Dressed in a hot pink Juicy Couture tracksuit, Iris Owen strolls over to a park bench in central London, clutching an almond-iced latte in her freshly manicured hand. Owen, aka Nectarine Girl, is the woman behind Nectarine News – a wildly entertaining newsletter for fans of local gossip, Girls Aloud, hot takes on pub quizzes and debaucherous tales told from the sunbed of a European holiday.
“When I was 13 and making my Instagram account, I asked my mum what my handle should be and she said she craved nectarines when she was pregnant with me,” Owen says. Now 24, and as a side gig to her job at Fiorucci’s head office, she’s established herself as a cracking newsletter writer thanks to her, shall we say, unique take on the world, and knack for making mundane activities like grabbing a sandwich from Pret sound like a thrilling adventure.
To give you an idea, a few weeks ago, Owen attended a king and queen-themed party, for which she promptly ordered a multi-pack of sashes. “My opinion is no one wears sashes enough and now I have 12 to play with, I may start wearing them every day,” she wrote in Nectarine News. “You could write really boring statements on them, but it would deffo get your point across: ‘I need to leave at 5 today’ or ‘there’s delays on the Northern line’”.
Such is Owen’s outlook on life. “I’ve got loads of rules that I set for myself and try to follow,” she continues. “The main one is that I think you should have fun all the time. I used to be quite uptight, then I went and got the word ‘Lol’ tattooed on my ankle. I swear on my life, when I walked out of that tattoo parlour my whole life became fun.”
Funnily enough, the first instalment of Nectarine News came about just as haphazardly. Owen’s quest to become famous has her applying to any and every TV show she can get her acrylic claws on (up next: Big Brother). She got through to the final stages of an as-yet-unnamed survival show last year, taking a whole month off work for it and consulting friends and family about what to pack, only to get a disappointing phone call the night before her departure.
“They were like, ‘Hey Iris, hope you’re good! We love you, but our therapist has said you’re mentally unstable, so you won’t be able to come on the show’,” she explains. “So I had to alert everyone in one go that I wouldn’t be going away for four weeks to a tropical island. How do I do that without putting it on Instagram? Send an email.”
After adding a few extra details to the mass message, like her favourite people of the week and what hot new purchases she’d made on eBay, Owen received a load of responses suggesting she should start sending a newsletter regularly. Now, Nectarine News is approaching its one-year anniversary.
As long-time fans of Owen’s unshakeable opinion on men (“Adam Sandler is the only one for me”), life (“What’s the point if everyone doesn’t know your name?”) and commitment to finding fame (“I’m hoping after I do Big Brother they’ll offer me Holly Willoughby’s job”), keep an eye out for regular, juicy slices of wisdom from our Nectarine friend over the next few weeks. You’re in for a treat.