From Fifth Grade Teacher to Fashion Blogger


Jennica (middle) with Mapel Friends Maizy & Jessica @ #PFWFall2013

We wanted to pause and put the spotlight on one of our very own at Mapel Boutique. Jennica Smith may be a fifth grade teacher by day, but there’s so much more packed inside that petite body! She started working for Mapel as a summer job about six months after we opened in Bridgeport Village, and has been with us ever since! As a full time teacher, she is an amazing asset to Mapel as a Personal Stylist, photoshoot model and photographer, and now is venturing out with her own fashion blog jennicoutour – the 365 Project. Some stories are best told from personal experience – so we asked her to share her story with you!

It all started one sunny afternoon, when I stepped foot into Mapel Boutique. I instantly fell in love with everything about Mapel. The way everything was carefully and strategically placed, the darling clothes and accessories, the quaint, one-of-a-kind feel. This was where I wanted to work, and I wanted to start immediately. I met Staci [owner of Mapel Boutique], we bonded, and it wasn’t too much longer until I got to step behind the counter, learn the ropes and become a Personal Stylist for Mapel Boutique. 


Throwback of Jennica when Mapel opened in Bridgeport Village

Needless to say, I did a fair amount of damage in the store by adding fabulous new pieces to my wardrobe. Seriously though, I was helping Mapel on many levels: photo shoots, in-store photography, sales, putting on events like the series Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice, and my most recent gig – modeling for the online store. I absolutely love having a piece in so many channels of the boutique.

The modeling has especially been fun because I get to try on all the new clothes, work with photographers, and since my face doesn’t show, I don’t have to do my hair or makeup. Best of both worlds! It also gave me a new appreciation for the models at Portland Fashion Week last weekend. I enjoyed seeing how unique each model was in their physical features and mannerisms. If I were them, I would just be afraid of tripping!


Portland Fashion Week Fall 2013 – photo by Jennica Smith

While attending Portland Fashion Week, I think my favorite part was seeing the Art Institute of Portland designers. They’re kind of like college football players: passionate, high energy, thirsty for more. You could see it on the runway, and when they bashfully came out and waved, that this had been the best day of their life thus far.

The only problem with seeing all these amazing new clothes and new designers is that just eighteen days prior I had committed to not shop for an entire year and not wear the same outfit twice. Did your heart just stop? Because mine did just thinking about it again! Why do I have to keep bringing it up?? Anyway, I started a blog, Jennicouture Fashion, and am posting pictures of my outfit each day, explaining what brands I’m wearing and why. I also share a random thought of the day.

I hope you enjoy my blog and please follow, and share with any friends who might just need a little inspiration in the fashionista department.


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