Recently, through a comment she left on my blog, I stumbled across This Charming Wanderer, and I was addicted at first glance. Jessica’s style is perfectly retro with a slight dash of quirk, and she is the loveliest girl! I am so excited that she agreed to be my featured July blogger (I haven’t been very good about doing that monthly, but I’m trying!) and it was such a pleasure getting to ask her questions and read them. I am so excited to share this little interview with you all!
**First of all, tell us a little bit about your blog; what inspired you
to get into fashion blogging?**
My blog is mostly a style blog, although I also include snippets of some of my favorite local spots, as well as music I’m into. Reading other blogs was my initial inspiration for getting into blogging. I found out about some fashion and interior design blogs, and it was like a domino effect after that. Although I liked reading magazines as well, I was struck by the accessibility of bloggers. These were real people who I felt inspired by. I also felt inspired by other students at Cal. In addition to sharing my style on the blog, I also include some other street style shots of other students on campus.
**You live in the San-Fransisco bay area; what are your favorite haunts? Do you ever play tourist in your hometown?**
Yes! We’re both originally from the L.A. area, and we love exploring the Bay. We’re aware that it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and constantly push o to find new spots. The Haight in San Francisco is a great neighborhood for shopping, with tons of vintage clothing and record shops. I’m also obsessed with the Alemany and Alameda Flea markets. This time of year, hanging out at Dolores Park in the Mission district is a must. It’s a great place to people watch, graze on gourmet bites from local food trucks, and enjoy sweeping views of the San Francisco Skyline. The East Bay also has a lot to offer. Art Murmur, a monthly street festival that attracts thousands, is lined with local shops and offers tons of ways to support local artists and musicians. In terms of nightlife, speakeasy inspired spots like Bourbon and Branch, the Hancock Room, Tradition and Bar 355 are all fun spots.
**I’ve always been a sucker for love stories, so I have to ask: how did
you and your husband meet?**
Jaze and I met through mutual friends at church. It was actually quite an ordeal at the beginning since we both mistakenly thought we were dating other people. Hilarity ensued in the confusion, and we shortly found ourselves spending nearly everyday together. Although we were not necessarily looking to commit at that time (we were very young!), everything just fell into place. We joke around and tell others that we finished raising each other. We’re best friends and have so much in common. Moving to Berkeley together has been an adventure we both cherish.
**Your style is so retro and quirky; what are your favorite places to
find items to wear?**
I love perusing through thrift and vintage shops like Pretty Penny Vintage and Down at Lulu’s. I find that one perk of living in a college town is that hidden gems can always be found at the local Crossroads or Buffalo Exchange. Vintage inspired clothing stores in San Francisco like Asmbly Hall and Fan clothing are also some of my favorites. I do love the convenience of online shopping. Some of my go-to online shops are Modcloth, Asos, and several Etsy stores.
**If you could live in any style era other than the present, which would
it be and why?**
The 60s without a doubt! I love 60s inspired clothing, make-up, and hairstyles. Everything from bouffants to shift dresses and Peter-Pan Collars. I feel inspired by the strong connection between music and style and the some of my favorite music including Soul, Rocksteady, and Garage Rock originated during that era.
**Who are your style icons?**
I would have to say Françoise Hardy, Audrey Hepburn, Gwen Stefani and currently Lana del Rey. Gwen Stefani has definitely been a huge inspiration. When I initially began dabbling in fashion, I felt a bit boxed-in. I had this notion that it was only possible to have one genuine style, and later found out otherwise. I love that there are so many facets to Gwen Stefani’s style, ranging from Mod, Pin-up, Rasta and Punk. She inspired me to dabble in differing styles and express myself through clothing. My style alternates from ultra feminine to edgy, and I love drawing inspiration from various decades.
**When did you become interested in fashion?**
Growing up my dad had a small clothing business and that initially sparked my interest. However during part of my teens, I felt lost and definitely followed several trends I now cringe over. In Southern California, where I grew up, there is a strong 50s and 60s subculture, and that is what initially sparked my interest in vintage fashion.
**Do you have any secret talents? (Mine is whistling through my tongue. 😉 )**
I can’t think of any…maybe imitating cartoon voices?
**Tell me a little bit about why you are going to Berkeley: you’re in your last semester; what will you do when you graduate?**
Attending Berkeley has certainly been an adventure. I’ve never worked harder! After I graduate I’m going to pursue a post-baccalaureate in Integrative Biology and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. While in grad school, I’ll be teaching English. I’ve been volunteering this summer teaching adults, and I’m absolutely loving it!
**And lastly, what is the best blogging advice you can give, or have been given?**
The best blogging advice I’ve been given is to network! Finding other like-minded bloggers and cultivating good relationships is of the utmost importance. The best blogging advice I can give, is to enjoy it! Initially, blog shoots were kind of a drab and it wasn’t until much later that I figured out why. I was so busy trying to get a good shot (which as other bloggers know can be quite time consuming) that I didn’t enjoy myself. Now Jaze and I make it a point to not make a shoot the main focus, but rather enjoy moments as we experience them. If we go to a nearby lake and snap some photos, we take what we need to have a picnic there as well. If we shoot in a given neighborhood, we head to a local spot to get some coffee or check out some shops. Bottom line is, blogging should be fun!
Isn’t she lovely? So please, go check out This Charming Wanderer! And thank you so much, Jessica, for agreeing to the interview!