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Staff by Day, Lifestyle Blogger by Night

News Story

When Jessica Paredes isn’t working or attending school here at Pace, she ventures out into the city and documents her finds on her blog, Just Under Petite.

Born and raised a New Yorker, Jessica Paredes has always had a passion for city life from admiring the fabulous fashions on the street, to exploring the delicious eats hidden in restaurants across New York City.

Paredes, a staff associate for the Provost and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, moved away from the city to pursue Latin American studies at the University of Virginia, but found her way back to NYC after graduating in 2015—starting her career at Pace, taking up a master's degree in childhood special education, and starting a new hobby when she’s off the clock.

In September, she decided to take her love of food, traveling, and flair for fashion, and turn it into a lifestyle blog called Just Under Petite.

“I tried to start a blog in college, but I knew I wanted to start again, and I invested in it,” Paredes says. “I knew I wanted it to be about fashion, and I came up with the name Just Under Petite because I am really petite.”

Paredes, who grew up as a self-described tomboy, says she became interested in exploring fashion in college and thought it would be exciting to document her newfound interest on her blog along with other topics she enjoys.

“I realized I didn’t want to just write about fashion—I wanted to include more,” she says. “My blog is about food, traveling, makeup, and fashion because that’s what I like to write about.”

At the very beginning when she was building her site, Paredes said she was not impressed by any of the pre-made design templates that were offered. Instead of settling for one, she decided to start coding her website herself—a skill she acquired through a computer science class at UVA and through self-teaching on websites such as Code Academy.

Paredes said getting started was a challenge, considering she first posted articles two to three times a week while balancing her full-time job and graduate school.

Now, she sticks to one post per week, documenting her favorite restaurant experiences—such as her visit to the Smith for scrumptious strawberry waffles or her trip to San Marzano for savory farfalle wild boar ragu—as well as makeup tips, shopping deals, and her personal style.

“In terms of fashion posts, I have a weird style,” Paredes says. “Most days I am preppy and chic and other times I am more laid back, so I guess it depends on my mood and where I am going.”

Her posts, which she then tweets out on Twitter and features on Instagram, have garnered positive feedback from fans, fellow bloggers, and even restaurants and companies such as DSW.

“I did a post about DSW, tweeted it out, and DSW really liked it,” she says. “They reached out to me and sent me an e-gift card, and I was so excited about it.”

In addition to her blog and social media accounts, she has a YouTube channel, where she posts in-depth makeup tutorials crafted with her favorite products.

She credits her siblings for helping her blog reach success, as her 17-year-old sister photographs and provides guidance on fashion posts, and her 14-year-old brother manages her YouTube account.

Paredes says she plans to continue creating content from her adventures across New York and beyond, and hopes to continue building an audience.

“My goal is to keep promoting through Twitter and Instagram and continue to grow the blog,” Paredes says. “I also want to have great quality photos and content for my subscribers and followers.”

Check out Paredes’ blog here and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.