Meet Jen Woodward, our Yuletide Muse of the Month. A self proclaimed "anger management graduate" she is a Fashion Product Placement PR maven by day that has undeniable charm, humor and wit. Find out how she made the leap from New York to Los Angeles, what her perfect day looks like and why she "Costs more than you".
Photography by EASTON SCHIRRA
Fashion Director JOEY TIERNEY
Make-up by JADYN NGO
Interviewed by CHERYL ALDIP
HAUTE STREET: Tell us about your upbringing. What it was like growing up, family, friends, things you remember most and traditions.
JEN WOODWARD: I grew up in upstate New York in a small town about a hour outside of Buffalo. My childhood was filled with canines, horses, musical instruments and karate. I was adopted from Korea as an infant and for the entirety of my adolescence I was the only Asian in town. Growing up in my Caucasian family I had angst about adoption, aesthetics and life in general. My parents and I clashed so I moved out when I was sixteen. I grew up fast and faced a lot of responsibility without maturity. Despite this, today my parents and I have a great relationship. Which brings me to my favorite family tradition: listening them sing “The First Noel” on Christmas Eve. They have beautiful harmonizing voices. Every Christmas if we are not together they will call me and sing the entire song.
HS: Who is an inspiring woman in your life and why?
JW: I’d have to say my mother. We are very different people and we disagree on a lot of life views but she is a strong, smart, compassionate person. I lack compassion and know it is a trait I need to work on. My mother inspires me to be more caring. Her mother, my grandma moved into my parents home several years ago. Both of my parents have sacrificed an easy retired life so that my grandmother can be comfortable with family she loves. When I go home and see how much my mother dotes on her mother I am very moved and inspired to be a better person.
HS: What is a piece of advice that has kept you going and growing?
JW: Don’t settle. If you want more in life and in love - go get it.
HS: Can you tell us about an "ah-ha" moment in your life and how it changed you?
JW: My ah-ha moment was when I decided to move to LA from New York. In a month I sold almost all of my possessions, packed my red escort with clothes and drove to LA in three days. It brought me completely out of my comfort zone. I made the decision to turn my life down a different path and hit a restart. Los Angeles empowered me and showed me my own strength and now it is home.
HS: Have you had a hardship in your life that you have had to overcome?
JW: When you are experiencing a hardship in that moment it feels like nothing could be worse but looking back at the times I could call “hardships” none of it was. I am fortunate to have health, family, and happiness (most of the time).
HS: We love your blog - I Cost More Than You. Can you tell us about the name and why you started it?
JW: As old age starts to set in, I feel the need to remember things, possibly document more since I have started to forget a lot. Why “Icostmorethanyou”? I am adopted and I probably did. International adoptions can be pricey. They only allow people with some sort of money to take us cute Korean babies out of Korea. (which makes no sense as we are being adopted because we are being discarded for being female but I guess someone wanted Korea to look responsible in the process) My sister was also adopted but from Ohio. Therefore throughout our childhood “I cost more than you”, could be heard coming from my loud mouth, which may be a bit offensive and/or rude but quite fitting if you know me.
HS: Having to travel often for work- where is your favorite place and why?
JW: I think my favorite place is somewhere I haven’t been to yet but if I had to pick a favorite I would say Ibiza. (And it doesn’t have to do with work!)
HS: What are 5 things that you must do while there?
JW: 1. I spend time there with friends I only see a couple times a year. It’s a special place where I can catch up with the people I love that live far away.
2. Fish Shack. ALWAYS eat at the fish shack.
3. Beach lounging and exploring.
4. Es Vedra
5. And of course the amazing parties.
HS: Finish these sentences:
JW: I am most happy when... Dasha and I are in bed watching Wes Anderson Movies. For a dog she has a very elevated taste in films.
My favorite part of the day is... whenever I am laughing.
I am most inspired when... music, art and fashion combine making a perfect trifecta.
My most embarrassing moment was when... I was 12 and I peed my pants standing in front of my locker.
My pet peeve is... butt revealing jean shorts and short bangs.
A quote that best describes me is... “You have corrupted my imagination and inflamed my blood...” Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs
HS: Top 3 instagram accounts that you follow and why?
And recently I started following and I am obsessed with @textsfromyourex. For example: First text: “I would cuddle you and tell you everything is ok” Response: “ I would punch you in the dick.”
HS: What does a typical day look like for you?
JW: My typical day is filled with telling my Doberman, Dasha how much I love her. Spending time at the showroom, working with stylists and communicating with our clients. Maybe a lunch or a dinner with friends followed by more admissions of love for my dog, some book reading and bed.
HS: How did you get into your line of work? What advice would you give to someone pursuing the same career?
JW: I went to school and studied law. I always had the intention of continuing to become an attorney but after working in law firms for nine years I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. About three years ago I started interning for a Fashion Product Placement company, after two months I was offered a full time position and I left the legal field. I am now the Director of Fever LA. My advice would be don’t be afraid to take the lowest position because if you are competent and passionate it wont take long to be recognized.
HS: What advice would you give your 25 year old self?
JW: Don’t wear Herve Leger Bandage dresses just because everyone else is.
HS: Our November Muse of the Month, Tess Willcox asked, "If you could choose one thing to happen to you every single day, for the rest of your life, what would it be?"
JW: For my bangs to always be perfect. And world peace.
HS: All of our muses have a passion and desire to give back through their #PASSIONPROJECTS. Tell us about your passion project and why it is so important to you.
JW: If you could somehow merge Korean adoptees with orphaned Doberman pinchers into a program I’d never stop working.
Realistically, my passion project is writing. I love to write and would like to put together a book about adoption in a comical tone but also tackle the issues and questions that adopted kids have.