Aug 26, 2022 - Things to Do

Jenna Palek's "Fun on Weekdays" turns one

Photo: Courtesy of Jenna Palek

Austin's Jenna Palek is breaking out the boots to mark one year of her Fun on Weekdays brand.

Driving the news: Palek, a social media influencer, will host a "country disco carnival" Friday at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, promising a night of mechanical bull riding, a hair tinsel bar, live country music, line dancing and more.

Catch up quick: Palek garnered headlines in 2020 when she landed an Austin-based job at TikTok with the help of a viral video about her resume.

The big picture: Since then, the 24-year-old quit her job at TikTok, gained more than 546,000 subscribers on the social media platform and recently hit over 1 million downloads of her "Fun on Weekdays" podcast, which encourages followers to stop waiting for the weekends to have fun.

  • Her brand has grown into events across the country, including Friday's festival.

Palek's rising popularity also means she's learned to walk a fine line when her fans ask her for Austin recommendations.

  • The Ohio native has lived here for two years, and she quickly discovered that longtime Austinites have something to say about any recommendation, whether it's a hidden gem or popular tourist spot.
  • "In the back of my mind I know this is going to be seen by local Austin people," Palek said of her videos that highlight the city, adding that Austinites will think: "'She moved here two years ago, and she thinks she's an Austin expert?' I don't want to be perceived that way, and I know how annoying that probably is from the outside."

Axios Austin sat down with Palek to talk about "Fun on Weekdays," life online and her perfect Austin day:

How do you juggle the need to share information about yourself and keep important parts of your life private?

"Sharing that private information is what makes people feel close to you, but at the same time, sharing that for so long is deteriorating to yourself."
"I think the difference is when you're sharing details about someone else's life as well. … My sisters, my parents have completely different boundaries with what I share online, so you have to be cautious of that."

Why has Austin been a good place to grow "Fun on Weekdays"?

"I think it's just been really easy because a lot of people move here after college, and they're going through the same thing that I went through and can relate to that feeling of, 'OK, I'm starting my life over. How do I do it?'"

You've recently waded into politics a bit, including after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. How do you make those decisions with so many followers?

"It's definitely a responsibility to know that your words have an impact on people. I think more than ever in this past year, I've found confidence to use my words.
"My struggle is finding a balance between speaking soon enough that people don't feel as though I'm putting it off and ignoring a topic, or speaking too soon and not gathering enough information to have credible thoughts and attainable action."

Let's hear about your perfect day in Austin.

"I would wake up at 6:30 and go to the 7am cycling or hot barre class at TruFusion. I would come home and take my dog to a park."

Breakfast at Picnik: "I always get the farmhouse breakfast."

Afternoon: "I would get together with my friends and go on a boat. Ideally someone's boat that you don't have to pay for!"

Evening: "Come home, shower, go to dinner at Sway and then do an escape room. I'm being serious. They're so fun."

"I would go get drinks — I love a piña colada-style painkiller — at Placeholder or Anthem on Rainey Street."

What's next: Tickets are still available for Friday's carnival.

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