Our FWT hosts Macie (she/her) and Vyoma (she/her) are joined by Mattia and Rachel for the very first episode of Love Letters to Stan Culture.
In today’s episode we are taking a deep dive into all things Harry Styles, from concert tickets to fan engagement to favorite songs we are covering it all and you don’t want to miss it!
Mattia Krappa (she/her) owns a Pop Culture smoothie shop in Taylor, PA called Lucca Fresca. Many of her smoothie specials are inspired by the man himself, Harry Styles.
Rachel Gross (she/her) runs her own personal blog and actually got hired by someone she met at a Harry Styles concert.
Fangirls World Tour presents: a podcast by the fans, for the fans. We provide content to empower and encourage fans to get involved in the industry. This is Love Letters to Stan Culture!
M: Hi, I’m Macie and I use she/her pronouns and I’m a fan, a huge fan of Harry Styles. I have been since like 2011. And I’ve been very involved in stan culture and I was a huge fan of One Direction. I only saw One Direction once on the ‘Where We Are’ Tour, but ever since Harry went solo, I’ve kinda focused on his music. His music has been the one, the music out of all five that I’ve been most interested in. I am currently in school for business administration with a concentration in music and social media marketing.
V: And I’m Vyoma. I use she/her pronouns and I’m also a fan of Harry Styles, but I’m not like ‘Stan Level’ fan. I am a huge fan of his music mainly and I actually just graduated from UC Santa Barbra with a degree in Communications and I’m looking to enter into the music business. So that’s where I am.
M: We’ll be your hosts today on today’s episode where we will focus on Harry Styles and everything that involves his fan culture, fan engagement, basically everything that encapsulates being a Harry Styles fan.
V: And today we are joined by Mattia Krappa and Rachel Growth. Thank you both for joining us, we are honored to have you here.
MK: Thanks for having me! This is going to be so fun.
RG: Yeah, I’m so excited!
V: Yeah! So, tell us a bit about yourself. Don’t give away too much, but like where are you at right now?
MK: My name is Mattia, I’m 24. I own Lucca Fresca which was dubbed the Harry Styles smoothie shop over the summer last year. Uhm, I live in northeastern Pennsylvania. I still live with my mom, but that’s okay! I graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 2020 with a marketing degree and a minor in communications. And I do love Harry Styles.
RG: Hi, my name is Rachel Gross. I’m 26 years old and I live in New York on Long Island. I also live with my family right now but it’s okay! I’ve been a fan of Harry since he was in One Direction and I still listen to One Direction like every day. Soo yeah, happy to be here! Oh! I am also a marketing manager for a talent agency.
M: And, just as a little ice breaker question, we do want to know what your favorite Harry song is and what your favorite music video he’s put out is.
MK: I can go first. My favorite Harry Styles song is ‘Canyon Moon.’ Everytime I’ve seen him live, I’ve cried during it and I dont’t know why because it’s a pretty happy song. You shouldn’t be crying, the beat is happy, the lyrics are like happy. I cry everytime, it’s myfavorite one. My favorite music video is probably ‘Golden’ ’cause he filmed that in Italy and I am going to Italy in October so I’m very excited, but yeah. ‘Golden’ is my favorite music video
RG: This is a hard question. Like, how do I pick one song? If I have to pick, I would say ‘Only Angel’ also ‘Treat People With Kindness.’ Nothing beats that.
M: That one is so good live.
RG: Oh my god. Live? Nothing can compare to that song live.
V: My favorite music video would have to be ‘Falling’ I just love the song, too. ‘Falling’ just gets me in the feels every single time. And as far as songs, I don’t know what it is but ‘Music for a Sushi Resturant’ is just a bop. it’s a vibe.
M: It’s so good.
RG: It’s a vibe.
MK: The way I literally disregarded the whole Harry’s House album. Like, [laughs] totally forgot. I think on Harry’s House my favorite is, I like grapejuice blues. Well, ‘Grapejuice.’ I think that one is very like, I have a special coming out called Grapejuice Blues, that’s why I said that. [laughs]. But uhm, I feel like not that many people like that one. Like it’s not that popular or one of the most popular and it’s so good. So I don’t understand all the Grapejuice slander. I don’t understand it at all.
RG: [overlapping] No, no. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it. No ‘Grapejuice’ slander!
M: Yeah, exactly! It’s very underratted.
RG: I think my favorite on Harry’s House is ‘Satellite.’
M: Yes, mine too. It’s so good.
RG: So good. Like the screams?
M: The drums in there, so good.
RG: So good.
V: Mattia, when did you become a Harry Styles fan. What’s your story, where did it all begin?
MK: So, I always a fan of One Direction growing up. Uhm, I’ve only actually seen them once. I think Macie said that before, which is very unfortunate. I always liked one direction and I was a Zayn girl in the beginning, when I first became a fan. And then when Harry went solo that’s when I jumped on the Harry train. I started to become a Harry fan, but I full- I went in when he went solo. I saw him for Live on Tour, I saw him Love on Tour. Uhm, I went to Harry’s house One Night Only, which was super cool. My friend actually got tickets for like 25 dollars, whatever it was. Like I don’t know how. We were in the nosebleeds, we had the most amazing time. So I’ve definitely been a fan for a while, but I don’t know if like, this is going to sound so stupid, but I don’t know if I would label myself a “Stan.” Like, Mattia, that’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever said. you literally have a whole business dedicated to this guy. /j But I’m not like super, super crazy. People probably think I am, but I’m a little more laid back. I’m not like “Ugh” I don’t know. But sure, yeah. I’ve been a fan for a while.
V: You have like the marketing mind for it.
MK: Thank you, thank you. I know, I never, I come up with stuff and I’m afraid everyone’s going to think this is so stupid. No one is going to understand it. And, knock on wood, so far so good. But it’s so funny when normal people- I say normal people like people who aren’t coming in because of Harry Styles, One Direction, all the other pop culture stuff- And they’re like “can I get a Treat People with Kindness bowl?” And they have no idea what that means, but it’s just funny when they’re ordering these specials and things and they have no idea.
