Friends & Family: Jenni Radosevich from I Spy DIY

You may have seen some of our amazing collaborations with DIY superstar Jenni Radosevich including our Embroidered Graphic Tank Top and Neon Gem Sandals. Read on to learn more about one of our favorite blogger contributors, Jenni!

Jenni from I Spy DIY.

Jenni from I Spy DIY.

How did you discover your love of crafting?
I have always been a crafty girl and growing up in Wisconsin I always created my own style: thrifting clothes, making friendship bracelets and covering everything I owned with tie dye and puffy paint (I was not afraid of multiple pops of color). When I moved to New York on a tight budget, I continued to make the trends I was seeing in magazines and on the runway. I got a great response from my coworkers at InStyle, which lead to a story in the mag, then a column, and then a book, I Spy DIY Style and ISpyDIY.com.

The I Spy DIY studio.

The I Spy DIY studio.

What’s next for I Spy DIY?
I am jazzed to be partnering up with Darby Smart to release new DIY kits every other week for the next year! I think its a great way to evolve the DIY tutorial so readers can get the same material I am working with. I am also teaching Craft Classes in I Spy DIY Studio, which I such a cool way to get off the computer and make cool stuff with rad people in real life.

Jenni's Darby Smart Kit.

Jenni’s Darby Smart Kit.

What is the most difficult part of running your own business?
There are a ton of fun things about having a crafty job, but I think the most difficult is the pace of websites and making sure that you are constantly coming up with new projects and inspiration for others. I also think social media has become an untamed beast. People are forgetting to unplug and enjoy life instead of just Instagramming about it.

Jenni's DIY Pineapple Pillow.

Jenni’s DIY Pineapple Pillow.

What is the most rewarding part of I Spy DIY?
I LOVE seeing readers make my projects, it still amazes be that people read about my projects and are inspired to create them. It’s pretty cool. If you make one, make sure to tag me on Insta (@ispydiy), I want to see it!

Jenni modeling her DIY Ribbon Necklace.

Jenni modeling her DIY Ribbon Necklace.

What is your all-time favorite DIY project?
Ohhhh, If I had to pick just one it would be my chain and rhinestone wrapped bracelet. It was one of my first jewelry projects, and it came out when wearing a stack of bracelets was the must thing to do, so it really took off on the internet and put me on the map as a DIYer.

One of Jenni's favorite projects, her Chain and Rhinestone Wrapped Bracelet.

One of Jenni’s favorite projects, her Chain and Rhinestone Wrapped Bracelet.

What’s currently on repeat on your playlist?
I am OBSESSED with Sam Smith. Obsessed. I listen to “Latch” approximately 47 times everyday. It is my instant mood lifter. That man can sing!

Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! I love Pinterest. I love window shopping for ideas. I am a magazine connoisseur. Once you change your mentality for buying to DIYing, you find inspiration all over the place.

Jenni's DIY bracelets and phone case.

Jenni’s DIY bracelets and phone case.

What is your favorite fit of AEO Jeans?
I have been searching for great pair of Boyfriend jeans and AEO nailed theirs. Great fit and great distressing… stay tuned for an amped up version soon.

Jenni's customized Thick Strap Sandal with our jeans.

Jenni’s customized Thick Strap Sandal with our jeans.

What is your best DIY tip?
Start with a simple project, like a bracelet. Once you experience the excitement of making something, the instant gratification of wearing it, the compliments, and being able to say you did it yourself, you will be hooked.

Once you start crafting, you'll be hooked!

Once you start crafting, you’ll be hooked!

What’s always in your purse and why?
I switch purses so often I am lucky to get out of the house with the essentials! Keys, wallet and iPhone always make the transition from bag to bag, and if it’s a good day, there will be some powder and a pen in the new bag. And lipstick, I also have between 5-7 lipsticks in everybag… but never the color I want. My DIYed phone charger is always handy, and my Frend’s headphones are usually slung over the strap.

