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FEATURES

MEET JENNA KUTCHER

Nicole Gonzalez

How I connected with Jenna:

Like many of you reading this right now, I've been following this stunna on Instagram for quite some time now. Jenna's the definition of #girlboss - literally. This babe made a life changing decision to set aside the fear of failure and committed herself to creating the life she'd always envisioned, started from the bottom, grew her biz from 0 to six figs, has helped countless entrepreneurs grow their businesses, made brides everywhere fall in love all over again when they saw their wedding pix, and has impacted the lives of many creatives (including myself).

A few weeks back, I was scrolling through my Insta feed and saw one of Jenna's posts and was like - "Why the hell have I not reached out to her already?!" A few seconds after that I went ahead and sent J an email and well, here we are!

Jenna in our 'ENTREPRENEUR' Tee

Jenna in our 'ENTREPRENEUR' Tee

Fun Facts:

Jenna's a small-town Wisconsin photographer, wedding blogger, a watercolor artist, and an educator.

She's obsessed with yoga pants and could probably live off of mac and cheese her whole life if you gave her the choice. J loves to work on her couch with her rescue pups in her lap, and is madly in love with her hubs Drew. Did I mention they just launched Drew's new biz - The Kutcher Method?! Talk about a power couple #goals!

Photography by: Courtney Elizabeth Dueppengiesser

Photography by: Courtney Elizabeth Dueppengiesser


Q&A with Biz Babe, Jenna:

1. At 23, you took the leap that many fear - you left your 9-5 and dived right into entrepreneurship. What made you quit your 9-5 and finally say, "it's time"? What emotions were running through your body at that exact second when you walked out of your corporate job for the very last time? 

I knew that I needed a net to be there before I could leap, so I hustled to create a business while working 50+ hours a week at my corporate job! By the time I left, I had enough jobs booked to know that I could match my salary for the first year (and pray things would fall into place after that! Spoiler alert: they did!) I was nervous, I had never quit anything in my life before. I made my mom proof read my letter of resignation and felt like I was going to throw up but something in my gut knew that I would never regret taking that chance. 

2. Let's say, 5 years ago I would've said to you - Jen, you're going to create one hell of a biz for yourself, you're going to impact thousands of lives, connect with like-minded women and create relationships that would last a lifetime, you're going to capture the love of many sweet souls on their wedding day, help men and women create the businesses they've always dreamed of, and live life on your terms! What would you have said to me? Would you have believed me or looked at me like I was crazy? LOL

Wow, thank you for the kind words - I mean, I'm over here blushing. It's easy to forget all of those items when you're hustling from the couch in your yoga pants, you know? You forget that you do more than email, social media, the whole business thang. I think I would have looked at you and said a silent prayer that you were right. I've always chased after what I love and I've found that when you're doing the things you're passionate about, you're generally successful (or even if you're not, you're happy!) I probably would have said, "Girllllll, please... but I hope you are right!" There's a bit within us that hopes for things like this, that imagines them, and prays for them. It's safe to say that some of the things I take for granted, others are praying for... if that isn't a kick in the booty to do more, I don't know what is. 

3. What advice would you have for someone who knows deep down what they want to do with their life, but are too scared to fail or disappoint their friends and family?

You need not defend your decisions. Whenever you're on the defense, you're likely speaking to the wrong people. My parents? They probably thought I was crazy. Here I was, with a business degree, a salary, benefits and I was ready to throw it all away because of a $300 camera on Craigslist. While we had a few serious conversations about how I was being smart in planning ahead, I also think they knew they raised a girl who was stubborn, who would run with reckless abandon, and who would do anything to prove those naysayers wrong. Stop defending your decisions and let your actions lead you - the best way to prove you were right is in making it happen in your own way, in your own time. They will come around... and if they don't, they weren't your people anyway. 

