Blog: The State Street Edit
Girl Behind the Blog: Jessica McSweeney
Occupation: Full-time college student and intern at Lemon & Lime Event Design in Baltimore, MD
Where are you from, and where do you currently reside?
I was born and raised in rural Connecticut, but I spend the majority of the year at school in Ithaca, New York. For the past few months, I’ve been living in Washington, D.C. for my internship, but I’m headed back to NY soon!
How did you decide to start blogging? What gave you the courage to go for it?
I’ve been an avid life & style blog reader for the past three years. Probably during the second minute of reading my first fashion blog, I knew I wanted to start my own one day. But I couldn’t get started for a long time. I’ve always been a total perfectionist, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be as good as the bloggers I looked up to. That all changed when I met Alicia of Cheetah is the New Black, who happened to be living in Ithaca last year while her husband finished grad school. We met for coffee a few times, and she said the words I’d been needing to hear: “just start.” This summer, I bit the bullet, and I’ve realized that things don’t have to be perfect from the get go. I’ve made about a million changes since I launched in June, and I’m sure I’ll make a million more moving forward. The perfect time to do anything is right now—after all, you can’t get better if you don’t mess up!
What can people expect when they visit your blog?
Though at first glance The State Street Edit looks like a pretty straightforward fashion blog, the thing I have the most fun with is writing. I’ve been told I have a pretty distinctive voice, and I try to make each post’s written bit just as interesting as the photos or graphics it accompanies. My posts are usually about what’s going on in my life and what’s tickling my fancy at the moment—people can expect to get a glimpse into my style POV. That, and lots of pictures of my clothes and clothes I wish were my clothes.
What are your favorite blog posts you’ve ever written?
I absolutely love writing, shooting, and picking fashionable subjects for my “Style Stories” column, a series that examines how people in my life think about the clothes they wear. I think style is just another word for story. There’s so much you can garner about someone’s history and worldview by discovering how they came to wear the clothes they do. I have the longest list in the world of people I’d like to participate one day—hopefully all of those people will be excited about it, too!
What kind of camera do you use?
I got a Canon 7D about a month ago, and to say I’m obsessed with it would be an understatement! I shot with a Rebel T1I for about two years prior and loved that guy, too. As for lenses, I only have a 50mm 1.4, but I’m looking to get something with a wider angle soon!
What influences and inspires your blog?
I could spend hours poring over photographs. I really admire Bonnie Tsang, Jamie Beck, and Jacquelyn Clark of Lark & Linen. Their photos are so indicative of the way they see the world and make me appreciate the things in my life that I normally don’t take notice of, like the look in someone’s eyes or the way a long skirt flows in the breeze. Breathtaking photographs influence my blog more than anything else. I hope that one day my own work will be great enough to help my readers get lost in the fashion, people, and stories I’m telling.
When and how did you discover your passion for fashion and style?
I used to be a diehard science nerd (seriously, ask any of my friends from high school math team).I was planning on becoming a nutritionist until one day I realized that vitamins and molecules didn’t get my heart beating fast enough. So I up and changed my major (probably about 20 times, by the end of the process)! It wasn’t until a while later that I noticed all of my spare time was spent behind the lens of my camera or buried in a stack of women’s magazines studying the way fashion editorials were put together. I’ve always been a visual person, but I’d convinced myself that I couldn’t make a real living from a career in the arts. Now I’m trying to prove that naïve version of myself wrong!
Any other words of wisdom for Everygirls out there?
I was once totally obsessed with Meg Cabot books (weren’t you?). In my favorite, All-American Girl, there’s a scene where the main character attends art class and is chastised for painting a still life of grapes that looks nothing like the fruit they’re using as a model. Her grapes are perfect and round, while the ones in front of her are off color, misshapen and, well, imperfect. I think it’s important to make sure you’re looking at the real grapes that are in front of you instead of the ones in your head. Be honest about what makes you happy, even if it isn’t what you always considered to be right for you. Challenge your assumptions as often as you can—clearly, no possibility is off the table!