Not-So-Sexy Self-Isolation with Jessica Wu
From playing with makeup to keeping her small business up and running, this is how Jessica Wu is passing the time under quarantine.

 

Not-So-Sexy is an on-going series on Miilkiina.com profiling creatives around the world and their “not-so-sexy” self-isolation and work-from-home experiences. 

Last week, we chatted with Jessica Wu, an NYC based creative entrepreneur, stylist, and model, about the no-bullshit reality of what it looks like to adjust to the “New Normal”. Jessica dove headfirst into shifting gears and working from home, keeping her store ShopShop online and running. For Jessica, the lockdown has also allowed her to indulge in her to-do list tenfold. From cooking to playing around with makeup, this quarantine has presented her with the gift of time. Keep reading for more on Jessica.

What day of quarantine are you on?

Day 50, from the first day I started feeling a bit sick and showing symptoms.

Where are you quarantining?

My apartment on the Upper West Side. 

How are you adjusting to the new normal?

I would say that I’ve adjusted quite well and it’s starting to feel like “normal” for sure now.

What has been motivating you, or not?

When I was sick, I was glued to the news. Even though I had massive headaches, I was addicted to reading every single COVID-19 related report and update, because it really felt personal back then. Luckily, I recovered within a few weeks and was able to resume working from home and other activities normally. When I was spending 70% of the time in bed and 30% scanning news, I had no motivation for anything but to recover. Now that I’m up and at it again, I feel like I really should take full advantage of my good health and state of being, and keep myself busy, inside of course!

How has your workflow and structure changed?

 I think I’ve been lucky because I’ve been able to catch up on a lot of things that I couldn’t get around to during previously “normal” times–or rather, things that I willingly didn’t make time for or completely ignored. Sleeping in has been a huge luxury I’ve been enjoying. Because I’ve been staying up late until weird hours like 3 or 4 AM now, I tend to draft emails at night and schedule them for morning sends.

I am packing a lot of orders  (both Peter Do and ShopShop) from my house, and that part of work is less rigid because I only go out to drop off mail once a week to minimize exposure. Overall, my life as a freelancer is quite unpredictable, so this doesn’t feel too different or foreign.

Where do you see this pandemic taking you and your career in the future?

I’ve been exploring my various interests even deeper and dedicating more energy to the multiple projects at my helm, given the amount of time I have to myself. I’ve always been interested in beauty and skincare, but I feel now that I can spend hours just experimenting, I’ve improved my makeup skills! I hope that I can work with more beauty brands and continue to proudly represent my heritage, as I’ve been lucky to do in the past with various campaigns and partnerships.

I would also love to incorporate my love for food into my content and potential partnerships moving forward. Cooking and baking have been such sources of comfort during this pandemic, and I’ve been having great responses from my audience for my recipes!

This pandemic also revealed the power of communities standing behind small businesses. My own small business, ShopShop, continues to experience an outpouring of support from all over. I’m so grateful for all our customers and supporters through these difficult times, and I am hopeful that the momentum won’t stop here!

Advice on coping with anxiety, loneliness and stress while self-isolating?

Let yourself relax. Allow yourself to breathe. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be productive! If you are working from home and have a heavy workload or multiple tasks that need to be completed, try writing out a list of your priorities. I encourage list-making because it’s an easy task that can boost your confidence–crossing things out feels good, I promise! If you have a hobby that’s accessible from home, engage in it routinely.

I love cooking and baking and experimenting with makeup, so whenever I feel like I’m in a rut, I hype myself up with a fun recipe or complicated makeup look to try. Another thing for me is that seemingly mundane activities like cleaning and organizing my apartment have been helpful for keeping my mind off stressful things. I keep in touch with most of my friends and family over text or social media, but a video chat is definitely more engaging!

Do you have a new daily routine? If so, walk us through it.

Get out of bed by 12 PM (don’t judge!), make lunch, answer work emails, pack orders, answer more emails, make some beauty content if the lighting is good that day, work out when the sun starts to set, shower, make dinner, eat or make dessert if I feel like it, binge watch Scandal for 4 hours, sleep by 3 AM. (Oh, and spend copious amounts of time on Instagram and my news apps in between everything).

What has been your work-from-home uniform?

