Jenna Crandall is, along with Lisa Allen, the brains behind the popular chic blog Lunchpails and Lipstick. After moving to Manhattan and having three kids in three years, she’s figured out how to stay stylish while being a mom. As any parent knows, the job can be pretty stressful. And with all the anxiety that kids can bring, fashion shouldn’t be another thing to worry about.
That’s why Jenna started Lunchpails and Lipstick. The blog covers everthing to do with food, fitness, fashion, and travel and packs them into useful bits for moms on the go. From Wednesday’s “Links I Love” to the “Friday 5,” Jenna does the hard work of tracking down good deals and great finds and shares them with the community that she’s created. Part digest, part lookbook, readers never leave without gaining both inspiration and practical advice.
Before starting the blog, Jenna worked as an estethician for 15 years. An eyelash extension specialist, her client list includes high-profile celebrities such as Kristin Chenoweth. That’s not all, however. A devotee to a healthy lifestyle, Jenna became an AFAA-certified pilates instructor after giving birth to her second baby, and she continues to be an avid proponent of Soul Cycle.
One thing that makes Jenna remarkable is the resolve she has to her family. After enduring the divorce of her parents at a young age, she prayed to find the strength to provide for her family in whatever ways she could. Now, she prays everday that she can provide for her children in the same way, and she attributes her childhood situation to her tremendous capacity for hope.
That capacity for hope was put to the test during the birth of Jenna’s third child, Chloe. While Jenna’s first two kids were born without complications, Chloe wasn’t receiving the oxygen she needed in the womb. The doctor gave an ultimatum: Jenna needed to give birth within 24 hours, or Chloe’s life would be put in danger. At 33 weeks, Chloe was born small but perfectly healthy. It’s amazing to see how deep a mother’s love can be, Jenna says. She says that it’s our job to fight for the people that can’t yet fight for themselves.
It’s not difficult to see that, someday, Jenna is going to be a hero to her own kids as well. For now, staying on top of the nuances of fashion and helping other moms with her advice is a super-power of its own.
We caught up with Jenna to ask her more about what it’s like to live a day in her life:
What was the motivation behind launching Lunchpails and Lipstick? How did you come up with the name?
We moved to Manhattan and I had 3 kids in 3 1/2 years. I wanted to work from home while raising them. Lunchpails & Lipstick is my outlet to express myself and share a glimpse into my life. It's a great way to connect with other people in my community and make some extra money.
How do you constantly come up with new content to curate? How do you find inspiration for your next post?
NYC is always giving me new inspiration. I also keep my life very busy on purpose so I can continue to learn and grow as a person.
What is the one item or accessory that you absolutely cannot live without?
Shoes! They always fit and always make me smile.
You are also an esthetician. What’s the single most important advice you can give to men on how to take care of their skin? And for women?
Start taking care of your skin in your 20's! The earlier you start taking care of your skin, the better. You'll create habits that will last a lifetime. And use SPF!! Slather SPF on your kids and teach them how important it is.
One of the most common themes amongst parents shopping for their kids is the issue that their kids will outgrow the clothes quickly. Do you have any tips or recommendations for parents?
When I buy expensive seasonal pieces, I always buy one size up.
All 3 of your kids were born in different cities: Davis in San Francisco, Gwen in Chicago, and Chloe in NYC. Each city must have a special place in your heart. What do you love most about each city?
This is something I treasure so much. We talk about this in my family at least once a week. It gives each of my kids a sense of identity and individuality. San Francisco definitely has a piece of my heart. I became a mother there! You can't beat the weather and all the scenic places to see. Spending time hiking and boating will always be a highlight. Chicago has my favorite zoo and shopping! The people are the most down to earth and god loving people I've ever known. All religions but a true place where people loved God. I spent hours and hours at the Lincoln Park zoo with my kids. NYC gives me life. I was a young mom and pregnant with my third when we moved to Manhattan. This is the city that brings so many ideas and opportunities to grow and start new things. It's a city of discovery. It's fast paced and contagious. I always find myself wanting to do more and see more.