M: Is it like a question?
MK: Yeah! [laughs]. Or like I had an Eroda bowl and everyone was like “what does that mean?” And I’m really like, I can’t get into it with you right now. [laughs].
V: No, yeah. But I mean, hey, that’s very cool and I think it’s completely valid. Like you don’t have to be a “Stan” to call yourself a fan of an artist. Like, wherever you’re at, as long as you appreciate the art their putting out.
MK: yeah, of course.
V: Yeah! So apart from, I guess the music, what made you want to continue being a fan of his?
MK: I think for me, and I say this all the time. I get so many questions like why Harry Styles, like what is it about him? And I hate having to like vouch for him as if I know him personally. and just like, for me it’s like he creates a safe space at his concerts, right? Like if you have been to a show you know like people show up, they show out. Everyone is dressed to the nines. People are just, he gives them a space for people to be who they’ve always wanted to be. When maybe they don’t have that space at home. I am very fortunate that I, no matter what, I do say that my parents are behind me, but not everyone else can say the same. So for that 90 minutes that they’re at his show, they are somewhere they are loved, they’re accepted, they’re appreciated, all of the above. And for me, that’s what really sets the nail in the coffin for him. And I think too, that he is also exactly who he wants to be. He wears whatever he wants, and does whatever he wants for the most part. That’s what it is for me, I think he just seems like an all-around great human being. And I mean, I’ve never heard of a bad interaction either. So that also makes me very happy. He is usually very full and he doesn’t wanna be hidden away. He’s very like “Hi, how are you? I love you. Thank you so much.” So, just seems like a great person all around. That’s what it is for me.
M: Going off of what you said about being accepted at his shows, though. Whenever he, there are multiple videos of him helping fans come out during his shows. I feel like a lot of fans will do that at a show or bring a sign about that to his show because they know that they will be accepted there. Maybe that’s not the reaction they’re going to get at home.
MK: Exactly yeah.
V: That’s very cool. I’ve never been to any of his shows, but the way that you guys are talking about it, now I’m like I want to go to his concert.
Collective: you have got to go!
MK: I have friends who are not fans of his and they’re like please bring me to a show. I just need to experience what you’re experiencing. It’s, the atmosphere is unmatched. It’s amazing.
V: Let’s segway into what you do. What inspired you to create a pop culture type of smoothie shop because that’s a very unique concept. I’ve never been to one, I really need to do that.
MK: It was a normal smoothie shop at one point in time. Uhm, I’m a huge fan of Harry’s obviously. So when I was creating, okay what is Lucca Fresca gonna be? What is going to set us apart from every other smoothie shop in America, in the world, right? So I was like you know what would be so quirky and funny if I named all my specials after Harry Styles songs. Because no one would have any idea unless you were a Harry Styles fan, like what the special names mean. So thats how it started. And then when I opened people were bringing me, ya know little “Happy Opening” gifts. So a lot of it was Harry Styles-themed decorations. So we had a table with like, I mod-podged with like Harry Styles stickers. My friend bought me a wine bottle with Harry’s House. It obviously started with just Harry Styles. And then when I was doing the smoothies, like all the specials, a girl- her name is Carmella. She’s probably going to watch this, listen to this so shout out Carmella! She made a TikTok and it was with the ‘Fine Line’ smoothie, so that was, he only had at the time just the two albums. So the Fine Line smoothie it’s gotta be something good. The album just came out and so I was like I had never seen a blue and pink smoothie, two different colored smoothies before. Like no one has ever done that. I looked it up and I had never seen it before. I tried to do it, I put him on the cup. HIm in quotations, I use that loosely. But I put him on the cup. She came in, Carmella came in with her family. She had seen me on Instagram I think or TikTok. And she made a TikTok like “I went to the cutest Harry Styles Cafe today.” And she took pictures and videos of all the harry things I did have and it blew up. Hundreds of thousands of views. It was going crazy, this video. I saw the video before it really took off and then that weekend, [laughs] Rachel’s like I saw it, too. I didn’t realize how quickly it had grown, that weekend, that Saturday, it was during the pandemic too so we were wearing masks while working the whole time. There was a line out the door. Like outside before we even opened. My mom was like what is going on? What are you giving away? Where are these people coming from? Like I don’t know where they’re coming from. I couldn’t figure it out and then I was like Carmella’s video. People saw Carmella’s video. That’s like New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, like it started and it’s expanded. So we kept with the Harry Styles theme for a while and then I started trickling in other pop culture moments. When Olivia Rodrigo came out with ‘Sour’ that was huge. People were anticipating that album for months. We did this frequently. When Taylor Swift re-released Red’ we did a Red (Taylor’s Version) smoothie. When Stranger Things volume two came out we did a whole ‘Stranger Things’ weekend. I had smoothie specials, and I had a drink with glowing bugs in it. And we sold ‘Stranger Things’ Candles. I’ve been trying to dive more into like other areas of pop culture and not just Harry Styles. Cause like I mean the phrase “Money is fake, Harry Stykes is forever” definitely rings true, but for a lot of people, just like trying to venture into more avenues, I guess. And I don’t know what made me think to like incorporate Harry Styles into my business. It was just with the names and then from there, it took off. And I don’t think, I mean my parents and I definitely didn’t think it was going to happen the way it did. I mean I’m so grateful it happened the way it did, but I come from such a small town and people from all over the country are coming to this little hole in America just for the experience. It’s so amazing, it’s so cool.
M: I remember seeing that TikTok!
MK: Oh, that’s awesome.
M: Because it has like Harry doing the pose on the cup, right? Yeah, I remember seeing that TikTok. Do you get like, do you find the store gets busier when he has a show nearby? Are people coming in more?
