Earlier this summer I spent time with my friend Jessie of Style & Pepper. Jessie and I lived in Kansas City at the same time, had lots of friends in common — and never met! I still don’t know how it was possible. We connected over the Internet, and then met up for the first time in New York. She ended up moving to Hoboken and me to DC, so now that we live four hours away from each other, I still see her pretty frequently (any reason to head up to NY!). She’s sweet, smart, savvy, and a vintage mixing pro. See where she took me in her new hood of Hoboken with her pooch Sadie.
Let’s hear from Jessie:
Why did you take me to the dog park, Dear Hannah, Ralph’s Italian Ice, Peper, Cafe Elysian, and Mackey Blue?
The dog park is an almost daily visit of ours, and I thought it would be fun for you to see Sadie in action with her buddies (plus, I know you love pups)! The stop at Ralph’s Italian Ice was a necessary treat on such a hot day, and is a fairly new discovery of mine since moving to the East Coast! Dear Hannah has such brightly colored pieces that seem to all have fairly clean / modern lines, and I love that it is locally owned by a sweetheart and fellow business woman here in Hoboken. I couldn’t resist sharing Peper’s amazing selection of footwear with you (plus I wanted to do a little browsing for myself), and Mackey Blue has quickly become my favorite shop in the whole town so that was another must-see! I went a total of three times that weekend, including our stop in on Friday morning. Cafe Elysian is an historical mainstay in Hoboken, and I had been wanting to enjoy a leasurely lunch on their pretty vine covered patio for a while now, but up until we went had only ever eaten inside at their gorgeous old oak-carved bar.
What are some of your other favorite places to eat, visit, and shop in Hoboken and why or what do you HAVE to get when you go to them?
We LOVE Dozzino for what is, by far, the most delicious pizza we’ve had since moving to the NYC-area. I could honestly eat there everyday and never get sick of their zucchini-flower and roasted garlic white pizza… Omg, YUM! Also major fans of Love & Yogurt for their peanut butter and coffee froyos, Empire Coffee for locally roasted and delciously brewed beans, and Charrito’s for some of the tastiest Mexican food I’ve had outside of Southern California I get the mexican veggie omelet almost every single time, and it’s BYOB so you bring a bottle of wine or handle of tequila and they turn it into a great big pitcher of sangria or margs, depending on your preference! Love Urban Nesters for another great locally owned spot to find home goods (most of which is made in the region), and Revival Vintage for gorgeous apparel and accessories.
Tell me how Style & Pepper came to be and all of the different things you do as part of your job?
Style & Pepper started as a total labor of love and was a creative life-presever that kept me afloat while I was at a job that felt like it was eating my soul. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to now blog as a part of my business, and my days consist of an always changing mix of the following: blogging, brand strategy, fashion writing (for other sites/brands), social media management, wardrobe styling (both commercial and personal), on-air hosting, and one-on-one entrepreneurial development. I usually just describe myself as a Style Expert & Creative Consultant, because I find that it’s usually the easiest way to roll all that into one title.
What have you learned from working in fashion and blogging industry?
I’ve learned to wear things that I truly love, as opposed to dressing for the masses or just trying out every popular trend, and also how to have a thick skin despite negative feedback/constructive criticism.
Have any opportunities come from S&P that otherwise may not have?
I would say 90% of my business opportunities have all come about from my blog, and for that, I’m VERY grateful. Even on the days that I’m feeling burnt out, or don’t know what to post, I remind myself that it’s one of the reasons that I have great clients and people who look to me for inspiration and style advice.
What are some of your creative goals?
I have so many (too many to name!), but would love to ultimately continue to provide/develop more on-air work and maybe even someday have my own fashion or lifestyle webshow. I’ve also been working on a larger writing project that will stay on the backburner for now, and another new workshop-like product that will hopefully be launching this fall!
What are some of the most exciting things that have happened to you because of S&P?
This past spring, I traveled across the US on a 6-week, 12-city Summer Trends media tour as the on-air spokesperson for Harper’s BAZAAR, and that was an amazing/exciting experience. I’ve also gotten the opportunity to work with and blog about some of my favorite brands, including a fairly new project becoming the blog ambassador for Alberto VO5 haircare. A few other exciting things in the works, and am humbled and blessed by every single opportunity that comes my way!
What is your fashion philosophy?
Wear what you love! I like to call my own style a head-tilting mix of vintage-inspired smile-inducing fun.
What are your favorite items in your wardrobe?
Anything vintage… the crazier the print and bolder the colors, the better. Oddly enough, the first thing that pops into my mind (probably because I’ve been daydreaming about wearing it for fall) is a vintage olive-green silk flight-suit looking romper with a super high waist, gold buttons & epaulets. Yep, that’s definitely gotta be one of my faves.