Bruna Petrillo has a knack for juggling. She works as the US Brand Manager for the INTO app, is a model with Stetts, works on and off in hospitality, has her own creative projects in the pipeline, and maintains her social life - both IRL and online.
On top of all that, she can eat an entire pizza in one sitting and quote just about any Kanye West lyric (just take a look at her Instagram captions). She has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Let's get to know her better.
Hi Bruna! Can you tell us a little about yourself? I was born in Brazil, but resonate most as a New Yorker. I’m a true Gemini. I have a million interests and am constantly juggling different work projects. I’m happiest when being creative. And, I eat a lot of pizza.
What role does jewelry play in your everyday? I never leave the house without jewelry on. Even if I’m going to a shoot where I know am going to take all of it off when I get there - I still wear it. I feel bare without it.
Do you wear any staple jewelry pieces that have symbolic meaning to you? I have two rings I wear almost every day. The first was given to me by my grandma. It’s silver, gold, and aquamarine, and I love it. The second was given to me by my first [serious] boyfriend, which was my first Tiffany’s piece. It was so cool to me at the time. I also never leave the house without my gold cuff. It was recently gifted to me by my boyfriend on my birthday, and holds the most meaning. He wears the same one in a men’s style every day.
Jewelry, as an extension of style, is such a pure form of self-expression. What does yours say about you? My jewelry is very simplistic, so I guess you could say I’m simple in many ways. Most days, I am wearing a gold hoop. Sometimes it’s three. I am a big believer in everyday staples. When I’m feeling extra, I will dress up a simple outfit with a chunky necklace or choker.
Style evolution and self discovery can be very much correlated. How did you find a greater sense of self and what was that journey like for you? I am still learning about myself every day, as I believe we all are on a constant journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. With age, comes the understanding of what suits you and what doesn’t. I’d love to say that I practice meditation, but I don’t. But what I do practice most days is gratitude, and that to me is life-changing.
Often times, jewelry has been marketed for decades as a gift you receive from someone else. We’re changing that narrative. Today’s jewelry is a gift to oneself, a celebration, be it for the everyday feats we as women conquer, or the milestone moments. How do you take time to celebrate yourself? I love that! I actually have a savings account called “jewelry,” where my savings app deposits money weekly without me noticing. When I hit my goal, it’s such a treat to go out and buy myself a new piece of jewelry or get a new piercing! I’m currently working on perfecting my ‘curated ear.’ :)
How did you find your way into hospitality? Did you always have a passion for it? I found my way into hospitality when I started college. I was working at a restaurant/bar on the side for extra money to pay the bills and student loans. I never saw it as a long-term thing, but 10 years later I still work [in hospitality] on and off. I’ve learned a lot. I wasn’t truly passionate about working Front of House (waitress, bartender, etc), but have developed a true passion for the industry as a whole. Whether it’s restaurants, hotels, retail…. it’s engaging, people-centric and inventive. I’m currently working on a few side projects in this space that I’m pretty excited about.
How does the industry keep up and adapt with the changing trends of society, especially in NYC?
I am by no means an expert in the industry, but I will say that with New York being so fast-paced, it is not easy - the turnover here is quite high. You really have to focus on your customer and their experience. I also applaud the places that are working towards being more sustainable. That’s one of the most important “trends.”
Let's talk food. What's your favorite spot in the city, and what do you get there? Any hidden gems we should know about? If you know me, it’s pretty obviously I love pizza. I could rattle off a list of favorites, which would include Roberta’s, Motorino, Paulie Gees, Best Pizza, Joes, Patsy’s, Arturo’s… it goes on.
If you don’t want pizza, my go to in Manhattan is Cafe Select. It’s great for brunch, dinner (they serve fondue in the winter - I freakin love cheese) or just to have a drink outside and people watch. I live in Williamsburg and Sundays in Brooklyn is by far my favorite brunch - their cheddar scramble is one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. Lilia is also a favorite.
You travel, a lot! What's the most amazing place you've visited to date, and why do we need to go? St. Barths is my favorite place to date. Not only is it one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever visited, but I love how small it is. The feeling you get of being a local in a foreign place is something I love, and also hard to experience in a bigger island or city. I find that you can really get to know St. Barths in just a few days. Tulum is a bit like that too. Off season is the move.
Tell us about your next adventure! Where will you go, and what will you see? I’m planning to go somewhere for New Year’s, but haven’t decided yet. Debating between somewhere tropical, like Rio or Cartegena, or somewhere cold but romantic, like Paris. Friends have also thrown out Aspen or Vail. I’ll let you know!
If you could eat a meal with anyone past, present or future, who would it be and why? I would eat pizza with Kanye West. I think he is one of the most interesting minds and talented artists of our generation.