@westchesterblogger | 1,369 Posts | 22.9K Followers
For Itzel Aguilera, or Westchester Blogger, as she is fondly known by her 22.9K Instagram followers, a life in social media sprung from creative passions. “I went to New York Film Academy, and I used to do photography and videography, including music videos, short films, and weddings, but I wanted to get more into directing,” recalls Aguilera. “Then Instagram took off for me as a platform, and I loved featuring local Westchester stuff, as well as food, so that’s what I focused on and funneled all my drive to be a filmmaker into Westchester Blogger.”
When the coronavirus hit, Aguilera found new purpose in her account and new ways to aid the people of the community. “I was going to restaurants that everybody was afraid to go out to, doing the work and figuring out which restaurants were doing takeout, how they were packaging it, and filming it,” shares the Elmsford-based influencer. “I started doing little videos of this, and people weren’t afraid to go out anymore because they could see how restaurants had the partitions and were being COVID safe.”
This was only the start of Aguilera’s mission to lend aid during a trying time. She was soon collecting money and ordering N95 masks for her entire community, offering them free of charge. “I ended up getting 500 masks wholesale and donated 400 of them to nurses, then put it up on my channel that whoever wants could DM [direct message] me and pick it up at my house for no cost,” says Aguilera. “People were DMing me like crazy, people who were pregnant or whose parents were sick were telling me they couldn’t find a mask or leave the house.
“I had a desire to support local, small businesses, and I wanted to showcase all that Westchester has to offer…”
Today, Aguilera is still using Westchester Blogger to support the community — that is, when she isn’t posting roughly 30 Instagram stories a day or promoting her new line of merchandise. She recently founded The Westchester Plug, a recurring initiative in which influencers descend upon a worthy local business to promote it and gin up business. “I had a desire to support local, small businesses, and I wanted to showcase all that Westchester has to offer,” reflects Aguilera. “There is so much here that people just aren’t aware is there.”