I met Jess Estrada
last summer at the Seattle Weekly Web Awards
. I was there to support my boyfriend and didn't know many people. Actually, I was really nervous! I knew Gabe
was well versed in the tech community whereas I was much more involved in the World Affairs Council
at the time. A petite, beautiful and very friendly girl approached me and said "Hi, I'm Jess! Nice to meet you." I immediately felt at ease and later in the night told Gabe "I met the nicest girl! Her name is Jess Estrada." Little did I know that a laundry list of compliments would soon come rushing out of his mouth about Fresh Jess
. Jess Estrada
may very well be the most talked about social media maven in Seattle. Jess currently is the Director of Marketing at Banyan Branch
but it is her blog, Fresh Jess
that is so widely read and recognized by the community that she was most recently crowned DLis+ Magazine's
Blogger of the Year. So without further adieu, from this Jess to that Jess, please allow me to introduce you to THE Fresh Jess
JVP: How did you pave the road to success at such a young age?
JVP: I didn't know it then, but I hit the career jackpot when I joined the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce
as an assistant for their events and membership teams. At 22 I'd have never guessed the network the Chamber would allow me to build, from CEOs of global brands based in Seattle to the hard-working small business owner to other young professionals in the city. I came to the Chamber from Nike, where one of their cultural maxims is to "Be a Sponge." That's exactly what I've done, from Nike to the Chamber and now on social media - absorb all the knowledge I can from everyone I meet. You never know how someone might be able to help you (or vice versa.) It has always benefited me to step outside my normal circles and get to know people I don't have a lot in common with and might never have met. That, and always be positive!
JVP: Do you have a mentor and has he/she been a critical part in your success?
FJ: I have a lot of people I look up to! Most are influential leaders and women entrepreneurs like Queen Rania, Ivanka Trump, Russell Simmons, Melinda Gates and more. I also look to business leaders on a more local level (many of the Seattle Chamber members I met during my time there, like Tracy Corley, Darcey Howard, Theresa Chambers and more.) My friend Sara Seumae
is my sound board and voice of reason for all of the major parts of my life. She tells me things I NEED to hear, even when I don't want to hear them. She started her own eco fashion line, SPUN
, in 2008 and opened a storefront on Capitol Hill just last year, while balancing being a full-time wife, mother, sister and daughter to her close-knit family. While I might not always agree with what she has to say, we love and respect each other immensely and she's been there for every decision I've made.
JVP: Favorite blog post?
FJ: My dear English Bulldog, Meatball, passed away unexpectedly in August 2010. My posts about him are by far my most personal posts and are among the most-read posts on Fresh Jess
. It was so hard for me to write, but the words came out really easily (if that makes sense.) I poured my heart into those posts, just like I did for him.
JVP: Advice for someone starting their own blog, brand or business?
FJ: Know what you want, and keep at it!
JVP: If you were not working for Banyan Branch
, what profession could you most likely see yourself in?
FJ: Blogging full-time!
JVP: Favorite magazine?
FJ: It's a tie between Real Simple
JVP: Favorite quote?
FJ: End each day smarter than when you began it - Warren BuffettFollow Jess Estrada on twitter @jessestrada
12 years ago while sailing among the San Juan Islands, which are approximately 70 miles north of Seattle and only accessible by ferry or plane, my parents stopped at Lopez Island. They disembarked for what was suppose to be a quick 24 hour stop but quickly developed an affinity for the island.
Since that moment we've been part-time residents on Lopez Island, first buying a small cottage and most-recently building a bigger family summer home. Lopez Island has 2,200 full-time residents, mostly artisans, retailers, farmers and retired folk. That number climbs to 10,000 in the summer months. I love this island and encourage those of you near and far to pay a visit to Lopez. And I've even given you a head start by compiling a list to ensure you "Live La Vida Lopez."
1. Make Sure to Wave!
Regardless of whether you're on foot, horse, car or bike, make sure you greet each passerby with a wave. Lopez is coined the "Friendly Isle" among the San Juan Islands so stretch those wrists!
2. Buy Organic!
Lopez is known for its wide array of locally produced organic products. In the summer months, the Saturday Lopez Farmers Market is packed with fresh organic produce, seafood and more.A few of my favorites are:Chicaoji Hot Sauce
(Love it on my potatoes!)Stonecrest Jam (incredible assortment of Jams!)
