In this week’s Behind The Brush interview, we met former Grazia Daily editor Jessica Vince who recently launched DRESSR – the shoppable edit of Instagram…
JV: My first experience in journalism was writing about egg and spoon races for my local newspaper – such glamour! -before I got work experience at Glamour Magazine which lead to an internship on the features desk. When Grazia Magazine launched their website in 2008, I joined the digital team and a few years later I was made Digital Editor with a team of one: me! After almost seven years working there, it was time for me to make a move and launch my own website. And so DRESSR was born. Being at the right place at the right time really has rung true for me. I’ve been very fortunate to have been offered internships that have turned into permanent jobs which developed into editorships, helped along by great mentors, colleagues and friends.
JV: Running your own company means you need to get stuck in to every asset of it, whether that’s content strategy, web design, admin or fixing the printer! A lot of people assume I have a bank of robots that scour Instagram for the most stylish pictures and find the credits, but that’s not the case, sadly! So much of my day is taken up by hand-picking every image, finding where the outfits are from and writing, editing or commissioning copy. I also have regular meetings with PRs, journalists and bloggers. It’s important to attend press events and develop new relationships or collaborations.
JV: It’s the most exhilarating experience to be your own boss and set your own agenda. If I want to pop out for a Pilates class or work from home in the morning, I have the flexibility to do so. I finally feel in control of my life and it’s so rewarding to create something for my future rather than for somebody else’s.
JV: Don’t get me wrong, running your own business is also incredibly challenging and it can be terrifying because you’re putting your heart and soul into it. Sometimes I can only see what’s wrong instead of looking at what’s amazing, so that’s a constant work in progress. I also struggle with switching off because the business is so much a part of me.
JV: I’ve really got into interiors since moving into my own office. It’s in Fitzrovia in the heart of London and is very white, bright and fresh. It’s so important to have an inspiring work space that I love coming to each day and which friends like popping into too. So I visited antique shops and scrap yards to find old furniture which I sanded down and Etsy’s been great for picture frames and homemade desk accessories. Upcycling means that the office has a very unique and personalised vibe.
JV: Each day, I take three tasks from my ongoing to-do list and set aside time to do them. I’ll switch off my emails and the radio to concentrate on writing up an interview. I’ll make a cup of tea and listen to chill out music while I reply to emails for an hour. It helps to give structure to my day and gives me space to be creative. I find a change of scenery can work wonders – even if that means moving from my desk in the corner to sitting on the sofa by the window. I also like taking a break to talk to someone about my ideas, that always seems to spark inspiration.
JV: Instagram! It’s the best place to get outfit inspiration, food ideas, travel goals, interior trends…and of course it’s the source of the shopping content on DRESSR. I love seeing what friends are up to as well as what influencers from all around the world are wearing and sharing. Yes, it can cause a lot of FOMO! But it also motivates me and gives me new ideas.
JV: I love @elkincollection who are a super stylish duo and dress stars like Emma Roberts, @aww.sam has an eye for kooky gorgeousness, @pernilleteisbaek and @margaret__zhang provide constant style inspo, @rosiehw has the life (and face) I dream of and @theartofshade_ is great for some light-relief.
JV: I love the bathroom because that’s where I truly relax and switch off. There’s nothing I love more than running a hot bath, lighting some candles and soaking for hours with a good book. It’s also where I keep all my pamper products – I have shelves of perfumes and nail polishes, most of which I never use but they look so pretty!
JV: The dream is to live in Dorset but I find countryside cottages too claustrophobic so a bright, open-plan house that overlooks the sea would be ideal. I wouldn’t want anything too flashy – just a relaxed place with a lot of white, wood and windows.
JV: I’ve been browsing statement mirrors (perfect for selfies) and desk accessories in rose gold, brass and copper, which are also very photogenic and look great alongside my wooden cabinets.