We've teamed up with the four creative, talented and lovely women (Anna, Alli, Jessie and Kallie) behind the handcrafted jewelry company, 31 Bits, this month. Their company provides jobs to women in Uganda in hopes to empower them to rise above poverty. Their "Fashion for Good" message encourages conscious consumerism and that is something we are proud to get behind and share. Every item sold by 31 Bits makes a direct impact on the women's lives in Uganda because they are entirely funded by the product sales!
This week we are talking with Brand Director, Jessie - a self-proclaimed coffee guru. She's letting us tag along and take a peek into how she starts her mornings. Find out what keeps her inspired, how she finds balance and how you can help get involved and share the message behind 31Bits.
When I wake up, the first thing I do is… Think about coffee. I literally think, the sooner I get out of bed, the sooner I can get a cup of coffee...
I usually wake up at...Our life at Bits has no consistency. Everyday looks a little different. It's normal to have 6am wake up calls for photo shoots or a trip to LA, but I can make up for it on quiet days and press snooze until 8am!
Breakfast consists of...Drumroll please...Iced Coffee! Sometimes topped off with a granola bar, banana, or green smoothie.
My favorite morning drink is…A Large iced coffee from Peets with a dash of creamer. Peets just does their iced coffee right.
Do you play music in the mornings? If so, what’s your go-to jam? My alarm is set to a Taylor Swift song, does that count? :)
When I get to the office, the first thing I do is.. Prioritize my to-do list for the day. If I have any creative writing or brainstorming to do, I try to do it first. I've heard that if you start your day with emails or anything monotonous, it will suck the creativity right out of you! My creativity is best either first thing in the morning or in the late, uninterrupted hours of the night!
My favorite at-work distraction… Donut deliveries! We have a couple friends that work at a local donut shop, Side Car, and frequently pop by with a box of the daily flavors! Their Butter & Salt donut has literally made my life complete.
My favorite thing on my desk.. My iPad. I carry it around everywhere. It's my best friend at meetings, for traveling, grabbing inspiration from Pinterest on the fly, and for jotting down quick notes at my desk.
I think the best hidden gem is found... In Costa Mesa! It feels like a small town stuck right in the middle of Orange County, filled with hidden gems and great people. It might not seem like much at first glance, but it's filled with boutique coffee shops, hidden bars, gourmet donuts, amazing chefs, great shopping, calm neighborhoods, an epic 90's cover band, and is a 10-minute bike ride from the beach.
My Favorite Thing about California is.. having everything at your fingertips. My friends and I love staycations and weekend adventures. From the beach to the mountains, from epic campsites to urban city strolls, from Disneyland to sailing to bike rides, we've got it all!
I stay inspired by... three things. Spending time with Jesus, spending time outside in nature and spending time in a community of creative people. Jesus keeps me going, nature keeps me calm, and my community keeps me sane and pushes me to be better!
The best advice I would give my 16 yr old self is... Don't compare yourself to others. Comparison will rob you of your joy and slow you down. Don't feel defeated because of someone else's success. Instead, look forward, be the best version of you that you can be, encourage those around you and press on toward your goals!
How has this company changed your life? In the beginning, we thought this would be a side-gig, but as opportunities began to unfold and we started planning our development program, we quickly realized we were in this for the long-haul! Our friends coined us as "The Bits Girls" and our little three bedroom house became "The Bits House." The five of us founders became like sisters and our women in Uganda became like family. We had so many people from our university, church, and community come around us in the beginning that 31 Bits became our entire social life! I know you shouldn't let your job define you, but when you love what you do and are surrounded by amazing people, I think there can be an exception! We've worked incredibly hard to grow this company, but we've never stopped having fun along the way. Every time we hear about one of our artisans sending their kids to school, or starting her own business, or feeling like they are part of a family for the first time, we remember why we do what we do and it pushes us to keep going.
How do you find balance in the crazy life of running your own company at such a young age? My life feels balanced because I have a really solid community of people around me. My friends don't let me stay a workaholic for too long. I surround myself with people who have similar values, who will care for me creatively, spiritually, and physically.
What is your advice to others looking to get involved and help? One of the best ways to get involved at 31 Bits is by throwing a house party! We got started by simply inviting friends to our home and sharing stories of change in Uganda, and we'd encourage others to do the same! Not everyone has a chance to go to Uganda, but this is a fun way to empower women in Uganda while throwing a party with friends!
Images by Renata Amazonas for Established California