3. Go Wine Tasting!Lopez Island Vineyards has a beautiful tasting room so I recommend experiencing one of few locally grown wines in the San Juans. Lopez Island Vineyards has also received recognition from the Washington Wine Awards.
4. Catch some Crabs!
If you've got a boat, you'll definitely want to lay down a pot to catch some of the best dungeness crab in the world! My Dad has become notorious among family and friends for catching and cooking some delicious Swift Bay-caught crab. You can't go wrong with fresh crabs, melted butter and cold beers in the summer.
Note: If you do go crabbing, be sure you have a fishing license purchased from the Washington State Department of Fisheries.
5. Support the Locals!Even though we spend a quarter of the time up on Lopez, we make sure to support the locals by visiting the library, eating at the restaurants and buying local products. My favorite eatery is Vita's. I dream about their curry chicken salad it's THAT good!
And their wine selection is also quite extensive.For more information on Lopez Island, please check out the Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers! I'd love to hear what you are thankful for this holiday season. I'm thankful for a lot (see below).
Wishing everyone a great holiday filled with good health and happiness. - JVPMedia
Welcome to the first annual JVP Media Gift Guide! This Gift Guide is unique because all the companies represented are based in my hometown of Seattle, Washington and ALL can be purchased online. I basically do 90% of my shopping online because I don't think there is any better way to shop than from the comfort of your own home. Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!
Amazon KindleBeing an avid reader, there's no better gift this holiday season than the Amazon Kindle. Price: Such a steal for $79.
Theo Chocholate Winter 8 Piece Confection Collection
If Oprah's a fan, then so am I. And lucky for me, Theo is just a few miles away from my house.
These confections are made weekly and are preservative free. The collection includes 1 each of Ginger, Noir, Rum Raisin, Egg Nog, Chinese Five Spice, Cinnamon Coffee, Date Bourbon & Pear Balsamic. I'm sending a box to Oprah.Price: $14.96
Blue Nile White Freshwater Cultured Pearl Ring
I just bought this ring for my dear friend Molly and she absolutely loved it. It's a great gift for a girlfriend or sister. And pearls never go out of style.Price: $50 and always FREE FedEx shipping
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Heyburn 2.0This is the type of jacket that my boyfriend used to climb Mt. Rainier so you know you're investing in a good piece of technical outerwear.Price: $279
Sur La Table Nespresso® CitiZ Espresso Machine
Because if you're like me and work in retail, you better invest in a state of the art espresso machine for all those long hours you'll be working!Price: $279
SPUN 3/4 Sleeve TopIf this shirt came in every color, I'd never have to go shopping again. SPUN owner Sara Seumae only uses high quality 100% certified Organic Cotton
which is dyed using environmentally safe low–impact fiber reactive dyeing processes.And looking for a glamorous cocktail or evening look? Look no further than Cameron Levin, sold at SPUN.Price: $55.00
Starbucks ceo Howard Schultz Biography
The next time you are in a Starbucks and want to give a friend or family member a little inspiration, pick up this page turner of a book. Schultz explains in great passion returning as ceo to a company that hasn't looked back since. (You'll understand the lowercase ceo when you read the book!)Price:
Nordstrom Kiehl's Men's Refueling' Gift SetI swear by Kiehl's and that means Gabe swears by it too. Nordstrom has some stellar skin and fragrance packages and this one is a fantastic deal.
The four skincare products includes Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap (7.0 oz.), Facial Fuel Energizing Moisture Treatment for Men (2.5 oz.), Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (1 oz.) and Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream - White Eagle (1 oz.).Price: $29.50
I take my eyebrows VERY
seriously. As in, I only entrust a select few to touch them. They are very well one of the most important features on the face which is why I was OVER-THE-MOON ecstatic when I heard that the amazing Gunna would be working at Penelope & The Beauty Bar
. Gunna was previously employed at Marco Two Union before giving birth to two gorgeous twins. Penelope & The Beauty Bar, conveniently located inside the Fairmount Olympic Hotel
is the newest spot for high echelon men and women looking for a premier spa experience.Owner Angela Rosen was adamant that The Beauty Bar only bring on the best aestheticians in Seattle
and the finest equipment, including a Sudatonic Body Toning and Sliming System and internationally-acclaimed Thalgo skincare products.
Adding to the beauty and ambiance of the spa is the stunning original artwork of Tanya Ling, world-class fashion illustrator who has worked with fashion houses Diane Von Fursternberg, Christian LaCroix, Louis Vuitton and Dorothy Bliss, as well as for publications including Harpers Bazaar, Elle, British Vogue and more.
