We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Burton and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Everyday you’re making decisions. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Risk is making those decisions by stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. It’s taking a leap of faith, it’s believing in something so much you can’t stop thinking about. It’s saying yes when you could have said no. It’s paving the path for others to follow. I bet you can think of one thing right now you’ve been wanting to accomplish in your life, whether it’s moving to a new city, traveling to a new destination, maybe it’s starting your own company. So what’s holding you back? Take a minute to REALLY think about it. Go on. Maybe even write it all down. Maybe it’s fear… so dive deeper into that thought. What are you REALLY afraid of? Without risk there is no reward and this I am sure. I’m a risk taker and I always have been. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t take risks. I risked my life, my career, my friendships and moved across the country to build a life on a dream. A dream to explore, a dream to pursue happiness and experience a world outside of what I already knew. Why you may ask? Well, why not? The world needs risk takers. We need path makers, dream chasers and course changers. Without risk takers YOU wouldn’t be here today. Be a risk taker! Get uncomfortable because it’s the only way you’ll discover what truly makes you happy. Don’t let any opportunity pass you by, you just might find what you’ve been looking for your whole life. Trust me.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an artist and creative at heart! I have my grandmother to thank for that! She was an artist herself and inspired me to pursue my passions. I knew early on in my life that I wanted to pursue a career in design. I went to school for interior design and after graduating found myself designing jewelry stores for a well known company in Rhode Island. When I moved to San Diego I worked part-time for several designers while managing a boutique shop in La Jolla. I am currently working full time for a small interior design firm called Design 4 Corners. Although interior design is my career I’ve found joy creating content through photography for others, including local brands, small boutiques and even some graphic design on the side. Being an artist is in my blood. I have a hard time passing a beautiful cactus on the side of the road without taking a photo or stopping to capture the setting sun. I know I’ll never be a nurse, mechanic or flight attendant. I do know that I love creating in all the ways you can possibly imagine. Creating is part of me. It is me and if I can give any advice from my experiences it is to be yourself. Be authentically you in whatever you do!

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I am so proud to call San Diego my home and my happy place. The sun is always shining (for the most part), the people are incredibly friendly, and there’s a contagious relaxed energy that I can’t quite explain. An energy that forces you to appreciate nature and it’s beauty. To spend more time doing the things you love and being present, both mentally and physically. The beach is my escape and where I spend most of my time. I am grounded there. Breathing in the warm air, hearing the palm trees sway in the wind and listening to the waves crashing on the shore. I love showing this little town off when friends and family visit. The first place I enjoy taking my visitors is Coronado! This little island town holds so much history and the drive over the bridge has to be one of my favorite views of the city! We’d stop for a tour at the Hotel Del, maybe spend the afternoon at the beach and make our way to a restaurant for happy hour! There’s an incredible amount of delicious restaurants here in San Diego. It’s hard to choose where to go, however for brunch we’d stop by the Great Maple in Hillcrest and for lunch perhaps Cafe Gratitude in Little Italy. For dinner, I’d make sure we stopped by OB Noodle House for some delicious Pho. Underbelly is also a favorite for traditional ramen! We’d have happy hour on the rooftop at Kettner Exchange in Little Italy and dessert at Hammond’s Ice Cream in North Park. We’d spend our days exploring the towns that make up San Diego and I’d make sure we didn’t miss the Little Italy Farmers Market on Saturday to grab some fresh produce to make a meal at home one night. I live close to downtown South Park which has some very cute coffee and flower shops. We’d grab a cup of my favorite Lavender Honey Latte from Communal Coffee before making our way down to the beloved Native Poppy flower shop! We’d stop in North Park at one of my favorite shops, Pigment, a source for all things gift and plant related! For some exercise we’d hike along La Jolla Shores or run along the boardwalk in Pacific Beach. Balboa park is always a favorite stop and beautiful to just walk through or explore the museums! And my visitors can’t leave San Diego without driving Highway 101. Whenever I travel north and have the time, I take the coastal route. There’s something about driving along the beach with your windows down and music playing that’s therapeutic to me. You’re so close to the ocean you can hear the waves crashing on the shore while you race the seagulls flying along the shoreline. I enjoy driving through the small towns of Del Mar, Solana Beach and up the coast through Oceanside! The views alone are worth the 45 min drive!

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?
My Family. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my family. I’m sure they couldn’t have imagined their oldest daughter moving 3,000 miles away. The moment I told them I wanted to take a risk and pursue my dreams they didn’t hesitate. Simply encouraged. I know it wasn’t easy for them but I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for their faith in me. Everyday I think about how blessed I am to have their support and love. To know they believe in me and my dreams no matter what. Their support is everything. My girlfriend Katie, who moved to San Diego with me 5 years ago. She has been my rock. We grew up together on the east coast and share the same lust for adventure. We’ve experienced this roller coaster together, through all the ups and downs she has been there. And what a ride it has been. I couldn’t imagine where I would be today without her! My teachers and coworkers. I could take this all the way back to my younger years. To all the teachers, coworkers, bosses that I’ve worked with, I wouldn’t be here today without them. All of them. When I first moved to San Diego, it took me a few jobs to get on my feet and find my way. Discover what truly made me happy. Who truly made me happy. I’ve learned more about myself in the past 5 years living in San Diego then I ever knew before. I wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t experience the jobs I worked, the lessons I learned or the people I met along the way. My partner, Stephen. He has inspired me to push myself to be the best that I can be and has supported me in all of my ventures, big and small. To do whatever makes me happy and to pursue my passions. A few years ago when we first met he encouraged me to break out my camera and start up photography again. A hobby we have both found so much passion in since. A hobby that brings us joy, but most importantly memories that will last a lifetime.

Website: https://xxjessmarie.squarespace.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j_burtonn/
Other: https://www.pinterest.com/jessicamburton/

Image Credits
Stephen Kelley