We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Chan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
I always knew that I had to kick off my career in New York City and for me, there was no turning back. I was raised in Texas and went to undergrad in sunny Southern California, so it was very tempting to stay in LA after college, close to friends and family, where I had already established a network and successfully interned my way throughout LA; but I listened to my gut and followed my intuition to the Big Apple. I wanted to fight the good fight in the editorial world and cut my teeth with top talent and learn from the best. I completed an intensive publishing program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and hit the ground running in the glossy magazine industry (Real Simple Magazine and InStyle Magazine), wildly determined to make major strides in the industry, establish relationships with industry power players, and have fun while doing so. I worked late nights and weekends, learned the ropes very quickly, smiled my way through learning curves, lived off a meager entry-level publishing salary in NYC, and looking back, I truly wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world. I have so many fond memories of that transformative chapter of my life!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One thing that sets me apart is that I always *knew* I was going to be a fashion and beauty editor/journalist and media personality. I never once doubted myself and I loved every second of working–even if it was unglamorous, required late nights, early mornings, or personal sacrifices; and trust me, there were a lot of those! I was passionate and persistent, even at an early age. I started interning in high school, became the fashion editor of our campus paper, and was published in WWD while still in college. I moved to New York with a dream and never looked back. Failure or calling it quits to come back to California was not an option in my mind. I knew this was my calling, so when I reflect now on my jam-packed career as a fashion and beauty editor for leading media outlets including E! Online, The Kardashians, InStyle.com, IPSY, Tyra Banks, The Daily, Real Simple and more–I am filled with pride because I pushed myself so hard. My favorite evolution of my career has been parlaying my editorial sensibilities on camera, where I host video series, fashion shows or beauty events for major retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, or Macy’s. I love connecting with real women of all shapes, colors, and sizes– and empowering ladies to look good and feel good from the inside out has become my professional mission statement.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In a perfect world, there would be no traffic in LA, so I would go far and wide to show her the best of the best! I would start the day with a gorgeous hike or bicycle ride along the beach near my neighborhood (Playa Vista) and do some shopping and strolling along Abbot Kinney Boulevard. We would take Insta-worthy photos at the Venice Canals and make our way up north along the coastline to Malibu, where we would grab lobster rolls at Broadstreet Oyster Co., or dine al fresco at Nobu Malibu for sushi and seafood. We would browse the cute boutiques at the Palisades Village, and then settle in Manhattan Beach for fresh oysters and drinks while catching the sunset in Manhattan Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so grateful to have an incredibly strong support system of ride-or-die family and friends who have watched me and cheered me on throughout my career. My older brother knows me better than I know myself and has been a constant source of leadership and encouragement, no matter how stressed or imbalanced my life may have felt at times due to intense deadlines, a manic travel schedule, or challenging work dynamics. I think like a boss and shoot for the stars largely in part because my dad and brother always believed in me, taught me to know my worth, and never settle at an early age. I also take great pride in surrounding myself with like-minded strong women, ladies who I admire and trust, no matter their industry. I am a big believer that when women come together and support one another, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.