Get to Know: Jenna Martin

Get to Know:

Get to Know: Jenna Martin

Meet Jenna, a one-woman show from The Golden State. From the first time we worked with her, we fell in love with her unique take on the world—a view full of both magic and gumption—and had to know more.

All photos by @twosmallfries

Let’s start with an intro: what is your name, where are you from, and what do you do?

Howdyyyy, I’m Jenna! I go by @mrsjennamartin on Instagram + Twitter. My friends call me a plethora of nicknames; all related to being short/small. I’m originally from San Diego, CA (born and raised), but I now live in Los Angeles, CA with my husband. I’m a social media marketing consultant, blogger, and jack-of-all-trades! (I don’t like the word “influencer” so you won’t catch me calling myself that). I come from a background in fashion marketing and social media management, and now I own my own business doing just that… and about anything/everything that goes along with it!

Where did the name of your blog come from?

My husband and I are a unique pair. We’re both very small people and stand out in a crowd. Our friends coined us “small fries” many years ago, hence our blog name Two Small Fries. It’s fun and playful, just like us and the things we share there!

How do you and Nick split up work on the blog? What caused you two to decide to make a website together?

My husband, Nick, is a professional musician so the bulk of the actual web-work is my thing. He’s a really talented writer and such a creative soul, so he likes to tackle the storytelling and often gets behind the camera. The blog came about through the endless questions we’d get about our lives from our followers online, which was really exciting because I’m a natural “helper” and love sharing tips, deals, finds, etc. with others. Nick and I started taking big trips together the first month we began dating, so you can imagine all the travel questions we’ve gotten since day one. We really just thought it would be a cool place to keep all our stories and travels, initially. I spent 3+ years working for the Walt Disney Company at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World (which I get tons of questions about) so our Disney trips were something we wanted to share right off the bat. It blossomed really quickly and became a space for us to share all kinds of things relating to our lifestyle – rainbow hair, vacations, our health journey, local events, and even tour updates from Nick.

Where would you like to take Two Small Fries in the next few years?

Ah, what a question! Nick and I absolutely have big plans for our website and brand. This year is going to be an exciting one for the blog, but I can’t share any spoilers just yet! I’d love to keep sharing our travels and life, but also keep growing, sharing our stories and partnering with brands that reflect values which align with our own. I want to get a little bit more personal with some of my own stories relating to mental health and voluntary loss of a parent. My individual goal is to share my story because I wish I would have known I wasn’t alone when life was happening to me. I really believe it could have helped me through hard times I went through as a young adult. I want to take my difficult experiences and use them to positively impact those who might be going/gone through some of their own. I think that our blog is a great place to open up that kind of conversation.

mrsjennamartin.image-quote-1

What are your favorite things to do in your city?

I’m sure you’d expect to hear “going to the beach” or “going out to brunch” like most Angelinos might respond, but I’m going to give you my best “Jenna” answer and tell you about how much I love Universal Studios, museums, seeing Disney movies at El Capitan, and trying out new restaurants and coffee shops with my husband. In general, whether I’m here or in another city, I just really love going new places! Los Angeles has plenty to offer in that department!

Do you have a technique for putting together your daily outfit? Top first? Shoes first? Do you check the weather before you dig in to your closet?

Oooh, I love this question. For me, I usually have one piece that’s already in my mind or inspires the rest of the outfit. Sometimes it’s a beret, and other times it’s a pair of shoes or a top. There have even been times that I really wanted to put glitter eyeshadow on, and assembling my outfit was all about supporting the glitter-vibe. I’m not great at checking the weather before getting dressed, but that’s what over-the-knee socks and coats are for!

Have you always had an interest in fashion? If not, what do you think caused it to spark your interest?

Absolutely. And I blame the Spice Girls. I’m 29 years old, so they were my idols all through the 90s. Surprisingly, I find myself loving 70s and 80s fashion much more than 90s fashion, but I always loved how FUN the Spice Girls looked. I actually worked in fashion (both sales and marketing) for a few Fortune 100 companies from 18 – 24 years old which was great but I think I was too influenced to dress a certain way and lost a little bit of my personal spunk. I rediscovered my individual style after leaving Disney and as you can see, my hair really speaks to that FUN I mentioned earlier.

mrsjennamartin.image-quote-2

From your hair to your wardrobe, tell us about your relationship with color!