Jenni's DIY Phone Cord.

Jenni’s DIY Phone Cord.

What’s next on your life to-do list?
More travel! San Fran, Mexico and Abu Dhabi are all on the list.

Jenni in Mexico on vacation.

Jenni in Mexico on vacation.

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AEO Associate Interview: Get To Know Jenelle H.

Do you want to know what its like to work as a buyer for AEO Women’s Fleece? We sat down with Jenelle H. to learn all about her role at AEO, what she’s like outside the office and even dug into her insanely creative side. Check out her interview below and be sure to watch her rapid fire interview for some Q and A’s that are sure to make you giggle.

Name
Jenelle H.

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Jenelle hard at work.

Occupation
Assistant Buyer, Women’s Fleece

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Jenelle’s #AEOStyle includes Hi-Rise anything.

What are some of your favorite trends that you’re seeing this summer/BTS?
Hi-rise anything! Shorts, jeans, skirts, swim bottoms…they’re comfortable, a throwback to my 80’s birth era, and all I want to wear this summer.

Summer days tend to be hot, while summer nights can get a bit chilly. How do you recommend styling your outfits to prepare for the change in temps?
Layers on layers on layers – I’m never caught without a second something, especially an open neutral cardigan or light soft jacket.

Are there any trends coming up for fall that you’re excited about?
Jegging tops! I’m exclusively a Jegging fit denim girl, so I’m excited to get cozy with over-sized sweatshirts & plaids. High rise bottoms & crops are great for the summer, but these tops are going to make it easier to accept winter finally setting in.

Jegging tops? Please explain!
Basically just a longer length, over-sized top that is meant to be worn with either leggings or Jegging fit denim. They cover your backside and are really comfy – this is the one we have in fleece:

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Jegging Top sneak peek!

What is currently your favorite AEO product?
I’m thrilled to get my hands on these Polka Dot Slip-On Sneakers we have now…  I’ve been plotting all kinds of summer biking in them since I first spotted the samples months ago.

Are there any prints, colors or styles that you’re currently obsessing over?
You might have already picked up on my passion for polka dots, but I also have a thing for florals.  Both are fun and classic, and definitely not limited to one occasion or silhouette.

Who is your style inspiration and why?
I somehow always manage to look slightly disheveled (the hair, maybe?) and I feel like Alexa Chung has that look perfected. She has this confident playful retro vibe with things like her dress silhouettes, peter pan collars, & the ability to rock some polka dots. I once stood behind her in the bathroom line at Lollapalooza in Chicago, and it was definitely a star-struck girl-crush moment.

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Words of encouragement drawn by Jenelle.

Favorite part of your job?
Seeing girls wearing products I’ve worked with – even if it’s years later! It’s fun to see how people decide to outfit a piece, and how they’ve made it part of their own style. I know the effort that went into it from my entire team… I always give them a mental high-five when I see other people loving something we brought to life!

What advice do you have for those wanting to enter into a Merchandising career?
Be good at juggling! Not necessarily literally (though I CAN do that – I’m secretly a single person circus), but being able to manage a million things at once is key. It’s a fast paced world here, and it takes a little time to get the hang of staying up to speed, but it’s part of what makes this job fun… every day is different!

You also have a very artistic side to you and have a website to boot! Tell us about your creative personality and inspiration behind your designs.
It’s impossible for me to sit still! I feel antsy unless I have something on my mind that I want to crochet, draw, cook, or bake. I’m inspired by seeing other people being passionate, having fun, & making awesome things – it makes me want to get up and do the same!

Is there anything else that we should know about you?
I have an odd adoration for word play – to the point where I have a pun problem. I’m considering starting a coin fee jar for each one I make…though some people think I should never change.

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This little lamb was crocheted by Jenelle.

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Aerie Friends & Family: Bright Pink Support Ambassador Julie G.

Aerie Friends & Family: Bright Pink Support Ambassador Julie G.