So what are you waiting for? Indulge yourself and make an appointment at Penelope & The Beauty Bar.Tell them JVP Media sent you.
Follow The Beauty Bar on Facebook
for EXCLUSIVE discounts only for fans.
inspire. unique. style.
It was only appropriate that I should have many connections to the Donni Charm
brand. Not only do my favorite celebrity style icons wear the scarves, but my sister's former roommate is a dear friend of the founder, Alyssa. Donni Charm is one of my favorite brands and my NEW snug (recently worn by Jessica Alba) just arrived today!
I spoke with Donni Charm Founder Alyssa who also has been kind enough to do a giveaway for one lucky reader so READ ON!
JVP: First and foremost, I am so honored that you chose to speak with me. I’ve been a loyal Donni Charm follower. What or who inspired you to start Donni Charm?
DC: Donni Charm
was inspired by my father. That is what I attribute our success to. His name was Donald, and people called him donni-- which is where the name came from. Charm came from the fact that all of our scarves are adorned with positive/good luck charms in addition to people always calling me his charm. :)
JVP: Tell us the meaning behind the signature wings?
DC: The wings represent protection, and that an angel is always watching over you.
JVP: You’ve obviously created quite a celebrity following. Tell us about how you felt when you first saw your product on the stars?
DC: It was the most surreal feeling. I didn't think I was seeing straight. My friend called to tell me she saw Jessica Biel wearing one of our first handmade vintage styles in a magazine and I didn't believe her until i saw it with my own eyes. Since then, it is still equally as exciting to see stars wearing donni charm. Makes me feel good that it's something they reach for to wear.
JVP: Who is the Donni Charm
DC: Our customer isn't just one group. We have girls in elementary school wearing donni charm, my grandma and her friends wearing donni charm
, and everyone in between. We offer many different styles from classic to edgy to ensure we have something for everyone.
JVP: What do you see in the future for your brand?
DC: Expanding in distribution and in product categories, and most importantly spreading the donni charm story and inspiring others to follow their dreams and be inspired regardless of circumstance.WIN A $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO USE ON DONNICHARM.COM
**Doing all three steps increases your chances of winning**
1) Follow Donni Charm on Facebook & Twitter
2) Follow JVP Media on Facebook
3) Leave a Comment Below Saying Why You Need a Donni Charm Scarf or Snug
Terms and Conditions: There will only be one winner chosen at random on Sunday 12 PM EST. Winner will be notified by email. Contestants who do all three steps will have a greater chance of winning.
Blaire and I at the University of Kansas for her graduation from college.
My sister Blaire is the most fun, silly and loving person I know. She's also turning 23 this coming Thursday and I thought I'd share a little bit about her.
1. Blaire got her name from a young girl who use to take ballet at Pacific Northwest Ballet. This other Blaire is also a dear friend of Amanda Brotman's (creator of Amanda Pearl
). My Mom saw the name and immediately loved that it had an "e" on the end.
2. She rarely gets stressed (which is the complete opposite of me). I admire her for this.
3. A born hippie, Blaire is boho chic and can pull off looks I never could! (See below)
4. I'm an old soul, meaning I'm not a big music person unless it's classical, Etta James or Frank Sinatra. My sister follows the music scene closer than anyone I know. Don't even think you know more about Umphrey's McGee
than she does.
5. She loves black onyx. Which is exactly why Gabe and I bought her these gorgeous matching black onyx stud earrings
from Blue Nile
for her birthday gift.
Happy 23rd Birthday Blaire!
My little Egyptian
My Papoo Victor Piha served in World War II and always shares stories about his tenure in the Navy. I'd like to honor him and the countless men and women in our armed forces for their valor. We salute you! Below is a picture of my Papoo as well as a written chronicle of his time aboard the USS Doyen in a book titled "Gemini Ship."
My first cousin Ryan and Papoo Vic
All Photography Courtesy of Blue Nile, Inc.
As Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Blue Nile, Inc
., Sue Bell begins her day with the same energy and enthusiasm that she brought to the company when she started back in September 2001.
Sue has been instrumental in driving the company’s high-quality product assortment and focus on the customer experience. This includes the brand new Blue Nile eiros™
Collection, which just launched! JVP Media readers are getting an exclusive interview with Sue. Thank you to my colleagues at Blue Nile
for allowing me to share this interview with my readers!
