Jen Worman, the fun, individualistic blogger behind Red Soles and Red Wine, talks to MODA this week about breaking into the fashion industry, jewelry design, and personal style.
MODA: Jen Worman, thank you so much for talking to MODA! So, let’s get started. You’ve lived in San Francisco and Manhattan, but now live in Chicago. How does the fashion scene in Chicago compare? Are there things you miss about living in NYC or SF? Do you consider yourself a “Chicago” blogger?
JW: What I love about each city is the diversity in style, but each city is stylish in their own way. I think climate is a big factor in the different styles too. Chicago is similar to San Francisco in that people are very friendly, laid-back, and somewhat casual. Style wise, Chicago fashionistas do an amazing job layering, accessorizing with cold weather accessories, and some are a bit edgier. In California, I find it a bit preppier in feel and of course due to warmer climates, they can pull off lightweight jackets all year around.
MODA: What made you decide to start blogging? Had you maintained a blog before starting Red Soles and Red Wine?
JW: My sister inspired me; she has been blogging for 3+ years and has a successful fashion blog. In addition, I never had the time before; my long hours working in corporate retail didn’t provide me the time to blog. When my sister and I decided to open our own company designing and selling fashion jewelry, I felt blogging would be a perfect marketing tool, as well as sharing my knowledge of styling and outfitting.
MODA: Wow, so that means you’re actually a jewelry designer! Is your jewelry design aesthetic the same as your style aesthetic?
JW: My designs are definitely my style! I love and wear every piece. I’m a true believer of doing what you are passionate about; I’ve followed this rule in my life and career. Success is achieved by following your passions. Designing for someone else is never a great idea, there’s a feeling that is conveyed when items are made or marketed and people can really tell when love and thought is put into each item.
MODA: What influences your jewelry designs? Do other jewelry designers inspire you? Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry from your own collection?
JW: I look everywhere for inspiration, sometimes it’s color, sometimes it’s shapes, and sometimes it’s materials. My sister and I both love glamorous things, as well as crystals; so many of our designs have a touch of crystals in them. I’m definitely inspired by other designers, seeing what others create push me to the next level. We definitely strive to keep on trend for each season, but classic at the same time so that our jewelry is wearable for years.
MODA: This might be a tricky question: if you could describe your style in one word, what would it be?
JW: Ever-changing; this is a hard question! I dress to my moods and have various styles. From preppy, to casual, to glamorous, to bohemian, my favorite thing to do is figuring out what I feel like wearing for the day/night!
MODA: As a stylist, what problems have you seen people run into when dressing themselves? What advice do you typically give to clients who haven’t refined their looks?
JW: People are scared to try something new and are stuck in the same fashion routine. Most people have great items in their closet, they just need someone else to mix and match it differently. People love routines so outfits also become routine. How many times have we worn our favorite outfits a couple times a month?
My biggest advice if your scared of trying something new but are dying to; go shopping with a fashionable friend you trust, have her choose some items for you to try on. And do not say no to anything! You would be surprised at what looks great and what you end up buying.
If you don’t feel comfortable going shopping with a friend, magazines can be your best friend. Choose someone’s style you love and try to replicate the outfit. This is an easy way to feel put together and stylish.
MODA: Do you have any advice for MODA readers who don’t just want to break into blogging, but the fashion industry in general? What are the pitfalls of jumping into a career in fashion?
JW: Do what your passionate about and don’t hesitate to call companies and ask if there are internships or openings! Many companies don’t post all their openings; I got my first corporate retail job by calling the HR department and hitting it off with the Director of HR. Network as much as you can in the fashion industry and be kind and smart. I’ll be honest, retail is a tough environment, but being professional, kind, and intelligent in the way you work will get you farther.
MODA: Jen Worman, thank you so much for taking the time to work with us! Before you go, where can we follow you?
Besides my blog at Red Soles and Red Wine, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. And don’t forget to check out my jewelry line!