I totally used to be the kid that almost exclusively wore black. I was a super scene kid in my teen years, which stuck with me for a long time. I used to thoroughly despise pink… can you believe that? Skip ahead to my late 20s…my hair was pink for almost 2 years! My hairstylist is incredible and I just let her do whatever she wants, which has honestly been what got me back into seeking out color in my wardrobe. Back when I was more expressive with my clothing (pre-emo Jenna), I used to love playing with color. Having my hair such fun and vibrant colors has inspired me to pursue that in other areas. I really believe that it makes me feel the most “me” to embrace color in my life. I still have black staples in my closet, but chances are if I’m wearing it, I probably have a massive pop of color elsewhere – lipstick, glitter, scrunchy. You get it!

mrsjennamartin.RagstockBlog7

Taking a turn, here—we want to hear all about your love for Minnie and Mickey Mouse! How did it start and what keeps it going?

So I already mentioned I worked for The Walt Disney Company, but I didn’t tell you what lead me there. I grew up with a father that worked in media, and as a perk of his career in media, we got to go to Disneyland once a year with media passes. It’s always been a huge part of my life because of that. My earliest childhood memories are of watching the Main Street Electrical Parade with my Dad and brother. It’s what I always wanted to do when I grew up. I just knew I wanted to be a part of it. Mickey (and Minnie) are so symbolic to me because they represent a dream. They represent real-life magic because that’s what Disney creates - that what you feel when you’re there, and that’s the memory you take home with you. I’m a major Disney nerd... which, as it turns out, my husband thinks is cool because now he’s a Disney nerd too. Aren’t we a pair?!

mrsjennamartin.image-quote-3

What do you consider to be the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is being everything at once. My degree isn’t in videography or photography. I’m not a graphic artist or a lighting director, but by being a one-woman show with a business of her own, I get to be all of the above! It’s a blessing in disguise because I never want to limit myself, and by branching out into areas surrounding the marketing work I do, I become better and better while also finding personal growth, specifically in exercising my creativity. Someone I love dearly once said, “I like to be capable” which I think about often when new challenges come up, as he amazes and inspires me all the time and I think having that attitude changes a persons perspective on stepping outside their comfort zone. Challenges don’t have to be negative experiences. I do my best to view challenges as victories I haven’t won yet- feeling confident that I can and will. I love being a do-it-all kinda gal!

mrsjennamartin.RagstockBlog8

Professionally, what steps did you take to get to where you are now?

So many steps! I’ll give you the short version of what lead me here…I went to college for Marketing, worked for Nordstrom as a salesperson, then graduated with my degree while undertaking multiple internships in music marketing at a record label, then moving on to multiple internships with Disney, working for Disney, then managing salons and retail stores, then working with a major fashion brand in their marketing department, finally leaving their company as the head of social media.

It’s taken me a few years to really build my business. I started doing independent marketing work while at my full-time fashion marketing job. When we moved to Los Angeles 2 years ago, my plan was to go work in another brand’s marketing department - but when my husband’s schedule became increasingly stressful, I made the decision to put that off and just keep doing my thing.

Here we are today, where I’m still doing my thing on a much greater scale and it feels fantastic! I didn’t anticipate working for myself like I do now, but it’s been the biggest challenge I’ve faced professionally and the single-most rewarding. There’s no way I’d be the marketing ‘swiss-army-knife’ I am today if I hadn’t taken on this massive challenge to do it all and be it all. I really do love what I do!

Give us a rundown of your average day:

First thing I do is check my emails. I usually create my ‘to do’ list the night before because I’m pretty useless in the morning until I’ve had my coffee. I’ll go through my emails, add any extra ‘to-do’s’ that pop-up and sit down at my desk to start on work. The list is usually pretty long, as I’ve always got to be planning ahead for something, working on campaign pitches, getting approvals, or just responding to people on my socials. No two days look the same, but usually I work on new campaigns (shooting, writing, or planning), wrap up current ones or work on personal posts. The rule of thumb is 50/50, so it’s alright to have ads in your feed as long as they’re balanced out by personal non-sponsored content. I work every day from about 9am until 8pm or later with meal breaks, errands, calls, and whatnot in between. Something really bizarre about my work flow is that I usually crank out the best content and ideas at night. I’m an absolute night owl which is a blessing and curse at times!

"I didn’t anticipate working for myself like I do now, but it’s been the biggest challenge I’ve faced professionally and the single-most rewarding."

What are your first memories of using social media?

OMG MySpace! I loved it. I miss it. I wish we could go back to the days of xanga and MySpace. I was so emo. I’m still pretty emo, but ya know! Haha

Lots of people talk about the struggle to separate their IRL presence from their social one. Has this ever been difficult for you? Do you think there’s an adequate focus on separation in this day and age?

