Fashion Stylist Insider with Jenny Rodriguez
She's sweet, she's talented, and she's given us the insiders look at what the life of a fashion stylist is. More so, the journey and what it takes to get there.
How did you get to where you are now?
I always liked fashion. When I was in high school we had this program called ROP, which was an elective that gave you a feel of the career you wanted to pursue once you graduated. So I took fashion and merchandising. Interned at a store, kind of like a Macy’s. I interned there for about a couple months and then I got picked up for seasonal.
When I was a little girl I would go in my mom’s closet and play dress up with her clothes, so it’s something that I’ve always enjoyed. With that being said when I got the opportunity to work in retail, I really enjoyed it. It was in a way like dressing up, not yourself but dressing other people that would come in and shop. I always knew that was my niche. I applied to FIDM and I got accepted for Visual Communications.
I declined after I got accepted because at the time, I really wanted to pursue communications and broadcasting. I wanted to be on TV or radio. I applied at CSUN and I went there. Even when I was at Power 106, I always just knew I wanted to do something in fashion. When I got the opportunity to do my Power blog it was all fashion related. When celebrities would come in I would ask them about their sense of fashion and stuff like that. So it always just came back to fashion.
After 7 years of working at Power, I felt it was just time for me to really pursue my passion. Crazy how God works. My friend who works at E!, let me know that there was an opening in wardrobe. I applied at E!, and I got the job it was so surreal. I still remember how happy and excited I was when I got the news. I’ve been there 2 ½ years and I’ve done so much amazing things. So thankful!
Speaking of having a friend that told you about an opportunity, what three people (or things) would you attribute your achievements to?
The three people that always believed that this is what I always supposed to do was my friend Justin, Liz Hernandez , and my other friend “Make Up By Liz” (I just say “Make Up By Liz“ because the two of them are Liz’s). The three of them would always say to me, “You should do something with fashion! You have an eye!”
With the support, and help from my friends they gave me the extra push to take the leap of faith and go for it!
What top three lessons have you learned from your career journey?
Be patient, work hard, be persistent, and be assertive. I’m sorry I know that’s more than three but these are just things that are so important to me. You get frustrated when things aren’t coming as fast as you want them to you’re like, “Man! I feel I’ve been working so hard , when is my opportunity to going to come?” It’s just so important to be patient. Enjoy the journey because everything that you go through is meant to happen that way for a reason.
You know how those three people really encouraged you to just go for it? Was there ever a time where something was holding you back and if so, what was it?
For a while I was just scared, you know I was at Power 106 for seven years and it was just my comfort zone. At the same time, it was my livelihood as well. I was debating on leaving and not even having anywhere to go. Like, “It’s fine, I’ll just go work retail. I’ll have three or four jobs.” But I was always so scared because I had a stable job. I knew I could work Monday through Friday, it was secure. But at the same time it wasn’t making me happy and it wasn’t what I really wanted to do and was passionate about. My friends just kept telling me, “You just need to take the leap of faith and go full force! The doors will open up. You just have to take the risk!” Finally, when the opportunity came, I remember saying yes to the position without even knowing how much I was going to get paid. I was like, “I don’t even care!” I was willing to just start from the bottom because I knew that this is what I really want to do.
What was it at Power 106 that wasn’t really fulfilling your passion?
Well just because it wasn’t styling. I was doing videos and I was working for promotions. I would fill in for the social media manager when she wasn’t there but it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I mastered how to do social media (which I’m thankful for) and which is why I say you go through everything for a reason. It’s a good thing to have and to know. Especially in this day and age! I felt like I was there for a reason because I met incredible people and it taught me to have really thick skin and stick up for myself. But still I was lacking the passion for something I wanted to do every single day. I’m so grateful for it being my stepping stone and now I go to work everyday and I do what I love!
Why do you love what you do?
There’s nothing more rewarding than when you have an outfit ready for talent or for whoever you’re dressing and seeing how their face lights up and they feel good in what you pull. You also get to be creative. In the sense that you get to come up with really cool outfits and think outside the box sometimes when you do photo shoots! It’s just a fun and creative atmosphere.
Are you happy with this job long term or is this also a stepping stone to something else that you want to do?
I feel like I am definitely happy with it but I do want to do other stuff. Eventually I want to work with a magazine like Vogue or Elle. I want to have celebrity clientele.
Do you ever feel a huge amount of pressure from styling?
Sometimes when talent is on a crunch for time and you’re about to have a fitting and they don’t like anything because they’re just not feeling any of the looks, you feel pressure to come up with something quick because you need to send them out on set. So yeah there’s times. Everyone has their days where they just don’t feel like trying on clothes and you just have to give them one good look and send them out! So there is that pressure of having solid back ups in case they don’t like anything on the rack because there is some times where that can happen. You’re just like, “Oh my god! What am I going to do right now!”
So how does that work? You know who you’re going to style so you study that person and see, "Oh they might like this?" Or is it more so you decide this is in season, this is what I'm going to put on the rack?
Definitely you have to see what the trends are. But you also have to see what the person’s personality is because not every trend goes with everyone. You kinda have to figure out who the person you’re dressing is and what they like and fits them perfect because not everything goes on everybody.
What advice would you give to somebody who’s trying to get into what you’re doing now?
I would just say the best way to do it is intern with a stylist! That’s the best way you’re going to learn to do the job. Just being hands on. Getting into those situations, you have to learn how to be a problem solver and you have to be quick and efficient because they’re going to throw things at you and you just have to be ready to take it! You have to be quick and ask a lot of questions because it’s better to ask than assume. I would just say intern somewhere. If it’s with a show room or if it’s with a stylist just intern. That’s the best way you’re going to really see how this industry works.
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