4. What do you feel is the hardest part about being your own boss?

I think the feeling of isolation and lack of validation. When you have a real boss you have someone to bounce ideas off of, you get feedback, things like vacations and raises... when you're your own boss it can feel like you're floating in a universe all alone, wondering and questioning if you're on the right track or doing the right things. It can be isolating when you're scrolling through social media or seeing peoples "work parties," it's mega isolating when you're traveling alone, eating Chinese at the airport. BUT in that isolation comes pure magic. My mantra is, "Chin up, head down" meaning that you should always be proud, stay strong, but keep your head down and do YOUR best work - not what everyone else is out there doing. Success looks different for all of us, so it's important to not get jaded or let your vision be clouded by all we consume. 

5. What advice do you have for a babe who's thinking about starting a biz and/or blog, and has absolutely no friken clue where to even start?

Girlllll, no one knows where to start, that's the beauty of it. Every single person has had a different journey, that shouldn't confuse you, that should empower you to know that you really can go your own way. (I pray you're singing Fleetwood Mac!) I believe that imperfect action makes things happen. Done will always be better than perfect, so stop waiting for the perfect time, the perfect Instagram post, the perfect blog platform and just start creating. It will become less daunting as you go. I also remind myself that no one cares about my content as much as I do - so stop telling yourself everyone is watching and critiquing. 

6. Do you feel it's a MUST to invest in branding photography when you're starting out or launching a new product or service?

I think that when you partner good photos with strong words together, magic happens. Do what your budget allows, hell, if that's an iphone photo, just make it a good one! I never, ever went in debt for my business, I just prioritized the little funds we had and made things bigger and better as I could. I do believe the beautiful photography can really pack a punch of impact but it doesn't need to be where you begin....

7. Let's dive into Insta: What's your best advice for growing an organic and highly engaged following on the gram?

Speak to your followers that have already chosen to show up for you. Serve them, inspire them, and show up for them. Stop going out trying to get more followers and when you focus on the ones you already have, more will organically come. Stop screaming to the masses and focus on whispering the right message to the right audience - that shifts everything! I promise! 

8. What have you found to be the hardest thing about growing your photography biz in the beginning and on a daily? How do you overcome these obstacles and come out winning and even more inspired than ever?

In the beginning it was simply getting my name out there. We lived in a village of 1,200 people. I had zero connections, zero portfolio - it was a scary place to be! I am just so thankful I've been business savvy because that's carried me through each step of the way. On the daily I would just say the hardest part is staying inspired. When I first started I took my camera everywhere, all the time, I was so excited. Keeping that excitement alive is harder than people realize. I love to do personal projects or challenge myself to create new content every day just to stay fresh and excited! 

9. Do you have any exciting collaborations, projects, courses, in the works that you can share with us? If so, SPILL! 

YES! We are launching a podcast, The Goal Digger Podcast and I AM SO EXCITED! I haven't had a project like this that pumps me up like crazy. It's going to be a live, workshop style podcast where I interview girlbosses who share their talents and teachings with the world in a conversational format. I have so many ridiculously talented friends who are brilliant and I can't wait to share their gifts with my "goal digging" community! 

(www.goaldiggerpodcast.com


P.S. I've rounded up 3 blog posts from J's site I'm sure you'll looove!

1. Dear Jenna: Should I Offer Discounts

You can find Jenna on Insta | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter

MEET CELINE

Nicole Gonzalez

How I connected with Celine:

A few months back, I stumbled upon Celine's Instagram account and literally said- "where has this super fab and inspiring soul been my whole life?!" LOL C's hands-down the epitome of a hard-working, ambitious, and determined #bizbabe, so it was clear to me after about 3 point 5 seconds of stalking her IG, I needed to share her story with you!

Fun Facts:

Celine is the Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of THE STAYCATIONERS for Taste the Style- a NYC-based travel series featuring the city's hottest boutique hotels and highlighting F&B properties in an editorial format.