MK: Yeah, definitely. I for a while had the Love on Tour schedule on my phone and I was like, okay I need to schedule accordingly when he’s in Philly when he’s in new york. Even in New Jersey because people travel for him. I was trying to explain that to my parents like you don’t understand. I mean I went to Fine Line at the forum. Like the only sho. My friend and I flew to California from Pennsylvania. I flew to California to go to this guy’s show. Like we’re nuts. And I literally didn’t call myself a stan technically like ten minutes ago, but uhm. these people travel, you don’t understand. It is a little bit busier, we’re closing out on One Direction month, so for the whole month of July I ran One Direction specials. Which I got a lot of hate comments this year, which was not fun. [laughs]. But we had five smoothies, one for each of the boys and it was the color of their microphones when they were in One Direction. And then we did a bowl, I did a juice pouch, I had exclusive merch. We did a special event on 1D day. It was really cool. So July was a little busier, a lot of people traveled for that, too. But yeah when he’s in town or close by its definitely, its definitely busier. I’m afraid the day that he decides to come in, I might have to close. Because I think it would be like a swarm.
V: Well, I mean, hey. Manifesting that he does come in one day. I hope he does, like it would be insane. No, that would be very cool if he actually showed up like hey can i get a smoothie with the name of my song on it?
MK: I don’t know if he ever would but if he does, I’ll make him whatever he wants. I don’t even care if it’s not one the menu, whatever he wants I will deliver. and i will put it on the menu.
V: I’m sure you will. We know that we’ve been talking about the Fine Line smoothie that kind of went viral, but since the release of his latest album Harry’s House,’ have you created like, have you worked on another smoothie? Or another interesting item for that?
MK: I don’t think anything could ever top the Fine Line smoothie or be as, dare I say, iconic as the fine line smoothie. I’ve tried, when Harry’s House’ came out I had been doing the specials for all of the songs again for the smoothies. or like we do a featured toast every once and a while. So, the one smoothie that was really popular actually, and people are begging me to bring it back, I called it Satellite because I didn’t know what else to call it. And Satellite’ is one of my favorite songs on Harry’s House and it was like a banana split smoothie. People really liked that one. Right now, I’m getting to roll out the august specials, so I’m doing Harry’s House Party and I’m doing four smoothies and it’s gonna be mocktails. So a strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, a mango margarita and those are gonna have some more obscure names. I think I have “Canyon Mango” instead of ‘Canyon Moon.’ I couldn’t think of anything else. [laughs] so they’re works of progress. Like all the bowls we’ve done, the one that was really popular was “GRAMMY Winner” and it was when he won his GRAMMY, obviously. And it was, I put edible gold luster dust on top and edible gold metallic stars on it. I had a sticker of him… somebody that looks like him, holding a GRAMMY award. So, people really liked that one too. But the wheels are always going, I’m like this guy, he’s just gotta keep coming out with content and keep doing things so that I don’t run out of content and ideas. But yeah, I’ve been trying. Harry House has kinda taken a backseat because of One Direction month. But we’ll go back into it for the month of August.
M: that’s so cool. Every single one sounds so well thought out. And we also want to hear if you have attended, well you have attended Harry’s shows. So which ones and how was the experience? What was your most memorable experience from one of the shows?
MK: I’ve been to a couple. I got to see him, the first time I saw him was actually for Live on Tour and it was when he was at, oh my god what’s it called, The Today Show. He did party on the plaza, i think they call it: their party series. He only had ‘Sign of the Times.’ That was the only song that anybody knew. And then he sang ‘Ever Since New York’ and ‘Carolinia’ which was really cool. ‘Cause like we had never heard, we only had ‘Sign of the Times’ there was no other songs and then he sang these two new ones. So that was super cool, like the first time I saw him by himself. Just being in New York with my friends, it was really cool. And like driving back in the middle of the night, like my friend’s dad picked us up at midnight and drove right through the night. And I guess the other memorable one would be when I went to California. I moved all of my finals at ESU to make the flight and I almost missed it. I was the last person to board the plane, they literally closed the doors behind me. My mom was like if you don’t get on that plane, you’re not going. She’s like you’re not going, you are turning right around and you are coming right back. That was reallly cool too. He brought out Stevie Nicks so that was really cool moment. So those were the two that were really cool. But I was at Harryween, the first night when he was Dorothy and then Harry’s House ONO, that was cool too. because he was on apple music so they were filming for it, but I mean all of his shows are so special. I feel like it’s something different. People are like you’re seeing the same show. It’s NOT the same show, though. Rachel’s like “no way, it’s not the same show!”
M: It’s not the same show. Different outfits, different interactions. Sometimes he’ll sing a different song.
MK: I remember when people were anticipating because he wasn’t singing ‘To Be So Lonely,’ it like wasn’t on the setlist for Love on Tour. So, people were waiting to see if he was going to sing it and then he sang it the one, I hadn’t seen it at any of the shows I had been to, and he finally sang it. And i was like yes!. So, you’re right. He switches up the setlist, switches up songs, the outfits are always chef’s kiss incredible. so yeah, definitely not the same show.
RG: Going off of that – I was there when he sang ‘medicine’ for the first time in YEARS! That was crazy.
MK: I was anticipating ‘Medicine’ too. I heard it, I didn’t hear ‘Medicine’ until I went to the last night on Love on Tour. My friend and I got tickets, it was like I don’t even know how we got them. But we got them right when they went out. And we were waiting for him to play ‘medicine’ I think that was the only time I heard him play it on tour actually was that night. And then he sang ‘Kiwi’ three times after that.
M: I went to the Little Rock show, it was the one before the Long Island one and he sang ‘Medicine’ there and that was so unexpected because everyone was like it’s Arkansas, there’s no way he’s gonna play ‘Medicine’ But then he sang it and we were like oh my god. It was crazy.
MK: It’s amazing. God, it’s such a good song.
V: okay, now I have to go. I have to go to a show. I have to fly out now and like, I will do it.
M: buy the tickets, book the flight. Just go.