JVP: First, congratulations on the launch of the Blue Nile
eiros™ Collection, how long has this collection been in the works?SB: Blue Nile eiros™ has been in the works for about 6 months.
JVP: Tell us a little about the six settings and bands in the collection
SB: Each design is completely unique and hand carved with incredibly gorgeous detail. Some of the stronger elements across the collection are intricate scrollwork, climbing vines, braided hearts and elegant cable motifs. All of these are ornamented with small diamond accents.
JVP: Why the name eiros?
SB: The name is linked to Eros, the Greek god of love. Each ring evokes the most unique and timeless expression of love.
JVP: How long did it take your team to create blue nile eiros? What are the steps and manpower needed to create an exclusive line like eiros?
SB: It takes a gifted designer and a skilled merchant to interpret what is resonating with consumers today. The collaboration began last year with the development of our Flora Vida series. We were so impressed with the completely unique and elaborate nature of the designs, we knew we wanted to go further, which is what led us to blue nile eiros™.
We started to work on designs last June. It started with 24 designs which we carefully narrowed down to what we believe is the perfect collection.
Carnelian Drop Earrings
JVP: What is Blue Nile
doing for customers this holiday season?
SB: Holiday 2011 at Blue Nile will be more exciting than ever. We are showcasing our largest and most diverse product introduction in our history. While we will always carry our classic jewelry items, which are the foundation of every woman’s jewelry wardrobe, this year, we have added incredible newness, from materials to designs to exclusive collections this year.
All Black Diamonds. All the time.
SB:Diamond jewelry is anchored by gorgeous, classic diamond stud earrings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces. This season, diamond fashion includes our new black diamond fashion eternity rings
, diamond hoops, solitaire pendants and stud earrings. Diamond drop earrings are inspired by the Royal Wedding and stackable diamond rings, starting at under $1000, are all the rage.
Whiskey Quartz Drop Earrings
SB: Gemstones will always have a foundation in precious sapphires, rubies and emeralds. This season, color explodes in our new gemstone jewelry pieces. Bold styles in incredible hues offer tremendous accessibility in cocktail rings, hoop and drop earrings, pendants and the incredibly popular stackable bezel set and eternity rings. We are excited to launch our exclusive Blue Nile Carousel ™ collection, made with SWAROVSKI GEMSTONES, highlighting great new styles in semi-precious gemstones set in sterling silver. From eternity rings to bangle bracelets, heart pendants to charms, this collection has something for everyone on your list.
Three-Strand Pearl Necklace
SB: Classic white pearls are joined by multi- color pearls, pearls with silver beads and pearls with gemstone pieces this holiday. From long necks to multi strand bracelets to our new pearl fashion rings, pearls have a whole new look for holiday. Silver and gold jewelry is transformed this season, accentuated by beautiful lace detailing and open scrolling designs. Nature plays a key role, as leaves, vines, and sunbursts come to life. Earrings are all about movement, with tassles, dangles and beautiful graceful shapes.
Long Tassel Earrings in Sterling Silver
is always center stage at Blue Nile. Our bridal collection is more beautiful and unique than ever, with gorgeous micropave, halo styles, colored gemstone accents and floral details. We are thrilled to launch our exclusive Blue Nile eiros ™ bridal collection
, characterized by intricate engraving and exquisitely embellished designs, beautiful at every angle with touches of diamond sparkle. Complete unique, and only at Blue Nile
Now more than ever, your jewelry resource.
Whitney Stern, Me & Rachel Schwartz
It was a weekend I'll never forget at the Triple Pine Lodge in Lake Wenatchee.
19 or so of my closest friends + two new Canadian friends we made celebrated my 30th birthday with laughter, hugs, good food, good drinks and great fun.
Some memorable highlights included a scavanager hunt around the city of Leavenworth, a surprise birthday cake from my boyfriend, and an arousing chorus of "A Hard Knock Life" from the 8+ of those who slept in a room we coined "the orphanage."
The scavanger hunt was indeed the highlight of the vacation as 4 teams of 5 raced around downtown Leavenworth to complete as many tasks on a list as possible.
Some of the tasks included: jumping in the Wenatchee river, getting a tattoo or piercing (I got my third piercing in my right ear!) and taking a photo with twins.
Our team came in second but it was clear that everyone was a winner if you tallied up the points of laughs this adventure created. Some *NEW* pictures of this weekend are below, courtesy of Karl Waters.
"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson