Jelynne Jardiniano

JJ LITM c/o NJ.comimage c/o nj.com

JELYNNE JARDINIANO | JERSEY CITY
OWNER & FOUNDER OF LITM (LOVE IS THE MESSAGE)
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AUTHOR OF RESTAURANT FROM SCRATCH

How did you get started with your career – and how does your current role reflect your personal aesthetic?

It all started with a simple job that I got at the age of 19: hostess of a small seafood restaurant in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I was taking a year off from college to rethink my initial plans to be a lawyer. During that year, I discovered my love for restaurants and returned to school and switched majors to hospitality.

Even though I have played (and continue to play) many roles in my business, I am a hostess at heart. I enjoy making people feel welcome and cared for.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

The marketplace is packed with noise on the topic of cultural trends and how to stay relevant. The pressure to implement the next best thing is a constant bug in the entrepreneur’s ear. I am obviously speaking from experience. But what time has taught me is this: first know who you are and stay true to that. Once you accept that, listen to the people who matter: your customers, your employees, your community. Staying connected is the act of being open and humble. And staying ahead of the curve, I believe, is achieved when we let the moment inspire us.

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

Time is essential. In this digital world of instant gratification, we forget what nature has always offered to teach us: the tree takes time to bear fruit. I believe that it is in our haste that we are most susceptible to losing track of our goals and suffering from burnout. Creativity cannot be forced.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

I find that anyone who inspires me (whether I know him/her or not) is a qualified mentor. I’ve worked closely with a few professionals in the field of restaurant operations and even had a life coach. And while I have taken much of their advice, I cannot say that there was one person who had my sole focus. You need other people to help develop perspective. But to have true impact, you must act out of your own sincere desire.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

Enjoy yourself, enjoy the process and take risks. Whatever the outcome, know deep down that there was nothing to prove, nothing to gain and nothing to lose. You came into this world complete, and you will leave complete. So why not make the world your plaything?

  • Place that inspires me the most… Nature.
  • I feel most powerful when… I’m on a horse’s back.
  • I love what I do because… I have creative freedom.
  • My idea of success is… When you can take delight in yourself, without needing a reason.
  • Best advice I have ever received… Pray.

Follow LITM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @LITMJC!

About LITM:

An acronym for Love is the Message, LITM is Jersey City’s neighborhood destination for seasonal cocktails, American food and the local art and film scene.

Monthly art shows and film screenings are home to LITM, with over 100 exhibitions to date.

LITM
140 Newark Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 536-5557

Meika Franz

MeikaAMT

MEIKA FRANZ | JERSEY CITY
OWNER & FOUNDER
ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE

Describe a day in the life of Meika Franz in one sentence:

Wake up, feed baby, feed dogs, paperwork, pick vintage, steam/clean/ price/restock, eat, displays, manage employees, promote, put baby to sleep, answer emails, hang with husband, sleep well if baby lets me. 😉

How did you get started with your career – and how does your current role reflect your personal aesthetic?

As my family was in the sewing industry I have been involved in the fashion industry on some level for the past 20 years now. It was when I moved to London in 2004 however, to be with my now husband and business partner that I began working in vintage stores and found my ‘career’ in vintage. It has always been important to me to be unique and stand out from the crowd and vintage is a great way to do that as each piece is basically one of a kind.

Meika&BibaMeika and her daughter Biba.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in developing your craft?

I am fortunate to come from a family of many interesting, creative and strong willed woman. My great Aunt May, the teacher and principal at the MGM studios school in the 50’s, taught everyone from Mickey Rooney to Judy Garland, my great grandmother an actress/singer and pre-follies Ziegfeld girl, my grandmother, a sewing shop owner, my aunt, an inventor of sewing products and my mother another creative, from designer to singer. My life has been full of inspirational creative woman. Growing up with this inspiration definitely helped to fuel my drive and taught me that I can do anything I set my heart on.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant,
connected, and ahead of the curve?

Vintage tends to attract a lot of trend setters so I can often see from my customers what is on trend for the moment as well as what is to come for the mainstream. I also sell a lot to the design industry so I can see what they are looking for to inspire their future collections and keep me aware of what lies ahead in fashion.

