We had the good fortune of connecting with Jen Powell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I am the quintessential Jack of All Trades and always thought it was to my detriment. I believed I’d never become a guru at one particular thing because I’m always expanding my skills and love learning new techniques. But then I realized that having such broad abilities in multiple categories was unique, and that combining them can be my offering to the world. So I decided instead of trying to fit into someone else’s business model, I’d create my own, and making what I want, how I want.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a former Materials Engineer turned full time artist. Those worlds don’t overlap much in the Venn diagram of careers. Getting to where I am was a lot about letting go of what I thought I needed to be, and realizing what I truly do well. Every day, doing what I love I realize what a great choice it was and how much better I can serve the world this way.
My art is a very distinctive expression of myself and always colorful and bright. I try to make functional items that are both affordable but also uniquely beautiful to look at. I love making things that light up or sparkle, anything that catches the eye in a pleasing way. I want the owners of my art to be proud to carry or wear something that doesn’t look like it came off a shelf or was a dime a dozen. I want them to love their uniqueness as much as I do and try to create things that will help them do just that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diego is absolutely full of beautiful views, great entertainment, and delicious food. I’ve lived here almost two decades and still haven’t visited all the places I want to see.
The first stop I try and take any newcomer to the city is a hike through Torrey Pines. Not only are the trees unique to only this area, but the views are spectacular. On a weekend, Balboa Park in general is a good stop to just stroll through. I love the artist alley there and any of the museums are great. If they’re adventurous we might go mountain biking through Pennasquitos canyon. It has a nice intermediate trail with a fun waterfall stop in the middle. And for dining or watching the surfers, Del Mar is a great area with too many restaurants to mention.
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’d like to thank my incredibly supportive husband. His support and encouragement is what has allowed me to take that leap of faith and trust in my abilities. He also is forever the creative dreamer and never ceases to amaze me with his zany ideas.
For my profile picture – Rachel Jones Photography For the photo of me with a blowtorch – Arturo Everitt