RG: It’s worth it.
V: Yeah, I’m convinced now. You know what, I will drop money for this man. Thank you for giving us a very, like thoughtful and just putting everything out there for us.
MK: yeah, of course.
V: this is so cool what you do.
MK: Thank you!
V: It is very unique that you have this whole brand and concept with Harry Styles and it’s doing so well.
M: yeah it’s like an unexpected combo, but it’s so cool.
MK: I know, everyone always comes in and they’re like legally where are you at? And I’m like “I haven’t heard anything.” I do talk to my lawyer every now and then. Like my mom will give him a call and be like okay this is what’s going on with Mattia, blah, blah, blah.” And I mean, I kinda almost got into it with a guy cause he was like. He almost wanted me to be in legal trouble i think. I don’t know what his deal was.. it was this weird dynamic that me and him had. He was like are you sure. Like listen, if my lawyer isn’t concerned about what I’m doing then I’m not. I think I’m good. I mean I don’t know. My lawyer is like if one-day Harry Styles decides he’s going to open a smoothie shop and name all his smoothies after his songs, then we’ll have a problem, but as far as I’m concerned I don’t see a problem right now. just keep doing what you’re doing. So that’s why i was like, i tried very lightly. I word things very strategically. A lot of things Ive looked up a couple phrases, there are some things I can’t use, some things that just won’t ever be trademarked because the phrase is so simple that he can’t trademark it. I know a lot of people get into trouble with like Taylor Swift because all of her stuff is trademarked. So it gets very, most of her things are trademarked. But with these simple words, you can usually find a little loophole. You can get yourself in there.
M: I’ve seen a couple Etsy shop owners, harry’s management will go after them if they use a certain phrase or a font that he has used before in the same style on a piece of merch they’re trying to sell. They’ll be like “you have to take this down”
MK: I forget what it is, I saw it on Twitter or TikTok, and it’s, I can’t remember I get very confused. but it’s either i think “TPWK” is trademarked or “Treat People With Kindness” is trademarked. I can’t remember which one it is, you can use the one but not the other.
M: I think it’s “Treat People With Kindness.” I knew a girl with an Etsy shop and she used that phrase in the same font that he put on his hoodie one time and they were like you can’t sell that. You have to take this down.
MK: So maybe its TWPK that isn’t. So I’m very careful with what I say and what I do. Sometimes i get a little crazy but I’m like okay, reel it back in. I don’t think he would ever come after me thiugh. I like to think he wouldn’t. If he was able to see that there’s people who come so excited and so happy to be at Lucca Fresca. When tour was postponed everything was shut down, people were like this is so awesome. People were meeting each other from different states, different countries now. I actually this morning got a message on Facebook from this girl. and she’s like are you- she’s in Germany. She said im going to be in New York for one of the residency shows, i want to make sure that you’re open because i’m going to make the trip down to you before I go back to Germany. It’s so crazy all these people connecting again in this little tiny hole in America. It’s so cool, so I don’t think he would ever. I might get a slap on the wrist, but I don’t think he would ever try and take legal action. I hope he wouldn’t.
M: If I’m in the area, I’m definitely stopping by, but I feel like he’d just walk in and be like “this is cool”
MK: I think so too (x2) I think he would enjoy what’s going on. You know, I’m not trying to be offensive to people. There was a birthday party, we had birthday parties where they surprise people with tickets, we gave away tickets. So it’s just like this little hub, I always say it’s my own little corner of sunshine. That’s what Lucca Fresca is. We have kittens on the door, and we’ve got rainbows and butterflies everywhere. It’s great.
V: i was just sitting here listening, and that is very smart of you to know all of that legal stuff and have a lawyer. But Yeah, Thank you so much for sharing your story.
MK: Yeah, of course.
V: Rachel, when did you become a Harry Styles fan? Where did it all begin?
RG: So, I liked One Direction when they first started out and I’ve always been like a One Direction fan. Unfortunately, I never got to see them live…which is sad. And then they broke up. And then Harry started making his solo music. When he first came out solo, I was a fan, but as time went on and Fine Line came out, that’s when I deep-dived into stan culture. I am very deep on stan Twitter. I’m like on Twitter all day long. I just feel like every day I love him more.
V: That’s awesome! I guess apart from the music, what made you want to continue being apart of his fanbase or continue being a part of stan culture, as you said.
RG: Honestly, I’ve met so many people just being on Twitter and going to concerts. And I’ve met so many friends. Like I met one of my best friends now, at Harryween last year. And, like, that’s crazy, who knew she was going to be there?
And I think it’s just the way we all come together and like we all love each other and it’s all just one big family if you think about it.
M: I’ve met a lot of friends over Twitter, too. And it’s crazy how many people you can meet on social media and at his shows just by like talking to the people next to you in line or just the people around you. It’s crazy.
RG: Yeah like I would never know these people if I never went to the shows
V: Yeah, no that’s very cool that people are able to do that at concerts just next to people like that. That’s the power of like, not just Harry Styles, but a lot of concerts in general. I know a friend of mine, she goes to concerts alone and she just meets these random people ’cause they’re just ya know connected by the music and the artist that they’re there for. I think that’s just such a cool thing about these types of places.
RG: For sure. And like it’s just an amazing feeling being surrounded by so many people who love the same thing as you do. You don’t find that with a lot of other artists
V: Yeah, totally. Speaking of that, you mentioned, you told us that you’ve met a really good friend at a Harry Styles concert and you also got employed by meeting someone at a Harry Styles concert. So what is the story behind that?
RG: I was at Harryween night 2 and I was literally at the barricade, on the floor, and you know when you’re in the pit you just have so many people around you. And this girl, who is my friend now, she tapped me on the shoulder and she was like “hey, like, if you need to move your wheelchair let me know and I can help you move around.” and I was like “okay, thank you!” and then we just started talking and she mentioned that she works for a company that represented disabled talent. And at the time I had just lost my job. So I didn’t have a job and I was looking for a job and all of a sudden she was telling me about this company. And I was like “oh my god, this is perfect!” and then we started talking about the company and what she does and what they do. And yeah, one thing led to another and now I’m the Marketing Manager of the company.
