#ImAGirlBoss: Jess Zaino

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NAME: JESS ZAINO
AGE: 30-SOMETHING 
CITY: LOS ANGELES, CA

HOMETOWN: NEW YORK, NY
INDUSTRY: TELEVISION 
NOMINATED BY: LINDSAY ZIR
TWITTER: @Jess_Zaino
INSTAGRAM: @jesszaino
WEBSITE: jesszaino.tv

Tell us what you do!

Currently, I am a television producer with numerous projects in the pipeline for both TV and digital. Today, I’m on the team that is producing the red carpet arrivals for the Golden Globe Awards for NBC. I’ve lived nine lives that have included a celebrity stylist, a television host, a blogger, a business owner, a cultural influencer, a voiceover actress for MTV’s Daria, and even a singer in a math/science rock band for the NASA Space program. Yup.

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Did you go to college? If so, where?

I like to say I went to the college of life. I started off on a full theatre scholarship at Marymount Manhattan on 71st Street in NYC, got a job as a PA on SNL, lost my scholarship (due to truancy), enrolled at Hunter College on 68th Street to study film and television, did VERY well academically, and was awarded a scholarship to study wherever I wanted, and chose Cal State Northridge in the valley, so I could be close to Hollywood. Three months in, I met Andy Dick, moved into his house, and never went back to school. Ironically, I am ALWAYS taking a class — either at UCLA for business or UCB for comedy writing.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

Famous.

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How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

I’m a clear-cut case of fake it ‘til you make it. I had HUGE aspirations, dreams, ambition, and the intuition to put pedal to the metal. My life is as adventurous and untraditional as one could be, and I could not be happier with it.

Any obstacles along the way?

Sure. Myself. Self-doubt. I still suffer from it, but I’m getting better.

Who is your idol?



Richard Branson. Mario Batali. Jerry Seinfeld. Lena Dunham. Lauren Graham. Tony Robbins. Albert Einstein. Ben Franklin. Bill + Hill Clinton.

What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are? 

Passion, creativity, practical/tactical actions. 

Where would you like to be in five years?

Financially free, creating high-profile projects that inspire and enthuse the world, and joyfully existing with my healthy, happy family.

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Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A woman with vision and passion who leads others to create successfully with her.

Describe your style/fashion sense:

Right now, pregnant. Which means black leggings, my husband’s oversized tees, my YSL leopard print skate shoe, and a Pendleton beanie I picked up in Portland.

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

All of the above.

What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Lipstick. I like MAC Candy Yum Yum, Chanel Rouge, and a Kate Moss in dark red I picked up at Target.

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Go-to nail color?

Usually candy apple red. Right now, I’ve got neon pink to keep me summer-minded during the winter.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

Many did. But one that comes to mind right now is Martha, Inc., the story of Martha Stewart’s success.

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?

Used to be cigarettes and tequila. Now, it’s snacks and napping.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

I love the new Mark Ronson album. And I always have a Harry Nilsson record at the ready.

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?

Anything by my girl Chantal Claret and Morningwood… and Kanye’s Yeezus album.

What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

Keep going.

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

Ask for what you want. Mario Batali passed this gem along over Sardinian Iced Teas at his Otto restaurant.

Advice to future girl bosses:

We live in a friendly universe that supports everything we need. Create, trust, and move forward.

Follow Jess’s #girlboss journey on Twitter + Instagram!

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