Chicago born and bred, Gianna is proud of where she is rooted. I’ve only been to Chicago once, but that’s all it really takes to understand why she’s stayed put in the Windy City. When she’s not working at Free People Water Tower, Gianna is probably sifting through vintage delights at her local thrift store, or driving to an off-the-beaten-path location where mystery and adventure await. Find out more about this chick below as we talk style, beauty, Instagram, etc….
Tell us about yourself: Where are you from/where are you now/what do you do/how did you get to where you are?
I was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. Literally born…my Mom had a home birth (yeah, we’re one of those families). My hometown definitely holds a special place in my heart, simply because I’ve made so many memories here. From running lemonade stands to landing my first job, they have all been made here. I work at Free People (in the city);I feel super lucky because I’m living my own “Hannah Montana” story, the best of both worlds — working in the city and living in the suburbs. I’ve struck a perfect balance between fast-paced city streets and quiet nights spent snuggled up watching Netflix with my sister!
I’m a firm believer that your morning shapes your entire day, so I try to wake up a little early to get my head on straight and set up my day for success. After that, it’s time to buckle down! I have a pretty packed work schedule, especially with my 1 1/2 hour commute but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I love using that time to get my reading done — I’ve read over 20 books this year! On my days off I love stopping by my local thrift store. It’s run by a few elderly ladies who pick out things for me to try when I come in! I’m als0 a music-junkie so, after shopping, I’m usually on the hunt for new music, writing songs, or just dancing around my room. P.s. I’m totally a new Belieber!
What do you like to do for fun?
Sleep in late, dance around my room, play guitar, take photos of everything, drive to nowhere. I’ve learned anything can be fun when you spend it with the right people.
You just woke up. What’s your daily beauty regimen?
Chug a glass a water. Splash some rose water on my face. Chug three more glasses of water. Add a coat of mascara and a little bronzer and spend 95% of my morning trying on clothes. If you could directly relate your style to any movie or TV character, who would it be? Is there one thing you strive to achieve every morning when you get dressed?
Gosh, that’s hard. My style is always evolving but, ideally, my aesthetic is that of any film that takes place in Old London. I’m a strange mix of Lou, Candy and Ginger. Give me a lace dress, a comfy sweater, and combat boots? And I’m set.
I remember seeing a Free People store on my 15th birthday and being completely awe-struck, thinking “what a dream it would be to work for that brand!” It wasn’t until last year that I saw via Instagram that my local Free People was hiring. I quit all three jobs I had at the time and held out for three months before getting the call saying “you’re hired!” It’s a funny feeling when you realize you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be; but even when you do, you don’t stop fighting for it. I’m so lucky to have discovered my dream in Free People.
What’s your favorite thing about working in the stores and being able to contribute to the FP Me community?
Seeing the way people react when they walk in our store! Their jaws drop, and I love being able to bond over that. Also, ask any girl that works at Free People and she will tell you her favorite part is the people. There’s no one like my FP family! Some of the coolest people I’ve met are through this brand, and I’m so lucky to have each and every one of them in my life. The FP Me community is awesome because it draws like-minded people to one place. I remember feeling so frustrated growing up because no one understood my flower crowns and tulle dresses. Now I have the opportunity to say, “hey, I like what I wear because it’s who I am”…and everyone else within this community is doing the same.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
I’m on a @indiesunshine kick right now. Everything she posts is so cute, and 100% my style. Oh, and @daniellegruley — I love my FP Chicago fam! <3
My favorite memory is from last Christmas, before my oldest sister moved out. It was December 24 and my two sisters and I decided to stay up to hear Santa. I wasn’t sure if I still believed in magic but we all laid silent and still, straining to hear any signs of him. All of a sudden, there was a distant sound of bells chiming on the roof. My sisters told me it was Santa’s reindeer and all I could think was “we are the luckiest people on earth”. Now that I’ve grown up, that memory means even more to me knowing what they went through to give me the best Christmas ever.
Being free to me means being completely content in who you are and not relying on anyone’s approval, letting go of the “what if’s” and asking “why not?” Free is a state of being. It’s a decision you have to make every day, but I promise you it’s a good one.