BETCHA’ DIDN’T KNOW:
–3 WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SACRAMENTO? Community, creative and potential.
–FAVE LOCAL CAUSE? WEAVE. Period. They do so much to empower, support and heal the women in our community, and move toward social change and awareness. I can’t say enough about the incredible people at WEAVE and the work they do. I’m always happy to have my company team fund-raise and participate in their Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event every year (contact me if you want to join our team this year!).
–WHICH SACRAMENTO WOMAN INSPIRES YOU? I have two….
In general: the woman who owns and runs her own business or non-profit. Specifically: Bridgette Maldonado. Strong, approachable, hard-working, innovative, business-minded, creative and community-oriented. All the while balances (better than most women I know with less on their plates) being a wife to a fellow entrepreneur, and mom to two rowdy young boys. Seeing them make time in the chaos of owning multiple businesses for intentional family time is refreshing.
In general: the woman who fights for change in the corporate world. Specifically: Bobbie Singh-Allen. Personally and professionally, when it comes to the issues of race and femininity, Bobbie works to build bridges, abolish negative stereotypes and bring people and communities together. Through her official position, and her magnetic social influence, I continue to be impressed and inspired by her. Having a loving marriage and raising socially aware and forward-thinking children on top of it all is just one more mark of this incredible lady.
–WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE IN SACRAMENTO IN 5 YEARS? I want to see a community that embraces, pays and truly celebrates the talented creatives here. Fashion, design, music, dance, architecture… Sacramento has incredibly innovative and gifted creative people and needs to continue on it’s path toward keeping it’s creative talent HERE by honoring and supporting their gifts. I feel the new development on R Street targeting artists for affordable living and commercial space is an awesome step in that direction.
–FAVORITE SACRAMENTO “GUILTY PLEASURE”? I’m a french fry fanatic. Ask anyone who knows me, the first thing I look at on a menu is what the fry options are. The staff at LowBrau look at me funny if my order doesn’t include at least one side of their duck fat fries. I’ve been known to swing by and get their fries to go on my my way home from the boutique. Definitely my guilty pleasure. Also, any drink that Ian Beightler or Chris Sinclair make me. Never from the menu, I love being able to describe my mood and how my day has been and have them craft the PERFECT drink every time. Even now, being pregnant, their non-alcoholic concoctions almost make me forget I can’t have the fun stuff for a few more months.
–IF I WASN’T IN MY CURRENT CAREER… I started my company after 6+ years working with violent non-verbal autistic students. Government cutbacks eliminated our special education program. I truly loved my students and know that I brought all of myself to my time with them, Our classroom was such a creative place, and I loved pragmatically approaching each student’s unique challenges using a combination of research and creative solutions to work toward verbal, social and relational breakthroughs. As a musician/artist, had I continued in that field, I would most likely be running an art or music therapy program for people with autism. Few things compare to the moment when a student connects to the world in a new way.
–LADY MENTOR GROWING UP? Growing up, I created an “imaginary friend” / fictional character (I’m a writer) of a women who embodied multiple influences/inspirations in my life. She had the style, loveliness & poise of Audrey Hepburn, the faith and selfless compassionate heart for the struggling of Mother Teresa, and the creative, tenacious and welcoming community spirit of my mom. This character is now a woman, but was always just a bit older than me in my mind, one step ahead of where I was at, pushing me to love more, work harder and fearlessly embrace who I am. It’s only fitting that Juniper James is now the name of my company, that I hope truly embodies everything she has always been to me.
–BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? No one can ever be YOU. Don’t be crushed by comparing yourself to others or lose yourself by trying to mimic them. Be inspired and become someone who inspires others.
–ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO A SACRAMENTO WOMAN IN HER 20’S? Figure out what you LOVE, and freaking DO. IT. Don’t be afraid to work a lower position in a job that moves you in the right direction – a quality internship can be invaluable. Learn everything you possibly can about your passion, and ask someone who inspires you in that field to mentor you. Be bold enough with your skills to excel, and humble enough to always keep learning from those around you. Then create something uniquely beautiful and worthwhile in the world.