Babe Watch - Jesi Ekonen
Occasionally you have those people or businesses that you find by chance on social media that you follow for years, like their things, watch their stories, but never get the chance to meet in person. That was the case with our Babe of the Week, Jesi, Owner of Just Follow Your Art. I stumbled upon her, and, like I am with anyone who does hand-lettering, was mesmerized immediately. But, even though I came for the hand-lettering, I stayed for the equal doses of humor, empowerment, and feel good content.
Just Follow Your Art is a cool little shop with a lot of heart. They utilize a distinct color palate which I always am attracted to (I love consistency). Their shop has great prints, can coolers, greeting cards, stickers, buttons, and more! The sayings they have on their products really are great with some being just fun and snarky, others being motivational or political. Jesi is a feminist business owner who is really making her mark with each and every product and we are here for it!
Though her hand-lettering skills and fantastic products are at the head of her business, the heart is what really keeps me coming back to her Instagram page and stories. Jesi and her husband, Dan, work together on the business and they share so much fun content...drinking wine, eating pizza, taking polls, and just being all around fun. They are literally the perfect pair and make you smile at their adorable interactions, love for one another, and authentically funny moments.
Learn more Jesi below...trust me, it's worth it...
Your Business / Service Name(s):
Just Follow Your Art
What is Your Website? Insta Handle? (Or However Else We Can Find You!)
Why Did You Decide To Start Your Business?
Jesi a self-taught artist with decades of experience doodling in the margins of notebooks and meeting agendas. Jesi’s obsession with lettering and intense need for an outlet outside of school and work led her to launch Just Follow Your Art.
Do You Have a Blog, Podcast, or Youtube Channel? Tell Us About It!
Nope, not cool enough for this :)
What Is The Best Advice You Can Give to A Woman Starting Her Business Venture?
Don't do what everyone else is doing. Find your own style, unique voice, and don't be shy about sharing your opinions. Trying to please everyone will leave you feeling overwhelmed. Also, don't copy other businesses work (not cool)! Keep it real and your audience will respect you for it!
What Is Something Most People Don't Know About You?
I work full-time in higher education and teach college courses about Leadership!
What Does Your Typical Day Look Like?
Early morning: work on JFYA admin tasks such as email and ordering inventory, Daytime: full time job working with the brightest young college students who are changing the world, Dinner: my wonderful husband Dan usually does the cooking, we go for a walk, fulfill orders, spend the evening on our porch with wine and our bulldog, usually designing products or listening to a true crime podcast.
Who Are Some Women That Inspire You? (Globally and Locally)
I'm constantly inspired by women in my circle, I have the most wonderful family and friends. Kalin, Sweetwater Floral @sweetwaterfloral for hilarious "clinks" in the morning and real solid business advice. Michelle Obama, duh. My goal is to live a life Michelle Obama would be proud of!
What Was One Huge Business Flop or Problem That You Had to Endure and How Did You Handle That?
My Etsy account was reported for using the term "Koozie" which was protected under copyright law, who knew? I had to change all listings to say "can cooler" and after that scare, sales definitely slowed down. The items sold well in-person but to generate sales online we bundled them with other items!
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of?
This year, proceeds from JFYA sales directly sponsor a paid communication and design internship experience with Linc Up, a non-profit in Grand Rapids supporting housing and community activation.
What Do You Do For Self Care?
Walks, wine, and breaks away from screens!
What Jobs Did You Work Before You Created Your Business? Tell Us Your Journey.
Bath & Body Works sales associate, GVSU Admissions rep, currently work full-time at CMU and JFYA is my side business!
Give Us Five Fun Facts About You!
1 - my bulldog is named Betty White and cat is named James Earl Jones
2 - potatoes are my love language. Any form, flavor, gotta have them!
3 - lettering is my favorite part of the process, I get stressed picking out the colors
4 - my favorite TV show is Schitt's Creek
5 - I am an introvert who married an extrovert, but we make it work in 2020!
What Sign Are You? Are You Into Astrology?
Scorpio. Not so much into astrology!
Do You Know Your Enneagram? If So, What Is It?
2 w 3!
What One Word Represents You Most.
What is Your Favorite The Posh Shop Co Product?
So Fetch Pencil set. Classic!