Jessica, the woman behind the business Roost and Roam, has always loved being creative. As a kid she started doing modern dance and as the years passed, her creativity started to become more centered around her home and her kids. This mama boss has been married to her husband for 16 years and they have three kids together. They love getting outside as a family, especially skiing in the winter and cycling in the summer.
Jessica’s grandmother taught her how to sew as a teenager and she started to appreciate more as an adult. Now she can’t get enough of it!
“There’s a certain satisfaction when you make things for yourself. You’ll often find us making things for around our house or yard or brewing our own beer. We try to have three kegs full most of the time.”
I’m on my way!
She has combined her love for sewing and her adventurous side and created Roost and Roam.
PM: When was your company founded and where are you based?
RR: My company was founded a few years ago in Salt Lake. After relocating from the Portland, OR area I decided to stay home with my kids. I never really planned on doing this, but the cost of childcare just forced the issue. I guess that my company really started out of my desire to have a creative outlet to pour into. Something that helped me to feel more balanced.
PM: How many are involved in your company?
RR: I’m a sole proprietor and find that being able to work by myself helps me to refuel from being “on” as a mom most the time.
PM: What inspired you to start your company?
RR: One thing I love about my business is that I get to contribute a portion of my sales to a carepoint in Ekudzeni, Swaziland that looks after and loves on over 200 orphaned and struggling children. The country of Swaziland has been completely devastated by Aids/HIV and so many children have only one living parent, if any. It’s near and dear to my heart and it’s been really encouraging to see the impact that our church community in Salt Lake has been able to have on another community across the globe. This year in fact they are experiencing a terrible drought. A few years back we were able to put in a freshwater well that is actually providing clean water for the entire village when many of the other wells have dried up!
PM: Did you have a background in business prior to starting your company?
RR: Before I decided to stay home I spent several years as a project assistant and then a project manager at a land use planning/transportation planning firm. I did public involvement for lots of state and federal transportation improvement projects as well as land development projects.
PM: Did you run into any problems or resistance while launching your business?
RR: Building my business has been a constant adjustment process. There are things I love to make that just don’t make sense to sell because of the time it takes. And there are things that sold really well that I just didn’t love making and so I’ve tried to weed those things out a bit. For me, finding a balance of targeting the items that people want, but keeping true to my own passion and style is maybe the trickiest. I love working with upcycled materials and finding ways to incorporate these into my product lines is important to me. I feel like if I’m going to have a business it needs to be a reflection of me. Yet at the same time I don’t want to make a bunch of items people don’t buy, because at the end of the day we work to provide for our families.
PM: How do you get the most out of your day?
RR: Getting the most out of each day can be so tough. It’s been even harder for me in the last year because I was diagnosed a Type 1 diabetic last summer and had a really bad health scare. I’ve always been the type to go go go, but have had to find a better balance these last several months while learning to manage my disease. Blood sugar is affected by so many other things than just food so not wearing myself down by doing too much is something I’m trying to be better at. I also nearly died so I feel like I’ve been given a second chance to re-prioritize what matters most and weed out a lot of the BS.
PM: How is your family a part of your business choices?
RR: My family is a big part of why I chose to pursue my handmade shop business. I think it’s good for my kids to see me managing a small business at the same time as raising a family. And, it also allows me the flexibility to be available to them while they’re still quite young.
PM: What music inspires you?
RR: We are definitely a family that loves music and there is almost always music playing in our house. Lately I’m mostinspired by Josh Garrels, but have also been listening to lots of Foo Fighters. I think we may have the most diverse music taste of anyone we know!
RR: When I’m not working in my shop or around the house I’m most likely running, riding my bike, hiking or skiing (depending on the season), doing yoga, baking Paleo goodies, or drinking coffee. Wait, I’m always drinking coffee.
PM: What do you see in the future for your shop?
RR: Down the road I would love to see my business continue to grow in two ways. One would be a bit obvious, that it would reach a bigger audience. I’ve tried to let it grow organically because I think it’s best to have customers who share the same passions as you and like your brand for what it stands for. The other would be that it would draw attention to the needs of Swaziland and other communities like it and hopefully inspire people to contribute in the ways they can.
You can find Roost and Roam at www.roostandroam.etsy.com