We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Zaneis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, what was your first job?
My first job at 15 was at Dairy Queen! I was the drive through attendant. There was so much going on, it was a taskmaster job of not only taking orders, making the orders, making certain they were correct along with it being a fast paced position but also a craft. I learned quickly that I loved making something for someone else and serving it to them. Taking the time to really put love and care into what I was making them. Turning the blizzard upside down before I handed it to them out the drive through window and seeing their face of excitement and awe. Making certain I looped that loop on top of the ice cream soft serve like my own personal signature. Being able to suggest something new and seeing a car full of guests waiting to receive what I was making for them. I loved it! From there I became a barista at a local coffee shop and took those skills to a whole new level. From there it began, I always knew that I loved collaborating with a client, listening to what they wanted and suggesting a customized solution based on their desires and needs. Crafting something for them to give them relief, joy, a salve of sorts to let them know I was listening to them. That I heard them and could deliver something to them that made their day and life a little better.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We are constantly evolving at a very modest pace if that makes sense. We move in our research and listening to the marketplace at the speed of light, however our responses to that are much more tapered and tailored. We are a company built on ideals of conservation as that is what makes us who we are. Our goal is to educate, to promote free thought, to include our clients, although we may have a smaller segment of the marketplace than most, into all we do. When we collaborate with another organization, it is thought out in detail to the best benefit of both parties. That we are a good fit for each other, benefiting both our clients, teams and missions to the highest degree possible. That is what takes us from the speed of light, to the pace of sustainability. We want to be part of our clients and their successes for years to come, if that is not a mutual beneficial collaboration that both feel like a HECK YES, then for us it is simply a no. That makes things harder in the short term, however we are into building long lasting relationships with our chosen communities.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Oh my goodness, as a native to the state, this is so incredibly difficult yet such a fun endeavor to plan. I think our valley has so much diversity to offer. If they were here for a week and were on a singles or couples trip would suggest a stay in one of our resorts in Paradise Valley as that is a mecca to visit all of the best spots in the city. I love the atmosphere at Camelback Inn as it is truly an oasis, one that carries a vibration of healing and is just so rustic and beautiful. To get a taste of our mid-century modern vibe and for a really lively time I would suggest a stay at Mountain Shadows, Valley Ho, Andaz or Sanctuary. Perhaps spend a few nights at each and get really adventurous. For a family I would suggest Montelucia or Scottsdale Princess as base camps as they do an incredible job of putting together packages and their properties are so full of activity for every member of the family. As far as activities outside of these properties, depending on time of year we always suggest getting out on our trails as our city is surrounded by them! There are plenty of options for this and the options of where to refuel post hike or bike are endless depending on where you choose to go. I love The Yard for a larger group as they have all kinds of great games and a cheerful brunch. Le Grande Orange is always a good option post Camelback and is one of the original places in the neighborhood. To peruse some unique art galleries and get a feel for Old Town Scottsdale a nice stroll during happy hour is always a good time. For dinner and nightlife I am a big fan of the Arcadia area or its fun to hop around Keirland and Scottsdale Quarter. If there are any outdoor concerts, sporting events, festivals – GO! We have so many incredibly creative people behind some of the best celebrations in the country. Our sporting events are scattered throughout our large metropolitan area I would suggest at least going to one game. My totally biased opinion of my favorite stadium is our Arizona Diamondbacks! A night to see what we have to offer downtown Phoenix. I also would suggest an afternoon visit post lunch to the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix Art Museum or for those who want to see some beautiful artifacts and learn about our native community at the Heard Museum. Whew… yes we could make that all happen in one week. That is how our city is set up and why I love it so!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When I think of the fabric that has helped us sew this quilt of sorts that represent these two projects that we call small businesses, each and every stitch has played an invaluable role in helping us grow and flourish in even the most difficult of times. From the first story of my very first job, and the 28 years of work experience I have been gifted since, every stitch in that community quilt is representative of someone along the way. Those that have lended a hand, gave a suggestion, presented us with adversity, delivered disapproval, handed us a rejection, offered us a step up, in some cases tried to give us a push down, a criticism, a compliment, a gift of kindness, a grant, an experience, a thought, a prayer, a song, a thread of support in any way that you utilize it to grow. That is what we are made of. These organizations, people, groups and educational experiences that have helped us to learn every day of this voyage. There are so many and by far the support of family, true friends and the positive, courageous business community who are open to working and collaborating with us deserve all the credit. Taking on a business is not an endeavor for the meek, it is a daily offering of vulnerability in every way that challenges us. Without these strong, trusting and vibrant communities we cease to exist. A business of any kind is truly a community project.
The photographer is Nina Paz and I own all rights.
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.