Hi, I'm Jenge! (childhood nickname for Jennifer, Yanyi calls me Jenny).. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I went to school with Yanyi and we have been best friends since pretty little!
When we were around 12 years old we started dance classes together. I have to say we were the types of friends that after school we would call each other to our home phone just to talk for like 2 hours about dance stuff. Or invite each other over to practice some dance moves we learned. Those were the good old days!. When we were in 11th grade, Yanyi told me that her mom wanted to move to the states, specifically to NYC to work! And this was devastating for everyone! She had to leave for Senior year! (smh) Once she moved we kept in touch for a bit but I guess life and just being in different countries made it hard to keep in touch.
I kept dancing after high school and I really thought for the longest time this was it. I wanted to be a dancer when I grew up. But God had other plans. Let me tell ya! I got accepted into a college for marketing because that was what my parents wanted me to do (a stable career). Thankfully in this college, they had a Dance Team that if I was a part of it it would pay for my bachelor’s! Of course, I auditioned, and guess what!! I got in!! I promised myself to finish my major since that's what my parents wanted me to do. But I realized later on that having all the colorful fabrics, costumes, and amazing materials through dancing sparked a part of me that wanted to learn more of the sewing craft. I told my mom and one day we received in the mail an invite for summer swimsuit sewing classes pretty much around the block and she said I could start there if I wanted to give it a chance. OMG, I loved it!! spandex, lycra and sewing really terrified me but slowly I had to face my fears to complete all my projects.We learned a couple of basic swimsuits and after I completed my class and shared some pictures on Instagram of the pieces I had done, I got a couple of requests to make custom pieces for some girls! Look at me combining skills from marketing! LOL.I did this for about a year and realized I wanted to learn more! More about fabrics, more about pattern making, etc. so I did some research and through the amazing people I met through the sewing classes, they recommended a lady that gave confection classes for basic patternmaking. At this point in life, I'm out of college, I'm working as a bartender in the airport! A bartender!! Listen, when opportunities come I take them! Lol, But on the side, I'm still taking the confection classes and realizing I want to go back to school but for fashion!! I didn't know much but I realized I could somehow do my master’s in something I was passionate about. So I thought, where could I go to school for fashion?, you guessed right!, NYC!! So, who is in NYC, Yanyi!! I reached out and contacted her and after 7 years of being in and out of contact. We connected and I flew to NYC to explore some fashion schools to see if this was something I could see myself really doing. We caught up and I really thought NYC was the way for me at that point but I ended up choosing a school that did a master’s degree in Atlanta. I made my portfolio with the swimwear pieces I had done and got accepted. At age 25 I packed my bags and left my family in Puerto Rico to pursue this dream. IT, WAS, HARD! Being away from family, a new language, and not really knowing anybody! Was hard!. I gave fashion school about 2 years and I was not comfortable with the atmosphere I was dealing with. There was a lot of competition. My father passed away and some struggles came with that, that made me want to change/ re-evaluate if I was where I wanted to be. What is it that I like? I like making! creating a product. So I saw the school had a Masters in Accessories Design that would teach how to make shoes and handbags and I was blown away about the idea of ever making a shoe by hand. So I decided to apply and I changed my major. Had to move to Savannah Georgia for this program and it was the best thing that happened! I enjoyed every single part of my master’s degree. A couple of months passed and I got a call from a friend that went to Masters with me and asked If I was interested in a position for footwear as an Assistant Designer in NYC! I was nervous, I was not sure but as I said before WHEN OPPORTUNITIES CAME I TAKE THEM! I accepted and moved to the Big Apple!
This is where Yanyi and I reconnected again after maybe 4 years, as young working adults. We were very excited to finally be back to living in the same city! AND THEN Covid happened!. I got Furloughed and had to move back to GA where my husband (boyfriend at the time) lived. Yanyi and I kept in touch this time more closely and in the Summer of 2020 she called me one day to talk about her pandemic baby- Neutral Lining
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