I created TWIK to honor the stories, lessons and courage of the women in my life. This podcast was conceptualized and partially recorded last year while I was 3 months postpartum and is FINALLY, after much fear and procrastination, living in the world!Read More
The people we cross paths with have the ability to shape our trajectory of life. When you encounter someone, their presence will alter your life in some way or another and in most cases, we aren’t aware of the impact. It is only when we truly become in tune with these connections that we can begin to nurture the impact others have made on us.
We come across countless changemaking women on the daily. This series is dedicated to honoring the footprints of the women who step into the WORD world - one humble story at a time.
Meet Jess Hooper, a mother, a community builder & a woman dedicated to helping people find confidence in their decisions. Jess is the founder of On The Fence: a community and safe space for women to have hard conversations about life’s big choices. Jess believes that when we fully own our decisions it is only then that we are truly free. We’ve got to get off the fence and step into our amazing, authentic selves.
If you’re in LA, join Jess for a conversation around the taboos of becoming a mother on 2/21. This event is for anyone who has strong opinions against becoming a mother or anyone who is thinking about becoming a mom but is hesitant (think finances, not having a partner, age, etc). Jess has your back. Get tickets here.
1. Tell us about your life (loaded, we know):
I moved 16 times in 17 years.
Both of my parents served in the military, so moving is assumed to be a part of life, but these weren't military related moves. They were infidelity related moves; he'd cheat, she'd leave (we move), they get back together and try to "start fresh" so we'd move again. Stability felt like a myth, marriage a cruel joke, and the idea of starting a family was like signing up for misery.
It took rejecting the things that I saw in my own home, the beliefs I carried, and getting clear on what MY version of relationships and parenthood could look like. Challenging everything you think you know is both scary and liberating.
There's more to this story, but it catalyzed developing deep empathy for women and the tough decisions that we face. It also taught me that although our indecision may be understandable, it does not change the fact that it also keeps us stuck and unfulfilled.
2. Why did you start On The Fence?
I started On The Fence after the topic of motherhood kept coming up in my personal life. I'm a strong advocate of women doing what they want and have never questioned the reasons between wanting or not wanting children, but women in my circle had questions for me! I realized that there isnt a space for conversations around "why" a woman may have a tough time deciding things like "do you want children," "why don't you leave your unhappy relationship?" or "why don't you quit that job thats making you miserable"? These are loaded questions that can be impacted by finances, emotional and physical well being and more. There are "mom blogs" and "mom groups" but what about the women who feel out of place in those spaces (because they don't tie their identity exclusively to motherhood) what about the ones who do NOT want children and are faced with intrusive and downright rude questions about it?
3. What kind of women do you see benefiting from On The Fence?
Any woman who has ever felt like she was the only one struggling with making a major life decision. My events are first to show you that you are not alone, and second, provide resources and access to experts to ask the questions you've been afraid to speak out loud. And for women who have made those decisions to show up and support.
4. Who are some women you admire?
Ayanna Kimani / @ayannajkimani- I adore her, she is a dear friend and rule breaker after my own heart. She studied biology in college but made the ultimate pivot into fashion. When a woman goes from biology to costume designer you know the magic is strong!
My mother - It took me years to understand her reasons for staying married, her quiet strength and ride or die support for the people she loves taught me how to be a good friend and show up for people.
Cardi B - She’s taking everything we have been taught about being a wife and mother and rewriting the rules. Yes, paint yourself like a tiger and twerk on a boat (I hate the narrative around somehow being boring because you’re a wife/mom).
5. IG accounts that you love to follow:
@alaiyowaistbeads - Jasai (the woman behind the brand) showcases beauty in all body types and is reimaging what is "sexy."
@werenotreallystrangers - I live for debunking the myth that we are all special unicorns with special unicorn problems that nobody else will understand!
@crimson_fig - Telling birth stories of black women, showing options that many of us are not aware of.
6. What’s your life mantra?
Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.
Two things fuel us at WORD: snacks and music. Here we will share the music that gets us going. If you're lucky, we'll one day share the snacks that keep us going :)
Check out our Spotify playlist below. Subscribe, share and submit music for consideration here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Creator Shirt features the word “WOMAN” in 9 different languages as a way to symbolize our belief that feminism is intersectional: that women of every race, gender identity, culture, deserve adequate health care.
25% of Creator Shirt proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.Read More
"I am strong. I am powerful. I am beautiful." This is the mantra spoken in moments of doubt by Ryan Pierce, the brilliant and conflicted character played by Regina Hall in Girls Trip - the cinematic masterpiece of 2017 which I am proud to say I have seen 3 times. No. Shame.
Ryan's character seemed to have it all but we soon find out that like many women, she is struggling to keep it together while secretly battling an internal struggle - be perfect or be real. Thankfully, she has a badass band of hilarious and strong women to help her see the light - life is hard, no one is perfect and you don't have to go it alone. Ugh, Girls Trip is just the BEST MOVIE EVER. If you haven't seen it, get. your. life. honey.
Affirmations are positive, specific statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. They help you visualize, and believe in, what you're affirming to yourself, helping you to make positive changes to your life and career. The idea of affirmations has always been intriguing to me, however, let's be real, I don't actually tell myself I'm great everyday - but I do believe I should. While cliché, the concept that you must be your biggest fan is 100% true. I have my daily routine which brings me joy but maybe it's time to wake up every morning and affirm my greatness. Because I am great and so are you. Yea, that's mad corny but you know what? Positivity is MAGIC and it does work so no shame in this game. Shine on like the Queen (or King) you are.
As part of our community inclusion here at WORD, we talked to a few women about their daily affirmations and while not everyone believes in this type of visualization, it's safe to say that women with purpose are also women with a purposeful practice.
Jessica Flores - Director of LATAM for Musically, Los Angeles
Gabi Richmond Laub - Momma + Experiential Marketer at Shopify, Los Angeles
Vanessa James - Founder of VJMedia. Radio Vet, VO Actor, Curator of Travel & Lifestyle content, Miami
Lily Stone - Founder of Red Dot Culture, Philadelphia
Sadye Campoamor - Mother & Director of Community Affairs at the NYC Department of Education
Katherine Castro - Actress, Los Angeles
Ana Flores - Momma + Founder of We All Grow Latina, Los Angeles
Starting your own business is tough as is - starting a business that is morally sound yet still pays the bills? That's Mt. Kilimanjaro right there! So to maintain our sanity (which is a task we must handle everyday, sometimes a few times a day!) we must develop tools for survival. One of these is tapping into our community for advice and support. And let me tell you, our community is bomb.com - there is no better group of people!Read More
Beneath uncertainty lies adventure. Beneath fear lies an opportunity to show yourself your strength. Seize the day, seize it most when you are uncertain and afraid.Read More