Since Day 1, we have been all about real, rad women who are kicking butt and embracing all that makes them unique. We believe there's no such thing as too much girl power, so we're starting a new series where we'll be showcasing some badass babes who are staying true to themselves.
First up: Meet Jen Hsieh! Jen lives in New York, works full time at Etsy, and has a blog that chronicles her style, travels, and daily adventures. She's a creative mind, a spunky soul, and is refreshingly herself in an online world that can be smothered with sameness. Read on for our interview with with Jen, and get to know this real, rad lady!
Tell me about your blog! Why did you start it and what is it focused on?
I actually started fashion blogging because of my high school best friend, Phebe. She was moving across the country for college and she suggested we start a fashion blog together to stay in touch (at this point in my life, I was not fashionable in the slightest - my friends will confirm). Eventually she stopped blogging and I kept it up as a way to keep up with my photography and to document the evolution of my personal style. Turns out, I ended up on this journey for almost a decade.
What’s your full time gig?
I work at Etsy on their Design team as a Senior Project and Production Manager.
What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
The weird and crazy people I get to meet through the community. I've gotten to know and meet so many awesome bloggers over the years and it's great being able to connect with someone who can relate to your blogging adventures.
Your photos and captions are refreshingly hilarious (and why we love you so much!). How do you stay true to that when there is so much sameness out there?
I focus on who I am and what I'm actually doing in my day-to-day life. A lot of bloggers, many of who I love, post aspirational photos that are highly stylized, producing photos that are similar to what you would see in magazines. However, for me, I'm not going to be standing with a bouquet of balloons and eating a popsicle in the middle of the road (and my fiancé Jeremy, who takes the majority of my photos, would not put up with that - ha).
"I've found that my own honest point of view was enough, and that others found that to be relatable."
Your cats...tell me everything.
Bubba, our 13-year old Himalayan Persian, was the first one to join the family about three years ago. His first owner passed away when he was 9 and he was adopted by a single mother in Queens, NY from a kill shelter. Unfortunately, she already had two cats and one kept bullying him, so she put him up on Craigslist where we found him and our lives were never the same. Now I can't fall asleep unless Bubba has climbed into bed next to me. Jeff Goldblum joined the clan about a year and a half ago; he was found in the middle of winter roaming the streets of East Harlem and someone brought him to a local vet. He was up for adoption for three months and all of his fellow kitties were getting adopted quickly (people opted for the orange tabby cats instead of a Tuxedo) so we came to his rescue (I got Jeremy tipsy beforehand so he would be more open to the idea of a second cat). He's got so much energy and talks non-stop.
What is one of your goals or dreams for the next few years?
Oh man, this is assuming I do any long-term planning. So far, I'm working on convincing Jeremy to get a third cat. That's about it, to be honest.
What's one of the most ridiculous things you've done for or because of blogging?
When I started blogging in college, it was hard for me to recruit friends to take my photos over the summer break. So, I got a tripod and took a ton of self-portraits, which in itself is super awkward in public spaces. Once I found a construction site and I thought it would be so edgy to take photos on an Excavator. I try to bury those photos but they pop up every now and again to haunt me.