Justine Iaboni: The future is Canadian
The minute we were greeted by Justine with her bright pink and glittery makeup done perfectly by 8am, I knew we were about to be inspired. Justine, previously known as blogger “Jetset Justine” has recently taken the leap to leave behind her incredibly successful blogging career and pursue her life’s purpose, music.
Inspired by her father’s music career, she put everything she had into music at an early age. Travelling the world with her Choir at only 12 years old, she always felt at peace when she was singing. As she grew up within the Choir she started to develop an inferiority complex as she wasn’t like the rest of her peers. Coming from immigrant Italo-Canadian descent, the Catholic school system, and developing into her womanly features earlier than the rest of the group, she often was the target of emotionally abusive behaviour from the Conductor. When Justine looks back at her diaries now, which she’s kept since she was 10 years old, she can still remember the feelings of rejection and fear, things that she at the time attached to singing. When she made the decision to give up singing as a teenager, she knew that she was parting with her life’s purpose but felt trapped in no other way forward.
Fast forward to 2009 after completing her graduate degree at UofT in Film Studies, she started a fashion blog on the side while working full-time at a pharmacy. Having no connections in the industry and no prior experience, she made her way to the top of the blogging world. Jetsetjustine became a true pioneer and entrepreneur, having built one of the most successful blogs in Canadian History after she committed to it full-time in 2013. But in February 2017, everything changed.
Tell us about the transition from blogging to music?
“Last year was a hard year. On paper, I had everything that should make a person “happy”, money, fame, A-list invites, first-class travel, but all I had was sleepless nights, anger, anxiety and unhappiness. I wasn’t fulfilled, but didn’t know how to admit that to myself, to my peers, to my followers… It wasn’t until a breakdown in February where I took the time to go inwards and figure out what was really going on. A dear friend handed me a book called “The Universe Has Your Back” written by Gabby Bernstein. I took three full days to unplug and finish the book. I’d be lying if I said it was an immediate change, because it wasn’t. But as the days and weeks passed, I dove more into Gabby’s work. I started to entertain the idea of dealing with my deep-rooted fears, which all turned out to center around being a musician and my life’s purpose of singing. For 15 years, I thought it was impossible. Limiting thoughts like “you’re too old” or “the music industry is too tough” were my daily narrative. Blogging for me was like: “I should be happy with what I have, because this is a close second”. But once I started Gabby’s 40 day Miracle Plan she encouraged me to deal with that ego-driven narrative, I was forced to take those fears and insecurities head on. Finally, that’s when things started to shift. I realized that obstacles aren’t real, they’re illusions that I believed to be true.”
How did you take the first step?
“I wouldn’t say there was a distinctive first step, it was more my way of thinking that changed. I was open to meeting people that I would have otherwise turned away from, more open to acknowledging the little signs sent from the Universe and more open to being vulnerable and facing my fears. One night I was going through emails in bed and I came across a lookbook request from my now producer, Luc. I emailed him back (something I would have never normally done) and set up a meeting. During that meeting, I uncovered that Luc made beats and he uncovered I was considering pursuing music. We set up a time to go over some beats the following week at my apartment. When Luc arrived, he said “OK, show me what you got”. I thought I was going to barf I was so nervous, and I hadn’t really sung in front of anyone since I quit the Choir years ago. After the song was over he stared at me and said “your voice is so pretty, let’s do this.”
What does chasing your passion mean to you?
“By chasing my life’s passion and purpose, every day I’m in a constant state of gratitude. Chasing your passion means being aligned with your true inner self; the feeling that even in turbulent times, everything is going to be okay. Even if I die trying to make music, I’ll feel like I’ve lived out my life’s purpose.”
What's been the biggest obstacle so far?
“I went from an industry where I was a top player, a pioneer, where I knew exactly what to say, and how to say it to an industry where I was back at the beginning. I didn’t know any of the lingo, I had zero connections, and no clue what was best practice or anything like that. Everyone would look to me to make final decisions, and I would think to myself “I don’t know what to dooooo!” But, with everything in life you keep going. You make a decision confidently and learn from it whether it’s right or wrong. Every day I remind myself that I’m the captain of my ship and if you’re on my ship you’re respectful, open, and spiritual. There is no room for judgement. If there’s judgement, there is no room for growth and learning. But at the end of the day, somethings you just have to leave in the hands of the Universe.”
How do you overcome those obstacles?
“I remind myself that you only have to do something the first time, once! Once you’ve done something once, you learn, you evolve. There’s comfort in getting past that first time because you know you’ll never be in that spot again.”
What has been the biggest realization since pursuing a new career?
“We live in a kind universe. The world isn’t out to get you. If you change your thoughts the things around you change. I truly believe there is a higher power that is working to help you, not hurt you. I mean, I’ve seen it with my own (third) eye lol”
Any advice for someone who wants to make a career change?
“When experienced people give advice, they tend to focus a lot on the hard part of an industry. I used to do it with blogging. Followers would message me and I would find myself talking about the negatives of the industry to “warn” people about how hard it really was. Maybe that was because it just wasn’t for me. I just don’t believe in that shit anymore. The best advice I can give is based on higher abstract concepts, like evolution and agility, spirituality and beliefs. Those are the things I’ve learned to trust over the years. Our entire purpose in life is to help each other. I know that’s what I’m doing with my music. When you start following your passion, you’ll do other things with kindness and compassion, not with ego or jealousy driving your decisions. Make sure you think through your career change carefully like how is it aligned with your higher good and the higher good of all those involved? Use your new plan for a greater purpose, one where you’re truly passionate, one that is aligned with love. Everything else will follow according to the Universe’s plan, not YOURS. And thank God for that!”
We can’t wait to follow Stellina on her journey and see what amazing things the Universe has in store for her!
Shop her looks: here