We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Aguilar and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Our society has programmed us to believe that success comes from being productive every minute of every day. A typical day for me includes child drop-off, my day job, child pick-up, more of my day job, feeding my family, small business networking, event preparation, quality time with family, and the list goes on. How do you manage all of that and still feel balanced? A year ago, balance looked like a busy roundabout with three lanes, things going in, out, and all around. You know where you want to go, but there is still a sense of fear that you will make a wrong turn or get stuck going in circles. Regardless, you keep moving. What I have learned is that the roundabout is how we manage the chaos, not balance. Balance looks different for each person and requires intention. To achieve balance, I make it a point to schedule regular Mental Health days. These are days dedicated to things that allow me to rest and re-energize. The day may include things like a hot yoga session, a deep tissue massage, lunch with a best friend, a yummy smoothie, or a nice walk around the neighborhood with my son before sunset. They say having a balance between work and life enables us to operate at our best so, when you start to feel off-balance, find something that brings you comfort and be intentional by making time to enjoy it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In 2020 we were all challenged to take a close look within. I realized that although I had my career, I was still looking for a creative outlet. In January of 2021, THIS GIRL who was born and raised in dusty Arizona decided to start her own business, Dusty Jade Designs. Dusty Jade Designs is a luxury picnic and event company servicing the phoenix area. Our mission is to help make celebrating life’s special moments memorable and effortless.

I have worked in the corporate world for 11 years now with most of my time spent in learning and development. When starting my own small business, I thought it would be relatively easy. Boy was I wrong. As a small business owner you have no choice but to wear all the hats. It took a lot of research and partnering with other small business owners to get started. The biggest challenge for me has been figuring out how I stand out from the others. It is easy to get consumed by comparing your work to other similar companies but the truth is, with the amount growth we have seen in Arizona, there is plenty of room for all of us to succeed. What I pride myself on is creating unique experiences that are inspired by YOU, our clients! In 2022, we look forward to doing more in and for our community. Stay tuned!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Let’s start with food! I love tacos and in Arizona there are so many delicious spots. A few of my favorites are Don Nicos Tacos Y Dogos, The Taco Spot, and Morenos in Mesa. After food, some self care. My first stop for self care would be Modern Allo for manicures and pedicures followed by a good yoga session. Modern Allo has the cutest vibe, a coffee bar, AND childcare! Finally, one of my favorite things to do is going to a small business or farmers market. I love supporting other small businesses, seeing all the creativity, and finding things I never knew I needed.

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?
I dedicate my shoutout to my friends and family. Whether it be getting their hands dirty, listening to me vent, helping me work through challenges, or reminding me who I am and what I am capable of, my friends and family have played a large part in my success.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dustyjadedesigns/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dustyjadedesigns/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.