I’ve been living on a rotation of slip dresses, tanks and shorts, silk robes, oversized sweatshirts, and a sports bra and spandex shorts for the last two months. After I finish making content or do my makeup, I immediately take everything off and slink back into something comfortable. Sometimes I get into my workout clothes hours before I plan on exercising, just to remind myself to do so!

One thing that has brought you peace of mind as of late?

The kindness of strangers. I feel such deep connections with some of the people in my DMs (whom I’ve never met!) that have shown me sympathy, compassion, and kinship. I also feel reassured about our generation when I have profound conversations with my audience on topics like politics and the election, women’s rights, immigration, and other social injustices. I’ve talked to both like-minded people and people who feel the complete opposite and I’ve honestly learned so much.

How do you like to unwind and pass the time?

Research decades of runway shows to try to find the coolest makeup I can emulate!

Favorite day or memory since quarantine started?

When I shared something deeply personal with my Instagram audience and received an influx of encouraging messages and an outpouring of the hearts of people who had gone through similar circumstances. I cried so much that day, but out of gratitude.

Go-to quarantine meal?

An easy one for the morning and afternoon has really been a smoothie and toast. When I’ve stayed in bed for a little too long and have to jump start my day late, I just pop spinach, a banana, almond butter, blueberries, and almond milk into my blender and then put some avocado, pickled onions, capers, and a poached egg on whole-wheat toast — lunch in 8 minutes max. For dinner, I usually make pasta or something with rice. I’ve been making fresh egg pasta and that was absolutely life-changing. Rice is such a versatile ingredient so I can take it anywhere in the world, although kimchi fried rice and risotto seem to be my go-to’s.

5 quarantine movies and/or series that are a must watch?

Chef’s Table, Insecure, Ozark, Scandal. A movie I recommend is Millenium Mambo.

What’s one thing you’re really excited for once this is over?

Supporting my favorite restaurants and sharing meals with friends.

Any personal discoveries or takeaways you’ve gained during this time?

Maybe I don’t need that gym membership? My yoga mat, 10 lb dumbbells, and resistance bands have been pretty trusty throughout all this. Although I do miss some gym machines and working out together with my roommate …

Not-So-Sexy Self-Isolation with Jessica Wu
From playing with makeup to keeping her small business up and running, this is how Jessica Wu is passing the time under quarantine.

 

Not-So-Sexy is an on-going series on Miilkiina.com profiling creatives around the world and their “not-so-sexy” self-isolation and work-from-home experiences. 

Last week, we chatted with Jessica Wu, an NYC based creative entrepreneur, stylist, and model, about the no-bullshit reality of what it looks like to adjust to the “New Normal”. Jessica dove headfirst into shifting gears and working from home, keeping her store ShopShop online and running. For Jessica, the lockdown has also allowed her to indulge in her to-do list tenfold. From cooking to playing around with makeup, this quarantine has presented her with the gift of time. Keep reading for more on Jessica.

What day of quarantine are you on?

Day 50, from the first day I started feeling a bit sick and showing symptoms.

Where are you quarantining?

My apartment on the Upper West Side. 

How are you adjusting to the new normal?

I would say that I’ve adjusted quite well and it’s starting to feel like “normal” for sure now.

What has been motivating you, or not?

When I was sick, I was glued to the news. Even though I had massive headaches, I was addicted to reading every single COVID-19 related report and update, because it really felt personal back then. Luckily, I recovered within a few weeks and was able to resume working from home and other activities normally. When I was spending 70% of the time in bed and 30% scanning news, I had no motivation for anything but to recover. Now that I’m up and at it again, I feel like I really should take full advantage of my good health and state of being, and keep myself busy, inside of course!

How has your workflow and structure changed?

 I think I’ve been lucky because I’ve been able to catch up on a lot of things that I couldn’t get around to during previously “normal” times–or rather, things that I willingly didn’t make time for or completely ignored. Sleeping in has been a huge luxury I’ve been enjoying. Because I’ve been staying up late until weird hours like 3 or 4 AM now, I tend to draft emails at night and schedule them for morning sends.

I am packing a lot of orders  (both Peter Do and ShopShop) from my house, and that part of work is less rigid because I only go out to drop off mail once a week to minimize exposure. Overall, my life as a freelancer is quite unpredictable, so this doesn’t feel too different or foreign.