M: Literally your whole life changed because of the show that you went to that’s so cool.
RG: Yeah, and it just shows that you just have to be at the right place at the right time
V: I love that, that’s such a wholesome story.
RG: Yeah, and now, the friend that I met at Harryween, she lives in LA, and now for the residency tour, she’s coming here in September and I’m going there in October for Harryween again.
M: You’re going to LA for Harryween again?
M: That’s so fun. What costume are you going to wear?
RG: Uhhh, I don’t know yet. That is a good question.
M: You don’t know yet? Yeah, well you still have time to decide. I don’t know if I’m going to any shows this year, but jealous of people who have gone to Harryween and are going again because those shows are so special. Especially because harry joins in and he also dresses up. It’s fun to see what outfit he wears for Halloween.
V: Yeah, totally. I didn’t know until right now that that was a thing. This is just making me more of a Harry fan now. Because that’s just such a unique part of the fanbase. And you’re going with your friend that you met there. That’s awesome. I know we’ve been talking about shows and Harryween stuff, but similar to that, how has for both of you, I guess now we’re going to move into general questions about fan engagement and fandom in general.
So how has your experience been with the Harry Styles fan community?
MK: I guess for me it would be just meeting people from literally all of the world. I remember when I had my first international fans come in. they were from Israel. That’s the thing, they told me they were from Israel. Everyone who comes in is super nice and happy to be there. Keeping people engaged is something that I, not that I struggle with, but I’m worried about. And my mom is always like, okay we have to reinvent the wheel, what’s next? What is going to keep people coming back? From a business standpoint in the music industry, you think the same way. Harry’s probably like what am I gonna do next? I know people talk about his merch, too and it’s not the best. Maybe that’s the best part they can probably improve. But i feel like they’re probably like okay, what is happening right now that i can relate to. people are like i want that smoothie i want that drink I want that bowl. Like how can I reinvent this wheel?
Fan engagement for so far has been like i said, it’s been positive. When I posted the TikTok for the one-direction smoothies i did like each one and what each one represented and people were kind of like
[RG: No Liam slander!]
MK: Exactly! When I posted the TikTok people were kinda like you could just not post the Liam one, just get rid of the Liam smoothie. And like, no. he’s still a part of One Direction. That’s kinda like saying to get rid of the Zayn smoothie because Zayn “technically” isn’t in the band anymore, but he was. I got a lot of hate comments for that. And when I posted the Liam smoothie on Instagram I made the caption “Yeah, yeah. We know” because I was just trying to get people to not leave those comments. But then people thought that I was feeding into the hate culture surrounding Liam Payne right now. Like obviously that’s not what i was doing. I would never do that. And the comments I was getting were vicious. people were laying into me and creating fake Instagram accounts to leave these hate comments. Rachel’s rolling her eyes, she’s like I hate that! and I’m like… It’s a smoothie, yall. What are you getting so worked up about?
M: You can’t win.
MK: No, you can’t win. I literally had to disable the comments on the post about the Liam smoothie. Like it’s a picture of a smoothie and you cannot comment on it because I was getting so many negative comments. [laughs] But at the same time, fan engagement. it is important.
V: what’s your experience like in general with the Harry Styles fan Community?
RG: So my experiences have mostly been positive. There are some people who take it way too seriously and it’s like, there’s no reason to be mean to other people. We’re all here for the same person, like why are we fighting? There’s no reason for it. Not a lot of people, but some people, if you don’t agree with them, they’re going to fight you. And like that’s not okay. People are allowed to have their own opinions, just like you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But overall, the community is very empowering and freeing, and loving.
V: That’s good. It’s good to know that things have mostly been positive. But yeah, I’m just here like if people want to be happy, let them be happy.
RG: Exactly. Like it’s really not that hard to just let people be happy.
MK: I don’t know if you guys saw like online now that he’s in Europe people scream “Leave America” very loudly. In ‘As It Was,’ it goes “leave America, two kids follow her.” People, if they’re not singing the whole song, will scream “Leave America” and I’m just like. I think he picked up on it a little bit because he kinda smirks a little bit or reacts in a very subtle way.
RG: At first it was funny but now it’s like…
M: yeah, at first it was like okay it’s a joke. But now it’s animosity between European fans and Americans.
RG: Yeah, like people are literally harassing American fans. Like why are you doing that, there’s no reason!
M: There’s no reason to be legitimately mean. Like?
RG: That’s not very “treat people with kindness”.
V: yeah, no. Wow, that’s crazy. Hopefully, that has died down now. It is rare for events like this to go 100% smoothly but that’s reality.
MK: When you have that many people in one space, something is bound to happen. Especially when you’re dealing with Harry Styles. People are coming from all over the place. like god, only knows. People are literally from all over. people fly in from different countries and different states so when you have that you’re going to have some negative nancy’s some bad apples. But I think for the most part the good overshines the bad. It’s just the problem, this gets into a whole ‘another topic. Like with social media, unfortunately, we see those bad parts a lot more now. So the whole “Leave America” thing, that probably if social media wasn’t a thing and people didn’t have smartphones, you wouldn’t hear about it. It wouldn’t be this big topic within the fandom, but because we have these little phones and they catch everything it unfortunately is.
M: And talking about social media, a lot of fans have a differing opinion on Harry’s social media presence. I know he used to be active on Twitter and Instagram during the One Direction days, he used to post more casually on Instagram. But he doesn’t post anymore and when he does its for something kind of like for his brand. Like a magazine cover or an album, music, a movie now since he’s an actor. What’re your thoughts on his social media presence?
