By Jamie Ducharme
Photos: Elise Borja
If there’s one word that describes Jennifer Chen, it’s busy. The 2013 Northeastern graduate, who spoke to the Fashion & Retail Society on Tuesday, Nov. 19, started two businesses by her third year of college, and she hasn’t slowed down since then.
Chen, who graduated with a degree in marketing, accounting and communication studies and works full-time in advertising, is also the founder of the Fashion Hub blog. She started the blog during her third year of college knowing nothing about blogging, and built it up to where it is today—a blog with over 40,000 readers.
“Going from literally nothing to building up to 40,000 readers, it’s my favorite thing to do in my life,” Chen said. “It started off as a hobby to an actual business as a fashion blogger.”
The Fashion Hub covers everything from trend reports and shopping news to features about local design talent and employment opportunities for people in all areas of the fashion industry. “It isn’t just your normal blog that writes about personal style,” Chen said. “It’s a central hub for all people who love fashion.”
And The Fashion Hub isn’t Chen’s only business. As a college sophomore, she also started Expression by Jennifer Chen, a website that offers event planning—inspired by her experience organizing a yearly fashion show for Northeastern’s Office of Diversity and Equality—and sells Chen’s own fashion designs. Chen said the designs are all customized for her clients because “I wanted to bring back the artistry of fashion with my own brand.”
Chen also gave Fashion & Retail Society members advice about breaking into the fashion industry. “Blogging is the easiest way to penetrate into the industry because I get to know everyone,” she said.
And, Chen said, it’s possible to end up in the industry without majoring or interning in fashion. Of Chen’s three co-ops, none were in fashion—she worked in event planning, business development and advertising—so she said being entrepreneurial and passionate is key.
“If you’re passionate, if you really love it,” she said, “you’ll put in the time and people will see it.”