Where do you see this pandemic taking you and your career in the future?

I’ve been exploring my various interests even deeper and dedicating more energy to the multiple projects at my helm, given the amount of time I have to myself. I’ve always been interested in beauty and skincare, but I feel now that I can spend hours just experimenting, I’ve improved my makeup skills! I hope that I can work with more beauty brands and continue to proudly represent my heritage, as I’ve been lucky to do in the past with various campaigns and partnerships.

I would also love to incorporate my love for food into my content and potential partnerships moving forward. Cooking and baking have been such sources of comfort during this pandemic, and I’ve been having great responses from my audience for my recipes!

This pandemic also revealed the power of communities standing behind small businesses. My own small business, ShopShop, continues to experience an outpouring of support from all over. I’m so grateful for all our customers and supporters through these difficult times, and I am hopeful that the momentum won’t stop here!

Advice on coping with anxiety, loneliness and stress while self-isolating?

Let yourself relax. Allow yourself to breathe. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be productive! If you are working from home and have a heavy workload or multiple tasks that need to be completed, try writing out a list of your priorities. I encourage list-making because it’s an easy task that can boost your confidence–crossing things out feels good, I promise! If you have a hobby that’s accessible from home, engage in it routinely.

I love cooking and baking and experimenting with makeup, so whenever I feel like I’m in a rut, I hype myself up with a fun recipe or complicated makeup look to try. Another thing for me is that seemingly mundane activities like cleaning and organizing my apartment have been helpful for keeping my mind off stressful things. I keep in touch with most of my friends and family over text or social media, but a video chat is definitely more engaging!

Do you have a new daily routine? If so, walk us through it.

Get out of bed by 12 PM (don’t judge!), make lunch, answer work emails, pack orders, answer more emails, make some beauty content if the lighting is good that day, work out when the sun starts to set, shower, make dinner, eat or make dessert if I feel like it, binge watch Scandal for 4 hours, sleep by 3 AM. (Oh, and spend copious amounts of time on Instagram and my news apps in between everything).

What has been your work-from-home uniform?

I’ve been living on a rotation of slip dresses, tanks and shorts, silk robes, oversized sweatshirts, and a sports bra and spandex shorts for the last two months. After I finish making content or do my makeup, I immediately take everything off and slink back into something comfortable. Sometimes I get into my workout clothes hours before I plan on exercising, just to remind myself to do so!

One thing that has brought you peace of mind as of late?

The kindness of strangers. I feel such deep connections with some of the people in my DMs (whom I’ve never met!) that have shown me sympathy, compassion, and kinship. I also feel reassured about our generation when I have profound conversations with my audience on topics like politics and the election, women’s rights, immigration, and other social injustices. I’ve talked to both like-minded people and people who feel the complete opposite and I’ve honestly learned so much.

How do you like to unwind and pass the time?

Research decades of runway shows to try to find the coolest makeup I can emulate!

Favorite day or memory since quarantine started?

When I shared something deeply personal with my Instagram audience and received an influx of encouraging messages and an outpouring of the hearts of people who had gone through similar circumstances. I cried so much that day, but out of gratitude.

Go-to quarantine meal?

An easy one for the morning and afternoon has really been a smoothie and toast. When I’ve stayed in bed for a little too long and have to jump start my day late, I just pop spinach, a banana, almond butter, blueberries, and almond milk into my blender and then put some avocado, pickled onions, capers, and a poached egg on whole-wheat toast — lunch in 8 minutes max. For dinner, I usually make pasta or something with rice. I’ve been making fresh egg pasta and that was absolutely life-changing. Rice is such a versatile ingredient so I can take it anywhere in the world, although kimchi fried rice and risotto seem to be my go-to’s.

5 quarantine movies and/or series that are a must watch?

Chef’s Table, Insecure, Ozark, Scandal. A movie I recommend is Millenium Mambo.

What’s one thing you’re really excited for once this is over?

Supporting my favorite restaurants and sharing meals with friends.

Any personal discoveries or takeaways you’ve gained during this time?

Maybe I don’t need that gym membership? My yoga mat, 10 lb dumbbells, and resistance bands have been pretty trusty throughout all this. Although I do miss some gym machines and working out together with my roommate …

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