A “sensible shopaholic” sounds like a contradiction – how can one be addicted to shopping while being practical and rational?
Jenny, The Sensible Shopaholic, shares with us her smart shopping habits and how she found her name within the fashion and lifestyle blogging space.
Read on to learn about why she took the leap from a Fortune 500 company, how she stays focused in the wild world of social media, and smart ways she balances work and family. Plus, see all the casual luxe ways she’s styling her LINEA Paolo shoes!
How did you come up with the name “The Sensible Shopaholic” and what does it mean to you?
Even though I’ve always loved to shop a tad too much, I pride myself on being smart with money. In my opinion, being smart with money doesn’t mean being cheap. It’s splurging on pieces I truly love and will use for years to come than saving on things that will go out of style in a year or two.
I came up with the name “The Sensible Shopaholic” with my husband after sitting by the fire pit while enjoying a few glasses of wine. I’ll admit, we had a number of other ideas, but this was the best one that still had a domain name available for purchase. Both of us are practical to a fault and I didn’t want to start a brand and potentially have to share it with someone else or rebrand at a later date (again, being sensible). Let’s just say it suits me perfectly!
What are 5 “forever pieces” in your wardrobe that you cannot live without and why?
- a denim jacket
- a great pair of jeans
- comfortable sneakers!
- a simple black dress
- black leggings
With these items, you can always pull together an outfit that is comfortable, practical, and stylish.
Are there any pieces of clothing you dream of passing onto your daughter as she grows up?
Not clothing, but I do have a few accessories that I’m saving for when she gets older.
I have my Prada bag I bought in Italy when I was studying abroad in college, my David Yurman bracelets, my Burberry scarf, and my diamond earrings my husband gave to me as a wedding gift. She’s still too young to appreciate these things, but I can’t wait to give them to her one day.
What is the one fashion category you love to splurge on the most?
That’s a no brainer. Shoes. I’m 1000% a shoe girl!
Who are some of your fashion influences?
As crazy as it sounds, I’ve never had one person who I’ve looked up to style-wise. I’ve always paid attention to new styles popping up in magazines and stores and made my own decisions about which trends I want to jump on or skip over. These days, I’d say I’m absolutely influenced by other bloggers in my Instagram feed. However, I’m not the kind of person who tries to fit into a perfect blogger mold. Still, to this day, there are a lot of trends that I intentionally pass over because they are just not me. Instead, I choose items that I truly love and can fit into this phase of life.
What are 3 shopping tips you can share with someone who wants a brand-new wardrobe?
- Don’t feel like you need to spend thousands to refresh your closet. Splurge on a few basics that you will wear over and over, such as jeans that make you feel amazing, a great jacket, or a fantastic pair of boots.
- Then, find fun, affordable pieces that speak to you and make you feel like yourself. I believe you can find cute things at any store if you just look around. Don’t feel like you need to shop at the most expensive store in town.
- Finally, watch the sales. I very rarely pay full price for anything over $50. I regularly wait for sales around holiday weekends, follow other bloggers and use their promo codes, and even buy items I’ve been eyeing on Poshmark.
What are some closet essentials you believe every woman should have in their closet?
Jeans that make you feel like they were made for you, a black leather jacket, a dress that can easily be dressed up or down, and shoes that make you happy. It doesn’t matter what kind of shoes. Just ones that bring joy!
You have worked for a Big 4 accounting firm as an IT consultant for 12 years and are now a full-time mom and a part-time blogger. What inspired the switch and how was the transition between the two careers?
My entire life, I’ve always dreamed of being the mom who helps in the classroom, picks my kids up at school, and very rarely misses a game or practice. While I’ve always given 100% at everything I’ve done, I reached the point at the accounting firm (Deloitte & Touche) where I wasn’t raising my family in the way my husband and I wanted to. Something had to change, and after one too many calls from daycare saying my kids were sick, I decided to trade in my heels for yoga pants.
The funny thing is I’ve always been, what I’d call, a worker. I am actually a pretty terrible stay-at-home-mom, as cooking isn’t exactly my thing and I’m known to let clean laundry sit in the basket unfolded for more than a few days. I started “The Sensible Shopaholic” even before I left my job at Deloitte, so it truly felt like I went from one thing into the next.
In a lot of ways, it wasn’t all that different. I was used to working with clients and was always willing to figure out something new on the computer. I designed my own website, learned how to edit photos, and was well-versed in being professional and meeting deadlines. I had no idea where “The Sensible Shopaholic” would go, but it has been such a fun journey.
What do you love about blogging the most?
