Photos by Felicia Lasala.
RED Valentino dress (old, similar here and here; last seen here) // Mesh overlay dress (old, similar here) // Tory Burch shoes // Nannacay bag (last seen here; available in black and orange ombré) // J. Crew sunglasses // Chloé perfume
We are still deep in our DIY renovations downstairs, hence the lack of posts this past week. But we are almost finished, so that’s exciting! Until then, I am getting personal again today by sharing my blogging story. A lot of you have asked me how did I get my start in blogging, so today I am sharing that story.
My family would agree when I say I have loved playing dress up since I was 2. I’ve also been a dress lover since before I was born, and I would collect travel books to places around the world (and yes, even Disney World) every single time my mom would take me to the bookstore as a little girl. While I never expected it at the time, I was destined to have a career in style and travel as well as journalism, which all my English teachers used to suggest for me (and I ignored them like a true stubborn teenager).
I began modeling at age 16, and since I grew up in New Jersey, I used to commute often to the city for photo shoots and castings. This was my official introduction to the fashion world. Despite loving to dress up as a child, I had absolutely zero knowledge of the fashion industry. For the next 7 years, I modeled professionally in NYC and Los Angeles. While I loved what I did at the time, I never expected to model for the rest of my life. I always knew I would branch out into something else, however I had yet to discover what that “something else” was.
What’s funny is I personally feel my blogging story’s start isn’t incredibly interesting at all compared to so many others. My blogging story truly begins in 2013, when my husband ended up landing a lead role in the CW show Reign. This meant we would have to relocate to Toronto for 6-9 months out of the year for however long the show would last. My modeling career and agency were based in Los Angeles, but I wanted to travel to Toronto with Tor (and our cats) to support him and experience life in Canada (although I ended up traveling back to LA often especially when Toronto winters rolled in). My LA agency connected me with another modeling agency in Montreal so I could continue to model while abroad, but in my gut I felt that this wasn’t what I truly wanted to do anymore. I wanted to do something more than just modeling, so I took this as a sign to explore another venue.
At the encouragement of Tor, he suggested I should maybe look into blogging while I was in Canada. Initially, I didn’t look at it as a career or a way to make money. It was honestly something that could keep me busy and give me something to do. It also kept me in the fashion industry by exploring my own style. I was a former Miss USA and fashion model at this point, so I had experience within the fashion industry and had a “name” for myself. I also loved the challenge of styling myself now and discover what my own style was (as opposed to stylists on set choosing for me), and Tor always wanted to study photography but never had a real reason to and this was his chance to do so.
Finally in 2014, my first blogging site “Jumpers & Jasmine” launched. At first, my site only featured photos taken on my iPhone. We were testing the “blogging waters” to get an idea of what it involved, and Tor was still studying photography (as well as filming his television show). Then in 2015, I rebranded and relaunched as “The A List.” When I look back to where we first began and how this site came to be what it is now, I feel immense gratitude as well as pride. Now we work with designers and brands I have idolized for years as well as get to travel to places I used to daydream about in school (sorry, teachers – I swear I was paying attention, too!). While blogging is certainly a lot like modeling, as a blogger I feel I get to be more than just “a face” or even “a body” for a brand. I get to represent and talk about styles, brands, and items I genuinely love, and I like being able to connect with my readers and followers on a more personal level that I personally felt I couldn’t do while I was a model. This isn’t a slight against models at all, as each model has a different experience from the other. I’m just sharing how I felt and why blogging felt more appealing. We honestly didn’t expect blogging to become our way of life but at the same time, I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else.
Blogging isn’t easy. In fact, I personally find being a model easier than a blogger. There are plenty of challenging moments, and just like in modeling, there’s a bit of rejection. I am my own boss which sounds awesome but at the same time it can also be a little bit terrifying especially when you run your own business. However, no matter how many times I have felt defeated or challenged in a way that makes me feel out of my league, I am still the happiest doing what I do now for The A List. It incorporates all of my passions, and it also gives me the chance to work alongside my husband (he’s the best partner in life I could’ve asked for). I look forward to seeing where my blogging story takes us many years from now!
Photos by Felicia Lasala.