Back in October, I added a feature to The Dressed Aesthetic where I introduce you to smart and stylish woman I find inspiring and put some welcome, positive messages across our retinas (you can read about my last SSS Lady here). I think it’s important in this day and age, where all I seem to see are ladies in competition with each other, to instead lift one another up and celebrate the awesomeness that comes into our orbit.
So, without further adieu, here’s my second installment of Smart, Sassy and Stylish! really excited about this one, which is featuring a fellow blogger-turned-friend who I truly hope to meet in person some day! I’m consistently blown away by the incredible women I’ve met through this adventure, and the ways they’re using their corners of the internet to make a difference in the world.
Meet one of my favorite gals of the blogosphere, Jessica of Pin Up Persuasion.
Jessica and I met as all ladies seem to do these days, via Instagram. I had been following her lovely outfit posts with gusto and lusting after her glorious crimson locks, and she had been following my daily looks and admiring two dress twins I have in a seaside oceanic print that she had been desperately seeking. So, almost silently but with mutual resolve, we joined forces in a feverish hunt for her for a seaside border print dress like mine. After a few false starts and stops, the seaside print was found (we vintage huntresses don’t mess around). Our friendship was fully cemented when we realized, not only do we shared a passion for circle skirts, PUG and border prints, but lo and behond, were the exact same size (save a few inches of height…) Yeah. Danger, danger Will Robinson! I scored this beautiful dress from Jessica’s collection and the rest, as they say, is history.
Following our initial IG chats, we’ve sent many an email zipping through the inter webs (she even invited me to do a guest post on her blog on Accessorizing 101, which I was tickled pink by!) I discovered she lives in Canada and has been embracing the pinup lifestyle slowly over the last decade. Cursory pleasantries gave way to chatting openly about challenges bloggers face and the competitive nature of women. It was refreshing to have a confidante who shared a similar blog ethos – which is that there is plenty of room in the blogosphere for everyone. I love the idea of building a community of inclusivity – and when you have a partner in crime on that adventure, so much the better…
Like TDA is for me, Pin Up Persuasion is a labor of love for Jessica, and she pours her heart into it outside of her 9 to 5. On top of fully embracing her style, she also has an important role in her company that she worked her way up to, from a part-timer while at uni and now in a supervisory role. I love independent women who celebrate themselves and kick some serious professional arse while doing it.
If you haven’t yet ventured there, Jessica’s blog is pinup heaven incarnate. She shares her knowledge of the retail pinup industry in her posts – from products reviews of quality, cut, and fit, and is particularly sensitive to sporting the pinup style without necessarily breaking the bank. I truly appreciate how genuine her posts are – every time I read her latest I feel as though I’ve curled on the sofa in my comfiest pajamas, cup of cocoa in hand, ready to chat with my closest friend. As someone who also writes the way I talk, I appreciate the way she brings you into her world.
So, I wanted to get some insight into this fabulous pinup. Jessica kindly obliged me in answering some questions on her style, her blog, and her fabulous, unparalleled passion for all things unique. Pajamas on, cocoa in hand, welcome to Pin Up Persuasion:
Q: Tell me a little about yourself.
Jessica: “It is always so hard to talk about yourself but here goes…what many people don’t know is that I am actually French Canadian and fluent in both French and English. I lived in Montreal for 4 years for work but eventually settled in London, Ontario where I now live with my husband Darren and three dogs, Zina, Emma and Bruin. In the little spare time outside work and blogging, I love indulging in my artistic side with cake decorating, getting crafty, drawing, painting, etc. My guilty pleasure is reading young adult series like the Mortal Instruments (these are highly addicting), Hunger Games, and Divergent.
In the past few years, I have been fortunate to travel to several amazing destinations like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Las Vegas, Chicago, and just recently Disney World! Yes, I am a HUGE Disney fan and child at heart. My all time favorite characters are Stitch and Snow White.
At first glance, people might not notice but I am an avid collector of tattoos. I have been commemorating my passions and interests: pinup, vintage, Disney, strawberries, etc. One by one with the help of some incredibly talented artists, I now have several masterpieces that capture them all beautifully.”
Q: When & why did you start Pinup Pesuasion? Can you tell us a little bit about the mission behind your blog?
Jessica: “Pin Up Persuasion began long before the launch of my blog. It all started with the Pinup Girl Clothing fan page, where I was very active with helping fellow fans and from there I created a private online group with several ladies I met through PUG. One of those ladies, now a great friend of mine came up with the name Pin Up Persuasion for our group. It was those amazing ladies that encouraged me to start a larger network to share my knowledges and helpful tips about the online world of vintage reproduction clothing. From there, Pin Up Persuasion was launched in December 2011! Little did anyone know…I had never even read a blog, I knew nothing about writing but I was determined to find a way to help others who shared in my passion. The mission has remained the same, even after 4 fabulous years…”Inspiring Dames with a Passion for Pinup & Vintage.”
Q: Have you always embraced a pinup style? What sparked your passion for it?
