your partner and the hardest part? I mean, the best part is like, especially this far into it, I really like do enjoy getting to spend so much time with Matt. We've created like our own time of part during the day and things like that, and we do different activities and have some friends that are kind of like just our own friends to see, but for the most part we're together a lot more than a lot of couples and I think the best part of working together is just like getting to be together and work on creative projects together. It's really fun, like it is really fun for the most part, getting to be with someone that I like, love and like respect and get that back from luckily. And then I think the hardest part,...

...the hard on the flip side, the hardest parts also being around you all day. Yeah, I think the hardest part is I sometimes wish that we just had separate, more separate things going on. Like I would love to be able to ask Matt like how is day went? Like the doesn't happen like it, you know, you know, like basically know, I know how your day way, I mean, and it's turned into where we have like microcosms of that, like you'll ask me how my yoga class was and I'll ask you how your cross fit was or like how you'R, you know, volleyball game went to go play was. But for the most part, like there's not much. There's not much like mystery or you know, kind of like not always much to like talk about. We're kind of just like always working or like chilling, but our work is is our time together as well, and it is really fun. So I think the best part, I can't I actually can't think of another thing other than the same thing that you said. For the best part, I think it's really cool that we get to like spend a lot of time doing stuff that we like both love together and have been able to turn it into a career. It's kind of awesome and like really special and I'm so like thankful that that's a situation that I like have in my life. So yeah, I mean the best parts just, you know, spending time with Bo and like being able to do just really cool fun like adventures and projects together. And then the hardest part, I think, is that it's hard to, I think, find a good separation between like work and leisure, because since we work together and live together and are just like basically together a whole lot, sometimes it it becomes difficult to give ourselves a proper break. You know, it's it's kind of...

...like when you when you see your co workers outside of work, you probably talk about work. Well, my co worker like lives with me and is always with me. Like I feel like we could pretty much at any time start talking about work and it's hard to just like let my guard down and like relax. It's true. That's why we both threw a lot of like fitness class things or like Matt, I don't think this is a normal thing to have to say, but like one of us will often be like, I am taking the next hour and a half to not think about anything other than like this show or this video game, like, because we kind of have to do that. It kind of have to like make an announcement. Yeah, excuse me, attention, I'm going to go sit on the couch. Leave me alone. You have to make it like a thing, right, like this is time for the break. Yes, exactly. When we come back, Matt teaches us how to make a Jerry Hollowell. Probably this is known for its top notch photography. If you scroll through their instagram feed, you'll see Martha stewardesk table scapes, dishes that look almost too pretty to eat, their dog Fox living his best life and a constant stream of beautiful photos featuring Mattin bow all over the world. But despite the consistent high quality of their photos, it's the buyou backdrop that makes the probably this esthetic especially unique. Despite Louisiana's anti lgbtq track record, the city of New Orleans is actually pretty progressive. You know, New Orleans is this liberal bastion, and New Orleans is also incredibly diverse. I think about sixty percent of the city is African American. So that is that is one thing, but at the same time, you know, it is the deep South and there is a lot of inequality and there's a lot of bigotry, for sure. Even though...

...they spend most of their time in New Orleans, they no longer live in the city. In August of two thousand and eighteen, Mattin bow moved to a small town called Covington just outside New Orleans. I would say living here has been more or less a positive experience for us, but at the same time we're both white and men. So I mean I do see definitely more like trump support and I definitely see like racial microaggressions and I do see biggot tree, but I wouldn't say that we've necessarily had it aimed at us, although we are definitely less comfortable in the town that we're in that we were when we were living in New Orleans, because New Orleans is very queer. I. Even if you're not actually like Lgbtq in New Orleans like you're usually kind of weird or, you know, very open minded often, and so I think that we are a bit more modest and how we dress or act, maybe subconsciously even in our in our town, but in terms of outright big at tree, I don't think either of us his experience, luckily, has experienced anything in our small town. Online is a slightly different story. Occasionally we'll get something that is really incredibly homophobic. The way that I handled it like personally, is I try to just pay no attention to it, depending on the actual content of the comment. Sometimes will engage with the comment or unless they use any kind of like blatant hate speech, they will generally delete the comment. Sometimes there are just troll accounts where you cannot say anything that will do any any justice or any or make any effect any change. And then sometimes there are people who like I'll look at their accounts and I'll be like, oh, you're like you know grandma, you know, living some maybe somewhere that doesn't shouldn't have any exposure to Lgbtq people and like could just use humanization. I don't think I have a responsibility to on it,...

