YouNxt is known for profiling professionals who have followed their dreams and are doing what they love. Ottawa’s own Justyna Baraniecki fits this bill to the tee. Justyna made her debut on the Ottawa style scene as the co-founder and creative director of the e-mag The Dinner Jacket and she is now the force behind the popular personal style blog chichichic.
In addition to being a gifted stylist, part-time model and contributing style writer at the Ottawa Citizen, her passion for fashion has turned her into a vintage clothing collector. As if all this wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Justyna recently launched the stunning online vintage boutique chicshop.ca.
Justyna is a woman on a mission and we’re sure her name will be known across Canada in no time. We’re thrilled that she took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
Name: Justyna Baraniecki
Education: University and College
Profession: Online Boutique Owner
What are you working on now?
Expanding my business, wedding plans and honeymoon plans!
What drives you in your work?
A thirst for success, a need to live the life of my dreams, a love for what I do, a passion for excellence.
What are your future plans?
A lot of travel, expanding my business, starting a family, building a house!
Major Accomplishments: Starting a magazine and opening my own business. Both easier said than done, but I’m committed to living the life I want, not just talking about it.
What little things in life do you enjoy the most?
A home cooked meal. I love to cook! I love cooking for others, I love entertaining! It has to be the European in me, we love fine food more than any other group of people!
Why are your Polish roots important to you?
Of course they’re important! It is so much of who I am and where I am from. I think its important to honor your past and your heritage and make it a part of your future. Poland is such a beautiful country with warm, welcoming people. Most of my family lives there still and it’s my favorite place to visit.
What does being Polish mean to you?
It means knowing how to enjoy life! I love being back in Poland and seeing the whole family gather together and eat, eat all day long, and drink wine and sing together and tell stories! Its unlike anything I’ve experienced anywhere else. We know how to enjoy life even when life is hard.
Has being Polish influenced your work/career?
I suppose it’s the part of me that won’t take no for an answer. I’ve never taken no as the final word, so when doors slammed shut, I found away around.
Who were your mentors growing up/who are your mentors now?
My parents have always been my mentors and continue to be. They immigrated first to Germany and then to Canada and finally to California, and for two people to literally start with nothing, they’ve built their own dream life. They’ve taught me that the only way you get what you want out of life is by working towards it. There are very few that get the world handed to them on a silver platter.
What was the best career advice you’ve ever received?
If you love what you do, it isn’t ‘work’. Work at what you love and the rest will follow.
What career advice can you offer to other young professionals?
Even a dream job takes a lot of ambition and work. Nothing is easy, but at least if you do what you love, you’ll enjoy the hard times too.
Favourite Designer: Clothing: Haider Ackerman
Favourite Musical Performer: M.I.A.