Queens kid makes it big as an influencer
3M followers and counting, Blaise Ffrench shoots for the stars
By Jessica Meditz
When becoming acquainted with Blaise Ffrench, the typical icebreaker question of “What do you do?” simply isn’t going to cut it.
Ffrench, 32, says his multifaceted career as an online influencer cannot be summed up in a simple sentence.
“It’s not what I do, it’s who I am,” he said. “I’m not like a salesman or a marketing guy; Blaise Ffrench is a Renaissance man. I enjoy all the great things that life has to offer…I just found a way to monetize pretty much everything that I do.”
Ffrench’s social media presence on Instagram (@blaiseffrench) continues to grow by the day — with three million followers and counting.
He said that the best way to describe the type of content he posts is lifestyle, as he focuses on all things fitness, health, food, real estate, sports, motivation and inspiration.
Ffrench is a bicoastal businessman, as his work is based in both New York City and Los Angeles — but he said that his beginnings in Jamaica, Queens are what shaped him into the person he is today.
His career goals began to solidify when he attended Holy Cross High School in Flushing, played basketball and had the opportunity to meet Mike Repole, a Holy Cross alumnus who co-founded Glaceau, the maker of Vitaminwater.
“My teammates were ‘sleeping’ because they didn’t care about drinks, but I thought it was very interesting that this guy created a drink and ended up selling it to Coca-Cola. I was so intrigued, I asked him so many questions and was just bugging him,” Ffrench said. “I just really built that relationship and didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Ffrench and Repole became close by the time he got to college, which is when Repole started BODYARMOR SuperDrink.
“I was one of the first people involved with BODYARMOR, so I was able to get equity in the company. And then when it sold, God bless, because I was able to get a piece of the pie,” Ffrench said.
He’s also seen great success as an actor and model, working with brands such as True Religion, Puma, Banana Republic, Target and Saks Fifth Avenue, and in films including “Plan B,” “The Code,” “Marry Me” and “We Made It In America,” which will come to theaters this January.
Ffrench’s astrological sign is Taurus, and whether one believes in the fate of celestial bodies or not, there’s no denying he fits the stereotypes of being determined, hardworking, dedicated and stubborn in the best way.
In fact, instead of being approached by them, Ffrench reached out to the New York Mets and asked if “a kid from Queens” could throw the honorary first pitch.
Sure enough, earlier this month, he graced the field of his lifelong favorite team in a jersey with his name and threw that first pitch.
“[The Mets] replied, ‘Which game would you like to do it?’ That’s how my life has always been. I’m always asking and pushing the envelope, because no one’s going to come to me while I’m laying on my couch,” he said. “It was unforgettable. I’ll tell my kids about this one.”
Even though he spends a lot of time in LA and other destinations, Ffrench calls Queens home first and foremost, and loves engaging his audience with Queens-centric content.
Among his favorite places are Anassa Taverna in Astoria, The Door in Jamaica and Baisley Pond Park, where he learned to play basketball as a kid.
He reminisced on his childhood, especially visiting Cabana Nuevo Latino in Forest Hills with his mother — who he admires wholeheartedly and devotes his life to.
“I grew up with a single mom, who unfortunately passed away when I was 15. I was always close with my grandma, who’s my mom’s mom, and I started living with her until I got a scholarship to play basketball and pursue my entrepreneurial dreams,” he said. “Family is everything to me. My mom always wanted me to be an entrepreneur and never wanted me to work for anyone. So every day, I just really want to make her proud, my family proud and continue doing the right thing.”
Ffrench and his grandmother, Linda, continue to remain best friends to this day, and she makes cameos on his large Instagram account.
“She’s my lady,” Ffrench said. “We’re like two peas in a pod.”
Regarding advice to younger people who wish to take a similar career path, Ffrench emphasized the importance of networking, talking to people, being brave and not judgmental.
Most of all, he cites the responsibility of having a massive audience.
“It’s definitely a responsibility. I know that I’m a role model, I talk to a lot of people and kids, and I definitely want to uphold myself to a certain standard, and put forth a great example,” he said.
“I can still do that by having fun and saying what I want to say, you just have to be smart, how you articulate what you’re saying and make sure that it’s good to be consumed by the masses, so to speak, so, I love it.”