We had the pleasure of getting to know Jenni Alexandrova recently in an intimate interview and photoshoot.
As one of our idols, Jenni juggles her career as a radio show host, blogger, and social media personality. She exudes strength through her career and personal life and we wanted to share these unique nuances that make her so extraordinary.
First of all Jenni, we love your personality! You are a kick-ass woman and you aren’t afraid to show that. Have you always been a type of woman who does whatever she wants to do?
That’s a really good question! I’m from a small town in Finland, Raahe, and I never dreamed then that I could do work that is at the same time a hobby for me: Writing, photographing, speaking and everything else. When I realized I can do that and stopped worrying about if I screw things up, I was free to focus all my thoughts on my goals. One goal was to work at the biggest media company in Finland and to have my own show. I believe in just going for your dreams! Whether they said yes or no does not matter, as long as I went for it! Why wouldn’t I just ask them? Saying out loud what you want is a brave and important thing to do. Your life, my life, we need to do the things we want to do without considering what people may think about us. And… I was offered to have that own show!
What are the steps you took in your life that led you to this point where you are now?
After high school, I moved to Bulgaria for a year. I wanted to be a visual artist. After taking a few classes, I realized I wasn’t good enough so that I could provide a living for myself by doing arts. That’s also an important thing to understand. Even though you love something you do, it might not bring food to your table. The other thing I loved was writing. I decided I wanted to try journalism. So I went to study that for a year and I really liked it! I chose to study at the University of applied sciences, it was there I was able to study practical things like how to use a camera. I felt that those were the things where I felt alive compared to just reading books in Uni.
When it was time for my internship program in school, I wanted to do my internship with Nelonen, so I called Nelonen TV News and asked the editor and chief directly. I got an answer that I need to come to Helsinki for an interview. So I collected money for a train ticket and came all the way from the north to Helsinki for this interview. It was worth it because I got the internship which then led to a job at Nelonen TV News. So that was my journey how I got to work in media.
“Saying out loud what you want is a brave and important thing to do.”
Photos: Milja Laakso; Text: Sarianne Solio. Jenni wearing LalliS Design
Jenni wearing Eliise Filppula
Internships are something we here at Fedited get asked a lot about. What would be your advice for young people when they are just getting started in their careers without full-time pay or maybe any compensation at all?
I have never been paid for an internship. I have always felt honored to work in these places so I was humbled and thankful for those opportunities. I got to work with people who had years of experience and I received great tips, new information, and experience. Those things can’t be measured in a paycheck. In my case, I had worked hard in the previous summer and had saved enough money so I didn’t need to take a loan. But still, all of my savings went to rent and living. I know there’s a lot of people who are saying that interns should always get paid for their job and it would be amazing if there were a system that could provide this. So if you have that passion towards something you love, my advice is that you should get the experience even though you don’t get paid for it in the beginning.
Let’s talk about personal character. You have a bold personality as a strong independent woman, how did that evolve?
I do things that scare me all the time. That means being brave and asking for what you want. People underestimate the each other’s willingness to help. It is important to support each other. So even if a friend calls to share their dream, it is my duty to support my friend and help where I can.
Do you think you have to hide or filter yourself because of the norms that the society creates?
I did experience backlash after starting my blog when tabloids started to make headlines about my blog posts. I don’t even know should I say this out loud, but I think that if a man would write as directly as I do, it would not cause as many reactions. If that same message comes from a woman it causes more of a stir. For example, if I say I went back to work-life when my son was one year old, it causes a stir like ”why did you had the child in the first place then” or ”why did you want to have a child if you don’t want to spend time with him at home”. That is one motivation why I have to write more about these subjects.
If you have strict opinions, you are automatically seen as a ”bad” feminist. Of course, I’m a feminist, but people don’t understand what that means. Feminism still has some old-fashioned bad vibes in it. They think that being a feminist means that women are pushing men down. No! We think that women and men are equal. If I criticize some man, it’s not because he’s a man, it’s because he’s an asshole. And I can say the same about a woman. More women should say things out loud and shouldn’t fear the consequences. Equally, I can compliment a man or a woman! If you discriminate against someone because of the gender, then you should take a look at a mirror. That way we can kill those taboos. All women should be feminists. And all men should be feminists.
