NSPP- About you…..Please share a little background about yourself.
JG- By nature, I’m an intense person. I think beyond what’s offered, question everything and explore all areas of the human condition. I accept discomfort until I find what feeds and nurtures me and it is here where I’m then able to discover my authentic self. While my career began as a Stylist/Visual Merchandiser in the corporate fashion world for 10+ years, I longed to do something with greater purpose that satiated my passion for emotional health and wellness. I thought this meant a complete departure from the industry which landed me in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Social Work at NYU. I’ve always been interested in becoming a therapist. I didn’t complete the degree, but started to make sense about my love of fashion which was more about individual style, authenticity and self-expression rather than trends or what was popular amongst the masses. The education rounded out my belief that style can be used with purpose as a vehicle of empowerment and esteem-building. Your Soul Style was born soon after, combining my skills of supporting women as they take a deeper dive into the self with how they express themselves through dress. Today I am personal styling, consulting and building this brand. Your Soul Style is a platform where style meets mindfulness, and my focus is on guiding women on how to align their inner and outer self. Most recently I’ve been working with women during the pre/postnatal transitions since this vulnerable time can often require support. I empower my clientsto find their own rhythm, become their own stylemakers and be the most beautiful version of themselves no matter what phase of life they are going through. I always knew deep down that figuring out who I was, and finding a way to express that was critical to becoming an empowered, confident and self-assured woman. Now it’s what I help others achieve through Your Soul Style. My business motto is ‘Style From The Inside Out’.
NSPP- How old is your little one? How is #MomLife?
JG- Vida will be 8 months on March 19th which is pretty insane since this time has felt surreal, and dreamlike. I work hard at staying present so that I can absorb each moment, but regardless of how tight I grasp, it continues to move fast. And life can get in the way as I navigate towards finding semblance and a sense of normalcy again. Plus, the exhaustion. Oh - the exhaustion. That all said, being Vida’s mama is hands down the greatest thing I’ve ever done. Motherhood for me is an organic experience. It takes work in the emotional, physical and mental sense, but the very idea of being a Mother feels right and comfortable. Like it was meant to be. Even when it’s hard (which it is sometimes!), I’m at peace with this role. I never wish things were different. I’m in awe that we can create life, and have never felt more alive than when I look into Vida’s eyes and connect with her on that profound and primal level. Simply put, she is my heart.
NSPP- How do you wear Motherhood (describe your personal style)?
JG- We all have uniforms dependent on our life phase. It shifts and changes all the time. So for me, motherhood (and pregnancy) presented challenges that pushed me to refine my ‘uniform’. While time for self-care (which includes getting dressed) quickly went out the window, as I tell my clients, style is something to be mindful about, even when it’s hard, time-consuming and feels defeating. There are key strategies that make it all doable. I make sure I’m pulled together with looks that are easy, practical, comfortable, stylish and maintain my authentic self-expression. This keeps me feeling empowered (and grounded) which is critical since energy and vibrations are being absorbed by another human life. I organized a capsule collection for these postpartum life transitions because 75% of my wardrobe doesn't fit yet and I’m also exclusively breastfeeding (hi giant boobs!). For me, this collection includes jumpsuits/overalls, oversized boyfriend jeans, elevated sweatshirts, hats and comfortable shoes. I wear a variation of these pieces on repeat.
NSPP- What are some basics that you suggest every woman have in their closet for early postpartum?
- Nursing-friendly pieces from Loyal Hana.
- Boyfriend jeans because they are roomy and super stylish too.
- A good blazer which continues to fit as your body shifts
- Joggers or elastic waist pants, but don’t fall into the funk of wearing leggings everyday
- That said, faux leather leggings are a must because while they are comfy, they elevate any look
- Items without a defined waist like overalls allow for +/- a few lbs.
- Hats are key because time spent on hair has been significantly reduced
- Sneakers, also key and very stylish
- If breastfeeding, nursing bras and nursing tanks for layering. I also recommend tank tops with large arm holes to easily pull aside for boob access like this one.
- And scarves to cover up when nursing if you choose to do so
NSPP- Team nursing bra? Or team free the nip?
JG- I’m team nursing bra, although wish I could be on team “free the nip”. I’d love to be able to go bra-less since my free spirited personality more closely aligns with that sensibility. That said, I have big boobs that need support, especially while breastfeeding. I will say however that after 8 months, I don’t really care who sees my boobs. I feed Vida wherever, whenever and don’t cover up. That has been super liberating!
NSPP- If you were trapped on an island, what 3-5 must have items would you have in your bag?
JG- coconut oil, a hat, bikini, my iphone, and a copy of ‘The Road Less Traveled’ by M. Scott Peck which is essentially my bible
NSPP- Have you always possessed a positive body image? Has it been a journey?
JG- It’s still a journey. I’ve come to appreciate the power of my body, especially since pregnancy and giving birth, but still have moments where I need to remind myself about embracing what’s been given to me. Having a positive self-image is critical since the amount of information we have access to and consume can trip us up. But it must start at the core and foundation. How we see ourselves is directly related to how our parents see themselves so the building blocks begin the minute we enter the world. We are products of the people that raise us and children look to their parents first and foremost for validation in who they are. So if your parent(s) has a compromised self-esteem, a child will see that in themselves. I am so super mindful with Vida, especially since she’s a girl and societal pressures run deep. Her foundation needs to be rock solid so when the branches of life start swinging at her, she has the tools to hold steady. Think of it like this: my hair is naturally curly but for a time I was blowing it straight. I decided to stop because although it seems harmless, if Vida has curly hair and Mama doesn’t like her own hair curly, how will she internalize that? She may start to have a negative association with her naturalness. It’s important for me to embrace myself as I am so that Vida will learn to do the same. Through her lens, she is an extension of me so my demonstration of self-love, empowerment and self-esteem is fundamental to secure her own development.
NSPP- How do you take time to breathe in your own oxygen and self care?
JG- Honestly, for a long time I didn’t. Up until now , I gave every inch of myself to Vida. And still the majority of me is hers. She has my mind, my heart, but also as a breastfeeding mama, she has my body too. That said, I recently got back to therapy and practicing yoga again. It’s awakening a part of me that was dormant for some time, and I’m really excited to continue the emotional and physical stretching that come from both.
NSPP- What is your idea of an amazing Friday night now that you are a Mom?
JG- I’m not really sure right now. Me and my wife have only gone out on 1 date night since Vida’s arrival and it was lovely to connect and focus on one another without distraction. I know that it’s crucial to our relationship to have that time - I get it. Dinner and a few drinks goes a long way. I look forward to more of that.
NSPP- Any closing advice for new mamas embracing their postpartum body?
JG- Take care of yourself emotionally, physically and mentally. Give yourself 1 full year to recover on all fronts. I’m still in the middle of it, but finally starting to inch towards the new normal. I’m 36 so expecting to bounce back quickly is aggressive (although a girl can hope). I work hard at being gentle on myself in the interim which is a mindful practice. Having a baby is a huge transition on all levels so it will take the appropriate amount of time and patience for the pendulum to find its way back to center. Eventually though, you get there.