Jessica: “In a nutshell, no. For many years I appreciated pinup fashion from afar and never thought it was a look that I could pull off. It wasn’t until I placed my first order from Pinup Girl Clothing more than 6 years ago now that truly changed my life forever. I always wore ill fitting clothes that hid my curvy shape and had zero self confidence. The change did not happen overnight, but with each piece of clothing I purchased from PUG, my confidence grew and so did my passion for the pinup lifestyle. For the first time ever, I found clothing that accentuated my curves and made me feel fabulous in them.”
Q: Blogging is an incredible way to connect with people around the world – has yours ever been the catalyst for long-lasting friendships?
Jessica: “This is the most incredible blessing that came from blogging. I have made several long-lasting friendships in the past few years, these ladies are my heart and soul. My best friend Amber from Minnesota was actually a guest writer for Pin Up Persuasion and our friendship just took off from there. We talk every single day and travel great distances to spend time together. There are several friendships that blossomed from the pinup community that I hold near and dear to my heart, it’s impossible to list them all without rambling on. I hope to someday meet each one of them as I’m so thankful to have them in my life.”
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to embark on his or her own pinup journey? For someone who is thinking of starting their own blog?
Jessica: “Go for it! Pinup is for everyone, it does not discriminate no matter what shape or size you are. We each have something unique to contribute and don’t let anyone tell you differently. There is a lot of hard work and time that goes into a blog, so be sure it’s a commitment you are ready to take on without expecting a pay check in return.”
Q: I love that you are always giving advice to pinups on a budget! What are your top tips for getting the look without investing a ton of money?
- First know your budget and stick to it.
- Add versatile mix and match separates (tops, skirts, pants) to your wardrobe to create multiple looks.
- Accessories! These are a cheap and easy way to change up any outfit and easy to find at any local store or thrift shop.
- Shop budget friendly shops & brands like Le Bomb Shop, The Oblong Box, H&R London, Hell Bunny, thrift stores, etc.
- Wait for sales, there are always sales throughout the year where you can score expensive items for much less. A fine example are the PUG online yardsales, fabulous dresses that retail for well over $120 for only $60.
- Build your wardrobe slowly, one item at a time and before you know it, there will be a closet full of pretties in front of you.
Q: You’ve gotten to work with some incredible brands & bloggers – what’s been your favourite collaboration?
Jessica: “Oh this one is a tough one…there are so many great companies that I have been so blessed to work with and I don’t like to choose favorites. One of my most recent collaborations with Pinup Girl Clothing was definitely dream come true since they are the reason I first began this journey that changed my life forever.”
Q: If you could go back in time and give yourself three pieces of advice, what would they be? What would you tell a younger you?
- Be yourself, don’t be afraid to be different.
- Stand up for yourself (If only I knew that then, I would have stood up to those losers that teased and tormented me everyday).
- It’s gets better….on the worst of days when you think there’s no one that cares, know that you are not alone
Q: Staying true to yourself takes courage. Where do you get your confidence from?
Jessica: “I have to credit my professional career for defining the confident person that I am today. It is there that I learned to stand up for myself, be heard and not be afraid to go against the grain. Those new found skills quickly landed me in leadership roles where I had to create a positive atmosphere and keep the team motivated. Once I found professional success, it was only a matter of time that I had to focus on the personal side. Those same qualities apply today, dressing pinup is not being afraid to stand out in the crowd. Confidence can only come within; I was fortunate to find mine through my passions and sharing them with people that enjoy them as well. Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself competing in a vintage swimsuit competition, but I did it this past year at Viva and it was one of the most memorable experiences my life.”
Q: Dressing outside of what is considered “normal” will always garner comments. What’s been your most positive and most negative experience in the blogosphere? How do you respond?
Jessica: “A lot of bloggers are faced with the dreaded online trolls that only have nasty hurtful things to say, but I am very fortunate to not receive such hateful remarks. In 4 years, not having one negative experience is such a blessing. The most positive experience actually just happened recently and it left me completely speechless. One of my fans said “I was one of her style icons”. It was quite humbling as I don’t see myself as a public figure or anyone to look up to…just an every day gal that shares her interests in hopes of helping others.”
Q: Do you have any advice for women who haven’t quite grown into their confidence yet?
Jessica: “The first step is believing in yourself and focusing on what makes you happy. Self-confidence takes baby steps; find your pillars to support you and lean on them when you’re having off day or struggling for any reason. The vintage/pinup community is one of the most supportive group of men and women I have ever met and they always make everyone feel welcomed.”
Q: To end, finish this sentence: When I grow up, I want to be…..
Jessica: “I’m not sure if I’ll ever grow up!”
Isn’t she the absolute cutest? I’ve truly loved getting to know Jessica through our email exchange and this post. The overwhelming feeling I get from Jessica’s blog and from Jessica herself is welcoming – like hot buttered toast on a rainy day, her blog is like a hug that tells you you belong here. It’s fun. Effervescent. Imbued with individuality. She is one of the loveliest people I’ve met in this blogging adventure.
For inspiration and general all around loveliness, I highly recommend following Pin Up Persuasion on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her blog. Trust me. Like me, you will feel like a better person for having known her.
Supplied where possible. For the rest, check out Jessica’s fabulous blog!
All photos in this post courtesy of Pin Up Persuasion