This week I had the pleasure of catching up with the beautiful and classy Jemma Mrdak at A.Baker. She steered me away from regular tea and we both sipped chai lattes (don’t tell her I said this, but I think she is addicted). Here is what else I discovered about Jemma and all things fashion.
Who are you?
My name is Jemma Mrdak and I am a stylist, blogger, digital guru, advice giver and chronic shopaholic!
What do you do?
I wear a few hats at the moment. I have a full time position as the personal assistant to the general manager and digital coordinator at the funky QT Canberra. I also am the founder of my personal style and fashion blog, A Stylish Moment. I am also a freelance stylist and have worked for various print and online publications.
At what age did you discover your love of style and design?
I was 17 at the time and had just finished up at college, where I was required to wear a school uniform every single day. Once I started university and embarked on a life-changing (and style-changing) fashion exchange program in Florence, Italy, I truly realised that I had a love and strong interest in fashion, styling and trends. Prior to this I was more of a tomboy, who never really made time for shopping or dressing up. So much has changed since then!
Is it hard being so stylish? Can you let your hair down sometimes and relax it up or have you become your own brand?
I think it’s important to allow yourself to let your hair down and relax your look sometimes, no matter what your job. Having a full time job and working the 9 – 5 hour days, means that you’ll find me dressed up head to toe, most days of the week. On weekends, I like to let my hair down and dress casual- but still with a stylish twist.
How long have you lived in Canberra?
I was born and raised in the Canberra region, and have always loved living in this city and watching it grow. It will definitely be hard to part ways when I eventually explore other cities/countries, but Canberra will always be my home.
What’s the best thing about being a fashion blogger in Canberra?
That there are opportunities for bloggers here. Living in a much smaller city than Sydney or Melbourne, bloggers in Canberra are able to have their own voice, and they also have the opportunity to make great connections. Being so small, there are also opportunities for Canberra bloggers to connect with various local stores, labels, brands and media influentials.
What’s the worst thing?
That it is so small. At first it can be difficult to build up an audience in Canberra, due to its size. It’s definitely a great place to launch a blog or business, and then there are opportunities to expand to other cities.
What do you have coming up?
So many exciting projects! Having moved out of my childhood home just recently, I have started a 5 Part Series on what it’s like to move out for the first time. I have also started working on a couple of projects with some local Canberra stores and brands, and I have a fair few photo shoots lined up as well for my regular What I Wore posts. I am really interested in connecting with my followers through my Ask Jem section, so if anyone is wanting some style advice or a chat, please do make contact with me!
Where is your favourite place to eat?
If I am heading out for a quick bite to eat, I will always head to Autolyse in Braddon- their Bruschetta and Chai Lattes are incredible. For a more intimate meal, I love heading to Belluci’s in Manuka or Capitol Bar and Grill at QT Canberra!
What pieces should women be accessorising with next season?
Light scarves, a straw hat and a pair of espadrilles- perfect for beach days and warm evenings.
What about the guys? How can they improve their look with one or two items?
I think for guys it’s fun to mix up the arm candy. This could be through a new watch with a cool leather band, or a man style bracelet. Panama hats are always a great accessory for the warmer weather too.
I wear a Mum uniform most days, how can a Mum look chic, yet practical?
Focus on mixing key basics that you know you’ll wear, and that are comfortable, and mix them with some special pieces that can be worn depending on the day or the occasion. I think it is important that every person, not just mothers, have go-to basics in their wardrobe, as well as statement pieces that can ‘jazz it up’. Adding even a couple of accessories to an outfit can add that extra touch of glam. Whether it be a costume style necklace or cocktail ring, these little additions can really complete an outfit.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To have the ability to read people’s minds. I would love to know what some people are thinking when I see how they have put a particular outfit together.
Three words to describe you?
Go-getter, eclectic and polished.
What do you do for me time?
I love to head down to my local cafe, Red Brick Espresso in Curtin or Double Shot in Deakin for a Chai Latte on a Saturday morning with my boyfriend Sam and our puppy, Rex. I also love to research, research and research through reading various fashion mags. I always seem to have mountains piling up, as I don’t get to read them as often as I’d like to. I love spending countless hours shopping in Braddon and Civic- I am a Canberra Centre regular. I have also recently started Pilates and Yoga classes at SOULution Yoga in Braddon – I definitely recommend it for those who have a hectic day to day schedule and need some time to themselves.
Favourite Canberra boutique?
Designer Op Shop. This beautiful store, owned by my high school friend Taylor Pitsilos and her mother. It combines two things that I absolutely love; designer fashion and vintage fashion. This store makes me smile ear to ear every single time I step inside, and the range of designer vintage fashion that they stock is always up to date, wearable and of amazing quality.
What makes you smile?
When I see Sass and Bide having a sale!
Jemma is everywhere. You can find her Instagram feed here and follow her on Facebook here. AND I am going to be completely honest and tell you something embarrassing about myself….After meeting Jemma, I had to rush home and google image “espadrilles” because I had no idea what these were. Did you? Don’t leave me hanging. Get in touch by commenting below. We LOVE to hear from you.
If there is someone who you think should have Tea with JT, please contact us here.