MK: i think he never really [sigh]. I don’t know because he was posting very casually but I think that now that he’s grown, he doesn’t want anything to do with social media. I think being in the band and being around. Like the 5 of them always had their back on social media, and he doesn’t have that he’s by himself now. so i feel like now he has like, what is the word i want to use, his like mind somewhere else. I don’t think he’s using social media for enjoyment. he’s more living in the moment. Which i say i was more like him in that aspect. My phone is in my hand, it’s only not in my hand when i’m literally sleeping. My work is on my phone so I can’t help it, but I think he lives more at the moment. now and isn’t focused and let anything in. he doesn’t ever address controversy and rumors about him and i think that’s because he generally doesn’t see it. I think he’s totally removed from social media. Do I think that some of the posts he makes are him? Yes, but I think a lot of it is run by somebody else, but i think he wants it that way. I think a lot of them would probably say the same thing, they saw like too much online and now he’s just, his mindset has totally changed and he’s im a different position. He performs, he makes music, does what he likes to do, and just all the crap online- he just can’t be bothered. That’s what I think.
M: He’s like if you want to see my true self then like come to a show, but i”m not getting online.
RG: And also he has said he doesn’t use social media because of his mental health, and that is totally valid. Like people get upset that he’s not online but I don’t think he owes us anything. We get so much from him just at his shows and when he does anything live. He’s always interacting with us so, I think it’s fine. And he doesn’t owe us everything. And he deserves to have some time to himself.
M: Yeah, it’s like. It’s almost like what we don’t see of him online it makes up for with his stage presence and what we see live.
MK: Yeah, literally. He puts everything into a show. I say it all the time I don’t know how he does it. I think it was like he did three shows back to back. Like he must sleep for hours. because he’s running back and forth hes dancing hes constantly moving. You’re so right Rachel, we get so much out of the shows that the online presence isn’t needed. And like I mean, in a way, too. we too as fans, do all the social media work for him. He doesn’t gotta do anything. Like were posting and making content for him sharing his songs. he’s got an easy job /j he doesn’t even need to be on social media. He could throw his phone out if he wants to. He doesn’t need it.
M: Literally. I remember after the Arizona show last year they put the word Pleasing, because that was when they were lauching it i guess, on the signs outside of the venue. And Anthony Pham was out there recording everyone’s reaction and that was the only promotion they did. They didn’t really do any promotion on social media because it was kind of everyone else freaking out about it that got the media’s attention about the brand. like harry himself didn’t need to do any promotion for the brand.
MK: Yeah he doesn’t gotta do any work. I mean, does he even having a marketing team? Doesn’t seem like it. It seems like we’re his marketing team.
M: Yeah well if we don’t have to pay people to market for him, we’ll just let the fans do it. It’s fine.
MK: Literally. Oh that’s hilarious.
V: Yeah, oh my god. I don’t know too much about all of this stuff but it makes a lot of sense. As an artist you just have to focus on your art. I mean social media is a great tool to promote it. Literally everyone is like, you have to get on TikTok if you wanna like blow up and all that. which is great but i think that makes him an even better artist. Because like I wanna see someone who makes good quality content and actually cares to interact with fans in person. which is so so important.
MK: Yeah i think like going off what you said about being in person and interacting with fans it’s like okay yes your favorite artist could share if you made a post about them. They could share it on their insta story but 90% of the time it’s probably not them. It’s probably someone else sharing the posts for him. but when you go to his shows you know hes right there. he’s talking to you, reading your sign, helping these fans come out and singing them happy birthday. I think that is, that human interaction is so definitely way better than that social media interaction. Like yeah more people are going to see it or whatever. but he’s very personal with his fans at shows and i think that’s what is so special about him as a person and the shows you go to.
V: Before this podcast, I was like, this was a while ago too, but I was just looking at stuff for “Harry’s House” and the whole speculation between when is the album gonna release and oh, he’s dropping all these hints. That stuff was so cool because I don’t know if he was a marketing team or anything like that. But the way that fans compile all these google docs about him with all of these details about what this means. This is a reference to a book or this is a reference to this painting. that was just so cool. and I’m like maybe even if he does have a marketing team it doesn’t seem like [laughs] ya know that it’s something traditional of sitting in an office and like ya know putting together all these business plans.
MK: I just have to say, this zoom chat is going crazy. No one can see these messages, but us. But Rachel, she is just throwing jabs at everyone. [laughs]. I don’t even think i can read some of these things.
RG: No, but, he does have a marketing team, they just don’t do shit. They don’t do anything! And we have to rely on update accounts to get the information.
MK: Yeah, the update accounts definitely help with figuring out what’s going on and like where he is. It’s a little creepy because sometimes i know exactly where he is at like every moment. So its like. okay i know. im not gonna lie when he was in philly i was convinced he was coming to Lucca Fresca when he was in philly for love on tour. okay i was convinced. I was on all the update accounts like where is he? (x2) Like what is he doing. so the update accounts definel5ty help with keeping up with promo and i know you guys asked, I’m jumping the gun here, about fan projects and just like him in general because he literally doesn’t post anything, HSHQ doesn’t post anything either. They repost what he posts. So, no offense HSHQ if you come across this, but I don’t know what purpose you serve exactly. But yeah i totally agree that the update accounts are where it’s at. They’re doing the lords work. shout out to them. they’re killing it. they work overtime and they dont get paid.
M: Exactly. Its crazy and we literally discovered the YOU ARE HOME website before HSHQ even said anyhing.
MK: Literally. Oh wait! They never posted about ‘My Policeman.’ [gasp] Tea! I didn’t realize that.
RG: What? And you have to wonder why.
V: I mean, not that I know what that means but tea! [laughs]
MK: so he’s like in two movies coming out. ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is the one that Olivia Wilde directed and she’s also starring in. They’ve been posting that a lot because all the trailers are coming out and i think that one is coming out first, if i’m not mistaken. And then ‘My Policeman’ does that come out in December i think?
RG: like late October
MK: There was like one trailer i think?
M: yeah it was from Amazon Prime.