Oh, absolutely. The struggle for me isn’t being able to separate the two, it’s still being as “chatty” on my socials as I know I should be. I’m naturally reclusive and obnoxious, usually in spurts of either one. You might notice that I’m not a “selfie” kind of gal, and I don’t like talking to my phone 10 times a day. It’s just not me. I know myself really well so I’m able to ‘unplug’ when needed, but I have to maintain a balance so I’m not doing it every week! My tendency is to be pretty private which I think is fairly ironic because Nick and I live a life that doesn’t allow for all-that-much privacy. We work really hard to have “us” days, evenings, night outs and whatnot where phones are put away. I do the same for myself when I can while he’s touring.

One of the women I look up to greatly (@jengotch) does this thing called “book-ending” where you don’t look at your phone for the first and last hour or so of your day. It helps you unwind and detach from the internet mentally, and that’s something I can get on board with! I think there are a lot of people taking social media “breaks” and that’s great, but it’s important to be responsible and honest with yourself and your audience when you do it/talk about things like that. I’m doing my best to do be responsible in those areas, and I think I’m doing it successfully thus far.

I’m actually having a bit of a ‘quiet’ moment on my socials right now while I adjust to my husband being gone. It’s emotionally and mentally a disorienting transition that I have to go through on my own every once in a while, and I’m just gentle with myself while I go through it. That for me means laying off the internet when I can. I deal with anxiety and depression, and because I know myself as well as I do, I can pinpoint social media being a trigger for both when I’m not feeling great to begin with. Being open about that stuff is important to me and I’m so grateful and fortunate to have a following that’s understanding, caring and relates to real life stuff like that.

Plus, they enjoy seeing Nick and I being our goofy selves which I think makes us all feel like we’re friends IRL or to some capacity – so when he leaves for a month or two, they send me internet hugs and kind words that are so tremendously appreciated. I send them tons of love right back! They’re acknowledging that I am/ we are people just like them with real feelings and our own lives, and not just characters dwelling inside their phone.

I try to have a positive online presence while also relaying that life isn’t always sunshine and glitter – because I think that being real is the best thing I can do with my opportunity to have a voice that’s heard, which is a difficult thing to do when social media is so curated to make life look “perfect” all the time.

mrsjennamartin.RagstockBlog5

It seems like you go on lots of trips! What do you like most and least about traveling?

Ah, it does seem like that, doesn’t it?! Haha sometimes it feels like we’re constantly traveling or living out of our suitcases! Well, we do go to San Diego often to visit family and see our hair stylist, Kristina. That’s usually an overnight trip. Aside from San Diego, we go to Palm Springs a lot because it’s the perfect, quick, affordable getaway from LA. My husband has a serious thing for Palm Springs, and I can’t complain because it’s such a beautiful oasis! Beyond those two nearby destinations, yes – I totally travel more often than most but primarily for 2 major reasons.

Reason #1: Nick is a touring musician so when he’s touring in the US, I usually will fly out to visit him around the middle point of the tour. Being apart for a long time is really hard on us, and this makes a massive difference. I’ll hop on the tour with him for 3 or 4 days at a time and then fly back home. Reason #2 (my favorite reason): my husband travels a ton obviously, but gets to see almost nothing of the places he visits, in addition to traveling is my favorite thing ever, and tacking on the fact that we spend a lot of time apart.

The way we get through so much of the time apart with a positive attitude is by setting goals or making plans. Usually, we plan a trip (always on a budget) for when Nick gets home so he can decompress and we can be alone, in our element, having adventures together again. Sounds lame when I put it that way, but it’s just the truth. For me, travel is so liberating and humbling. Seeing new places, eating new cuisine, making memories, feeling the energy of another city or culture, and just being with my best friend/partner is the ultimate #mood.

A few years ago, I made it my goal to travel somewhere every month, even if it was just an hour north to Santa Barbara or an overnight stay in Anaheim next to Disneyland. I made it happen and it’s something I’m really proud of! The solo travel was really rewarding and I feel so much more capable/independent after doing it! I love traveling with a burning passion so it’s hard to say what I like least. I went on a trip to Thailand a little over a year ago – while Nick was in Europe – with a childhood friend and she and I are not friends anymore. So yeah, always travel with someone who’s on your page, considerate of you, and is travel savvy. At least when you’re in a foreign country!

mrsjennamartin.RagstockBlog10
mrsjennamartin.RagstockBlog11

What has been your most enjoyable vacation and why?

