I'm sitting in an interview room at Southridge Mall's Boston Store, waiting for pop and R&B songstress Jordin Sparks to arrive. Glancing around, I see photos of the singer and her newest fragrance Ambition, perfectly placed with flowers on every table. As soon as I was left alone in the interview room, I had to spray a bit of it on. I was delighted to smell its light and fruity scent. Its mixture of white tea, bitter orange and lemon zest is different than anything I've tried.
I hear a commotion in the hallway as she arrives, and immediately get a terrible tickle in my throat. Uh oh, I think. The only thing in the room to drink is the water in the flower vases.
Before I can do anything embarrassing, Sparks walks into the room. She's vibrant and full of energy.
"Whoa," she says. "It's a little weird to see pictures of me everywhere. No need for a mirror!"
I ask, "Does that still freak you out?" "Yes," she says. "I'll never get used to it."
Sitting next to her, she radiates warmth and kindness. Every ounce of nervousness I had melts away (along with that throat tickle).
Jordin Sparks with Glenn Palmer, CEO of Preferred Fragrance and Brendan Hoffman, President & CEO, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris.
Fashionista: If you weren't in entertainment, what would you do?
Jordin Sparks: I thought for a long time I would do something in either pediatrics or criminal justice. I know it's on total opposite ends of the spectrum, but I love kids and I love all the criminal shows on TV. If there's [a crime show] on and I have the time, I'm watching it.
I'm not sure if I'd be able to handle everything in pediatrics, such as abuse cases. So I thought, I could be the singing nurse that gives [the children] lollipops and Band-Aids!
Fashionista: Hey! You could do that now. What advice would you give someone who dreams to follow your music career?
JS: RUN! Run the other way! [Laughs.] I would say first make sure it's something you really want to do. I think a lot of people have a misconception of what's involved. It's a full-time job. There are days you have to go and do things and smile when you really don't want to.
Also, do so much research in music. Learn about different eras, learn the ins and outs and how things came about before you. To think there are some kids who don't know who Whitney [Houston] is...it blows my mind!
F: Who is your biggest style inspiration?
JS: I've always loved Gwen Stefani's style. She might end up on the best dressed list, or the worst dressed list but at least she's on one. I've always loved her funkiness and edge as well as her L.A.M.B and Harajuku Girls collections.
F: What's one beauty product you can't live without?
JS: Lip gloss. At all times. I have this tiny little clutch filled with so much lip gloss. Also, moisturizer. My two can't live-withouts!
As I'm thanking her, I notice how tall she is and have to say something. "Oh," she says, as she flings off one of her Jimmy Choos and steps flat on the ground. "Here is the true test," she says. She's still tall.
We thank each other and she shouts "happy holidays" as I leave the room. A happy holidays indeed.
Please check out her new fragrance Ambition at Boston Store, and tell us in the comments if you like the scent.