Meet Julie G., a Bright Pink Support Ambassador  from Denver, Colorado! Read on to learn more about Julie and how Bright Pink has made an impact on her life.

Meet Julie G., Bright Pink Outreach Ally

Meet Julie G., Bright Pink Support Ambassador

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Julie Gordon and I reside in beautiful Denver, Colorado.  I am fortunate to live in a state that has 300+ days of sunshine per year, which means there are no excuses to get out and enjoy the beauty.  I live on a park and we are less than an hour away from the mountains, so we take full advantage of an active Colorado lifestyle.  Winter hobbies mostly include skiing!  Summer activities include biking around town/to baseball games/concerts in the park, hiking the trails and/or mountains (I have summited 10 of the 54 14,000 foot peaks), running, fly fishing, dinning al fresco.

I have the most fun and rewarding job!  I am the owner of barre3 Denver.  Barre3 combines the grace of the ballet barre with the wisdom of yoga and the strength of Pilates.  I work with an amazing team of instructors, and we together have shaped the bodies and self-image of women (and men) in our community by teaching challenging classes set to an upbeat soundtrack.  But to be honest, I get more out of seeing my clients in class and sharing their stories and successes…much like working with Bright Pink!

 

How did you hear about/ get involved with Bright Pink?

I first heard about Bright Pink after Giuliana Rancic (a close friend and supporter of Bright Pink) shared her breast cancer diagnosis and mentioned her work with Bright Pink.  A few months later, I had my genetic testing done after my aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer (she is also a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 29 years of age).  After I received my results (I am BRCA negative-the only one out of ten family members who have been tested; all the others are BRCA positive) I came across Bright Pink as a result of internet research, and I knew I wanted to be involved in this amazing organization-to raise awareness and education for those with a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer (like me), have been diagnosed, or carry the BRCA gene mutation.  Like Lindsay Avner, the brilliant founder of Bright Pink, I feel with education and empowering young women about their risk that not another woman should be diagnosed or suffer with breast/ovarian cancer.

Then I registered to run the 2012 Chicago Marathon as a member of Bright Pink.  My involvement didn’t stop there – last summer I joined the Denver Bright Pink Chapter as our Support Ambassador.  I have met some incredibly inspiring, bold women here in Denver and on the leadership team in Chicago and the ambassadors in other cities.

 

Who or what has been the most important influence in your life?

As silly as it seems, it is my kitty, Emily–she has changed my life for the better.  For the last 16 years (yes, she is 16 years old) she has been my constant companion through good times…and the not so good times, I find more joy in witnessing her actions and how she delights in the simple things (her fave toys are a cardboard box or a paper grocery bag and a plastic pull tab from a Whole Foods container), she gives generously, she has helped me realize the benefit of an afternoon “cat nap,” her loving gaze and gentle touch have opened my eyes to my surroundings and how I connect with others, and let me tell you about some of the conversations we have had…!  I could go on and on!  I don’t know what I will do without her.

 

What inspires you in everyday life?

The beauty of my surroundings–the snow capped mountains, the sunsets that take your breath away, the wind that creates music as it blows the leaves of the aspen trees, the calming sound of water trickling in a brook, a delish meal prepared with my boyfriend, and a lovely glass of wine.  Then there are the experiences of travel…!!  Isn’t that why we work so hard? ;)

 

What do you love about Bright Pink?

I love that it has connected women who would not have for any other reason met in life.  Through sharing our journey, we can support and build each other up on a local level and help the leadership team achieve so many goals and reach that many more young women.  I love that it has forced my family to communicate and be proactive about our results and consider our options-it has joined us together as a family no matter how spread out in the country we are.  I love too that Bright Pink has given me that extra nudge to open my own business so I can have an impact on the health and wellness of women (and men) in my community-at-large.  My business has also provided me with a space to host events for our local Bright Pink women.

 

How can girls/women get involved with Bright Pink?