Dress by Eliise Filppula, bag by Pihka Collection
Jacket by Eliise Filppula, bag by Pihka Collection, artwork by Atelier Emmi Kainulainen
Power suit by LalliS Design
“Style can support your personal charisma and then you differ from the masses.”
At Fedited we are proud to call ourselves feminists! We could talk for hours about feminism and equality!
So I want to talk next about style and how it affects your self-esteem. Do you believe that with style you can create a more powerful image of yourself? Does that self-esteem evolve the way your style evolves?
I must admit that before when I would put on high heels or something fancier, I wanted to hide myself a bit and didn’t want to draw attention to me. But now I think that it’s a great thing to draw attention! For example like you have a red blazer and red lipstick, it’s good to be noticed! I like to notice stylish people walking on the streets and would like to go to say to them that you look good.
I think that with stylish outlooks you can support your personal image and self-esteem. We should stop thinking that style is superficial. It isn’t so. I’m a very visual person and I love if something caught my attention. Over the years I have found my personal style but at the same time, I don’t want to close the door for something that doesn’t fit that style. I want to mix some hipster and bohemian style with luxurious vibes, but if some interesting fashion pieces that I would never have chosen by myself appear in a photo shoot, I will definitely give them a try!
Dress by Eliise FIlppula
“When talking about business, there is one thing we should learn from men: networking and creating a sense of brotherhood.”
Has a good sense of style helped you to get into different places or helped you in your career path?
In Finland, I would say no. Or maybe I just haven’t noticed those kinds of things. But I believe that’s a true thing, a person who has this cool and stylish outfit, usually feels good about them self. They glow and have a good aura. Style can support your personal charisma and then you differ from the masses.
Do you have any more advice for our readers?
Women should stop comparing each other and stop thinking every woman competes against each other. When talking about business, there is one thing we should learn from men: networking and creating a sense of “brotherhood”. We should build strong networks and good things will come back to you!
Like Jenni, we here at Fedited want to encourage women to speak their mind. Break the taboos and the fear of what others might think. If more women open up and show courage and support each other we will change the world together!
INTRODUCING THE BRANDS JENNI IS WEARING:
“The personalized services that PIHKA (named after the Finnish word for coniferous rosin) provides to our customers are based on the unique set of skills possessed by the three young women behind the brand. PIHKA is based on the shared vision and combined skills of Maisa – a Shoemaker Apprentice, Sofia – a Master of Business Administration, and Roosa – a Footwear Designer Student. Established in 2013, PIHKA is dedicated to continuously improving our business model and the availability of our products. This enables us to provide a wide variety of leather products and related services to an ever-increasing clientele that appreciates quality of work and local production.
All manufacturing and design of PIHKA products is done in Finland – for the most part in our workshop located in the Kehräsaari district of Tampere. Handcrafting is used as much as possible in creating PIHKA collection products; the production process also utilizes carefully selected subcontractors from the surrounding Pirkanmaa region. PIHKA has been awarded the rights to use the Finnish Key Flag Symbol and Design From Finland registered collective marks of the Association for Finnish Work.”
ELIISE FILPPULA is starting fashion and lifestyle brand founded by Finnish, half Estonian fashion designer Eliise Filppula. She graduated from Spain with BA degree and from London with MA degree in Fashion Design 2018.
Eliise Filppula brings a bright colour palette together to simple, clean lines with the idea of bringing paper folding techniques into fashion interpretation. Challenging herself by experimentation new pleating techniques she is constantly looking for new inspirations and treats each creation as a unique and original piece.
Eliise Filppula has been featured in Brighton Fashion Week 2014 and also in British Vogue in December issue 2014. She has also taken part several catwalk competitions like Gibraltar Runway, Plaza Mayor Fashion Week and Luxury Weekend.
Each product by ELIISE FILPPULA is carefully designed and hand crafted, focusing on detail in Helsinki, Finland. Order and price inquiries can be maid through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lallis Design is a Helsinki based fashion brand by the multitalented designer, stylist and hair artist Lalli Savolainen.
“In my opinion, being humble doesn’t make you any prettier. I want to bring some luxury into your everyday life: easygoing feminity and simple style.”