Online and Social Media Influencer: Hilary Rowland


Hilary Rowland: The Woman Behind Urbanette®

In a two-dimensional digital world, I’ll do my best to give you an idea of who I am.


Hi! I’m Hilary Rowland, the person behind all of this feminist fabulousness (jk).

Hilary Rowland: The Woman Behind Urbanette®

On assignment in Belgium, summer 2015

As an equal rights activist, my purpose is to help educate and inspire women on the critical issues of self-esteem and female leadership. In keeping with these goals, I decided to use Urbanette® profits to help women in developing countries become entrepreneurs.

In a two-dimensional digital world, I’ll do my best to give you an idea of who I am.

  • I launched the first ever online “magazine” back in 1995. Yup, you’re looking at it 😉 Here’s a bit of the magazine’s (and my) history. I’ve been writing since I was little, and I also contribute to a number of publications, and have a regular column (about urban life and my travels), on the Huffington Post.
  • I’m a country girl at heart, living a city girl’s life. I grew up in farm country Ontario, Canada. When I was 18 I moved to Toronto. A few years later I decided I wanted more adventure in my life, so I moved to Manhattan. Over the 10 years I spent in NYC, I went from knowing nobody to feeling like a genuine New Yorker… then, after a decade in NYC, my husband and I decided to try out life in Lyon, France.
  • My father is an author, journalist, and professor of business ethics and philosophical thinking. He has passed along those strengths (obsessions) in me.
  • Richard Branson is my idol and mentor. He’s an incredibly inspiring man and I wish I got to hang with him more often. Follow his blog here.
  • I was a geek in high school (kinda still), and had a hard time fitting in.
  • I’m very happily married to my soul mate (they exist!) He’s a contributor to Forbes, Conscious Magazine, and others (including Urbanette!)
  • Yes, I’m friends with a lot of Hollywood movie stars and heartthrobs… I don’t really have much in the way of advice to give on that front, other than move to NYC, where you can’t spit without hitting a celeb.
  • I wish that the world were like Shallow Hal, and that people’s outer representations reflected how much love and empathy they have in them.
  • I have green eyes with a ring of amber, and I’d love to use that eyelash enhancing stuff, but I’m afraid it’ll turn my eyes completely brown (and I recently realized that castor oil does the same thing without the side-effects!).
  • I love animals (which is why I’m vegan) and know that my life wouldn’t have been the same without my super lovable cats. (Rescue, don’t buy!)
  • I have way too much clothing, though I bought it almost all on eBay. I love a bargain Hilary Rowland: The Woman Behind Urbanette®
  • I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a teenager. My brain is always running and if I wasn’t super busy I’d probably be bored silly.
Hilary Rowland: The Woman Behind Urbanette®

On assignment in Paris, summer 2016

Check out the most recent articles I’ve written, comment below with your thoughts, or skip back to the homepage to see the latest.

A few personal articles to start with:

Check out hashtag #HilaryRowland for pics and videos on all the social media sites. xo

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. Anila William

    If you’re not busy, you’re bored? OMG! I like the way you think. It’s very competitive, and passionate. No wonder you’re so successful!!

  2. Jurik Smith

    My father is a writer too, but his talent never passed on to me. I love writing, but writing doesn’t like me. Ha!

  3. Cristina Joseff

    I always wait for your articles weekly. My friends introduced your magazine to me, and after reading a few articles, I got hooked on it 🙂

  4. Paul Daiz

    Your life is very inspiring. You worked hard for your dreams, and you deserve all your achievements today.

  5. Angelo Henderso

    Wow! Is your husband a contributor at Forbes too? Cmon! You’re such a lucky woman here. Your life is almost perfect!

  6. Nancy Smith

    Seriously? You’re a geek when you are in high school? Well, it doesn’t look like you were. You’re beautiful, and adventurous woman, plus you have an amazing social life.

  7. Your parents must be so proud of what you have achieved in life. You’re such a very talented, and inspiring person plus, you helped a lot of people from the third-world country.

  8. Selli Coaze

    1995??? Urbanette online was established in 1995??!!! Wow! We are at the same age. HAHAHA

  9. Maria Bruce

    When I was a teenager, all I think was how can I survive high school life, and you were already an entrepreneur that time. I’m in my 20’s, and I think I should make a move to innovate my career.

  10. Arlen Given

    How’s your life in Lyon? I heard that Lyon is a very nice place to live, but the cost of living there is expensive, right?

  11. Juli Woods

    I wanted to go to France since I was a child, that is one of my dreams. I envy you because you already lived in France, but in a positive way of envy. Lol.

  12. Quin Meri

    I wish I am as dedicated as you. At a very young age, you started to fulfill your dreams, and here you are now. Keep it going, Hilary! You inspire a lot of women around the world.

  13. Hena Taylor

    “You’re already an entrepreneur since you were a teenager?
    When I was in my teenage life, I have no goals ni life, and the party is life. “

  14. Ana Brose

    How can you buy bargain items on eBay? I never tried buying stuff there, so I wanted to try.

  15. I also read Richard Branson’s blog! I’m one of his fans too! Can’t believe you know him!

  16. Lusi Martin

    I’ve read your article about buying signature clothes on eBay! How can you do that? That’s a very smart move!

  17. Jenifer Jeni

    No, you don’t look like a geek. If you labeled yourself, then you are a Goddess geek!

  18. Jessi Agusta

    Yah, I do believe in soulmates, too. They are real, and I already found my soulmate too.

  19. Jeni Morgan

    God, you are truly gifted! We should thank your dad for passing this type of talent on you because without him there’s no Urbanette.

  20. Steev Smith

    Oh, so you are from Canada, and you try your luck here, in NYC? We are very lucky to have you here, Hilary!

  21. I didn’t expect that, Hilary. You are famous! Writing is already running in your genes, so you are very lucky for that because that is a natural talent of yours.

  22. Susan Rice

    Urbanette has been on the internet since 1995? Wow! I was just a baby back then. Lol

  23. Hilary! I am such a huge fan. Thank you so much for being so inspiring!!

  24. Fantastic magazine to inspire and thank you for the favourite tweets!

  25. Delit L'Angelier

    Hilary, you are an amazing person with an amazing life you’ve created for yourself. The most amazing thing is that you are sharing everything with us, readers. The magazine overall is about enriching the lives of readers, in a most beautiful way! It extremely empowers women, too. Keep on doing what you do!

  26. Hannah S

    I absolutely adore this magazine. Just wanted to say that you’re a fantastic writer and the articles Urbanette does are very well-written. I don’t usually read long articles, but I love to in Urbanette. Kudos!

  27. So impressive! I’m a new fan of Urbanette — my best friend was raving about the interesting articles, so I checked it out and am HOOKED! 🙂

  28. Hilary,
    I love Urbanette. It’s intelligent and unique for its true attention to women’s freedom.
    Thank you

  29. Hannah Meyers

    I love how you grew up humbly in Ontario and maintain the zen amidst the New York craziness! 😀

  30. Trish Potter

    Wow, you started being busy very young! Do you ever do any speaking engagements at conferences, etc to tell about your experiences and give advice for other young budding entrepreneurs?

    • I prefer to help one-on-one. If you’d like advice, feel free to hit up @urbanette on social media and ask questions. 🙂

  31. You’re just full of awesomeness, Hilary. 😀

  32. Love the photo, Hilary!

  33. Hil! Ryan Gosling asked me how you’re doing… 😉

    • Hannah S

      OMG I just googled you Hilary and saw that you were Ryan Gosling’s girlfriend! Ha!

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