MK: Yeah i guess they didn’t post it. I didn’t realize that. that’s crazy.
M: Have you guys ever conducted or been apart of any fan projects during live shows or fan meetups, promoting songs, albums, anything like that.
MK: Uhm, for the Philly show I handed out wristbands, i think like 500 just like, when you talk about the grand scheme of things that’s like a drop in a puddle. But I handed out 500 wristbands that said Love on Tour Philly and they had Lucca Fresca on the other side and the glew in the dark. So that way when the lights went out your wrist band was glow in the dark. Uhm and then Harryween we handed out like 500 trick or treat bags outside of Madison Square Garden and people like thought i was trying to sell them. Like these are free, please take them off me! I cannot walk into this arena to madison square garden with 500 treat bags. Please take these. SO me and my friend were like throwing them. Take it! (x3) I think it was for, i forget which show it was, but i like when they hand out the colored paper and everyone’s phones are different colors depending on what section you’re in. That was i think at one of the MSG shows i went to. So that was one of them that i did, but i always think back to the one One Direction one where they did like the Irish flag and the British flag and it said 1D is family, i think. They were recording the one concert and they did that. That would’ve been really cool to be apart of but that’s all. That’s what I’ve done.
M: I heard that One Direction’s management conducted that one. It ruined my life when I found out.
MK: [gasp] Oh no.
RG: NOOO! YOU’RE LYING! WHY DID YOU SAY THAT?! Now I’m sad.
MK: Why did you tell me that? [Laughs]
M: I’m so sorry. I remember finding that out and i was like are you kidding me, fans didn’t actually do that. Because i heard that they did that because they were filming the show.
RG: I don’t believe it! (x2)
MK: Come on. I hope no one told One Direction. I hope they think that was the fans.
RG: I don’t believe it.
So, I went to the final Love On Tour show on Long Island and we did a fan project for Sign Of The Times. We all held up a sign that said…what did it say? *brain fart*…oh, it said “welcome to the final show”. And yeah that was really cool. And like his reaction when he saw it was just so amazing. You could see the love in his eyes.
MK: That’s awesome. I think I saw that online actually, on like TikTok. It was definetly on tiktok. I remember the final show signs. People work hard for these fan projects, i don’t know how. some of them are so detailed and intricit and well thought out. I don’t know how these girls put it together. I was flustered with the 500 wristbands. I had wristbands that’s it. and I was just giving them to random people. Like when they’re like oh certain sections get certain colors. It’s crazy.
M: Like how do you coordinate that?
MK: Exactly like how do you coordinate that? how do you print out that many pages, you’re buying so much ink. The ink is so expensive.
M: Yeah, and then you have to give them to everyone in like the span of a day before the show starts. how do you do that?
MK: or like the hours before the doors open. Oh my god it is like incredible. it’s amazing. I love the fan projects i think they’re really awesome.
V: Yeah, that’s very cool. Love the dedication. Uhm, yeah. So kinda moving on from fan projects. In general why do you think fan engagement is important? From a music industry perspective, why do you think fans are important part of the equation?
MK: I think right now, fans are more important, this is going to be a controversial statement. Fans now are more important than ever because things with streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, even Sound Cloud, YouTube, and Amazon Music, artists aren’t making money just on music anymore so they need to find different avenues to make money. So being engaged with your fans, having them show up to shows, sell-out shows, buy merch. I think that’s why fans are so important now and like obviously it isn’t all about the money like this is what these people do for a living this is whats paying the bills. so being engaged with your fans and making sure they’re interested in what they’re doing and what they’re putting out. Also like putting out music content merch that they like. I Know Taylor Swift is really good at this. She kinda puts little easter eggs like with her merch and recently with all the Taylor’s Version stuff she released ‘1989 and ‘Speak Now related stuff but subtly. That’s really cool to see. She does fan engagement really well especially with like her, she leaves the secret messages in the lyrics of her songs I think on the albums if I’m not… I think that’s what it is.
M: I was gonna ask since August is coming up, are you doing anything for her song ‘August’ at your shop?
MK: Well, now I might have to. It totally slipped my mind. I could definitely do August that’s easy. Yeah, I’ll throw it in last minute. This is what I do. I’m mutuals with a girl on Tiktik and she owns like 4 or 5 smoothie bowl shops and she’s like “coming up with the special of the month 6 days before.” like girl try the night before. I’m like sometimes i know what i’m going to do but executing and making sure that its gonna happen is the night before. But oh my god, yeah I didn’t even think of that. It totally slipped my mind, thanks for the idea. I’m gonna credit you on that.
M: Of course, it’s okay. [laughs] And Rachel, what about you? Why do you think fan engagement is important from a business or music industry perspective? Why do you think fans are an important part of the equation?
RG: I think it’s really important that fans are involved, especially now, because so much of music and so much of business is online. And the people who are promoting the music are the fans.
V: Yeah, yeah. I agree with that because like everything is online. The online nature of things makes it integral to have fans and it’s actually very easy, of course with Harry Styles he doesn’t have to like do anything but the fans are there because it’s so easy to connect online and do all these things and create a community. It’s a blessing and a curse. Social media is awesome for fan engagement we love that. but you know there’s a fine line [laughs] there’s pros and cons. I guess now, we’ve talked a lot. We have talked a lot. I have loved this discussion. This has been like so insightful and I’m getting to know both of you in your respective experiences with Harry Styles and the fan culture and everything in between. But I guess to kind of wrap up, how do you feel your life has changed since becoming a Harry Styles fan and being involved in the music industry or I guess with Mattia’s smoothie shop?
