That Penny Life
Posted on January 14 2019
It’s interesting how we can re-create ourselves through life. Our roles change & evolve. While some are born and nurtured, others are tucked away, folded nice & neat in a pile in case we ever want to “wear” them again down the road. Personally, I’m playing more roles today than ever in my past including: mom, wifey, entrepreneur, fitness lover, stylist, public speaker, MC & most well known as the founder of Jolie Gotique. That Penny Life has become one of challenge, excitement, love, risk taking, meticulous planning – all with a pinch of glam. It has required “I am who I am” kind of attitude that I’ve happily learned to embrace.
Outside BLVD Scarsdale - when you ask a stranger to take a pic (LOL)
Let’s rewind for a moment…Three years ago I launched a fashion business from scratch, created my first instagram profile @joliegotique and went knee deep as the face, founder and model for my small business. Clearly I didn’t have the budget to hire models. Although I wasn’t camera shy, the initial experience of standing in front of a photographer was mind-blowing with no prior modeling in my back pocket. Given the business was named after my daughter, Jolie, we became a twosome representing both the womens & girls collections. Voila, two “models” were born and boy have I learned a lot about angles, lighting, smiling, and leg position!
Photo Credit: N. Lalor Photography for Jolie Gotique (Sept 2017)
Over time and lots of sharing of photographs I became comfortable with this “model” role (I still get jitters to this day). Further, I began to open up on instagram and share more personal details of the mom and family behind the business. Fashions are exciting but stories are what make us unique.
At the beginning of 2018 something unexpected occurred – I was approached by a major designer fashion line, Alice & Olivia, to model and host an event. I had never imagined opportunities like this would come my way. I’m not a blogger nor did I carry Alice & Olivia in my boutique. I was chosen because someone in the social media world found my story interesting. Part of my role was to promote the event and brand – but how? On a whim, at home one night, I announced to my husband that I would start a new instagram feed. The truth is that I gave it no prior thought therefore the only logical name I could come up with was @pennygotique – a spin off of my core fashion business. The Alice & Olivia event was an incredibly fun and successful experience that would surely start and end there.
Photo Credit: Photography By Inga for Alice & Olivia Greenwich
I was wrong. Since early 2018 I have been the speaker at a “Brainistas” presentation on mom style. I hosted an event for Athleta. I worked with Lord & Taylor Scarsdale and The Local Moms Network to style and MC a fashion show with their incredible pre-holiday collections. I was asked back by Alice & Olivia to model, host and promote a holiday event in benefit of Jessica Seinfeld’ non-profit Good+ Foundation. All the while running Jolie Gotique, my core business. Then most recently, I had a Pinch me moment. Bloomingdales came knocking on my door (or email!).
I’ve reflected a lot on how and why I have been the recipient of these incredible collaborations when in reality my initial exposure came from Jolie Gotique – a business that was unassociated with any of the partnerships. What’s clear to me is that the stories of our lives are interesting. While we may play many roles daily without patting ourselves on the back, someone else out there is inspired. I’m not a blogger, but I am a storyteller – sharing the stories of my fun & crazy life and the amazing part is that others are taking note.
My favorite photo to date at a Rangers Hockey Game (selfie in fact)
Recently I decided on a name change to my personal instagram feed, now called @ThatPennyLife_ because that’s exactly what I share: Glimpses into my real and raw life. Most posts are taken with my iphone, by my husband, kids or perfect strangers on the street (nothing wrong with that!). They are real time & unedited (although I do sometimes adjust lighting). The feed is made up of travels, motherhood, unedited dance videos (my favorite!), date nights, work-life at Jolie Gotique, and of course my kids – who are often without perfect outfits because my son insists on wearing sports related clothing and my daughter refuses to wear dresses anymore (sigh!). @ThatPennyLife_ is also an outlet for me to connect with like minded women – something I never anticipated.
I’m not spending much time defining @ThatPennyLife_ or my goals there, but I do know the squares of photos and associated stories will always be the perfectly imperfect version of That Penny Life.
Some of my favorites: