We had the good fortune of connecting with Jess Valtierra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jess, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I think I may have been born with an entrepreneurial spirit! I always knew I would start my own business one day, it was just a matter of timing. My wife Gracie has had a life long career in the restaurant industry, and while I was working at a local digital marketing agency specializing in the beauty vertical in 2016, had suggested we start our own social media marketing business for the restaurant industry. Her keen insight was that the industry was slightly behind on social. I think I may have told her I wasn’t ready but the idea really did sit with both of us for the next few years.
Fast forward to 2020 the first few days of the pandemic shut down, we were both working for the same prominent local restaurant group working in our respective fields, her as a General Manager and me managing social media and marketing, and understandably furloughed due to the restaurants’ closure. I was still helping out the restaurants by posting updates on the pandemic on social and it became immediately clear to us that other businesses were struggling to reach their customers without having a social presence. Thus, Commune Social Media was born and the mission to support the hospitality community (and more!) in reaching their audience digitally, but also organically. Connecting your company to your community.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I call myself a Jill-Of-All-Trades. I am naturally artistic and come from a very creative family. I have been a photographer my entire life, I have also been a professional hair stylist, legal assistant, General Manager of a gym, spray tanning specialist, after school childcare aid. I list these crazy turns in my career to inspire someone who thinks that switching it up doesn’t do you any good in the end. Oh contraire! My career adventures have always either gotten me to the next step in my career or have been useful in some capacity. My creativity whether physical or intellectual is my secret weapon.
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?
My wife and I are both second generation San Diegan’s, so we feel a deep responsibility to show people a good time when hosting them in America’s Finest City! Our version of a perfect day in San Diego make hit a little different than others but trust us, this is going to be good.
We would start at Perry’s Cafe on Pacific Coast Highway near Old Town, Perry the daughter of the original owner will greet us as we walk in (we’re regulars) and we’d have the perfect diner breakfast with a surprise side of Micky Mouse mini pancakes made by the chef on the line who always waves at you when you look up with delight. It’s the weekend, so we’d make our way to Kobey’s Swap Meet in Point Loma and see what awesome treasures we find. Kobey’s is real San Diego, people haggling, getting a lemonade, donating a dollar to the organ grinder (if you know, you know).
Next we’d head to Liberty Station, San Diego’s greatest historic gem. Steeped in deep military history, the buildings at Liberty Station alone are something to marvel at. You can feel the special presence of those who came before us and could enjoy the eateries, shops and art for an entire weekend!
We’d begin to wrap up our perfect day at Panama 66 in Balboa Park, listen to jazz in the Sculpture Garden and have a cocktail while watching the sun set behind the California Tower. Once the sun sets, we’d walk over the bridge to CUCINA urbana for the absolute best pizza, pasta & wine!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Recognizing that all success in life is inspired or supported by others, my shoutout is to all the female entrepreneurs I have either worked with or admire from afar. I’ve had the distinct opportunity to work for strong, capable, dynamic women business owners in my career. I watched their every move, how they run their business, their interactions with their employees, their successes, their points of pain or even personal struggles. These women are my heroes and I admire them deeply.
I would be remiss not to mention I was raised by hard working career women. I used to visit my mom’s office at an accounting firm and wear her headset, pretending to take calls and take meetings. I would organize my Grandmother’s desk at her real estate company and file paperwork. I watched them own their power by using their smarts and push themselves to be more than what society told them they should be and it made me who I am today!
Commune Social Media