For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Jess Estrada, Seattle-based writer and creator of the blog, Fresh Jess.
- How did you find yourself as the creator of Fresh Jess?
I was the events director at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce when I decided to create FreshJess.com back in 2008. I was learning about a lot of cool events and people in the city through my job, and wanted a platform to share all of it (beyond MySpace, which was the social network back then!)
2. Which of your stories or projects are you most proud of?
There have been so many, it’s hard to choose a favorite! I have a soft spot for a lot of my “firsts” – the first time I worked with a brand (an Instagram project with Old Navy), my first true sponsored outfit post (Macy’s), the first time I won a contest to participate in something cool (I wrote about DKNY to win a spot on the blogger team at WWDMAGIC in Vegas, one of the largest fashion trade shows in the world), the first time I traveled for a brand partnership (Microsoft Surface’s pop-up shop in Times Square.)
Any time I share something personal on my blog, I feel like I’m going to vomit when I press “post.” The one that sticks out the most is when Richard Sherman posted one of my Seahawks Selfies as his fan pic of the day, and internet trolls tried to body shame me. I turned it into a story about taking responsibility for the words and energy you put out there.
3. What is your favorite thing about creating content for Fresh Jess?
I always love sharing stories, whether it’s my own, some awesome person, nonprofit, or business. Writing these stories out brings me so much joy.
4. What is your writing style?
I keep it real.
5. You’ve conducted many interviews and reported on stories such as store openings. What is your interview style?
I like to think about what my readers and I would be interested in knowing about a person. A lot of times, an interview is set up with the purpose of promoting something. I like to throw in a couple of lifestyle questions to learn more about the person or the creative process behind that product or service.
6. What do you look for in a story?
What’s something unique I can say about what I’m writing on? My perspective is what sets me apart from what people can read on other blogs or media.
7. What are the key differences between being a journalist and being a blogger?
Bloggers are not always being paid to produce the content they do, and are also working with less standards and guidelines than a journalist would. Readers generally look at journalists with more credibility (awards, certifications), but often turn to bloggers for personal, word-of-mouth recommendations.
8. Who do you most look up to in the blogging or journalism industry?
So many! Bloggers who’ve been able to turn blogging into a business is always inspiring to me. Mattie James of Mattieologie, Julie Sarinana (Sincerely Jules), Karla Deras (Karla’s Closet), Chiara Ferragni, Danielle Bernstein (We Wore What), Rumi Neely (FashionToast) and Wendy Nguyen (Wendy’s Lookbook) come to mind.
Journalists who are doing their thang that I really look up to: Monica Guzman, Ijeoma Oluo, Hanna Brooks Olsen, Ruby Veridiano, Danyel Smith, Elliott Smith
9. What is your favorite news outlet or local blog?
I’ve been obsessed with The Everygrey newsletter lately. Sol Villarreal also has a great weekly newsletter rounding up the latest news in the city. I read most if not all Seattle media outlets, but my favorites might be Crosscut and Seattle Globalist (who is losing funding from UW this year and could use our help!)
10. Fill in the blank:
- If I am not working, I am…blogging, working out, or cuddling Spike (my bulldog)
- If I could interview anyone, it would be…Beyonce or Michelle Obama
- My favorite thing about Seattle is…the opportunity
11. What is your guilty pleasure?
My fiancé says that the FreeForm channel creates its programming schedule just for me. They are constantly showing Harry Potter and Twilight marathons, sprinkled in with generous viewings of Elf, Home Alone, Polar Express, and Coming to America. And I watch each movie in its entirety every time. Haha!