MK: For me it’s changed, ive just gotten to connect and meet so many different people from so many different places which is so cool. I started a scratch map which is one of those like United states maps and you take a quarter and you scratch off the state when you go there for personal use. But I hung it up in Lucca Fresca and posted on TikTok if you’re the first person to come from your state like your fine line is free. you get it for free, on me. So we have 49 out of 50 states. I literally have one state left, it’s Alaska. Like somebody if you’re listening, please come from Alaska. I even have Puerto Rico, we have Mexico, Canada, Israel, Spain, italy, Norway, we’ll have Germany. So it’s crazy like I get to meet all these people from all these different places. I think that is what is so impactful for me, just the reach that Lucca Fresca has, ya know. International. Lucca Fresca went international. It’s crazy how someone from Spain or Norway has heard about my little smoothie shop in this hole in America. So i think that’s what’s changed my life the most. And getting to be apart of a core memory for people. Like we had a family come in one time and they had tickets for their daughter and she had never seen Harry Styles before and they were like, the mom kind of slipped me the tickets and asked can you like give these to her with her smoothie? and just tell them that somebody left these there for her. I was like yeah! So we brought out her fine line and I was like oh by the way this is for you. It was an envelope that the mom had made up and she had a little message inside with the tickets. And she was crying, I was crying, my workers were crying, everyone was crying. It was just such a special moment so. I think that too is what has changed my life the most. Just helping people, just creating happiness. My friend Christina calls me Doctor of Joy. So i think that is like that’s what is special for me. And Harry Styles has changed my life.
M: That’s so cool, too. Because like it’s become like a fan landmark. Because people stop by there as his tour is going through and yeah. That’s just a cool way, because people meet each other online but it’s cool to hear about how meeting each other in real life, especially at your smoothie shop now.
MK: Yeah there’s been like some online friends who people, they all know each other on Twitter and Insta and they plan to meet for the first time at Lucca Fresca which i think is like so cool. so it’s just it’s been a wild year. but it’s been a lot of fun. I’m very grateful for everyone who stops in and who makes the detour. Parents are always like “we detoured like two hours” and i’m like it’s so crazy. I dont know im so grateful and i almost have no words to describe Lucca Fresca and what it means to me now.
RG: For me, mostly, it’s been the community. As I said like I’ve met so many people just being a fan and being involved in fan business. It’s hard to find that and when you do find it, it’s really special.
M: Just like, yeah the bond you create with people through Harry. It’s like you can’t even replicate that kind of bond because its through his music and through him as a person. it’s just so special. We were also wanting to chat if you guys are going to any Love on Tour residency shows this year. and if you have a favorite outfit or interaction of Harry’s on tour, if you want to describe that and how it made you feel.
MK: I’m going to one residency show on the tour. It’s August 28th. It’s the only Sunday show in new york and i was hoping we got picked for that because I have work and I have off on Mondays. So i can go and spend my time. So I’m going to one show. which is fine I’ve been traveling a lot,
But my favorite interaction, im so glad you brought this up, was at his show in, i forget but that’s not the point. It was one of his shows more recently and he helped a fan come out and the fan’s name was literally Mattia. and i almost died. people were tagging me in this TikTok of random people like oh my god i thought of you. and its like i have a name now and Vyoma I’m sure you get this all the time. No one knows my name, never heard it before. I think i know one other person named Mattia and they don’t even pronounce it the same way I do. So for him to say it, it was a man actually. I see that a lot of the time you see Mattia, Mattio as a masculine name but the kid’s name was Mattia. So that was really cool. That’s probably my favorite one for obvious reasons.
RG: I’m going to two shows in new york and then I’m seeing him again in LA two times. I’m looking forward to that and I’m really excited. Umm…my favorite interaction? Actually, at the last show that I was at, he was talking to the girl next to me for like two minutes straight. I don’t remember what he said but I know he was talking to the girl right next to me. And I was like OMG, HE’S TALKING TO YOU.
Macie: That’s like one of those moments where you’re like oh hold on, I’ll record this for you.
RG: No like really, she was sitting right next to me!
M: That is so cool. He sang one of my friends happy birthday in North Carolina last year and I was like you don’t even have to worry about it. I’ll record this for you, just enjoy your moment.
MK: I was at, I think it was the last show of Love on Tour of Long Island, I think. I was there and there was a sign, you probably saw on TikTok, that said “my fiance hates you so i brought my sister instead”
RG: Yes! That was right next to me.
MK: You were there, too?
RG: That was the girl who was right next to me!
M: That was who you were right next to?! Oh my gosh.
MK: That’s insane! I was like this is hilarious, I just recorded the whole show. I literally have the whole show on my phone and I had, I was recording like oh my god this is amazing. I’m getting this one video. It was so funny, he was like “screw him” he sucks or whatever.
RG: Yeah, that was literally right there. Yeah, right next to me.
V: That’s wow. That’s crazy that’s iconic that’s awesome. Wow, I have no words but wow. Unfortunately, I’m not going to any Harry shows but I hope you both have the best time, like take a lot of videos, taking a lot of pictures, and I will vicariously through your experiences. So yeah.
If you want to keep up with what Rachel is doing across all the socials you can follow her at @riizyray
M: And if anyone wants to stop by Lucca Fresca, their insta is @luccafresca and what are your store hours Mattia?
MK: So, I’m open Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 6 and then Sunday 10 to 3 and then I’m closed on Mondays. It’s our one day off. Yeah, come see us. We’re located in Taylor, Pennsylvania. It’s in a plaza, i get a lot of questions about that too. I don’t think we show up on Google maps, unfortunately, but our address is 802 S Main Street, Taylor, PA. It will probably take you to my parent’s restaurant “Lucca” which is right next store, we’re attached to it. So you’ll get there if you just type in the address. I promise.
V: Sweet. Thank you both again for coming on here and joining us on this little project that we have going on. This has been so fun, like actually very fun. I was going into this like oh my god, I’ve never done a podcast before but now I’m here like okay, I wanna talk more about Harry Styles. [laughs]. Yeah, thank you so much and if you want to follow them, go follow them. And if you want to follow Fangirls World Tour please follow us, it’s literally @fangirlsworldtour on Instagram.
MK: This was great. I love it. Thank you for having me.
RG: Yeah, thank you for having me on as well! I had a great time!