Los Angeles based blogger and coffee icon Maria Hill stars in a brand-new series called “Hey Girl” and it's a lot of fun. The series is a collaboration between Ms. Hill and esteemed videoist Nicholas Cho. The first episode, “Guide To Coffeeing”, takes place at Cognescenti Coffee in Culver City and takes the viewer on a crash-course in “third wave” cafes. Hill discusses the subtleties of boutique menu ordering and the perfect outfit to pair with your coffee drink.
“[Hill] had the blog and the reputation and the media-friendly face and infectious personality,” says Cho, “I came up with the idea for doing videos, we collaborated on the content, and found a day-and-a-half to do it.”
We spoke with the two about their project.
So who is Hey Girl?
Maria: Hey Girl is confident and curious and smart and fun and chatty.
Nick: She's the girl of your dreams.
Can I be a Hey Girl?
Maria: Of course!
The first episode is a guide to coffeeing. It seems like there's a learning curve with places like Cognescenti, and you're trying to get people on board with what they're doing.
Maria: Definitely. I think that the specialty cafes can seem a little inaccessible to the average consumer. I think about my parents or my friends that religiously go to big chains and how they would have no idea what to do in a place like Cognescenti.
Nick: The idea was that we wanted to do a newbie guide that would help demystify a few (very few) key ideas, make them appealing, while still maintaining credibility with the coffee industry.
Maria: And Ryan Gosling.
Nick: There's a lot of nuance built in to this video. Except for Ryan Gosling. There's nothing nuanced about him.
Did you do a lot of location research before deciding on a cafe?
Maria: No, the video part of it came together really fast. Nick and I had been chatting about the idea of making a video for a couple months.
Nick: It was a 5 minute conversation, and a call to Yeekai to seal the deal. As you can see, the shop was pretty busy while we were shooting. We tried to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Maria: Except to the dreamy barista. I was all over that.
When did you start drinking coffee?
Maria: In college to stay awake. I started drinking specialty coffee when I moved to California to work for the Specialty Coffee Association in 2009.
So you want to do more guides, but not necessarily coffee-focused. What else? What else is there, really?
Nick: Not just guides. I mean, Say Hey Girl isn't just a series of videos, it's really a lifestyle brand.
Maria: Right. I think it could evolve into something more than just a guide.
Your Youtube account has exactly two videos – the Guide To Coffeeing – and a 15 second short called Bachelor Rose Ceremony With Peeps.
(This was a supplement to a blog post,) but on its own it's beautiful and bizarre. Maybe we'll see Peeps dioramas in future episodes of Hey Girl?
Maria: Definitely. I am open for suggestions to a theme for next year.
Peeps 20 Year High School Reunion with a Carrie component. Maria, you are an inspiration and your collaboration with Nick is amazing. Thank you so much for the time!
Maria & Nick: Thank you!
What do you think of the project? Sound off in the comments below!