Merry Christmas! Today we visit NYC to speak with Jessica & Melissa from Pennyanddash.com. These two girls are high school friends who have maintained contact and started an amazing lifestyle & fashion blog. Their Instagram is an awesome addition that shows their fashion and adventures in New York. Be sure to check it out! But only after you read the interview below!
How did you two meet? And how long have you been best friends?
We actually grew up in the same hometown and went to elementary and middle school together. However, we always ran in different friend groups and did not actually become friends until our freshman year of high school. Since 2008, we’ve always had the running joke (mostly because it rhymed) that we would be “Best friends until 2010”. Flash forward a bit, and we are almost 8 years deep into our friendship!
What made you guys decide to start Penny & Dash together?
Our love for fashion and style was always evident even as early as our middle school days, though we never really properly embraced it until college. We grew a lot closer once we started in different universities (ironically, despite the fact that we spent so much time together every day during high school), and would find ourselves talking and daydreaming all day long about starting a blog. We would send each other screenshots of our favorite bloggers, style inspiration, Pinterest links of incredible travel photos, and everything under the sun that we thought was cool or interesting. The timing was never really right because of the distance until our senior year, when we both knew that we would be settled in New York City after graduation.
Congratulations on graduating college! What are your plans now that you both have relocated to the big apple?
Jessica: I currently work as a strategy consultant in supply chain & operations. I love how different my job is every day, and since projects change every couple of months, I always have something new and excited to look forward to. To be honest, it’s really difficult for me to even predict my longer-term plans here because life can change so quickly depending on where I’ll be traveling for work in the next couple of months! All I know is that I will probably be moving soon within the city, and will be brainstorming more ideas for our blog!
Melissa: I moved to the city back in July and am working as an internal auditor in the financial services industry. Though I was an accounting major in college, I moved away from financial statements for the time being and instead started my career auditing the bank’s processes and mitigating current/future risks. I love how my job taps into my inquisitive and analytical nature and allows me to learn so much about every function of the banking industry.
How would you both describe your personal style?
Jess: I’ve always been a classic style aficionado, and I love timeless pieces in my wardrobe. I have a love affair with an eclectic mix of things, from lace and bows to feminine silhouettes. I love every excuse to dress up, whether it is for work or even a day out and about in the city.
Mel: Honestly, my style evolves every few years, and I was never one who could just stick to one type of look since I am constantly inspired by so many different elements. In high school, Gossip Girl was my all time favorite television show, so I channeled my inner Blair Waldorf and stayed true to her preppy lifestyle. During my college days, I leaned more towards being boho-chic since that style is more casual, comfortable and easier to manage when I was waking up at 7:50 for an 8am class. These days, however, I would say that my wardrobe is composed of the classic items with a feminine twist.
Who are favorite brand/designer? Do either of you own any of their designs?
Self Portrait and Alexis are definitely in our top three brands since they are the epitome of femininity. That being said, because their prices are quite steep for fresh graduates, we do not own any of their items just yet.
Who are your fashion icons?
Jenna Lyons, Kate Middleton and Olivia Palermo
Where are your favorite places to shop?
While we definitely can have expensive taste when it comes to fashion and designers, we know what we are able to afford now that we have only started working full time for a few months. Penny & Dash’s collection of lookbooks features mostly clothing that is in the mid-range, contemporary clothing stores, which are definitely affordable for the average girl (just like us). We love saving money as much as the next person, so we always keep an eye out for those deals and sales. Although we shop from a variety of places, our top favorites have to be: Zara, Topshop, Nordstrom, and Banana Republic for work wear essentials.
When you launched Penny & Dash, what was it like to take that leap and start your own blog?
It was incredibly exciting to not only start a new project that we each really enjoyed, but to also be able to share the hobby with each other. To be honest, it can be tough at times to produce content twice a week while working a full time job in the corporate world, but luckily for us, we always have the other person to be a source of motivation when one of us is feeling a bit drained or tired. Exploring the world, creating new outfits, and going on our own little personal weekend photoshoots definitely are the more “fun” aspects of our lives, but getting to experience our first dip into the blogging industry together is really what makes it worthwhile to us.
What’s a place the two of you would like to visit?
We actually just booked our plane tickets to one the places we have been eyeing for months now, but we’re going to keep it a secret until the date comes closer 😉 However, in the future, our top travel destinations together would definitely be: New Zealand, Patagonia (Argentina), Moraine Lakes (Canada), and Thailand. We love big cities (Hello, New York), but also appreciate the beauty of nature through long and scenic hikes. Any place with a combination of bustle and serenity will be a check on our list!
What are your goals for Penny & Dash in 2017?
2016 was such a crazy year of milestones: graduating college, starting Penny & Dash, and kick-starting our obsessive wanderlust. 2017 is going to be filled with fresh and exciting content on both casual and corporate fashion, accompanied by travels to over 3 different continents (as of right now) between the both of us! We are SO excited for what this New Year will bring and we can’t wait to share it with everybody!