In this series we invite you to meet and learn from thinkers, doers, and believers who find success by actively living in the grey.
While teaching English in Thailand, Jessica Hendricks traveled to Cambodia to see the famous temples of Angkor Wat, a remnant of Cambodia’s rich ancient culture. She was fascinated by the tangled synthesis of both the beautiful, and heartbreakingly violent past of the small Buddhist country, and struck to the core by the modern day reality she witnessed on the streets: girls as items for sale.
Ignited by a passion to create new opportunity to counter the wrongs she witnessed, Jessica took her wanderlust and wide-eyed entrepreneurial spirit passed down by her parents, and created The Brave Collection to spark conversation and plant the seeds of change.
What does living in the grey mean to you?
I think Living in the Grey is all about finding play in work and finding meaning in play.
Do you have a boundary between work and life? If so, how do you define it?
Yes. No. Yes? No. I think there’s two elements of work – there’s the dreaming/creating/innovating element that never does and never needs to turn off because it’s a joy and it’s fuel. Then there’s the daily grind of emails/number crunching/fretting over details that does NEED to turn off sometimes. I try to carve out sacred spaces where work is not allowed to trail along – family dinners and such, and I find that really essential. I’m also in the market for an alarm clock – I think if I didn’t sleep with my phone next to my bed it could be a game changer.
Who is a mentor of yours and why?
Chondita Chatterjee, who heads up Biz Dev at Rent the Runway. She took a meeting with me day 1 when Brave was just this enormous idea that felt like an impossible dream. When you look up to someone, and they believe in you and make it a priority to commit to you, even if just for a few hours in a year, it can give such beautiful significance to the way you view your own ideas.
What’s the first thing you read in the morning?
Emails from our artisan team in Cambodia. They are 11 hours ahead so I always wake up to updates from their days work!
What are three things you make sure you do everyday?
Talk to someone I love, use a product that smells really really good, step in sunlight whenever possible.
Do you have a motto?
Ever curious. The second you stop asking questions and pushing boundaries you’re toast.
Do you work differently than you did one year ago?
YES! PHEW! It can be challenging for me to have the patience, organization and diligence needed to be a successful business owner, I’m a total dreamer and can get totally lost in the details! I’ve had to train myself to take in the entire coastline instead of worrying about the minutia of each grain of sand.
How do you ensure your intentions become actions?
I tell someone I respect, creating necessary accountability.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Lots of people talk about doing things, few people actually do. Be a do-er.”
What advice do you have for others beginning their grey journey?
Be Brave! There are no rules. For some reason it feels like there are rules! If you crack open that ceiling with something authentic and something that you truly put your soul into, it’s going to resonate with someone out there, and then suddenly you won’t be alone.
To learn more about The Brave Collection, watch this great video.
Meet more members of the Live in the Grey Community:
Sal Lahoud and Oren Bass, co-founders of Pave
Charlene Lite, musician and yoga Instructor
Holly Ronan, boutique proprietor of Benefit Cosmetics