Many of us spend countless hours scrolling through Instagram hashtags, inevitably stumbling upon accounts run by individuals with extraordinary images, a large number of followers, and cleverly disguised promotional posts throughout their feed. Most of these people have become brand influencers. From small boutiques to large corporations like Amazon, almost every company selling consumer products is utilizing influencer marketing through social media. Though influencers surround us, we never truly get to know them beyond their clever Instagram handles or witty blog names. We are left wondering, "Who are they? What motivates them? And how on earth did they land this dream job?" That is what we set out to discover and have dedicated a new blog series called “Influencer Spotlight” to illuminate the people behind the brands!
For our first “Influencer Spotlight,” we are taking a look into the life of Jennifer Kipp. Jennifer is an influencer, lifestyle and fashion blogger, and professional photographer that took her passion and molded it into a career. We were first introduced to Jennifer through the fashion industry and instantly bonded over our mutual love for western wear. We were inspired by her capability to cultivate a fantastic career through a tremendous amount of hard work, ability to overcome and learn from failures, and her unrelenting pursuit to move forward. However, our genuine appreciation for Jennifer was sparked after learning that she leads a life of intention, devoting the majority of her time to her family. Jennifer fosters an extremely supportive relationship with her husband, is raising two strong and independent young girls, and advocates for her mother who is in a nursing home with dementia. Jennifer is also a woman of faith. "'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5.' This has been my life verse since I was 12 years old." But ultimately, what sets her apart from other bloggers and influencers is the amount of time and energy she puts into mentoring her peers and helping them reach their goals. If you have ever had any ill-conceived assumptions of what an influencer might be like, Jennifer contradicts every single one.
As far back as she can remember, Jennifer has loved both fashion and photography. She has fond memories of making her own jewelry, experimenting with makeup, and exploring how to assemble an ensemble. Jennifer was raised in the town of Schertz, Texas (twenty minutes north-east of downtown San Antonio). When Jennifer was a little girl, Schertz was a small town comprised of one two-lane road, though today, it is hard to differentiate where San Antonio ends and Schertz begins. However, the proximity to San Antonio was close enough that she has always embraced the culture and influence of both a large city and a small southern town. This ultimately shaped her personal style which she calls, “A little bit of city and a little bit of southern.” However, her love of fashion and photography did not solely launch her career.
Jennifer was married at 23 years old. At that time, her focus was on her family and raising her children. She wanted to cultivate an opportunity to work from home in efforts to spend more time with her children and had a natural tendency to lean towards entrepreneurialism. She experimented with a few options, eventually launching an embroidery business. Jennifer recalls that her husband was always incredibly encouraging telling her, “Whatever you want to do, I support you." During this stage in her life, Jennifer got her hands on her husband’s Canon EOS Rebel. She was immediately hooked. This camera had so many different capabilities to push her creativity than her polaroid, which is what she used up until that point. She started taking countless numbers of photos of friends and family while practicing and exploring the world of photography. Then one day, one of her friends from church, Sarah, who had seen her photos on Facebook, confronted her. Sarah had been working in San Antonio as a professional photographer for fifteen years and was about to move to New York. She did not want to leave her loyal customers without a photographer. Jennifer recalls Sarah explaining, “You have such an eye for photography. I feel like you need someone to unlock that talent that is deep within you, and I want to take you under my wing.” Therefore, Sarah mentored Jennifer which eventually lead to the beginning of Jenn Kipp Photography. At this time, Jennifer created a website, added a blog component, and ignited her career. Today, Jennifer could simply be described as an entrepreneur, and has partnered with many companies such as J.C. Penny, The Dallas Cowboys, Wellington Watches, Wendy's, Diff Eyewear and many, many more!
In October of 2018, Jennifer helped launch and currently leads the San Antonio chapter of Blogger Babes. As explained on their website Blogger Babes is "an entertainment company that houses communities of innovators who promote awareness through virally engaging marketing solutions." The organization was founded in efforts to create a network of peers back in September of 2017 after a fellow blogger/influencer, Shelby Soileau, moved from Texas to Orange County, California. There are now six chapters spanning from California to New York and the organization is ever-expanding. Jennifer explains, “Since I have become the leader [of the San Antonio Chapter] I realized that there are so many bloggers in San Antonio… I feel like everyone is just doing their own thing, and I wish that we could all work together." Though Blogger Babes is new to San Antonio, it is apparent that the group is already bridging the gap between individual bloggers. Jennifer continues, "We are more powerful when we do things together, and just getting to collaborate is huge.”
“I love encouraging people with fashion, but I feel like [my role is] to love people, encourage and inspire them, even if it is not through fashion.” Recently, many people have been reaching out to Jennifer inquiring tips and tricks on how to get started as a blogger and influencer. "Really, what I did was a jump in.... It is just really crucial to be intentional [when starting] because if you are not, it is so easy just to give up.” Jennifer seized an opportunity to learn and devoted countless numbers of hours to growing, learning from missteps, and discovering alternate paths. This lead her to a self-made dream career. Today, she lives by the motto: never be jealous or envious of other bloggers and influencers. View their success as motivation! “We all have our own lanes, and we all have our own timing, and there is enough success for all of us.”
Jennifer genuinely has a heart of gold. Be sure to check out Jennifer's blog and if you do not currently follow her on Facebook and Instagram, we strongly encourage you to change that! Her content is fantastic, and your follow helps support one fabulous individual.
Q&A | Courtney Cobb with J.Forks Designs and Jennifer Kipp
QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?
QUESTION: FAVORITE GRAB AND GO SHOPPING LOCATION FOR CLOTHES AND HOME INTERIOR?
….For home interior, there is a little boutique out here [in Spring Branch] called Farmhouse Market, and I usually get stuff for my house from there or Hobby Lobby.
QUESTION: IF YOU ONLY HAD TIME TO APPLY ONE ITEM OF MAKEUP, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Jennifer: It would have to be my eyelashes!
QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR FASHION SECRET?
QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG?
QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
Jennifer: I would have to say a pastime would be Girls Just Want to Have Fun!
QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CUP OF COFFEE?
Jennifer: If I make it at home, I just make a breakfast blend with sweet cream or honey. If I go to Starbucks, I usually love getting a White Chocolate Mocha.
QUESTION: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESSERT?
Jennifer: That is a hard one! I would say, anything with Strawberries in it!
Written By: Courtney Cobb