This is difficult! In 2017, my husband and I went on a trip to London and Paris as our honeymoon. It ended up getting cancelled and rescheduled a few times because of his work, but once we finally went, it was even more magical than we could have dreamt. That was my first time overseas, and I honestly think about it every day. I’d love to take Nick to Thailand and do that trip with him, plus a bit more exploring of the areas I didn’t go to. That vacation was a significant one for me and my first time in Asia. And our anniversary trip to Cancun last fall was beyond perfection. Another special trip we took was the most recent one to Boston and Orlando for Nick’s birthday. Our trips to Orlando are such a stand-alone kind of fun because we go so hard in all the theme parks for like 5 days straight! See, I told you it was a difficult one to answer!

"Usually, we plan a trip (always on a budget) for when Nick gets home so he can decompress and we can be alone, in our element, having adventures together again. Sounds lame when I put it that way, but it’s just the truth. For me, travel is so liberating and humbling."

What’s it like being married to a touring musician? Do you get a lot of assumptions about how easy or difficult it is?

I guess the first thing to say is that it’s not for everyone! It’s our norm of course, but it’s not what people think it is. And I find that it’s really difficult to explain to those who see their spouse every day. We’re a couple that don’t get sick of one another, or need to be in separate rooms sometimes. I think that’s hard for a lot of people to understand on its own. To make it even more confusing, we have the tour aspect thrown into the mix. In our society, there are a lot of expectations that come along with being in a relationship or being married. That kind of stuff isn’t us. With our lifestyle, both parties have to be understanding, selfless, supportive and unconditionally loving. He supports me while I chase my dreams, and I do the same for him.

Sometimes people will tweet at me or leave comments on my Instagram saying “I feel bad for you” or “Thanks for sharing Nick with us” and it feels really insulting because those aren’t fair judgements of us or my life. My husband isn’t just incredible at what he does, but he’s worked his entire life to be where he is! I would never be so selfish to want anything less for him. I don’t tell him what he can or can’t do. I just love him! Another weird assumption we come across often is that we’re rich or that we just party for a living. Wrong on both accounts! We don’t even drink alcohol. Neither of us smoke. We’re pretty chill people, and we live on a budget like everyone else. We both work hard for our money and do our best to live comfortably and within reason. We don’t have a big house, or even a house at all. We live in an apartment, drive one car, and cook at home as often as possible.

It’s definitely frustrating to be treated differently based on how much money people think you have or how fancy your life is. I’ve even had old “friends” say things like that to my face with ridiculous assumptions attached and it absolutely hurts. I’ve also found that it’s difficult to make new friends because not everyone can be understanding or supportive of our weird tour-life calendar. I’m not single so it’s hard for me to relate to women my age who are (dating apps and all that jazz) and the activities they want to go out and do, but I also tend to fly solo to couples activities as the odd third-wheel when Nick isn’t around! I’m not bothered by any of that but it definitely affects what I get invited to nowadays.

There are a handful of great friends of mine who whole-heartedly understand, love and support us. Our lifestyle has definitely helped me be more of a self-starter, go-getter, independent individual. I love that it’s had that effect on me, and that it’s also made me more aware of the quality of the relationships I have with those around me/us.

mrsjennamartin.RagstockBlog6

What are a few of your favorite bands? Do you consider yourself a music person?

Woohoo! Super fun question; everything but country music!! I’m absolutely a music person and I have a very wide range of favorites. Honestly, I love older music with nostalgic influence and rarely get excited about what’s on the radio. I also really really love funk. I’m sure people look at me and think I’m a “rocker chick” but I’m funk all the way. Remember how I was saying I love the 70’s and 80’s? Yeah, same goes for my music taste. And the emo comment I made earlier, of course. Love me some emo bands. Some of my favorite bands are Chromeo, Oingo Boingo, The Starting Line, and Queen. I also have been playing guitar since I was 9, and sing quite a lot. Mostly to my sweet husband who appreciates my obnoxious and silly behavior!

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have a voice that’s heard beyond those who know me personally or in real life. I hope that through sharing my stories, experiences and positivity that I can have a positive affect and influence on those I reach. I appreciate and am humbled the opportunity to work with brands - like Ragstock - that I believe in, wholeheartedly support and am able to share with my audience. I know that opportunity isn’t something I’m entitled to and that others don’t have. So I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to you guys, and to everyone who follows along with me on our site and socials. Sending love.

mrsjennamartin.RagstockBlog9

Big thanks to Jenna for taking the time to talk with us! Find her at www.twosmallfries.com and @mrsjennamartin.