get inspired

jenna lyons

I recently read an interview where one of the questions to the interviewee was “Who inspires you?”.  And I started to think about how I’d answer that question if asked, especially in the context of my career.  I gave it much thought because I like to believe that one day someone WILL be interviewing me and asking that same question.  So in playing this whole scenario out in my head, I came up with my answer which includes four women whom I find dynamic, powerful and inspiring.  Women whose footsteps I would be honored to follow in.

Jenna Lyons  (President/Executive Creative Director at J.Crew): There is a magic at J.Crew unmatched by any other retailer, and I believe the largest part of their success is attributed to Jenna Lyons.  I don’t distinguish myself as a member of the J.Crew cult, however I do qualify the company as the Harvard of mass market brands.  I’ve worked for many major corporate fashion companies and one of the biggest struggles is placing someone in a high-level, powerful, executive seat who equally keeps the creative AND business strategy in mind.  In order to be an effective fashion organization, a leader must drive both simultaneously.  Jenna is a perfect blend – innovative, artistic and creative, while also paying attention to the consumer experience.  She is cutthroat, but creative.  She is strong and steady, yet a visionary.  She has worked her way up from the bottom, and landed her role because of talent, not politics which makes her that much more of an informed leader.  She’s walked the walk.  I value Jenna’s dedication to art, and vision, while understanding the bottom line.  She is the epitome of retail genius in my book.

Mary Alice Stephenson  (fashion & beauty expert; Founder of Glam4Good)Mary Alice Stephenson grew up in the fashion industry, working for powerful publications like, Vogue, Allure, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar.  She is a contributing editor at Seventeen magazine, styles some of the biggest celebrity names in Hollywood and regularly advises women as an expert in fashion and beauty.  But none of that is why she inspires me.  Mary Alice Stephenson is the founder of an organization called, Glam4Good, which “gives life-changing makeovers, dramatic giveaways and transformative fashion adventures to everyday hero’s and people in need.”  Every week that goes by, she is somewhere new, giving back to help empower women to be their best selves.  Through the vehicle of fashion, she uses her expertise for a good cause.  She also serves as the National Fashion Ambassador for the Make-A-Wish foundation.  Mary Alice has done something which I hope to mirror in my career, taking strengths and passions and turning them into purpose!

Leandra Medine  (Founder of fashion blog, The Man Repeller; Author) Oh, Leandra.  I first learned of Leandra Medine aka The Man Repeller when I began Your Soul Style.  I was completely enamored (and inspired) by her style – a bit edgy, mixing high and low, menswear inspired but sexy.  I dug it.  But as I learned more about her, my fondness went deeper and became more meaningful.  Leandra is a feminist, she is a brilliant writer, she is funny as fu*k, she has a strong point of view and most importantly she owns who she is.  No one will stand in her way of risk taking and showing up in original, unique ensembles.  I watched a segment with her on recently where she said, “I want to walk into a room, and feel like I will not run into anyone that has thought to do what I did”.  She couldn’t have said it better then me.  I feel exactly the same, always looking for ways to stand out and define myself as an individual, but don’t always follow through with making the same controversial fashion choices.  Leandra is creative, she is smart, she does what she wants.  She doesn’t follow rules, she is inventive and she could not give a damn what anyone has to say about it.  I strive to be as bold as she is.

My Mama  (Founder of The Connecting Hand) I never knew my mom as a non-working person.  She worked most of my life and was always an equal financial contributor to the family.  From one career to the next, she busted her ass and was able to achieve greatness because of hard work and dedication.  Beginning as a teacher, moving to the financial industry and eventually launching her own successful business in geriatric management, my mom is the epitome of following your dreams and reaching them.  No one could get in the way of her journey towards success.  She was unstoppable.  As a budding entrepreneur myself, I realize now how hard it is to create a viable and thriving business.  She made it look so seamless.  My mom taught me at a very young age that you need to “Find something you love.  And then find a way to make money doing it”.  I like the order of those two sentences most.  The words have never left my mind and I hope to follow in her path of great success.

So who is your inspiration?  What drives you?  Who is your guiding light?  How would you answer that question if interviewed?  Would love to hear your answers in the comment section!

