WHAT: This Season’s Gold
Like so many of our members, Jessica plays multiple roles in her daily life. She is a wife, a teacher, a blogger, a fashionista, a traveler and above all, a mother. Reading through her blog it is evident that she is also a very strong and passionate person who seeks to not only enjoy life's little treasures, but to inspire you as she shares her story through everything that she loves and holds dear: fashion, family and travel.
Jessica is proof that beautiful things can come out of our most troubled times. Read her interview below to find out more of her difficult journey, why she loves blogging and how she hopes to inspire others who may be going through similar circumstances.
- Tell us about how TSG got started?
“I started This Season's Gold last year. We just celebrated one year last month! I found myself wanting to write a blog for a very long time about fashion and travel, but I was either too busy or too afraid to sit down and make it happen. And then in Nov. 2014, I found myself facing an unspeakable loss when my daughter was stillborn at 34 weeks. I, who loved and appreciated fashion, found myself not wanting to put on makeup or care about getting dressed in anything but the same black sweater, sweatpants and boots. Soon after, I realized I needed to pick myself up, and care again; for myself, my 5 year old son, and my family. Writing This Season's Gold became my way of regaining my strength and my love for all the things that I felt made me a strong woman to begin with. I wanted to honor my daughter and what it would have meant to share fashion and travel with her if she were born. And most importantly, I needed to be a role model for my son to show him that you can persevere in the face of adversity and heartbreak, as long as you don't give up.”
- How did the name come about?
“My daughter's nursery decor was going to be blush pink, light green and prominently gold. And at the time of my loss in the fall, I distinctly remember feeling that all of nature's colors around me were gold. Fall is my favorite season, and she was a beautiful treasure for me to hold before saying goodbye. The name of the space is meant to honor her.”
- Is TSG your full time job?
“I have been teaching theatre for over 10 years, so I write This Season's Gold part-time. However, I do post at least twice or 3 times a week, especially my series ‘Sunday Favorites.'”
- How do you manage to fit blogging into your schedule?
“I have the need to be very detailed and perfect about everything. I have a vicious work ethic, especially when I am passionate about what I do. I usually take the time in the late evenings to write and edit, so I rely on time and task management skills that I have developed over the years by working as a financial analyst, celebrity personal assistant, actor, and teacher to make sure I get it done.”
- How did you first become interested in fashion?
“When I was younger, I used to watch my mom get ready to go out with her friends for a girl's night out. She had the most beautiful dresses and fanciest shoes, and she was always flawless with her hair and makeup; definitely a disco queen in her day. She always sparkled in my eyes, and I loved trying on her clothes when she wasn't looking. Plus, I literally had every fashion magazine subscription I could get my hands on as a teenager. I wanted to be in Seventeen magazine so badly! 🙂 I believe that was the beginning of my fascination and love for fashion, especially with shoes and experimenting with all types of styles.”
- How would you describe your style?
“My style is constantly changing, although I lean most towards a classic style that makes my petite 5′ frame look as tall as possible. I live in my heels, but I love a good pair of laid back kicks just the same. A great dress or pair of jeans are really what I find most fun to style. A good portion of my closet is from J.Crew, and others like Ann Taylor, Anthropologie and Zara, but I equally love finding pieces when I travel. Most frequently, I've been a bit indulgent with online finds since I'm always seeking for new ways to express my personal style.”
- What are your favorite spring items?
“Spring is perfect for color! Right now, I am obsessing over lace details and structured jackets and vests. While I love a great print, I appreciate that mixing textures can be another way to elevate a look. Lace is great because it can be styled to look romantic or edgy, and you can't go wrong with a well-tailored blazer or vest.”
- How do you use social media, and what role does it play in your blogging life?
“Before starting This Season's Gold, I was only on Facebook and didn't share too much. But after my loss, I felt compelled to speak out more, and not only about bringing awareness to the taboo topic of stillbirth, but about everything. There is something very freeing about having a voice in social media, and I've been working a great deal on finding the balance between sharing on social media and my blog. I believe it plays a large role in promoting a brand and sharing a piece of how you see the world. We all have our stories to tell, and to have witnesses to that story in my corner of the world feels like I am not only using my love for fashion and travel as therapy, but as a way to inspire other women when they are in need of finding a place to connect with similar passions. Social media is a value to helping those stories travel.”
- How do you monetize your blog and your brand?
“I use affiliate links, and on a few occasions have had sponsored posts. I hope in the future to connect with a few key brands that would allow me to promote inspiration in fashion and travel with my unique point of view.”
- What is your favorite thing about blogging?
“It heals parts of my soul that no other joy I have can fix. I know that sounds quite profound, but it's true. Being able to connect to my inner voice and share it with others knowing somehow I may very well be inspiring just one woman (or man) to face the day, to find something to wear that makes them feel stronger and more confident, or just have a quick laugh as they browse through the web; that's all that matters to me. I am passionate about inspiring and motivating people. I love knowing that I can be a part of something that makes the world a better place, even if for only a moment. I believe that is what I was meant to do.”
- Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?
“I do! I have an intern who will join This Season's Gold for the summer, and I have two style events with some of my favorite brands coming up within the next few weeks. I am so honored to host these types of events because I can meet and celebrate style with women who are inspired by what I do and share.”
- How has blogging affected your career?
“I've done a great deal in my life, so I like to think of writing This Season's Gold as another career! The experience of having a platform to share my love of fashion and personal style, family and travel to inspire others has only made my level of engagement in life all that more interesting. I know that I could have easily not have done a blog, gone back to my life after losing my daughter and would have felt empty in ways that I would not know how to explain. Having This Season's Gold is like having her with me always, not how I wish, but nonetheless in my heart and in my words. I am simply grateful for those who choose to join the journey with me.”
- What advice would you give to aspiring fashion bloggers?
“Follow your passion without fear. Nothing will make sense to you if you aren't doing this work without pure love for it. Prepare to value what it means to show grit in your work, have fun and go after what you want. Most importantly, be honest and genuine.”