I'm excited to have the lovely Jess of The Golden Girl blog and The Everygirl on the blog today! She's got an effortlessly chic style, impeccable taste and editorial eye, and I'm excited to share a little bit about her inspiring career path from advertising pro to full time blogger and freelance writer. My personal favorite quote from her is "Leap and the net will appear". What a great motto. This was so true in my life too. Sometimes you have to take the risk before you know that everything will be all right. Take a little peek into Jess' world...
Occupation: Freelance writer & blogger
Current City: Chicago
Tell us a little bit about your career path so far and how you landed your current job as a freelance writer for various blogs, publications and The Evergirl?
I never would’ve gotten to this point in my career as a writer without starting my blog in the first place! I was a Journalism major, but when I graduated I went into advertising, so I hadn’t actually written anything in a long time. I really wanted to work at a magazine or a website, or have a cool career in something digital related–like working at Twitter or Tumblr. I worked in Shopper Marketing at the time, so I knew I needed to do something else to expand my resume since I wasn’t using that part of my brain at work. I also wanted a creative outlet, because my career in advertising turned out to be more excel spreadsheets and client work than creative.
My blog acted as my resume, and from there on, I was able to land my position at The Everygirl, because I think we both share similar aesthetics, style, and overall voice. From there, I kept working hard to establish my blog, and eventually started landing some regular sponsorships, and it’s grown from there!
What do you love about working in your creative field?
I think it’s so much flexibility. I think I would die if I had to go back to an office. I want to be able to work from wherever I choose (the whole office thing really stifled my brain in general). Plus, if it’s freezing, I want to be able to work from my bed in my fuzzy pajamas. Creativity is also a huge part of that flexibility. Yes I work a ton of hours, and admittedly, it’s for half of what I was making in advertising (where I was able to move up the ranks pretty quickly) but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What’s been your favorite part of working with a publication like the Everygirl, and your own blog, The Golden Girl Blog?
With The Everygirl, it’s a chance to be exposed to female entrepreneurship at such a close level. I’m really lucky to be able to work closely with Alaina & Danielle, and call them my friends, as well as mentors! The experience I’ve gained working with them has been invaluable. And with my own blog, I mean–I’m my own boss! What’s not to love there? When a big part of your career is dependent upon just “you doing you,” it’s pretty awesome.
What has been your biggest break?
Definitely being named one of Refinery 29’s top up & coming Chicago bloggers!
What do you attribute your success to (any mottos/mantras that you love)?
That’s a tough one. I think everything at the end of the day ladders up to “leap, and the net will appear.” Even if the net doesn’t appear right away, you realize that you’re way more capable than you thought, and that you can land on your feet and dust yourself off!
Where would you like to se yourself in 5 years?
Honestly, probably just an evolution of what I’m doing now! I don’t have a huge, overly specific goal. I just want to be making money doing what I love. (I’d love to be making more, obviously, but who doesn’t want more travel money?)
What's one tip of advice that you would share for anyone who aspires to be like you?
That nobody ever got anywhere by hesitating!
What’s your advice for people who are looking to get into the magazine, editorial, photography or publishing industry?
Start a blog! And make it good. A blog is like a resume on steroids. It’s the best first impression you could possibly make. (That is, if you do it right. If you do it wrong, it can easily be a horrible impression.) Second, network your butt off. And don’t do it obnoxiously. If you approach people with the sole angle of “what’s in it for you?” people will take notice. But if you strive to make solid, amazing friendships, where both of you benefit and help each other grow–that is truly one of the most powerful tools you could have.
If you could collaborate with anyone on a project, who would it be and why?
Manny the Frenchie. He’s a local Chicago humanitarian French Bulldog who has the best Instagram ever. I mean, literally my dream in a nutshell.
Are there any editors, writers, or photographers who’s work inspired you?
That’s so hard to choose! I have so many talented friends and people I look up to, I can’t possibly pick a favorite, but the first ones that come to mind: my photographer friend Cassandra who I swear gets more and more talented by the minute, Jess Lively, who’s podcast I couldn’t live without, and Gretchen Rubin, who’s book “The Happiness Project” really put things into a new perspective to me.
Where do you find inspiration?
PINTEREST. It’s like internet crack. You can’t not be inspired after scrolling through your Pinterest feed!
A few of her favorite things:
1) Favorite Flower: Hydrangeas (because they’re the prettiest) and Daffodils (because they used to grow in the pasture on my family’s farm growing up.) 2) Drink of Choice: Coconut La Croix or a Sidecar. 3) Most Prized Possession: My leather jacket from Italy and my Grey Bunny that my Grannie gave me when I was little. 4) My personal hero is: Neal, my boyfriend, who singlehandedly has shaped my life in a way I would have never thought possible. 5) I’m reading: The girls from Ames 6) I’m watching: Bar Rescue marathons every Sunday 7) Last purchase or splurge: It’s about to be everything necessary to furnish a whole apartment from scratch (yikes!) 8) My Guilty pleasure: coconut flavored everything, french bulldog instagram accounts 9) Favorite vacation spot: Italy (dream), or Neal’s family’s lake house in Indiana. 10) Favorite quote: Leap and the net will appear 11) Most people don’t know that I was secretly born a hillbilly in a tiny town in Oregon. 12) I’m DEATHLY afraid of spiders 13) Favorite Store(s) for the Home: Joss & Main, Dot & Bo, Lulu & Georgia
Love Jess as much as we do? Make sure to check out her blog for more inspiration!