Shot by: Vanessa Granda

Shot by: Vanessa Granda


Q&A with Biz Babe, Celine:

1. I’m totally obsessed with the concept of #THESTAYCATIONERS! What inspired you to create #THESTAYCATIONERS?

I've always thought that something was missing in the hotel space from a content perspective. So in late 2014 after I started writing for Taste the Style, I mentioned the idea to the founder, Cyndi Ramirez, and we hit the ground running. THE STAYCATIONERS is a very curated, stylized hotel review series that's run by a crew of tastemakers for an audience of tastemakers, and the growth and support we've seen in the past year and a half from our readers, guest staycationers, and brand partners has been unreal. I'm really proud of what we've created and the opportunities it's afforded us in the process. 

2. What advice do you have for a babe who wants to start a creative project, blog, and/or brand?

Do something in such a way that's not already being done. If you want to break into the food space, do something more than just posting pictures of everything you eat. Be discerning and creatively so. Build a platform that serves an actual purpose to the audience you want to capture and give yourself a differential advantage, you also have to always be conscious of the bottom lines, which are up to you to outline for yourself and are best when laid out from the very beginning- you have to determine what's most important to you and figure out how to meet those expectations.

3. @celineb0ss screams aesthetic #goals- What’s your best advice on creating an aesthetically appealing IG feed? Do you have any go-to editing apps?

Thank you! I love VSCO- I usually flip-flop between J2, HB2, 04, and A6. I've literally purchased every single filter they've ever made.

4. Building a brand and being a #bizbabe isn’t an easy task. How do you stay motivated and goal focused when everything seems like it couldn’t get any worse?

It's really hard, because I work full-time in addition to running THE STAYCATIONERS and contributing to a ton of other outlets (I'm a travel and liquor writer by trade). So I've just accepted that I'm working 24/7 and that one day that will get me to a point where I don't have to work as much anymore and I can reap the benefits of full-time hustle.

5. Congrats to you and your team over on @tastethestyle on your bloglovin’ award- huge #girlboss moment! How did it feel to get recognized for your hard work?

Thank you so much! That's all Cyndi and the rest of the team really- Taste the Style has a ton of other great content, but I do like to think that THE STAYCATIONERS contributes to the success of the site too. It makes you feel very validated when your work is recognized, even indirectly.

6.  Do you have any collabs or exciting projects in the works you guys can share with our babes?

THE STAYCATIONERS will soon have its own site, so stay tuned for that! We'll also be popping up in a ton of different cities over the next year and beyond. Anyone interested in becoming a part of our series (either on a contributor or brand partnership level) from across the country can feel free to contact me via Instagram. 


P.S. I've rounded up a few pics from one of Celine's #THESTAYCATIONERS series down below! Tell me these pics don't give you major Sex and the City vibes?!

Shot by: Daniela Spector

Shot by: Daniela Spector

Shot by: Daniela Spector

Shot by: Daniela Spector

Shot by: Daniela Spector

Shot by: Daniela Spector

Shot by: Daniela Spector

Shot by: Daniela Spector

You can find C on IG @celineb0ss

MEET REESE

Nicole Gonzalez

How I connected with Reese:

Scrolling through Instagram one morning, I found Reese's oh so chic IG and fell in love! I love when I come across babes on IG who are doing what they love and sharing their passions with the world in hopes to inspire others. Reese and I have been Insta #bizbesties for a while now so I reached out to her recently to see how we could share her story in hopes to inspire you/answer some frequently asked questions from the blogging community.

R in our 'SELF-MADE MILLENNIAL' Tee

R in our 'SELF-MADE MILLENNIAL' Tee


Q&A with Biz Babe, Reese:

1. What advice do you have for a babe who wants to start a blog?

Be yourself! I think a genuine following is derived from an honest organic connection to the blogger, so be true to yourself. Be engaging and interactive. I love love LOVE chatting with my supporters.

2. Where do you find your wardrobe inspiration? What are some of your fav brands right now?

I feel inspiration comes from everywhere, from other people’s sense of style to vintage curtains in store windows.

