THE MNY SPOTLIGHT

Jenn Lake, Founder of Style Charade

Meet Jenn Lake, the Founder of Style Charade 

Introduce yourself! 

Hi, friends! My name is Jenn Lake, and I’m the Chicago-based publisher behind Style Charade (Instagram @JenniferLake). Since 2008, I’ve been blogging about fashion, travel, home, beauty and lifestyle. At the same time, I’m a “workfluencer” - I have a full-time job as the EVP of an award-winning PR firm / integrated communications agency. 

Jenn Lake wearing the Mindy Mini Dress

What characteristics (cultural, personality etc) make you unique?

I’m really proud of my heritage. As a half-Japanese woman, I’ve always had strangers inquire about my ethnicity, and I love embracing my unique mix and background. Overall, I’m a mild extrovert (especially in big groups), and I truly love learning more about other people.

What motivated you to start Style Charade

I launched a bridal blog in 2008 called Third Coast Bride to document our wedding planning process. The site took off quickly, and I really fell in love with the process of creating content. In 2014, I decided to create a more fashion and lifestyle-focused site (stylecharade.com), and it’s been a joy to connect with so many phenomenal women through the blog and beyond. 

Check out Jenn Lake's blog post "Infinite Reasons Why to Love the Mestiza New York Chinoiserie Dress" 

How do you find time for yourself while managing a full-time job in the PR industry as well as running a well-curated fashion blog? 

Thankfully, time management is one of my strong suits, and I’m thankful to have found solutions to balance both for more than a decade. At the end of the day, it really comes down to priorities. My full-time job will always be my number one focus. At times, that means posting less to Instagram and the blog… and that’s okay! Furthermore, I really embrace the fact that I can’t do it all. I focus on the channels and outlet that bring me joy, and don’t try to be everywhere (i.e. currently, I’m not very active on TikTok, Twitter nor YouTube). 

What is the most rewarding aspect about what you do? 

Meeting people! From fellow bloggers and content creators to readers and social media audiences, I absolutely love connecting with others. It’s seriously the coolest aspect of my job and blogging. Most important, I’m thankful for the authentic friendships that have been established through blogging. 

How do you interpret “invest in yourself?” and what are the types of things you do to invest in/empower yourself?
In my humble opinion, it’s about creating a foundation in myself so that I can be even better for others. When I’m at my personal best, I can bring more joy, kindness, empathy, and compassion to others. In the end, giving to others is one of the greatest gifts in life. The only way I can truly do that is when I’m fulfilled and content. 

A few ways that I empower and invest in myself is putting down my phone and being really present in moments with friends and family. Digital detoxes are critical! I also set boundaries and have learned to say “no” more often to events, activities, and people. I also LOVE travel, and I feel it’s one of the greatest ways to invest in my passions and journey. Lastly, I keep my friendship circle extremely small. I’d rather have a tiny inner circle of friends than a million acquaintances. 

Why is it important to you to empower women? 

Women are incredible, powerful, dynamic, and they make the world go round - truly! We can do anything we set our minds to. Countless women have mentored me throughout my life, and it sincerely means the world for me to be able to pay it forward to others. 

What draws you to the Mestiza brand? 

Where do I start?! Mestiza resonates with my personal style since the company has a unique lens that’s all its own. Pieces from the brand are easily identifiable! I love the classic, timeless, feminine, and romantic aspects of the company. Furthermore, the quality, fits, and fabrics are just divine!

What are your favorite ways to style your Mestiza pieces? 

Ultimately, I love styling Mestiza gowns and dresses with classic nude pumps and a beautiful clutch. Mestiza creates the most perfect statement pieces, so they don’t need too many other things to “make” a look. I also love pairing the items with colorful or bold metallic earrings and bracelets. 

Please share an inspirational tip to someone looking to follow your footsteps.
We can never be fully successful or happy if we only do things for ourselves. We must spark beauty in this world but not only through fashion or beautiful images, but in how we treat people and put others first. In the end, I hope people see me as a woman who carved my own path and in doing so, widened (and smoothed) the road for others.
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