Have a think….and a happy weekend.  xx jenny

photo via fast company

playing with the big boys

j.crew september 2013Hello and happy week!  I hope it was a good one.  As excited as I was to flip through the September issues of Vogue, Bazaar and Elle, I was equally, if not more stoked to check out J.Crew’s September style guide which arrived on Wednesday.  The brand has been on the up climb for some time and despite the regular one or two small misses, every page this month is full of inspiration proving once again they are worthy enough to play with the big boys!  Jenna Lyons, the company’s President and Creative Director introduces four key trends (color, camo, sport and leather) which is where the book jumps off.  In typical J.Crew (and Jenna) fashion, unexpected pieces come together creating hip, wearable ensembles.  After flipping through from cover to cover, not only did I ear mark nearly every page for styling inspiration – but seconds later went ahead and ordered these!  J.Crew is offering 25% off in store and online through August 26th on purchases over $150 with the code FALLSTYLE.  Shipping is free on these orders too.  Woo woo!  A few looks I’m swooning over…

Have a great weekend!  xx jenny

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photos via j.crew

spotlight: gwyneth paltrow


Contrary to my friend Stacey’s (from Sweenie Swim) distaste for Gwyneth Paltrow – I am a mega fan!  Like Giuliana RancicKristen Wiig and Jenna Lyons, she is also a friend in my head.  Gwyneth is more than your average triple threat, her laundry list of credentials multiplies year over year.  Starting as a Hollywood actress was only the beginning – she has recorded music (eh hem – Glee, Country StrongDuets w/ Huey Lewis – shall I go on?), authored My Fathers Daughter –  a cookbook with a second on the way (It’s all Good will be released on April 2nd – pre-order copy here!), won an Oscar for her role in Shakespeare in Love, became the face of Estee Lauder & Coach (and more), married famous musician Chris Martin from Coldplay, produced two (what seems to be) adjusted children and established a lifestyle blog (and brand) called Goop.  Goop is one of the first blogs I had ever read and my love for it has maintained.  It covers topics such as friendship, love, beauty, religion, travel, food, culture, fashion, etc.  Gwyneth offers truth in her writing and content – covering topics that pertain to all women.  Her voice is relatable, authentic and comes with a wisdom she has gained through her own experiences.  She is a woman with a ton of heart, depth, dedication and commitment –  who isn’t afraid to live boldly (not to mention publicly) in her own skin.  She is a stellar example of what women in 2013 are capable of.  A successful wife, mother, artist, actress, singer and entrepreneur with a killer fashion sense that wreaks from the inside out – Gwyneth has definitely got her ‘soul style’ in tact.  *photos via pinterest


Find her most recent post, “The Annual Spring Edit” here – chock full of inspirational outfit ideas for the woman on the go!

Enjoy!  xx #yoursoulstyle

*don’t forget to follow me on instagram and facebook for more yoursoulstyle goodness!

channeling jenna…

I tend to channel Jenna Lyon’s most days being that she is one of my style icons and I look to her for constant inspiration.  I kind of live for her and my obsession keeps growing (no judgements please!).  It’s not only that I envy her fashion sensibility, but consider her a brilliant business woman, extremely down to earth, courageous, humble and authentic – all qualities I put as priorities for myself.  She is just the best!

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 10.49.00 AM*jenna lyons – photos from pinterest

We actually have a lot in common (insert giant happy face here)!!!

  1. She has a GF, I have a wife
  2. She is Jenn-A, I am Jenn-Y
  3. She works in retail fashion, I work in retail fashion.
  4. She is tall, I am tall.
  5. She wears red lipstick, I wear red lipstick
  6. She dresses high and low, I dress high and low (ex: expensive top w/affordable jeans)
  7. She loves denim, I love denim
  8. She rocks pointy toe heels, I rock pointy toe heels
  9. She wears glasses, I wear glasses
  10. She loves clutches, I love clutches

My version (get the look here):

jenny - jennathe overview

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 3.54.36 PMthe details: shoes: j.crew, bag: cole haan, bracelets: gift from sister, bombay electric (india), abc carpet & home, j.crew, vintage

Jenny Outfitthe outfit: shirt: j.crew, sweater: massimo dutti, jeans: gap