Born in the self-proclaimed “biggest little football town in the world,” Jess hails from Maiden, NC, where everything in the town shuts down for Friday night football games and everyone knows your name. She’s a big believer in handwritten notes, guacamole with every meal, and UNC basketball. As our Editor and Customer Delight Manager, her favorite parts of the day are celebrating with newly engaged friends as they come to our shop to purchase their SW Planner! She can be often be found with her nose in a new book, attempting to be crafty, or trying out the newest restaurant in Durham.
Hometown: Maiden, NC
Birthday: September 19
What fires me up: fresh flowers, a handwritten letter, brunch, thoughtful book recommendations, big squeezes from old and new friends, encouraging others, front porch sitting on a sunny day
You would be surprised to know: That I’m terrified of heights, though I mask it pretty well on airplanes
Claim to fame: I am an master Google-er
Favorite class I took in college: HIST 262 – History of the Holocaust, taught by Dr. Browning. I know it sounds morbid, but Dr. Browning’s research is focused on Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, and his work is fascinating. Hearing him teach about a topic that he was so passionate about gave me the same excitement each day in class.
How I came to work at Southern Weddings: I may have to take Emily’s cliche of “right place at the right time” to answer this! I’d known Lara for about a year when she asked me to help her current nanny so that she could focus solely on writing her next book. I turned her down (sorry Lara!) and instead took a full-time job in Customer Service and Social Media with a start-up in the Triangle. When my hours at new job unexpectedly shifted, I offered my assistance to Lara with Grace and Joshua. We had a few conversations about my new love for Customer Service, and she mentioned that the Southern Weddings team was looking for a Customer Delight and Shop Manager. A few whirlwind days of conversations, interviews and prayer later, I officially joined the Southern Weddings team!
Favorite Southern Weddings editorial ever: This is such a hard question to answer! I’m going to have to say Sweet Corn Sweethearts from V6. My favorite color is yellow, and I love how it’s sprinkled throughout the whole shoot. More than that, I love that it tells the story of a couple who has so beautifully woven their families into their wedding day. From location on the family’s dairy farm to the delicious meal served family style on a long table, everything is centered around celebrating alongside the people whom you love. Oh, and I love corn on the cob :)
Best part of my job: Can I choose two things? Having the chance to work alongside women who embody every aspect of our mission with such warmth, grace and hospitality and interacting with all our wonderful readers through social media, emails and phone calls!
Why I do what I do: I believe that marriage is not the end goal. There’s so much more to life, and relationships, than a wedding day. Southern Weddings encourages our readers to cultivate what matters in their current season – whether that’s dating well or focusing on planning a marriage that’s more beautiful than a wedding. I love that I have the opportunity to share that mission through a variety of different avenues such as customer service emails, social media, phone calls and much more!
What I do in my spare time: reading, spending time with family and friends, browsing thrift stores, Facetiming my adorable niece, and eating at all the yummy restaurants in Durham
The cause/organization/charity that most captures my heart: Love Does Orphanage in Nepal. Last year, I started sponsoring Sanju, who wants to be a helicopter pilot when she grows up! I love that this organization gives young girls a safe place for them to dream big and pursue their passions.
True love is: always choosing to see the best in another person.