That I’m able to be the hands-on mom I’ve always wanted to be while having a job I truly love. For me, that’s the best of both worlds.
What advice can you give to those who work full time and aspire to be a blogger/influencer?
Don’t do it to get rich quick or become insta-famous. That really doesn’t happen. Figure out your passion is and write about that. Be yourself, don’t be afraid to be different, and put yourself out there. Share the good and the bad and do it because you truly enjoy sharing your passion.
Besides blogging about shopping, you also write about your personal life and family – how do you balance your time between being a mother and a blogger? How do you balance “capturing the moment” vs. “living in the moment?”
I made the conscious choice, when I started blogging, to make my blog about me instead of about my kids. I tried my best to stay away from the whole “mommy blogger” category, as I’m way more passionate about shoes than diapers. Yes, I do share photos and stories about my family from time to time, but I never wanted anyone in my family to feel uncomfortable about a job I decided to do. I signed up for this; they didn’t. I don’t want my kids to look back and be embarrassed about the photos I shared with them over the years, which is why I only share things that I believe are pretty standard like pictures with Santa, a photo on the beach from a family vacation, or wearing Halloween costumes.
For me, family always comes first. I decline a good majority of the campaigns and blogger event invites I receive because it isn’t worth it to me to spend time away from my kids and husband. I also continue to say I’m still only a part-time blogger because when it comes down to it, I spend way more time being a mom than I do blogging.
Now here’s a fun little secret – my family takes 99% of my photos. My husband usually shoots all my photos for bigger campaigns, but my kids help me out with taking pictures from time to time. This means that I never take time away from my family to do big formal photo shoots and I only shoot outfits that I actually wear in real life. I’ve found this makes my content more authentic and relatable for other moms in this same phase of motherhood. Also, we never really go out of our way to find the perfect insta-worthy location, as a good portion of my photos come from my house or the side of a parking lot. We’ve mastered the 30 second photo shoot and move on with our day. Although I’ll admit, I’m lucky to live in Arizona because the desert landscape right outside my door is pretty insta-beautiful.
When it gets tough, do you have any favorite quotes or mantras that help realign you towards your goals? What are they and what do they mean to you?
One of my favorite quotes has always been “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today” by Will Rogers. My husband will 100% agree with me when I say I’m a worrier by nature. When things don’t go as planned, I get anxious. Over the last year and a half, we’ve been remodeling our home and seriously nothing has gone according to plan. No, that hasn’t been easy, but that’s life. Life isn’t easy. Trying to stay positive and keep plugging forward instead of looking backward really helps me stay focused and energized. Will Rogers definitely knew what he was talking about.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received and treasure?
My dad has always told me to write down my goals. I can’t tell you how many times he’s said that to me throughout my lifetime, but that advice truly didn’t mean much until I started blogging. Even at Deloitte, we were required to set goals every single year but it always felt more like an administrative task than something I was really working towards. However, a few years ago I started to set very specific goals related to my blog and wrote them down in a note on my phone. And, believe it or not, I achieved every single one of them. I now do this every single year and will continue to pass this piece of advice onto my own kids.
It’s a new decade! Any exciting projects we can look forward to? What are some things you’re looking forward to in 2020?
The biggest thing I’m looking forward to this year is finishing our remodel. My husband and I bought a “fixer upper” in May of 2018 and I never thought we’d still regularly have contractors at our house in 2020. We are hoping to finish the rest of the project and truly start living in our home versus working on it all the time. I can’t wait to share “the before and after” photos because it has been quite the transformation!
We see how you are on URL. Where are you most likely to be IRL (in real life)?
At my kids’ school or sporting events, at the gym, or at Target. I’m not at a fancy phase of life and that’s OK! I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Share the love! What blogs or Instagram accounts do you love to follow?
Ah! I have the hardest time picking favorites of anything! Right now, I can’t get enough of @laurabeverlin because of her home remodel. @sbkliving is another one of my favorite home accounts (clearly, I have remodel on the brain). @daniaustin, @thelilliebag, @thefancyashley, @twopeasinablog, @stacie.lamothe, @livingmybeststyle, @allthingsalison, @houseofleoblog, @covet.on.the.go, and @jenloyd_ are a few of my other favorites. Most of these accounts aren’t the biggest, but I can personally relate to them in one way or another.
Looking for more style inspiration? Follow us on Instagram @lineapaoloshoes for giveaways, news and #ootdfashion . Plus, tag us #lineapaolo or #lineapaoloshoes for your chance to be featured in our stories or feed.
JOIN our Customer List at lineapaolo.com to receive 15% off your first purchase and free standard shipping to continental US addresses on all orders.