We had the good fortune of connecting with Nance Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nance, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
As a good Libra, I always find myself looking for a healthy balance in all aspects of my life, especially at work. It is very important for me to maintain a feeling of happiness when arriving to my workbench. To make this happen I developed a system which helps me tackle production work from Monday to Wednesday, administrative work on Thursday, and I make sure to not overbook myself so I can have a free pass for Friday, which are the days that I can let my creativity flow to make new designs, take social breaks, grab a drink from my local coffee shop, have client appointments, and so on, basically I take it easy. Of course it took me years to reach this level of comfort, and to allow myself to not always be working. Letting behind the workaholic person I was, has help me feel balance, productive and happier.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.
I am a bicultural jewelry designer, born in Tijuana, Mexico, and raised simultaneously on both sides of the border. My creative process is a representation of my culture, I find inspiration thru architecture, colors, textures and history. It wasn’t easy to find a niche within art and design, until I decided to embrace who I am and where I come from. Before this, I experienced a lot of challenges along the way, just the fact of being socially classified as a minority based on my language and my not-so-white skin color, was already a problem for some. Not to mention that I was a young teen migrating to a different country, with a language I didn’t speak, with a system I didn’t know, and with a lot of fear. Consequently, as many others immigrants, I felt hurt by poor minded people. But as I grew up, I became conscious of the responsibility I had and decided to quit been part of the negative statistics. I managed to naturalized as a U.S. Citizen, I graduated with a B.A. in Design from SDSU, becoming a first generation college graduate. As of now, I keep working hard but patiently on growing my small jewelry design business. I am aware that this is just the beginning and still have a lot to learn, but I am happy to know that embracing my roots has given me clarity and inspiration. There will always be challenges, but the attitude with which you face them is what will determine your success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The westside south bay is such a diverse territory now, that I would focus on that aspect to give my friends a little cultural tour. I would take them to neighborhoods like Barrio Logan where they can find pretty much anything; coffee shops like Por Vida, breweries, restaurants like Salud, diverse galleries, Chicano Park, local gift shops like Simon Limon,etc. And as I am from Tijuana, I would encourage them to cross the border to have the whole experience, and visit the most underground places in the city, to eat a Mexican meal, and to have some mezcal shots.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout to each and every one of my clients and friends who have been so supportive specially during difficult times. This path I’m in has given me the opportunity to meet the most amazing people I could ever wish for. It warms my heart knowing that I have their support and love. It motivates me to keep creating and to keep growing my small business. I’m also very thankful for my colleagues from whom I keep learning every day. Thank you guys!