Conversations on Passion: Jennifer Chen of The Fashion Hub

Conversations on Passion is an interview series with those who have found and are living their passion in some form. If you'd like to be profiled, send me a note at crazyenoughtotry@gmail.com. 

  Photo Credit: Esther P Chen Photography, Ariel Eva Hair & Makeup and T*Racy

Photo Credit: Esther P Chen Photography, Ariel Eva Hair & Makeup and T*Racy

For the first in the interview series, I've spoken with Jennifer Chen. Quite the busy person, she's actively involved in her day job and her passion work, all the while trying to keep a personal life. Creator of the website The Fashion Hub, she is very passionate about fashion, but that's not all. I had a chance to interview her and I'm happy to share her thoughts on passion, life, and more.

What is passion to you?

Passion is an unconditional love and desire to pursue an element or aspect in life that one lives and breathes for. Passion is what drives me to love what I do and do what I love. Passion, in short, is the spark in everything I do.

How do you think your definition of passion compares with what others perceive to be passion?

There is no definitive truth in what passion is. It varies for each person at different stages in our lives. It is continuously shaped through our growth as individuals, and it changes with experience, knowledge, and aspirations.

What are you passionate about?

A natural smile and glow exists at the thought and process of fashion, art, food, family and friends, love, and making a difference through helping others. These are my passions. A new passion on the horizon, however, is training for 2014 Boston Marathon as a charity runner for Run for Research!

What would you say your top 3 are in order?

Difficult to say! They are all equally valuable to me, but they shift depending on what needs to be the focus at the moment.

What is your day job?

I am a Digital Coordinator at Blitz Media!

How did you decide to follow that career choice?

At Northeastern University, I studied Marketing, Accounting, and Communications. It only came natural to me to step into this career after gaining my first exposure as an Assistant Account Manager as a co-op for AOL Advertising. That one experience opened up a door and new direction in my vision for my career. And, thus far, I cannot complain. I wake up every morning with a smile at work, and leave work the same way I walked in. Never a dull moment!

How do you balance working on fashion projects with your responsibilities at work?

My priority is always my primary career, with my fashion projects as a secondary career and passion. If you are passionate, you will always find time to fit it in your schedule. And, it doesn't feel like work when you are having fun!

A new passion of mine is training for 2014 Boston Marathon as a charity runner for Run for Research. Despite a full time career and secondary career in fashion, I have started to carve out dedicated hours to train on a weekly basis. It is with my passion and mission to fundraise for Run for Research that I make time each week to train. That passion comes from being a former co-op and current volunteer for American Liver Foundation for the last 5 years. And, for the first time in 2014, I will switch from a volunteer to a charity runner for their Run for Research team. This past Monday, I finalized my registration and paperwork upon acceptance as a charity runner, and needless to say, I quickly set up my fundraising page here!

How did you come to find your passion?

In the midst of my journey in understanding what happiness meant for me, I discovered each passion at different pin points in my life. Art, for example, grew on me and found me. Some are outspoken and talented in written form, while others channel their energy through music. For me, it was art. More specifically, oil painting and watercolor.

Has your passion changed over time? How so?

Yes, and it continuous to change even as we speak. The biggest turning point in changing my passion was in my senior year when academic and career success defined my passion. As I  looked forward to graduation, I discovered that I didn’t want to jump into my career. I wanted to regain family time that I lost from attending boarding school since I was ten years old. So with that thought in mind, I decided to take a year off to travel back to Taiwan, spend time with family, and work on new watercolors.

Since this turning point, the focus of my passions has revolved around this one quote that I came up with: "Everyone has a different definition of success. But at the end of the day, our lives are not defined by our academic, career, or advancements. It is, instead, defined by how we lived, how we laughed, how we loved, and ultimately, if through it all, we are happy."

What does it feel like to be working towards building your passion beyond a hobby? How did this impact your love for your passion?

Amazing! Of all my passions, the one that has grown beyond just a hobby is The Fashion Hub. What started as a Facebook group and network of fashion enthusiasts, gradually blossomed into the formation of a fashion/beauty blog with a presence among other social media platforms. It is through my passion for The Fashion Hub that I am where I am today. And with each milestone, my love and dedication for it grows.

What about your life experiences do you think helped you in your pursuit of your passion?

From a closure in one chapter to the opening of the next, a new life lesson revealed a new passion each time. As of last year, the revelation that life is not work alone opened up a series of doors for me to rediscover new passions: Art. Fashion. Food. Family. Friends. Love. The list goes on. So with a new mindset, I continue to discover new passions without limits.

Are there are any tips you would give to others to find their passions?

Passion is a self discovery of what makes you tick. It is always changing based on forks, merges, bumps, and blossoms in life. But what won’t change about a passion is the unconditional dedication and love you have for it. You love, live, and breathe for it, and in turn you discover what you love and love what you do.

Can you elaborate more on how you would suggest someone finding their passion? Was there a particular path that you followed or was it more just you happened to come across art and fashion and love it?

Discovering your passion has no recipe or guide. It varies for each one of us at different points in our lives. Some discover it early on, some later, and others continuously. My advice would be as follows:

Don’t chase to discover your passion. Like love, it strikes you when you least expect it. And when it hits you, it's a whirlwind of excitement and joy. When it sparks, it sparks, and trust me, you can’t miss it when your passion and you discover each other.