Updated: Oct 22
In this weeks featured interview, meet Jenny Smith! Jenny is a global makeup artist with Nars Cosmetics, and most of all... an animal lover! Jenny and I met by chance over 3 years ago in Dallas, TX at a job where I was her model, and she my make-up artist. We instantly had a connection over our love of animals and vegan food! Since then, we have stayed in touch via instagram, and have run into each other randomly while living in NYC. Needless to say, I am beyond excited for you to meet Jenny and her cat, Stitch... (He has his own instagram and # so he's a big deal. Get ready!)
Get to know some fun answers from the pair individually, then all together!
Meet the Human-
1. what is your name?
2. what is your calling in life?
I think I have a few callings. One of my callings is to make women and people look and feel great about themselves. That's one of the things I enjoy about my work, is making mainly women look and feel better about themselves, whether they're models or my personal clients and what have you. One of my other callings in life is to save animals.
3. what is your favorite color?
4. what is your favorite type of food or meal?
Vegan food and plant-based, some vegan junk food like vegan or veggie burgers and vegan donuts. And I love my coffee in the morning.
5. what is a smell that makes you happy?
The smell of pine trees and nature and the holidays. And the smell of coffee in the morning.
6. where and how did you grow up?
I grew up in Sparta, New Jersey in a pretty much private community and spent a lot of time outside in nature with my mom and sister. When my dad wasn't working, we would do family camping trips. Definitely surrounded by nature a lot of the time. Also a lot of different culture like going to museums and traveling, that type of thing.
7. if you had super powers what would they be?
To save all the animals in the world and end any animal cruelty.
8. who is your fashion icon or role model?
Oh my gosh. I have so many. Let's see. Norma Kamali is one of them. Coco Chanel. Oh my gosh, so many. Other icons: Joan Jett, Blondie, Audrey Hepburn
9. what are the unwritten rules of where you work?
Doing everything in a classy and sophisticated way.
10. what do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
All kinds of cultural things, especially quality time with friends or family and catching up over dinners or beautiful drinks or a glass or two of wine. I love being out in nature and hiking, going to the beach. I enjoy a lot of indoor cultural things too, like museums or cinemas and especially if they have a Q&A afterwards. Yoga and meditation are a huge part of my life and have been for well over 20 years. I started meditating around the age of 12. And driving my new convertible and snuggling Stitch!
11. What made you decide to pursue cosmetics as your career?
That's an interesting question. Originally in my teen years and through all my vintage shopping, I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer. Then when I started researching in my high school years, what I would do as a career and because I love taking care of people, I did a research project in high school about dental hygiene, dental assisting. My neighbor who I grew up next door to was a dental hygienist and I really admired her as a strong, independent woman. I thought this is a great way that I can take care of people. It's really interesting too and it's health-related. I did that for a few years as a dental assistant and I was going to college for all the prerequisites and then my sister introduced me to makeup. And that was it. And the rest is history.
BIG BONUS ANSWERS because I was having way too much fun talking to Jenny...
If you could only use one makeup item what would it be?
Wow. Probably skincare and SPF.
What is your favorite part about living in NYC?
I'm always surrounded by culture and there's pretty much always something to do even if you just want to go out and do it on your own. You don't have to have somebody to do activities with or go for a walk with. Yeah. The city that never sleeps, the greatest city in the world.
What is a cause that is near and dear to your heart?
Animal rescue and vegetarian or veganism as a whole in my lifestyle, not just with dietary choices, but with overall choices including the things that you shop for. Even fashion-wise, avoiding feathers, fur, leather or any byproducts that could be hidden in clothing or that people don't really think twice about. I think we've made a lot of progress over the years. For me when I was 10, 11, 12, and I finally found rice milk. Then that eventually I would say over the past 10 or 15 years became almond milk and coconut milk. I feel like we've made a lot of progress and people have made a lot of progress with dietary changes in decisions. I think we can continue to strengthen that with vegetarianism and veganism as a whole entire lifestyle choice to promote animal well being.
Describe your music taste in 3 words:
Rock. and. roll.
What is a must have fashion item for you at the moment?
My vegan leather jacket from The Cast, which is a store on the lower East side in New York. It's one of the only cool punk rock and roll stores left. They're truly the definition of rebellion and style.
Top bucket list item?
Live on Gramercy Park in New York. It's the only private park in the city and you need to live on the park to have a key and you have to buy the key to be able to enter. I think it would be such a sense of peace and serenity in the madness of the city that it's just this perfect little hub of nature and beautiful magical gardens.
What is the highlight of this year so far for you?
I have actually had so many different highlights and I think that's such a great question because people can see this year from a positive or a negative perspective but for me, it's been a year of growth. Personally, professionally, and I've learned so much social media-wise. I've learned so many things technology-wise. I learned how to paint my apartment and I've learned tons of new ways to organize and make things work, especially in a quote "dollhouse apartment" in New York. It's a huge year of clarity and letting go and taking my life to a new level in many different ways.
Meet the Pet-
1. what is your name?
2. what breed are you?
Persian. But my mother spells it:
3. if you had super powers, what would it be?
If I had super powers I think I would probably be able to tell my mom through telepathy, which cat foods I like because we're always trying new ones and sometimes I like it once and she buys a few more, but then I don't eat it again. I'm always trying new foods.
4. who is your role model in life?
I would say my role model is my mom because she knows that we have this unspoken understanding that I really don't have to lift a paw around here, but she does all of the work of going to work and paying for our apartment. I know that she's envious of being a very well taken care of relaxed cat in her next life.