The Bright Pink website www.brightpink.org is a wonderful resource and would be the first place to find more information.  It can send one in the right direction to connect with a local chapter, you can make a tax-deductible donation, and learn more about the amazing programs that Bright Pink offers.

 

 

Bright Pink’s message is about the importance of taking a proactive approach to your health and they offer an interactive online quiz that combines your family health history and lifestyle factors to create a personalized risk assessment for you to save, print, and bring to your doctor to craft a proactive breast and ovarian health strategy unique to you!  Check out Bright Pink’s Assess Your Risk tool and check back for more updates on our partnership.

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AE Friends & Family: Preston K., Director of Styling

AE Friends & Family: Preston K., Director of Styling

We are excited to introduce our new Director of Styling, Preston K. Preston is responsible for creating the overall styling direction for each season. He partners with the designers early in the season to learn about their inspiration for the product, then makes it come to life in all channels of the business related to style – from styling the looks you see in store and online imagery, the PR showrooms, to the mannequins in store.

How did you discover your passion for styling and fashion?

I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. My start in the industry was creating window displays and working in Visual Merchandising. I really started to enjoy pulling looks, pairing items together, and working with color and textures. Oddly enough, dressing mannequins ended up not being so different from dressing models – except the models are a bit more talkative.

How did you get your start as a stylist?

I was working retail in Boston during college and was recruited by an executive for a large, American luxury brand. What seemed to be a simple interview turned into almost 10 years of creating, styling, and learning the business. After years in the visual merchandising world, I still found myself wanting to do more…. at the same time, a stylist role became available at the company, and the rest was history for me.

What’s the coolest place you’ve traveled for your job?

The last brand I worked with was a British heritage brand, so I was lucky enough to travel to London almost every month. As much as I fell in love with London and considered it my second home to NYC, I would say Paris was the best place to work. The dining and shopping were obviously incredible, but the people and style watching was amazing.

 Who or what has been the most important influence in your life?

My parents have been a huge influence in my life, teaching me the rewards of working hard and staying dedicated. I had my first job when I was 14 working at an apple orchard in Pennsylvania. Although it seemed like a horrible idea that my parents had back then, it really taught me the important of work/life balance.

What is your dream job?

I love styling, creating, and the overall business of my industry. One day I’d love to work on my own products, whatever they may be.

What is next on your ‘To Do In Life’ list?

More travel to Europe!

Where do you find your inspiration?

Living in New York inspires me. I really take note of what people are wearing, from downtown kids to the uptown set – it’s all important.  Of course the shows and trend reports are always important, but I like to take inspiration from the city itself.

 

Preston on the streets of NYC.

How would you describe your style?

I grew up on the East Coast, living in Philadelphia, Boston & New York, so I’ve always been a pretty preppy guy. I like to mix my love for classic American dressing with some cooler, more trend driven elements.

How does your work influence your style?

Work & my style are one in the same for me. Working on different shoots, brands, locations, and trends always tend to influence the way I dress. The AE crew was making fun of me in Mexico during our summer shoot – I flew into town wearing chino shorts and a chambray shirt, and left wearing way too many neon bracelets, beaded necklaces and straw hats.

Preston took up the local style in Sayulita during our Summer 2013 photo shoot.

What trend are you most excited about this season?

For guys I’m still liking the interjection of camouflage into an everyday look. I think of it as kind of the  new leopard print for guys. Girls wear leopard bags, hats, jeans and shoes… we have camo.

What jean fit do you live in?

I’m liking the AE Destroyed Slim Straight Jeans. They’re slim without being too skinny and have just the right amount of wear & tear to give a cool, worn-in look.

What is your favorite look with jeans?

I like mixing textures: a ripped up jean with a more tailored suit jacket, or a clean selvedge jean with a vintage army coat.

Want to see more from Preston? Check back on Thursday for our first video in our Styled by Preston series. He’ll be taking your through all of the biggest trends for summer and how to wear them.

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