During the time of Open Call, thousands of people entered for a shot to be a part of our June-E Catalog. Jennica Gray was one of those people, but there was something about her that stuck. As one of our chosen stylist finalists, Jennica has a passion for expressing herself through styling, and she has recently been a part of some fun FP Me events. Born and raised in Ohio, this gal may look familiar from our most recent FP Me shoot that was shot in the rolling hills and beautiful farmland of her home state. Jennica is excited for what this summer has to offer her, and she’s excited to get started on some new projects. Get to know a little bit more about this girl below!
Where did you grow up? How did this shape the person that you are today?
I was born and raised in Columbus, OH. I love the Midwest and it was great to grow up here, you get all the comforts of a laid back town but still the feel of city life. I feel like what really shaped me though is my parents and family. They always support me with whatever I choose to do and push me to succeed which has instilled a drive inside of me.
What are some of your favorite things about living in Ohio?
My biggest love about Ohio is the variety. Columbus keeps growing which is very exciting. It seems there is a new restaurant or shop to go in every time I’m downtown. A couple of my personal favorite things to do are day trips to hocking hills to escape to the woods and hike, and filling a trunk full of pillows, blankets and my hula hoop and heading to the drive in with some friends.
How did you get into styling?
In middle school I started wanting to mix up my style. It was when everyone was still really into labels and I knew that just wasn’t me anymore. I found a dress in a magazine that was exactly what I was picturing. It was from Urban Outfitters (which at the time I’d never heard of). My mom brought me that weekend and I fell in love – it ultimately lead me to Free People. My style was a way for me to express myself. I knew instantly it was my passion.
You were one of our stylist finalists in our “Open Call” competition. What were your initial reactions after being selected from thousands of other entries?
I actually missed my phone call from Naomi and she had to leave a voicemail. When I checked it I immediately started hyperventilating and having heart palpitations (only a slight exaggeration). I had only managed to hear her introduce herself and say she was from Free People. It took me 3 more listens before I had successfully heard the whole message. The next afternoon my photo was posted on the blog declaring me a finalist. It was so surreal. I then proceeded to send a million and one ecstatic texts to family and friends.
Give me a day in the life of Jennica.
This is hard. I feel like day to day differs, work during the week, and then the weekends can be filled with anything from a trip to the greenhouse, going to see a band, or just staying in to watch a movie. The things that remain constant though are being with my friends and family and lots and lots of cat snuggles from my two cats Lewis and Clark.
On our recent FP Me Columbus shoot, you were there to take part in all of the fun events. What was your favorite part about this experience?
On my first Instagram I posted that day the caption was “start to the best day ever” and it was nothing short of that. I was in the best company on the most beautiful farm. To pick favorites is hard but I love food and I love dancing. The farm to table dinner was so delicious, I usually dislike mushrooms but they had these mushroom strudels that I may as well have eaten whole. After dinner, Sam from the Columbus store and her band performed while all of us danced under the night sky and string lights, it was amazing.
What do you feel is the most rewarding part about being a part of the FP Me community?
One of my favorite things about the Free People brand is how two girls can go in to the same store but get something totally different out of it. FP Me shows you that. I love seeing how other girls style things I may not have thought to pick up and they totally rock it. In opposition I also love seeing how girls can take the same piece and make it unique to them in how they style it.
If you could describe your personal style in three words, what would they be?
Layers, details, color/pattern.
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
When I’m out and about. I like to people watch, seeing how real people dress and style themselves. It’s always fun to do when traveling to see how different locations differ in style from others.
Any fun projects coming up for you? Travel plans for the summer?
I’ve been talking now for awhile about putting together a personal style/lifestyle blog, so I think I’m making that my summer goal to try and get that up and running. As for travel I just got back from a mini road trip around Michigan with my boyfriend that was so much fun. Also, a girlfriend of mine is in LA for the summer and I really want to fly out to visit her. I’ve never been and I’m desperate to go.
What does being ‘free’ mean to you?
To me being free is about finding the moments that make you feel alive and “in it.” Finding what you’re passionate about and an outlet to express it, and then embracing that full-heartedly.
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