5. tell us your adoption/rescue story…
It's a big one. Are you ready? Okay, great. Yeah. My human mom, Jenny, doesn't know my early years, but what she does know and what the animal rescue does know is that they rescued me from a house where there were about six or seven other cats. I believe there were about eight of us. The people didn't take care of us or feed us on a regular basis. Before I met Jenny, I was at a cat rescue in New Jersey and joined my foster parent's home where the woman and man took care of me with a few other cats and we had a huge giant house. When Jenny found me in her late night searches on petfinder.com, she took screenshots of me and even though she called a few times and tried to find out more information and tried to adopt me, she knew that she had to keep trying and she would eventually connect with me. It's been love since first kitty cuddle, the day that we met.
6. favorite color?
White because I love to lay on my big bed in the apartment and I call it my cloud and I can look out the window from there, I can watch the sunset, I can see the moon in the sky, and that's where most of the kitty cuddles happen.
7. what is the ultimate cheat meal for you?
Pizza and sourdough bread. Definitely. I love bread. Whenever my mom comes in with anything bread related, I turn my pur motor on and I let her know that I'm right there and I'm ready for some little tiny nibbles of food.
8. what nicknames do you go by?
Okay. This is a long list.
The Baby, but it's spelled D-A-, Da Baby.
My Instagram name is King Purrsian Stitch and my hashtag is #RestingStitchFace.
The Cutest Baby
The Cutest Baby Man, and the list goes on and on.
9. how did you get your name? is there any significance behind it?
I got my name at the animal rescue they called me Stitch for a little while and then they were playing with the idea of calling me Ralphie. But when my human mom, Jenny, found me, she knew that I wasn't a Ralphie, I was a Stitch and I'm still a Stitch.
10. what is the best and worst thing about being a cat?
The best thing is definitely sleeping, eating, having someone dote all over you and taking great care of you because they know that you probably have a better life than they do as a human. A more relaxed life. The worst thing would be having a human that doesn't appreciate you enough or not being able to have your food on a routine schedule.
11. when mom is at work, what do you do to stay occupied?
I watch the birdies, I clean my little grinchy paws. Sometimes I play with my little catnip wine bottles, which have names on them like "cat bernet" or "muscat". Sometimes I lay on the bed and make myself cozy in my big cloud and sometimes I just lay under the bed and I sleep all day.
Meet the Pair-
1. take us through your morning routines together…
The morning routine either begins with staring at mom from the floor, not meowing, just staring until she feels someone looking at her and she wakes up to get me food. Another thing I like to do is I like to crawl up by her head on the pillow and I put myself into a little C shape around her head because she's nice and warm... like C for cat. A lot of the times we go to sleep or wake up with paw in hand or paw on hand. As soon as I get up and get myself water, I get Stitch water. He's always served first of course. He gets water and then I get water. I go to the bathroom, he follows me into the bathroom. I come out and I start my coffee and his food is delivered to him, and that's just the morning. While Stitch is eating I usually shower and put on some birdie music for him and he relaxes while I get ready. Oh, and he always gets treats in the morning before I walk out the door.
2. what is your favorite things to do together?
I'd say kitty cuddles or a little morning meditation together, grooming. Honestly, I should just make like a little King Persian Stitch doll. I feel like every kid would go crazy for him.
3. what is something Stitch does that gets on your nerves?
He doesn't really do anything that could ever get on my nerves. He's so easy going and adorable. The only thing that's sometimes a little challenge is that it's hard to do a pedicure or cutting out some of the little knots, but we do it step by step even if it's two nails tonight, three back nails tomorrow. But manicures are easy. As we continue building our bond over the years, all of the grooming becomes easier.
4. what is the best thing about having each other?
The best thing- our unconditional love and respect for each other. We always have fun together, even if we're not really doing much.
5. what is your favorite memory together?
Every year when we do our Christmas picture together.
6. what is the funniest thing Stitch has ever done?
The funniest thing is probably when he smells bread, when I get a slice of, or if I have a piece of sourdough bread or something like that, he knows it and he gets his motor running and starts purring and he waits for little bites of bread and he tries to steal bread from me. I end up giving him little bites so that he's involved and he doesn't feel like he has to fight for it. It's really cute. Carbs are the naughty pleasure for both of us, I guess.
7. how long have you been together?
We've been together about two and a half purrrrfect years.
8. what is the hardest thing about caring for Stitch?
The hardest thing is leaving. Even just leaving my apartment and leaving him home for a work day or just for a few hours when I go out to see my friends or anything like that.
9. does Stitch inspire you? if so, how and why?
Oh my gosh. He completely inspires me every day. He is mindful in everything that he does and so sweet and gentle, he's patient. If I'm sleeping a little later on the weekend or something, he just patiently waits for food. He never meows or makes noise. He has so many characteristics that reinforce my characteristics in life and inspire me to be a better person for him and the rest of the world.
10. If you could ask your pet anything and get a response, what would it be? (and vice versa)
If Stitch could ask me any question- When I leave, he would probably wonder where I'm going or what I'm doing.
If I could ask him anything- I would love to know his beginning years that the animal rescue and his foster mom don't have a history or any kind of information about. Yeah. I would love to know his early years from when he was born until about five years old.
11. what are your weekend plans together?
Definitely kitty cuddles. We usually stay in bed a little longer on Saturday or Sunday. We always make sure that we do it one day or the other or both if we can. Definitely taking it slow, having mindful mornings together so that he can go up on the window see if there are any birdies outside.
Is there anything else you'd like to add about you and your pet(s)?
I'm sure anybody who will look at this is probably also like-minded in terms of adopt, don't shop. Also, there's no unconditional love in the world like the bond of a human and their pet.
A big thank you to Jenny + Stitch for participating in AAPETPEOPLE's series of 33 Answers!
Follow them on ig!