Happy Wednesday to you! Mom & I spent this past week in Atlanta for market & had a blast as usual. We are bringing on several new brands I am SO excited to share with you soon enough. I know I've told several people recently I'm not quite sure how my Visa has not lit on fire & combusted due to excessive use. All in the name of filling a brick & mortar ;)

A few weeks prior, I joined a few friends for a photo shoot at 655 East Bay Street located in downtown Charleston. (If you or if you know of anyone looking for a new apartment in Charleston, do not sleep on this place. It is GORG!) Joining me was Alye of @thingstodoincharleston, our beautiful model Evie, & our talented topic of this newsletter & photographer extraordinaire - Jess Teruel! Upon meeting Jess for the first time a few months back for a shoot at Hampton Park, I immediately knew she would be such a fun person to work with. Her smile is electric & I instantly saw this grand enthusiasm she has for wanting to help small businesses be seen. Her talents span from talk show host to photographer to videographer & more. Not to mention she is just one genuine, very down to earth lady I'm happy to now call a friend. If you live in the Charleston, Greenville, or other areas throughout South Carolina & would like help spotlighting a small business, do not hesitate to contact Jess. Highly recommend! Now let's get real for a moment...

Without further a due, I’d like you to meet the next lady entrepreneur in our Real Charleston Women spotlight:  Jess Teruel

Q: Tell us about your profession & why you do what you do.
A: I do a myriad of things to be quite honest. I host a local social media show called ‘The Jess Teruel Show’ where I profile local businesses in an entertaining manner. I’m based out of Greenville, SC but recently I’ve started doing work with businesses in Charleston, including with sweet Erin herself! My passion is to allow small business owners to share their story and tell the community why they should support! 
I'm also launching full time into my other business-Teruel Productions LLC. I do marketing for small businesses and have been since I graduated college. Recently, an opportunity came open for me to go full time with it. I just turned 24 so I’m pretty young into my career and I know that if I don’t try to go full time and make something of it, I’ll always regret it. I’ve been working with a few clients on the side and loved it so much that I’m going full time with it! 
I would also add that I host a monthly women’s group called ‘Ladies Brunch GVL.’ I started it in 2021 a few months after I graduated, because I felt like Greenville needed a space for women to just make friends in a safe and inviting environment. It’s typically geared towards women in their 20s and 30s who are either new to the area or just wanting to make a new friend. Each month, I host the group at a local restaurant or do a fun activity that gets the girls involved. We’ve done everything from tubing, kickboxing, Galentine’s, rooftop bar, to volunteering for a local nonprofit. Needless to say, it’s been incredibly rewarding, and I’ve made some dear friends because of it!
Q: When not at work, where can we mostly find you?
A: I love playing volleyball in the summers. Greenville has a huge volleyball cult if you will. I’m a part of probably three different groups that play throughout the week. It’s the best of both worlds-exercise and community. What is better than that? I also love to host game nights and really any sort of gathering. Hosting friends brings me so much joy because I’m able to facilitate friendships and connections.
Q: What song best describes you?
A: This may sound strange but it’s called W.I.T.C.H. Which stands for “Woman In Total Control of Herself” by Devon Cole. Maybe it doesn’t completely describe me yet, but it’s a really inspiring song for me! 
Q: What does comfort mean to you?
A: Comfort means that I can unwind, relax, and decompress from the day. I feel safe if I’m comfortable and that really can be from the clothes you wear to the people you’re with to the room you’re sitting in. 
Q: What might you say to someone who needs a little pick me up?
A: Listen, life is just tough sometimes. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t worthy, that you aren’t trying or that you won’t make it. Take it one day at a time. That’s what I have to do right now! The future seems pretty fuzzy on any given day, but when I look back over the last couple of years, I see how everything is working together for a greater good. Remember, God will not let you go and He has a plan for your life! 
Q: What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
A: Growth begins outside your comfort zone. It’s ironic that we’re talking about comfort, which I love by the way, but if you mentally stay comfortable where you are and you don’t push yourself to take a jump once in a while, you will never grow. Plants can only grow so big in one pot, and I think the same goes for us. Sometimes you need to switch pots.;)
Q: What is one thing you cannot live without?
A: Probably tacos. They’re just so good and you can do so much with them! That’s why I go to Taco Boy almost every time I’m in Charleston, and they’re opening one in Greenville!!
Q: Favorite thing to sleep in?
A: I have this really soft cotton shirt that I love & will usually pair it with some cute shorts.
Q: What kind of driver are you?
A: Ahhh not a fantastic one. Typically I’m running late to something, so I will go faster than I should. One time I was late for brunch and got pulled over for going 83 in a 55. Not a proud moment for me! 
Q: What makes you most uncomfortable?
A: When someone questions my integrity or tries to put me in a situation that compromises my values. It’s happened a few times with different jobs and at that point, it’s probably time to move on. If anything, it’s encouraging for me to know that I’m sticking by my values. 
Q: What do you need to rant about or get off your chest?
A: I want to rant about the 40-hour work week. Why do we still have that? I believe it was put in full swing in the 40s but listen, times have changed. Careers are not the same they were in the 40s. People have learned to work efficiently in way less time and still be just as productive. Think about it, if you work in an office, you may get 3-4 hours of actual work done and the rest is meetings, water cooler talk, lunch, breaks, etc. I whole-heartedly believe humans are not meant to sit in an office 40 hours a week. I understand that it may look different for healthcare workers and manual labor workers, although they’re way more overworked than I would ever be. Most of my family is in the medical field, and the hours are grueling. But maybe, just maybe, it’s possible to work 20 hours a week, get your job done, and still live a life without guilt that you’re not being “productive,” which by the way, we’ve completely redefined the meaning of being “productive.” Just because you’re not sitting staring at a computer screen all day does not mean you’re not being productive. Cleaning is productive, exercising is productive, playing music, going on a walk, playing games with friends, resting and doing literally nothing…it’s all productive!! So I guess my call to action from this rant would be to really evaluate your schedule, be aware of potential burnout and fully embrace how short life is! 
Q: Any life hacks or secret talents we should know about?
A: I suppose this is more of an interesting fact for me, but I’ve played violin since I was six years old. I served as concert master in a regional orchestra in high school and was asked to play at Carnegie Hall in New York. I wasn’t able to go because of timing and money but man, that was an incredible moment for me as a teenager! 
Q: Favorite recipe we need to know about?
A: It's not originally mine but it’s called Spaghetti Crudaiola. I work with a local Italian restaurant in Greenville and help with their marketing and the chef makes this incredible summer dish. The base is classic spaghetti of course and on top is where the magic happens. Slice some sangria tomatoes in half, I usually do an entire case from Costco. Put in a bowl and rinse in cold water. Squeeze the tomatoes a bit to get rid of some of the seeds and juice. Add in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, green onions, and fresh garlic cloves. I suggest letting it sit for a couple of days to let the flavors really mix together. This will be your go-to summer recipe, I guarantee. 
Q: Anything else we need to know about you?
A: I have a special place in my heart for senior citizens. I feel like they’re often overlooked, and it breaks my heart because they are as much a part of society as they used to be. They all have so many incredible stories and have built families and legacies and it’s sad when they spend their last days alone in a home. I recently got a group of my friends together one Sunday afternoon and we played and sang hymns with some residents of a local home. I can’t tell you how rewarding and fulfilling that was. It meant the world to them and it meant that much more to be able to minster to them. I plan on doing that about once a month! It’s just a small way to give back.
Hope you enjoyed meeting Jess in this lounge sesh and remember pie is better shared and there's enough of it to go around.
June 14, 2023 — Erin Yates