Jessica was born in La Mesa, California in 1985, the first and only child to her parents. Her Mom had quite an eye for wedding photography. While working at a local photo lab, she simultaneously started her own wedding photography business. This was a major influence on 7-year-old Jessica, as she watched her Mom build a successful business before her glowing eyes. She fondly recalls trips to Big Sur to help her Mom with a photo shoot, answering her business phone, completing photo books and many other tasks in running a photo business. She and her mom were side by side during the 10 years she ran the business and she learned she’d need to work extremely hard to achieve her future successes. She’s always used her mom as an example of hard work and perseverance. A great mentor for a future entrepreneur.
Jessica remembers living in a senior community with her Mom from ages 3 to 14.
Inspired by her Mother’s self-drive and motivation, she would regularly gather friends to scout her neighborhood for willing clients in need of a sweep. She describes sweeping patios, pulling weeds, doing various yard chores and rolling trash to the curb. At Just $1.00 per driveway, she was determined to clean up the community. This also became her primary social activity, spending time with her senior neighbors/clients/friends. She knew all the neighbors by name and was not shy to ask them whatever came to mind.
“One neighbor comes to mind, Trixie, she was my absolute favorite. She’d give me odd jobs, she’d pay me in change, stories and lessons – we’d talk about respect and compassion towards adults, mostly. She helped me understand there was a lot to learn from my grandparent’s generation, and it’s a lot of wisdom that I still carry around today.” Jessica described.
She always appreciated the wisdom and attention from older generations. Children her age were often spending time playing with other kids. She was instead developing a taste for music, arts, cultures and the benefit of good-manners and hard-work through these relationships.
It was by age 14 she started working at a retail clothing store as a sales associate. She was ambitious and driven- juggling school, volleyball, swim meets, work, church and fun. She was young for being so well-rounded and responsible. Her work ethic and thirst for wisdom and experience would prove to take her far. It was at that same age she experienced her beloved grandmother diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a grapefruit. Following the removal of the tumor, her grandmother was left incapacitated and had to re-learn how to walk, talk, eat, dress and all the other daily activities of living.
Jessica continued to care for her grandmother through high school, and that experience helped shape her future career. She explained, “Seeing how much my grandmother depended on her nurses and how much she appreciated them, made me want to become a nurse.” She decided she would take her future into her own hands and work to put herself through nursing school.
At age 17 she started working as a server in a local restaurant.
She was able to utilize the same charm that convinced her neighbors to pay for her sweeping services, to deliver precise and jovial service to strangers. Serving tables became her livelihood, she was great at it, and it was lucrative. She immediately fit in and excelled as a trainer at most positions. She became well versed in the industry, new cuisines and hospitality, expanding her curiosity and expertise. She lived a very independent lifestyle, motivated to make a difference and make others happy.