Jenny Greenstein, Personal Stylist
Jenny Greenstein is the perfect definition of inspirational. Cofounder, Emily, worked along side Jenny and watched her go from corporate to freelance to taking a leap of faith into entrepreneurship. Her dreams have come true with Your Soul Style, a person styling business geared towards helping women not only find their look, but also their true selves. Jenny talks being a wife, mommy, blogger and business owner in this week's spotlight. If you are struggling to do it all, this is your motivational read.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I’ve always wanted to be a stylist. I know that sounds crazy, like how did I even know what a stylist was when I was a little girl - but in some way, shape or form I was always interested in style and getting dressed. My barbie dolls provided endless inspiration, and I’d sit with them for hours picking out their looks. It wasn’t until I got to high school though that I started to put together a very rough business plan on helping women with their personal style. I remember sitting in bed at night with my note pad, laying out the process. Nothing came of it then - I was in high school and had years of education ahead of me, but the seed was certainly planted and I had a vision. Later on through my own transitions and development, I recognized that the alignment of both the inner and outer self was essential for empowerment and overall balance. It was then that my passion for style, wellness and emotional health all began to merge. I didn’t have the language to articulate it back then, but over time with more professional and personal life experience, it came together organically.
You founded Your Soul Style. When did you realize you wanted to leave the corporate setting and start your own business?
There were parts about working in Corporate America that I loved, and it definitely provided me practical and professional experience that I still use today, but like mentioned above, I had a strong desire to help women personally, in a very deep and purposeful way, as opposed to working for a big corporation where my contributions got diluted in hierarchies and bottom lines. Despite remaining in the corporate field for 10+ years, this feeling perpetuated and never dissipated. It took working for 5 different fashion brands, and a short stint in the Masters of Social Work program at NYU to finally recognize that I needed to take the leap and start working towards building this business that I dreamed of. A mission that combined both style with mindfulness. It was scary, full of unknowns and difficult at first, but I stayed the course, remained committed and stayed true to my vision. I finally left my last corporate endeavor in 2013 and have yet to look back, only forward.
How do you differentiate your blog and styling business as well as getting your deeper message across (style from within) ?
There is fashion and then there is style, and to me there is a distinction. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate beautiful clothes, and the art behind high fashion, but style is the true essence of who we are at our core, without being defined by the masses. So when women work with me, we tap into that first and foremost. Together we take a deep dive into the self to ensure it is coming through and both inner and outer are aligned. Life is full of transitions, and we are constantly evolving on a physical, emotional and mental level.
At times, we can lose our way, be bogged down by societal pressures, get lost in the noise of it all, become too busy to care, gain weight, lose weight, have a baby, break-up, get married, change careers or just need an overall assessment of how our deeper personality is being stylistically represented.
I believe that a critical part of self-care is ensuring our truest self is the one that’s showing up. None of us walk around naked, and clothing is a key tool in demonstrating who we are. I help my clients get there, providing a road map to authentic representation.
What is it like maintaining a marriage and raising your new baby girl on top of pursuing your passions?
After having Vida, everything in my life outside of her completely paused, willingly so. I was 100% present and everything else came second - including work. And I was okay with that for a time. But after about 6 months, I eased my way back, and still to this day, am slowly transitioning into driving my career in a way I once understood pre-baby. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. And I hate to use the word balance because there’s really no such thing. It’s a pipe dream. Every day on this journey of wife, mother, woman and entrepreneur, I am adjusting and re-negotiating my time to meet the needs of the day. It’s a work in progress and no matter what, my attention and focus is on constant rotation. As Vida gets older and embraces some more independence, I have more and more time to dedicate and invest into Your Soul Style (and everything else).
Women are faced so many hardships in the workplace and entrepreneurship. What was the best advice you have ever given to a client and the best advice you have ever received?
The best piece of advice I can offer a styling client is to ensure that they are showing up as their authentic self. And in many cases, women don’t even know who that is from a style perspective. But I ask these types of difficult questions, which raises the awareness, and this domino effects to positive change! I like to say get comfortable in the discomfort! This is where the growth (and magic) happens.
As for entrepreneurship, there are two pieces of advice that stay fresh in my mind always. One: remain true to your intention and message. No matter what you do in regard to social media, marketing, public relations or even the types of clientele you work with, it is critical to remember why you started. NEVER EVER sell out because you want to grow your business. The other is from my wife’s grandmother, which is so simple yet so profound: “You have to learn how to crawl, before you can walk, before you can run.” Couldn’t be more true to hold onto those words while building a business. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Interviewed by Emily