This week’s StyleMama, Jill Johnson, appears to be one of those women who wakes up looking gorgeous and doesn’t have a care in the world. But this mom of four kids under the age of 10, has a schedule and a demanding career that would make most of us mentally unstable. She is coming out with a book, manages a blog, contributes to several magazines, and somehow finds time to horseback ride and belly dance. Jill says she thrives when she is busy and does not spend her evenings kicking back in front of the TV. “I work during the day, with the occasional exercise break; shuttle kids around in the afternoon (with my laptop, just in case I find 10 free precious minutes); and after dinner and tucking the kids into bed, it’s back to work. I’m a night owl and love to write into the wee hours.”
Home: Westport, CT
Age: Just turned 39 again for the third or fourth time (hard to keep track)
Children: 9-year-old boy, 6-year-old twins (boy, girl), 3-year-old girl
Occupation: Mom/Freelance Writer
A former model, Jill founded Tear Sheet magazine, an insider’s guide to the modeling and fashion industry, at age 26. Six years later and newly married, she shifted her focus to relationships and helped launch Tango magazine (now yourtango.com). Once all-nighters involved nursing, not editing, Jill happily shifted to freelancing. She has written about everything from infertility (believe it or not, she suffered from it) to must-have shoes. Her recent interviews include Lara Spencer (Good Morning America), Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, and David Tutera (My Fair Wedding). She blogs about modeling and motherhood at modelingmentor.com/blog and is finishing up a book, From Vanity to Maternity: What Modeling Taught Me About Men, Money, and Motherhood.
How does she look so darn good?
Jill spent a decade trying to look good for a living and learned some tricks along the way, but mostly she eats healthy food (a lot of it) and exercises. Her latest passion is belly dancing (with a modern/hip-hop twist), an amazing core workout that has women old enough to have worn half shirts in the 80s proudly bearing their undulating midriffs. Her long-time loves: horse riding and downhill skiing. Add keeping up with four kids, and staying slim isn’t hard, but she misses the baby fat in her face that she used to complain about!
What’s she wearing?
Jewelry: Genevieve Lau
Shoes: Michael by Michael Kors
Bag: Sondra Roberts
Sunglasses: Joe Fresh (She wrote the copy for the Ralph Pucci mannequin installation that is in the NY flagship store right now and picked up these glasses while attending the launch on Fashion’s Night Out)
“Casual comfort with an edge. If I have on a pair of heels, you can bet I have back-up ballet flats in my bag! As a writer, I generally only dress up if I’m going to an event. More often, I’m wearing a great pair of jeans with a vintage-inspired shirt from AllSaints—my favorite store for infusing a little rebel rocker chick into my mommy wardrobe. A friend convinced me to buy a leather mini-dress there. I argued that I couldn’t wear it at 40—I’d look like mutton dressed up as lamb. She said, ‘Well, you can’t wear it at 50, so you better wear it now!’ I’m sure at 50, we’ll redefine our limits again. There are some hot 50-year-olds in my ’hood!”
“I try to support my fashion friends’ businesses and learn from their impeccable style. Maria Casabianca, mom of two and owner of Soma Boutique in Westport, helped me pick out this Bobi dress at her store. I was in and out in five minutes, which is the way I have to shop these days! (I also only spent $100—I’m not into labels and love a good deal.) Jennifer Lau, mom of five, launched her jewelry collection, Genevieve Lau, earlier this year, to fill the niche between costume and fine jewelry. All it takes is a few delicate bangles and a pair of cool earrings from Genevieve Lau to transform a soccer mom into a fashionista. My husband just bought me four “Moscow” and “St. Petersburg” rings, which form a subtle, exquisite rainbow of gems and white diamonds (he’s the one more likely to splurge!). They’re gorgeous. Even if I’m lounging in Lululemon workout gear, I don’t take them off. The best part: 10% of profits go to charity (genevievelau.com).”
RebelMom Photographer: Mindy Véissid, a native New Yorker, grew up surrounded by lights, shadow and movement. Her photos reflect not only this, but also incorporates her creative background in painting and writing by use of metaphor, texture and composition. Mindy has been called an intuitive photographer, in that she shoots from her heart. Because of this, she is able to capture candid, true and fleeting moments. Before becoming an international fine art photographer in 2009, Mindy worked in the corporate world and found herself living in Luxembourg and Switzerland for six years. Mindy moved back to the US in 2007, and currently resides in New York City. For more information, visit www.MindyVeissid.comor on Facebook.