Spotlights & Interviews

Interview with Ghenet of Ghenet Actually

Hello! I’m Ghenet (pronounced Jen-ay, kind of like how Forrest Gump says “Jenny”). I’m a New York City girl, born and bred, who moved to London at the end of 2014! I love baking, exploring London, curling up on the couch with my husband (alas, I moved for love!), watching nature documentaries, and blogging!

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Tell us a little bit about your blog Ghenet Actually.

My blog has had a few manifestations over the last few years, but it wasn’t until I moved to the UK that it really became what it is today. I was unemployed and my family felt so far away, so my blog became a creative outlet for me, and a way to share with my friends and family what I was doing with myself in London. I became addicted to it and that’s when I decided to change the name to what it is now. My friend Nicole actually came up with the title and it stuck! Ghenet Actually is basically my outlet for expressing what’s going on in my life, which is why I post about as much as I do! Clothes, baking, places in London, a bit of everything! I’m trying to streamline it a little bit at the moment, but it’s an amalgamation of all the things I love!

How would you describe your style?

Hmm, I would say quirky and colorful with a touch of tomboy. Honestly, it’s constantly evolving. I used to think that my size meant I couldn’t wear a lot of things, but these days, I’m feeling much more comfortable in my skin and I want my clothes to reflect that! I always look for fun and comfortable clothes that reflect my personality! I do think my style has changed since I’ve moved to London as well! It’s a very stylish city, and it’s rubbing off on me!

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What are your favorite beauty secrets or tips?

Well, I think my biggest tips are probably about curly hair! As you can see, my curls can get a little wild sometimes, but I’ve learned a lot about how to care for them. I only use sulfate free shampoo, and I only wash my hair once a week. Oh, and I’ve recently started exfoliating my scalp and it’s amazing. 2 tablespoons of sea salt with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Sounds weird but it’s working a treat! Also, deep conditioning once a week!

You’re originally from New York City, but you’ve been living in London for a few years now. What are some of your favorite places in London?

London is completely amazing. It’s got some similarities to New York, but it’s also completely different. It still kind of baffles me that your buildings aren’t very tall. I love it though! I’m always sharing snaps of pretty buildings and tiled floors on my instagram! I’m obsessed, especially with architecture! As far as favorite places, I would say I love Shoreditch, for its colorful character, and Spitalfields, for it’s more vintage vibe (and cool shopping, of course!). I also love finding pretty mews. They’re all over the city, refurbished relics of a time when people rode around London in horse-drawn carriages. Little cobbled streets with colorful houses (usually). St. Luke’s Mews, Warren Mews, Kynance Mews, Holland Park Mews… there are so many!

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You also blog regularly about food. What are some of your favorite things to bake or cook?

I love to cook, a trait I definitely get from my Dad. He was always cooking, and encouraging my sister and I to join him. I’m trying to be more adventurous, and have a whole list of recipes I want to try! Pinterest is great for that as well! My favorite things to make? Macaroni and cheese, spinach stuffed mushrooms, and leek and potato soup. It depends on my mood really! When it comes to baking, I’m a cookie girl all the way. Chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles are my specialty! Though after watching Bake Off, I really want to try making pastry!

How do you find inspiration for your DIY projects?

I would probably say Pinterest. If I see something in a magazine or a shop, I’ll look on there for ideas and more examples. I plan my projects and then leave them alone for a bit before coming back to them. Just so I don’t rush into things and make sure that I have thought through everything! I made a coatrack from driftwood and mismatched knobs, but it took some time to find the perfect piece of wood, and
collecting all of the different decorative knobs! I’ve got a whole board on Pinterest of potential ideas. I’m a very visual person, so it helps me visualize what projects will look like at the end!

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What are some words of wisdom or a mantra that you love and live by?

“Have courage and be kind.” Maybe it’s because I’ve watched Cinderella about a hundred times, but I think it’s so true. I’m a firm believer in the power of kindness. Another favorite is “We accept the love we think we deserve,” a quote from one of my favorite books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s always stuck with me, and always felt incredibly relevant to my life.

What do you love most about being a creative woman?

Gosh, so many things! I’ve always been creative, even from a young age. I love the feeling of knowing that, from start to finish, this is something tangible that I created myself. I find it so incredibly rewarding. It’s also pretty empowering. Mostly though, especially with my blog, it’s helped me find my voice. I may not always be able to articulate what I’m thinking or feeling, but being creative allows me to express it. Cooking a nice meal for my husband, working on a diy project, coming up with content for my blog… it makes me feel whole. Not to mention, I’ve made some really great friends through blogging!

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