Fav clothing brands: Premonition Designs + Club Monaco

Fav shoe brands: Gianvito Rossi, Celine, & Saint Laurent

3. What are some closet staples you feel are a MUST for every #bizbabe?

Ripped boyfriend jeans!!! It looks so great with everything- a white tee, silk cami, big comfy knit. You can throw on a pair of chucks, heels or loafers- they're so versatile, so necessary.

4. Snap or Insta Stories?

Snap because the filters make me love my face haha, but Insta stories for the convenience.

5. What are some of your go-to editing apps?

I live and breathe by Snapseed and PicsArt. Did you know you can even out your tan on PicsArt? Sensational *Future Voice*

6. What's your best advice on growing an organic and highly engaged following on IG?

Be engaging. I try to be as responsive as I can with my followers.

7. Do you feel every blogger should invest in a photographer when they're starting out?

No, I don’t think it’s necessary. I started with a few of my best friends and my fiancé and used my iPhone for everything. It wasn't until recently that I bought a camera (and sometimes when I forget it at home, I still use my iPhone). I’ve personally never worked with a photographer for Instagram.

8. Do you have any collabs or exciting projects in the works?

YES! Stay tuned ;)


P.S. I've rounded up 3 looks from Reese's blog down below that are sure to give you major inspo!

You can find Reese on IG and Twitter @nguyen1q

MEET JADENE MUNSON WIELE

Nicole Gonzalez

How I connected with Jadene:

I've followed Jade on Insta for a couple years now and have been obsessed with her work ever since! J's an uber talented makeup artist based in LA and the epitome of a #girlboss! I recently saw her on my feed and thought- what if I reach out to her and share her story?! About 5 seconds later, I emailed her and well, here we are- lol!

Fun Facts:

J's the global brand ambassador for Ardell beauty.

She's glammed up celebrities like Ashley Tisdale (one of my High School Musical favs- yes, I was obsessed with that movie back in the day, don't judge me- lol), Monica Rose and Jessica Lowndes, just to name a few.

Jadene in our 'SELF-MADE MILLENNIAL' Tee

Jadene in our 'SELF-MADE MILLENNIAL' Tee


Q&A with Girl Boss, Jadene:

1. What advice do you have for a babe who wants to venture out and become a full-time makeup artist/start her own biz? 

If there's one piece of advice I can offer to women starting out in the field it would be to explore multiple arenas of the industry, to gain exposure and experience, and then focus on the area they love the most.

2. What’s your best advice on growing an organic and highly engaged following on Insta? 

Be true to yourself when you're posting- being original and creative is supper important too.

3. I’ve followed you for a few years now and have seen you grow as a makeup artist. Over the years, you’ve worked with celebs and have worked/work side by side with Ardell Beauty- hands down the best lashes on the market. Have you ever thought about possibly coming out with your own makeup line or starting a YouTube channel? 

Yes yes yes!! A makeup line is in the works! 

4. What has been the most rewarding part about being a global makeup artist and doing what you love on a daily? 

Getting to travel the world- I love traveling! Also, meeting my followers and fans around the world, seeing makeup trends in other places- that's where I often look to for inspiration.

I love the fact that I get to empower women to look and feel their best wherever they may be. Whether they're walking the red carpet, on a photo shoot or attending VIP events; I love the fact that I am able to help them reach their true/full beauty potential.

5. How do you stay inspired?

I always find inspiration when I'm traveling- I discover something new about my desires, my wants, my dislikes, my sexiness, and of course my love for MAKEUP every time I visit a new place!!

I love that I can do anything, go anywhere, and achieve anything I set my mind to.

6. Do you have any collabs or exciting projects in the works you can share with our babes? 

I'm super excited to announce that I am currently developing a brand new makeup line. I can't say much since it hasn't launched yet, but believe me it's going to be amazing! I've put countless hours and hard work into it.

I'm so excited for the launch!

Stay tuned to my Instagram (@jademunster) for more details! 


P.S. I've rounded up a few inspo pix of J's different makeup looks that I LURVEEE- I'm a suka for an all natch makeup look and if you are too then start pinning these to your Pinterest board like now!

You can find Jadene on IG @jademunster