These Twenty Something’s ditched the status quo to march to the beat of their own drum.
By Ursula Lauriston
From Goldman Sachs to Gucci, Justin Bridges said bye-bye to a career on Wall Street for photography and men’s fashion.
I caught up with Justin while in NYC for a photo shoot. Now a rockin ex-financial professional turned photographer, stylist, and men’s fashion guru, the 25 year old sat down with Twenty Something to talk about the pressures of Wall Street and the freedom he’s found in his new career in photography and fashion.
Name: Justin Bridges
Occupation: Financial Analyst turned Photographer/ Fashion writer
Current City: Harlem, NY
Relationship status: In a Relationship
Twenty Something: So… why in the world would you leave Wall Street for fashion and photography?
Justin Bridges: I finished my two year analyst program at Goldman Sachs and went in search of other finance jobs in a tough job market. After numerous false starts, I decided to listen to my heart and do what I love. I always liked taking pictures. I needed a hobby to get away from everything – school, work, — so when I got my tax return I decided to buy a professional camera. The rest is history.
TS: How did you get your start in styling and men’s fashion?
JB: Styling is more-so people asking me what to wear. People started asking me to put their wardrobe together as well as take photos of them. I just took that idea and ran with it. Then it just blew up. I started writing about fashion and doing more editorial shoots. I’ve gone from project to project.
TS: What’s your favorite thing about your new found career in photography and styling?
JB: My favorite part about photography is capturing an emotion and freezing it in time. I also love making people look and feel beautiful. I love finding the beauty in things that might not seem beautiful to society. I love being able to put together a look that I would want to wear but could never pull off. I love the creativity behind it; taking an idea and bringing it to life.
TS: If you’re doing what you love, what do you do for fun now?
JB: I guess when you’re driving your own career and it’s something you really cherish, there’s no real separation. You get addicted to it. I work 24/7. I love the work I do now and watching this seed grow. This is work and fun for me.
TS: What are your goals for this empire you’re well on your way to building?
JB: I’ve already started interviewing major brands and designers such as: Lands End, Idol Radec, Korto Momolu, and Billy Reid. I want to build a fashion empire that remains unique and dedicated to the client. I always want to have that mom and pop feel no matter how large it grows. Eventually, I want to try my hand at design. Above all, I just want to make my mark in the fashion world.
Check out Justin’s blog at www.tuckedtheblog.com
Darrell Gaston was a special education teacher at John Eaton Elementary School until he decided to effect change in his community.
Name: Darrell Gaston
Occupation: Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, District 8b03
Current City: Washington, DC
Relationship status: Married
TS: What made you run for public office?
DG: I always wanted to be in politics but I wanted to be behind the scenes. I was talking to friends and community residents about the problems in our ward and no one wanted the challenge so I decided to step up and do it. I felt as though politicians were undermining voter intelligence and not doing what they said they would do. So I decided to make changes in my immediate community.I literally ran my campaign myself. I was my own campaign manager and treasurer.
TS: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
DG: I truly enjoy being able to help residents liberate themselves and become self-sufficient. Less government dependency is the key. I got over not having privacy and being able to just hang with friends at bars and clubs. Those are sacrifices that I had to made. But the great part is that I get to make changes and affect my community.
DG: I want to become Councilman of my Ward so that I can leave a big impact. We’re creating programs that are helping people become independent, and that’s a step in the right direction for the people and the city.
Ursula Lauriston is the author of Twenty Something, a social diary blog where she sounds off weekly on dating, D.C nightlife and events, career etiquette, and more. During the day, Ursula stays in step with the pulse of DC with her work as a Deputy Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. Follow her on twitter @urdiggy.