...to be honest, to really engage with them, but sometimes, if I think that there is any change that can be made, they're good a serious response. Definitely handling Internet Rolls Sharing Food recipes and giving beautiful design inspiration aren't the only things that Matt and bow do well On, probably this they also make a mean cocktail. So in the spirit of the holidays, Mattin bough hooked us up with a delicious and refreshing seasonal beverage. This is a drink that is so this kind of comes from a very personal and local, like New Orleans, experience. I don't know if you know this, but it never really gets cold in Louisiana, so I personally like to drink very refreshing cocktails. All you around. Sometimes it's eighty degrees, like on Christmas Day. So that whole kind of like stiff drink, like fall weather cocktail, thing that a lot of people get into it into never really kind of becomes much of a thing here. So this is a shaken, refreshing cocktail that still has kind of classic fall flavors in it. I'm calling it Jerry Hallowell, like named after Ginger Spice, but it is made with calvadose, which, if you don't know, is a it's a French brandy made from apples. Then Becharovka, which is from Czech Republic, and that is kind of like a clove tasting liqueur. And then there's a spicy cinnamon syrup that I make with cinnamon sticks and a little bit of Chili Pepper, kind of like like a whole Chili pepper gets boiled into the water with cinnamon and then I make a syrup with that and a little bit of lemon juice. So this is going to be a shaking cocktail. So you would make it in a cocktail tin and start out with an ounce and a half of the calvadose which...

...on its own, you I told you, it's an apple brandy. On its own it really is going to lean more into the brandy flavor than the apple. You can't generally taste much apple in it, but when it is paired, I think, with the lemon, and these are like other bright flavors, you do kind of like make out a little bit of that Apple Flavor. So it's an ounce and a half of calvadose and then three quarters of an ounce of Becharovka and then a quarter of an ounce of the cinnamon syrup and half an ounce of lemon. Cut All of that into the cocktail tin, fill it with ice and then you shake it for shaking cocktails. You want to shake about fifteen to twenty seconds, or until the metal on the outside of the tin gets kind of frosted over, and then you want to strain it over fresh ice into your cocktail glass and you can garnish it with a little orange twist. So pay me a picture. What is it look like? I want to say it's like a widish yellow, you know. It's like it's almost like a like a fresh Margarita color, and I serve it over ice in like an old fashioned glass, so it's kind of a short glass with like crushed ice. You could also do it in a collins glass, which is the tall, skinny cylinder glass. It would be it would be pretty good in that as well. It's so good too. I love this cocktail. You get a good job making it. Thank you. Yeah, together, Matt and bow contribute more to society than their block. They inspire other queer people to live authentically and to follow their dreams, which is something they welcome you to be part of. Connect with us on, at probably this pretty much everywhere, twitter, instagram, facebook or probably thiscom we have a weekly newsletter that's very long, sometimes too long. We're I'll usually put kind of behind the scenes or rants or any of the I'm...

...thinking, kind of unbarred into our lives, and that's at probably thiscom clast. Subscribe. Pride is a production of Straw hut media. If you like the show, leave us a rating and a review on Apple, podcast, spotify or wherever you're tuning in from. Share us with your friends. Subscribe and follow us on Instagram, facebook and twitter at pride. You can follow me at me by chambers. Pride is produced by me, Maggie Bowls and Ryan Tillotson, edited by Sebastian Alcohol. What's your story like? My Dad's gay to now. I'm just kidding. I'm sorry, sorry. Dad's are together. Actually call them and let's just have one big podcast.

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