“Just Haves” with Justine
Justine Santaniello is a lifestyle and trend expert who contributes her wisdom on multiple media platforms. Hope for Women was able to catch up with Santaniello to learn more about her journey to success. Hope for Women: What is a typical day like for you? Justine Santaniello: Being a freelancer means that no two days are the same. One day, I could be traveling to a local morning news show in Atlanta, and the next day I could be working out of my pajamas from my home office. Overall, my days are filled with segment planning, prop shopping, pitching to station producers, working with brands and PR reps—anything and everything related to the world of lifestyle TV. Of course, I always make sure to end the day my favorite way: watching Bravo in bed with my husband (he’s a good sport).
Hope: What did you originally see yourself doing in life for a career? JS: My parents love to remind me that when I was around four or five years old, I would walk around with a toy cell phone saying, “Have your people call my people.” I think I knew even at that age that I wanted to be an entertainer of some kind. I was never camera shy, always loved to talk and loved to be around people. I am lucky enough that I really am living my original dream for myself.
Hope: How did you come to be a lifestyle expert and such a sought-after individual? JS: I was lucky enough to be hired by a broadcast PR and production company right out of college, where I worked as a TV segment producer. There I learned not only to produce but to media train talent, work with station producers to book segments, write scripts and so much more. It was in my role as a producer that I found my true passion: being on-air. I was given the opportunity to appear on camera, and I juggled both producing and my new on-air work. This is where I connected daily with the country’s biggest public relations firms, most respected brands and top morning news show producers. This experience allowed me to work my way to a full-time on-air career and to earn a respected foothold in the broadcast industry from a truly holistic perspective.
Hope: What challenges have you had to overcome? How did you find the strength to overcome them? JS: Everything that has led me to where I am today has been a challenge of some sort. In this field, there is no straight path to get where you want to be. You never know what’s coming and where you will be in a year, which in itself is a challenge for someone who always likes to be in control, like myself. I am lucky enough to say that every year, I can look back and think I have made great progress, and I have passed a benchmark—the biggest being when I decided to let go of my producing job and make my on-air career my full-time priority. I believe you find your strength within yourself. When you want something badly enough, you always find a way to overcome, and it certainly doesn’t hurt having a strong support system behind you that’s always there, no matter what.
Hope: What inspires or motivates you most in life? JS: Watching other talented people on camera inspires me every day. It helps me create new ideas, work on my presentation skills and remind myself that there is always more I can do. My family and friends are also a huge motivation, as they are always so supportive and happy with each step I take in my career. I want to make the people I love proud of me, and I also want to help the viewers at home. If I can make just one person’s life easier with one of my tips, then I’m happy!
Hope: What are some of your favorite "Just Haves" at the moment? JS: As we enter the warm weather season (finally), my favorite “Just Haves” are all about getting beautified for summer. Here are three of my favorite summer items:
Hope: What advice would you offer to women chasing their dreams? JS: As a woman who is still chasing her dreams, I always tell others to keep pushing ahead. There are so many times when the work seems overwhelming or that your efforts aren’t paying off, but you can’t give in. My father told me at a young age that if you find something you love to do, then you will never work a day in your life. I really do believe that to be true. If you love what you do, then everything you do to get where you want to be is worth it. I still have a lot I want to accomplish and a lot left to do. If I can do it, you can do it!