We had the good fortune of connecting with Jes Gordon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jes, what matters most to you?
The Value or Principle that matters most to me is: Lack Of Ego. Since I started my company at such a young age, I was always taking things personally or having this attitude of “how dare my client not listen to my advice” at times. This literally hurt no one but me and my progress. We have to realize that as entrepreneurs there is no such thing as one universal popular opinion and we need to be flexible to everyone’s perceptions on the services we provide for them. To that point, we are lucky to be able to provide specialized services and also need to remind ourselves that even though we are self employed, the entire world is our boss!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started out working in a flower shop at the age of thirteen, because I was driving my mother crazy at home.
Cut To: supporting my way through school by doing florals and getting recognized by Martha Stewart and other designers for my work.
I wanted to be a rock star so I stopped doing florals to travel the world, and on my travels I met an author named Anne Rice who was about to have a movie made of her book Interview With A Vampire. She liked my style and she asked for me to be part of designing the sets for the movie.
I loved the three dimensional aspect of designing for film and got hooked on creating using all of my five senses.
I went on to open my own firm that specializes in experiential environments and events. I am an active creative and art director as well.
As the years passed of employing many talented others, I turned some focus inward for a bit and decided to publish a fiction novel that is loosely based on my career called Party on the Moon.
I have had the incredible experience of being on Bravo’s Roccos Dinner Party as the Design Mentor and have realized that there are so many mediums I can express my creativity through.
Life has been HARD! It’s a bit of a lonely existence consistently searching for inspiration and wanting to succeed in everything I put my hands to. I never felt that I could have other parts of my life such as having a family etc while trying to constantly excel at being creative and owning a company that was responsible for supporting others such as employees.
I also never prepared myself for some of the heart break that can come with having employees; people that you pour your heart and soul into almost as if they are your children. I have learned to try not to take so many things personally and to put all of my energy into the world I continue to create.
For me, not knowing how I will grow next or what will continue to feed my creative would is hardest. I can always produce events, but I am always searching for more…
What’s incredibly simple and rare about me, is that I am personally involved in every project my firm takes on. I design through the five senses at all times so that there is not just a visual response but rather an emotional one as well.
My vocation (s) are a lifestyle not a job…
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?
So NYC and many other cities are what inspires me the most and its the simple things really such as: people watching, walking endlessly with no plan but to go where I want for however long I want!
In NYC i will often start from Central Park and walk down the West Side, dipping into Chelsea and grabbing a coffee at the Highline Hotel, then through the West Village continuing to window shop on Bleeker Street all the way into SoHo.
Then I head East dipping into my fave Vegan Mexican Joint Bar Verde and yeah perhaps sip on a margarita or two and then continue to the lower east side to look for beautiful street art which is one of my favorite inspirations.
I wrap around and head over the Brooklyn Bridge, and chill a bit in DUMBO by the waterside and then head up the hill to Brooklyn Heights where the beautiful brownstones just sing to me…
As it starts to get dark, I love watching the sunset on the walk or citibike ride over the brooklyn bridge. Walking the rest of the way back to my old apartment in Hudson Yards I love to hit the Whitney Museum in the Meat Packing district and grab a quick bite at Juban my fave sushi spot in chelsea.
The grand finale is usually window peeping a bit, and then ending up on a rooftop where we dance til we drop…
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?
This sounds cliché, but the day that my mother told me that “special people lead difficult lives” was the day that I felt free enough to “go for it!” another great phrase she gave to me was: “its not how smart you are, its how you are smart… ” She was a working self-employed musician since the age of 14, and for me, it was incredible to have a parent that understood the crazy path my life would take. Not only that, she demanded I take it.
My 35 year career has certainly taken dips and turns, and around every corner my mother or her words have kept me dreaming and achieving, so thanks MA!
Banga Studios Anee Atelier Alberto Vasari