We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Ramirez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI and my great-great grandparents migrated to Breckenridge, MI as field workers from Juarez. Eventually able to buy the farm my grandpa and dad were raised on. As children we spent our summers playing on the farm, we were able to enjoy the work of 4 generations before us. So organically hard work was a tradition that continued to get passed on. When I was in the 8th grade we heard about a summer job through a local farm near by corn detasseling. It was something my father insisted we do to gain experience in the workforce. My brother and I did it for one summer and my next real job outside babysitting was when I was 16. At our local Mexican Restaurant as a hostess. I begged to become a waiter and eventually they allowed it! As long as someone ran my drinks because I was not old enough to server alcohol for 2 more years. I loved the community I had at work, the family owned company, each employee and how our responsibilities helped create an experience for the town I lived in through a warm plate of enchiladas and to top it all a lot of life’s littles lessons were learned here. As I was the less senior waiter who got all the “I don’t want that table because, old people, kids, families, handicap or disabled guest – will be a lot of work and not tip table”. Naturally, I picked up the slack and crushed it! Making friends and learning valuable lessons in communication, interpersonal relationship skills and mastering the art of making your own salads and deserts while serving 15+ tables who have very specific needs. I know I am where I am today because of my background and upbringing it directly impacted who I am today.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always been creative and loved art. When I was a child my dad brought back paper flowers from Mexico. I immediately took them apart and figured out how to make them. From a young age I wanted to learn and create. As an adult I love the opportunity my art can help play a role in raising awareness about current issues. Last year when the United States Post Service was under attack my cousin and I wanted to help. So we came up with an inclusive way to help bring awareness to helping save the USPS and get out the vote. In October we went live with 5 PINCHE VOTE pins! Thanks to a US based branding company out of Tallahassee, FL called Mover & Shaker Co. I had been following their work for sometime as a Hospitality Professional. Also as someone who collected pins and patched through girl scouts. I was fascinated with their business model and was looking for an opportunity to collaborate. Art not only allows me to be creative and express myself. But it also allows me to call in the community that could also be feeling the same way and not know where to start to show up and make the change. Because I love creating, coming up with ideas and collectively working as a team art is a great outlet for my business in amplifying my message. and brand It has not been easy getting “here”. However, there were plenty of lessons in getting here. To which I am so grateful I have had those uncomfortable conversations, life lessons and hard knocks to get back up again. My journey has included a lot a different jobs from music festival and box office coordinating in Moab, UT at 22. To negating a 20K trade agreement with KLRU at 24 for a local coffee roaster. Simply because I saw the white space and showed up to fill it. In 2018 I self produced a Big Freedia concert for the Hospitality Industry as an unofficial San Antonio Cocktail Conference welcome party. Also to help raise money our local chapters of the United States Bartenders Guild. Never a missed opportunity to give back. I had no idea what I was doing. But my passion for New Orleans Bounce and celebrating the community that lifted me up was something I could not stop thinking about. I planed this Concert in 3 months and lets just say I learned A LOT in a little amount of time. However, 100% worth it and I would do it again but better knowing what I know now. If you’re scared, that means your doing something right. Do it any way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m just gonna say it, I am the best tour guide. But hands down Bowen House is always the 1st stop for all things adult libations and snacks. There’s just something about that place that feels like home. Truth be told I like to have more information about the mood my bestie is in to help plan to ideal day. Usually gaging the need for snacks, drinks or rest after landing. I like to ask a few details for current diet restrictions, must try foods or drinks and then arrange the day/night around those key players. I like to throw in Dolly Python day shopping or a trip to the urban farm in Deep Ellum run by F.A.R.M (Farmers Assisting Returning Military). I do love me some Bishops Arts exploring both the old and the new parts of Dallas. If it’s not a Sunday then always a trip to Bar & Garden. I love everything they sell there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
SHOT OUT TO Mike McMillan of Dunlap Group who mentored me through various transitions in my career. You have always shown up, supported my brands and amplified community engagement. Shout out to Kirsten Holloway of 3 dots and a daqui who nominated me for Voyage Dallas. We met selling spirits and have since produced events, fundraised and even worked together. She is an inspiration for women to look up to. Shout out to Allison Parc founder of Brenne Whisky and creator of Dreamlearndomore. I tried her product, reached out through email expressing the joy Brenne brought to me. to mu surprise she responded and sipped whisky together in New Orleans and we both have been working on getting out the vote from across the miles. She is a power house. Shout out to Christian Hommock Kock who was at the Galveston Surfrider Foundation meeting last year after coming back from outer space. She was truly an inspiration to talk to and see her momentum to stay involved in her local community. Shout out to Hyiat El-Jundi with F.A.R.M we meet when she worked for Bar Hill (amazing gin / vodka made with honey from Vermont). She is doing the heavy lifting and grass roots to building a community. F.A.R.M help with assisting returning military through dirt therapy while cultivating the next generation of Veteran farmers. I’m so proud of you!
Other: https://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/things-to-do/myspy/article/Photos-Big-Freedia-fans-turn-Paper-Tiger-into-a-12484069.php#photo-14849433 https://open.spotify.com/show/3ljWThER4Y6wPGwp0KER5L https://showdevie.libsyn.com/episode-93-jessica-ramirez https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EF20W8GHNkB7HNZ9m2jIfwh1womu2kCA/view https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XD1T0ZbGIfM-cxx2ggOYbbboQkMc6Eg4/view
Behind the Brands LLC