Day 46 - Jessica

46 Jessica.jpeg

Day 46 - Jessica (2nd person I approached)

February 15, 2014 - Jessica was born in Toronto. When she was six years old, her family moved to BC to be nearer her grandparents, who lived in Mission. She grew up and lived in Mission until relocating to Vancouver about five years ago. Jessica is the third child of four. “I’m very close to my older sister and my baby brother,” she says. “My sister is my best friend and my baby brother, who is 15 years younger than I am, will always be my baby brother. We’re a very close family. I love them all very much. My parents are super cool and really easy going.”

Jessica moved to Vancouver to attend British Columbia Institute of Technology, studying Chemical Engineering. “I’m a fairly introverted person, and I figured working in a lab would be a perfect setting, not having to talk with lots of people. I lasted one year before I realized that chemical engineering wasn’t for me!” Jessica had been working as a barista for some time, and started to learn about coffee roasting. “I’m definitely obsessed with coffee, and roasting seemed to speak to a number of things for me. I’m working with my hands, it’s definitely an exact science and I get to work with smaller groups of people.” Through the ‘coffee network’ of people Jessica had gotten to know, she heard about an opportunity to be the coffee roaster for a small independent company. We had quite a few laughs, especially when I asked if she had a resume of pre-roasted coffee beans. “Do you show up, let them see what you’ve roasted and say 'here, grind this!'” 

Jessica is naturally an engaging person, and I found myself sharing my own similar experiences with her. In fact, I shared far more about myself than I usually do. It was a great conversation that lasted easily 30 minutes - I joined her as she walked to a coffee shop and we continued talking inside. “I really like my job. It’s a great group of people and I really love what I’m doing now. I spend a  lot of my time working and socializing with my friends. Working here is more about the personalities than a skill set.” In her down time, Jessica is a writer, working on fiction for a younger audience and adults. “I’m not published. Yet. I write mainly for myself. I’d love to get published at some point, but I set my expectations realistically. I write for my own pleasure.”

Of course I had to ask Jessica how she balances feeling she’s an ‘introvert' while sporting very colourful hair. She ponders it for a bit, before telling me, “That’s a really great question. I’m not sure exactly. Sometimes I’m aware that someone is looking at me because my hair is colourful and it can, at times, make me feel awkward. I don’t do it to draw attention to myself, I do it for me. That, and I used to have a room mate who is a hairdresser and it was like ‘what shall we do this week’ with her. I’ve had a lot of different colours and styles.” I asked Jessica when was the first time she had bright, colourful hair. “I was a teenager the first time, and then I didn’t do it again for about ten years. I saw this colour, it was punky and unique. It was called Blue Lagoon, and it was such a beautiful shade of blue. I was all like ‘come home with me!’” #notastranger