AMTshowroom1How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay
creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

Doing my best to maintain a balance of both my personal and business life helps to keep me driven and clear headed in setting and attaining my goals. The goal is keeping focused and positive, try not to think too much! The fear of becoming irrelevant and the excitement of attaining my goals drives me to keep working hard no matter how tired I am;) The creative process is something that I enjoy and is part of what drives me.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

I think mentors are very important. I have been very lucky to have several wonderful mentors in my life from family members, previous bosses, to past and present vintage store owners who pass down their tips and who offer advice to us. I know so many wonderful people I couldn’t choose just one.

2What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

Do what you love, live your passion and stay positive no matter what. Never stop learning, and when things get tough, use that time to figure out what can be done to make things better and put it into action. Also, surround yourself with inspiring people!

Meika&Warren

Meika and her husband Warren in front of Another Man’s Treasure in downtown Jersey City.

  • Place that inspires me the most… I think I would have to say England. I have always been inspired by its creative and colorful history; I even named my daughter after one of its legendary shops and clothing lines ‘Biba’. I feel English culture encourages self-expression and standing out in a crowd.
  • I feel most powerful when… I am not sure powerful is a word I would use, as I am always aiming to be better at what I do and I am easily my worst critic. However, seeing people wear the clothes that I choose and the positive feedback that I get about how the shop looks, and my eye for style definitely make me feel great .
  • I love what I do because… So many reasons! I guess I could start by saying now much I love clothes. Since I could talk I was writing songs about dresses and modeling every piece of clothing my parents bought me. Haha. It’s always been a slight obsession. With vintage you are seeing a quality that is rare these days in clothing, hand details like embroidery and beadwork that would take months or years to recreate today due to the lack of skills, as well as richness in fabrics, prints and colors unseen in modern clothing. I love the hunt of finding each piece and the story that sometimes comes along with it.
  • I also love helping people find themselves with the clothes, creating a look that they feel expresses and empowers them. I have seen many people come out of their shell with vintage. Also helping women feel good about their bodies as you can dress for your body shape with vintage, choosing from every style and cut ever made, rather than just the modern cuts of the moment. I could go on and on…
  • My idea of success is… Success for me is being able to do something I love so much and having the time to spend with those I love whilst doing it.
  • Best advice I have ever received… To enjoy every day because life moves so fast!

Follow Another Man’s Treasure on Instagram: @amtvintage and Facebook: amtvintage!

About Another Man’s Treasure:

Established in 2006, Another Man’s Treasure is a kaleidoscopic array of vintage fashions, accessories, shoes and jewelry for men and women from the 1900s to 1980s, with a focus on classic vintage, high fashion trends and designer finds. The shop also includes an intriguing mix of records, books, collectibles and other vintage oddities. Another Man’s Treasure has been featured in various publications including Paris VOGUE, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Mexico, Cosmopolitan UK, New York Magazine, Lucky, Time Out New York, NY Post, Vogue.com, Elle.com and numerous other blogs, video/movie shoots, etc.

Another Man’s Treasure
353 Grove Street
Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
(201) 860-9990

dressesShowroom2 - CopyShowroom2

Anna Sian

Anna Sianimage c/o karmaloop

ANNA SIAN | NEW YORK CITY
MARKETING DIRECTOR
STAPLE

How did you get started at Staple – and how does your current role as Marketing Director reflect your personal aesthetic?

My career path was never a straight one. It’s been a circuitous journey, and a seemingly random one at that. But at each step I took risks, lived in the present moment and inched closer towards what I felt deep down was a better match for me. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth in Psychological and Brain Sciences. Not because it was my dream to become a psychologist or psychotherapist or really work in brain sciences at all, but because I took one intro class and felt that human behavior, and why people do what they do, was most interesting thing to learn about. Plus, my parents were firmly against me becoming a studio art major, so it was somewhat of a compromise. So I graduated with this seemingly impractical degree and moved back to NYC, where I was born and raised.

What followed in my post-college years were multiple part-time internships and jobs that each spoke to a different part of my personality, which when combined, somehow represented a more holistic version of my Dream Job. Over the years, I edited an art magazine, interned at a human rights non-profit organization and in fashion, freelanced in photography and volunteered with a Filipina women’s organization, and worked as a hostess and runner at Japanese restaurants to supplement my income. Eventually I landed a higher paying job as a marketing assistant at an engineering firm, but I wasn’t passionate about the engineering industry and I felt my creativity being stunted in that corporate environment. And then — as both a blessing and a curse — I was laid off. Unemployed for months, I floated around NYC until my best friend asked me if I wanted to join her band, Ava Luna, which was started by another one of our classmates from high school. I sang backup harmonies at first and later also played the keys. As part of Ava Luna I was able to tour the US and Europe, play at SXSW, the US Open and other memorable shows, but it wasn’t all glamorous and it wasn’t enough to support me financially.

I suppose I was in the right place at the right time when jeffstaple of Staple Design needed a new assistant and I applied, interviewed, and was hired. For the first year I was still playing in the band and begging jeff for more and more time off to tour; eventually I was getting burnt out playing late night shows and coming to work in the morning. I had to choose between the band or the job, and Staple felt like the right choice. A year later, the clothing brand started taking off and there was greater need for marketing, at which point I was promoted. It seemed like everything that I had done in my fledgling career leading up to that point started to make more sense for the marketing work I would begin to do at Staple. Marketing at Staple requires me to use what I’ve learned from the worlds of fashion, psychology, photography, publishing, the music industry and NGOs all rolled into one.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

Cultural trends do change, like everything else. That’s why I don’t necessarily pay attention to trends. I think what keeps me and my work relevant to others is that I try to really listen to the things that truly interest me – if I myself am not inspired, then I can’t expect others to give a shit. What that means is constantly finding ways to travel outside New York or visit new parts of the city, reading, trying different food, supporting new artists, meeting new people and making unlikely friendships.

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

Luckily my personal and business goals require creativity.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

Having a mentor is necessary. My main mentor is my mother, who worked her butt off to get from the Philippines to NYC, started her own business and non-profit organization, all while constantly learning and trying to be a better person with each day.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

I haven’t yet started my own business, so I can’t offer any legitimate advice for that, but my advice to any woman entering creative fields is to take risks and say yes to exciting (albeit frightening) opportunities. The future will work itself out somehow, so be fluid – the only thing constant is change.

Staple

  • Place that inspires me the most… Crazy Legs Skate Club in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn… But honestly I’m most inspired every time I travel, and inspired again every time I come home to NYC.
  • I feel most powerful when… I am with my friends and family.
  • I love what I do because… My job allows me to be myself.
  • Define your idea of success… There’s little I can say here without sounding trite. But success to me is being able to do what you love while helping others.
  • Best advice I have ever received… Breathe.

Follow Anna on Instagram: @Annamal!

Steph Adams

StephAdams bw2

STEPH ADAMS | SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
ART DIRECTOR/DESIGNER & FASHION/LIFESTYLE BLOGGER
STEPH ADAMS CREATIVE + STEPHADAMS.COM

How did you get started with your career – and how does your current role reflect your personal aesthetic?

I studied graphic design and marketing for my Bachelor of Arts at Curtain University of Western Australia. I then started working in publishing as a Graphic Designer and Art Director over Vogue in Australia & London before starting my own business; Steph Adams Creative as well as my blog http://www.stephadams.com which is an inspirational blog on beauty, fashion & lifestyle. It’s also an outlet for other brands and clients to get noticed online.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

I am travelling quite a lot and I find this helps to stay on top of trends as well as providing inspiration for new projects.

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

I try and live a balanced and healthy lifestyle to stay on top of everything. I definitely need my sleep if I want to keep up the creativity. Usually if I need inspiration, I will go for a run or walk just to clear my head.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

My husband has been a great mentor to me and my best friend.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

That you really must love what you do before you go out and do it, because there are a lot of hard yards and nothing comes easy. Hard work definitely pays off.

Steph Adams Logo

  • Place that inspires me the most… Every new place you go to is inspiring in a different way, my favourite is the South of France.
  • I feel most powerful when… I’ve just had a boxing session.
  • I love what I do because… I help people build their brands and businesses and it’s what they are most passionate about and that makes me happy when I see others also achieving their goals.
  • My idea of success is… I think if you have your health and love what you do as well as having loving family and friends around you, then you are successful.
  • Best advice I have ever received… “You have a brain in your head and feet in your shoes, you can move yourself whichever way you choose.” – Dr Seuss

Follow Steph Adams on Instagram: @StephAdams2012 and Facebook: Beauty Fashion Lifestyle by Steph Adams!

About Steph Adams:

Steph Adams is a former-model-turned-art-director-and-designer who has been working in the fashion industry and collaborating with brands for over 20 years. She is the founder of Steph Adams Creative, a boutique design studio with a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle clientele -specializing in luxury and commercial branding. She also runs StephAdams.com, a lifestyle blog that documents her musings on beauty, fashion, photography and travel. Her works have been featured on British Vogue, Vogue Australia, Elle, Net-a-porter, Conde Nast Traveller, Harpers Bazaar (UK & AUS), Grazia, Vogue Living, Marie Claire (UK & AUS), House and Garden, Gourmet Traveller, Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Fox Sports, Channel Nine, Donna Hay, Stylerunner, Ausmode, Styledby, Miss Moncur, etc.

Juliet Nwekenta

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JULIET NWEKENTA | LONDON
FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR
DEE ROSA

Officially launched in 2011, Dee Rosa is a celebration of London-based designer Juliet Nwekenta’s Nigerian heritage, lifestyle, and cultural inspirations through visually stimulating, intricate patterns and geometric shapes.

Describe a day in the life of Juliet Nwekenta, Founder & Creative Director of Dee Rosa:

My day usually starts with checking and replying to emails. I then form a to do list of what I want to achieve in the day. Sometimes it could be a day of drawing up new designs, or promotion and marketing, sometimes there are meetings, it really does vary. I also freelance occasionally as a music consultant and I just started DJing too plus I have a part-time job for now while the business finds it feet.

How did you get started with Dee Rosa – and how does your role as Founder & Creative Director reflect your personal aesthetic?

After graduating from University in the UK with an Advertising and Marketing degree, I just wanted to do something different. I always loved art/design and  was always drawing on the side plus I was a serious music head too. I decided to go down the music route, so I moved to NYC for a year to intern at a couple of recording studios after which I returned to the London and was A&R scouting and then more recently music consultancy. Continue reading Juliet Nwekenta

Isis Arias

ISIS ARIAS
Brand Marketer & Event Producer | Around The Way Cool Girl

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Describe a day in the life of Isis Arias:

A day in my life is a constant variation of many things depending on what I’m working on. The average day consists of me waking up and staring at my iPhone, checking email, responding to texts, checking social media. It’s not the best wake method, I should really work on meditating more but it’s a force of habit. If I’m up early enough I tend to go for a jog or yoga, and then I’m in front of my computer for a few hours working on anything from emails to project plans, checking in on the marketing programs I manage, event research and logistic planning. The rest of the day tends to be scattered with conference calls, outreach and meetings, although I tend to try and schedule meeting days so I have more than one reason to head into the city especially since I work from home and mobile, so I’m often doing some of these things from the road!

How did you get started with brand marketing and events – and how does strategic and event planning reflect your personal aesthetic? Continue reading Isis Arias

Nola Darling

Jaquita Ta’le + Alex Lavelanet
of
NOLA DARLING

Artists | Rappers | Singers

Nola Darling

Describe a day in the life of Nola Darling (Jaquita Ta’le and Alex Lavelanet):

No two days are alike, so it’s hard to describe a typical day, but it could go anywhere from:

Wake up/Emails and Internet/Late Breakfast/Audition/Meeting/Phone Conference/Dinner/Home/Write/Netflix/Sleep or…
Wake up/Gym/Lunch/Studio/Phone Conference/Trader Joe’s Run/Movies/Home/Netflix/Sleep

How did you get started as a rapping and singing duo – and how does your music reflect your personal aesthetic?

We first met during a high school summer program for Acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Serendipitously, we were both in the Lee Strasberg School for Acting (the dude who made “the method”) famous, and we lived directly across from each other in the dorms. Fast forward: we both ended up going to NYU for undergrad, and after graduation, (like many post-grads) decided to go on an international road trip. The twist is, while travelling around South Africa, London, and Amsterdam, we made a documentary (WORD?!) about international Hip Hop culture that featured local acts, as well as artists like Dead Prez and Aloe Blacc. While in Rome (ha ha) lounging at our hostel, our photographer/travel buddy LP made a beat that we geeked over and started writing to. It was kind of a lightbulb moment…like, “why aren’t we doing this?!” And the rest is history…

Our music is very reflective of our Pan-African upbringing and cultural influences (prep school, classic Americana, Hip Hop, film noir), and aesthetically, audiences can see glimpses of that in our work.

It’s empowering to see women making moves in the scene like you — how have the women in your life been instrumental in developing your hustle? Continue reading Nola Darling

Sarah Meier

SARAH MEIER

Creative Director, Pormada | Host, Top Model Philippines | Author, Unscripted

Sarah and Kaya
Sarah and her daughter Kaya c/o http://nickstjames.com

Describe a day in the life of Sarah Meier.

It usually starts with roosters. If you’ve ever visited or lived in the Philippines, you’ll know that the primitive still suffices for the resourceful, and being woken up by cockadoodling and the 6am church bell will always be more poignant than any iPhone alarm tone. My days struggle to claim that they have any sort of routine, which is why I’m entertaining offers to resurrect my morning radio show host status; it gives me a valid excuse to dip out of manic Manila nights before people start making fuzzy decisions, and also propels my ass to the gym at a regular hour. Other than that, it’s a few hours at Pormada HQ, time on shoot sets, rocking the microphone hosting events, recording voice overs for fashion-related TV shows (I can now say Ermenegildo Zegna without hesitating), wine and cheese dates with friends, and a weekly 2-hour $10 home service massage. I have a beautiful daughter that likes bookstores, running around at the park, fine dining, manicures, and Jamba Juice, so her Dad and I switch off on dates with her to do those things after school. Continue reading Sarah Meier

TheSnobette

SAMIA GRAND-PIERRE AND LOIS SAKANY

highsnobette_logoANDTheSnobette

Founding Editors of Highsnobette | Founders of TheSnobette | Stylists | Branding + Digital Strategists

Describe a day in the life of Samia Grand-Pierre (left) & Lois Sakany (right):

Samia: A regular day starts with meditation/prayer, a few sun salutations then If I have to work at my visual merchandising job I head out to the city. I try to check a few emails on the go and do some Instagram posts. I come back to the home/office after work and peruse Google Reader and do some blogging. If I have the day to myself, I’m usually online posting, doing research, reading various digital publications about fashion, advertising and pop culture. That routine will also be sprinkled with showroom and tradeshow visits, various launches, store openings, presentations and runway shows.

Lois: I work entirely from home and I’m usually sitting at my desk starting at 7:30AM and I’m here until 5, 6 and sometimes 7PM and then I often work on one weekend day, too. I’m a big believer in working really hard (which is a strength though sometime I overdo it). I have multiple jobs but when my focus is TheSnobette, I look for day-to-day fashion stories we can cover by perusing Twitter. We also receive a lot of emails from brands pitching stories. We have a stable of names we’re always excited to feature but we’re always opening to feature someone fresh and new. Definitely we think it’s so important to attend and cover fashion events and trade shows. We are blessed to live in a city that is one of the world’s centers for fashon and it would be foolish not to take advantage of that. Continue reading TheSnobette

Samantha Jo Alonso

SAMANTHA JO ALONSO

Co-owner/founder of FRUITION Las Vegas + Los Angeles

FRUITION LOGO

Describe a day in the life of Samantha Jo Alonso:

Consider me a maximalist. From the break of dawn to the strike of midnight, every minute and second is well lived. At 6am, I jump start my day with a 6 – 8 mile run. From there, my work day continues anywhere from writing e-mails, styling and producing shoots, operating 2 FRUITION retail stores, planning Mission I’mPOSSIBLE multi-city runs, serving at my church (Hillsong NYC) to social media producing for Nike Women, marketing strategy for Pretty Girls Sweat, and speaking engagements from coast to coast. Continue reading Samantha Jo Alonso