The project all began with a conversation this winter that I had with Jennifer Kessler, owner and Creative Director at Ghinda. After a day at our downtown studio, we settled in to finish our neglected lattes from that morning’s meetings, and wistfully discussed the impact the fashion and beauty industries have on us all the time—be it on the day of your wedding, your first day at a new job, the last visit from your family—and how, unfortunately, the force that these industries have on our lives can sometimes take us away from ourselves. Our goal behind the Ghinda Beauty Project is to present a reminder to all women that beauty—really, truly, and simply—isn’t on the outside only. It shows itself in your drive, your actions, what you do when you get out of bed in the morning. Beauty has many facets and we are delighted to shed light on them with you. Don’t get us wrong, we still love (love, love, love) shopping and getting our eyebrows done, but we want to take time to highlight other awesome features, too; The women we’ll be interviewing may be entrepreneurs, brides-to-be, freelance artists, or just acquaintances who inspire us. No matter what, we can’t wait to share them doing their thing, their way with all of you.
Working for Jen at Ghinda for the last 10 months has taught me many things. Not only have I learned more about business, but I’ve seen firsthand how a positive outlook and kindness can totally enrich my every day life. So, in honor of her recent birthday, and since a conversation with her got this whole thing started, I talked her into answering a few questions to kick things off for the Ghinda Beauty Project:
Donna: What does beauty mean to you?
Jen: Beauty is about being completely comfortable and free in your own skin. It seems like beauty is about knowing it’s not about what’s on the outside.
Donna: What do you think has driven you to accomplish what you have at such a young age?
Jen: I have never considered anything else.
Donna: What do you think the secret to feeling beautiful in your own skin is?
Jen: Confidence that you are free and perfect in whatever way you choose to express yourself.
Donna: You work with a lot of women–from interns to brides to photographers–There are negative stereotypes about women working together, how do you disprove them?
Jen: It’s about building each other up and being genuinely happy for another’s success.
Donna: Name three things that routinely inspire you.
Jen: Nature, artists, music
Donna: What are your best words of advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs regarding confidence?
Jen: Just jump.
Donna: Do you think femininity is too often defined by appearance?
Donna: What is the most important part of your work day (besides coffee!)?
Jen: My workout/run time when I get to be alone and rejuvenate.
Donna: Did you have any birthday wishes you want to share?
Jen: Yes!! But if I told them they wouldn’t come true.
Photo of Jen by Jennifer Schaaf of Jojo Photography and Film. Hair and makeup by Leigh Ann Ehmann of Make You LLC. Jewelry designed by Jamie Riley of White Truffle Studio.
Watercolor logo created by Linzi Rigsby.
Interviewed by Donna Hoffman, Social Media and Event Coordinator at Ghinda Couture Bridal.