We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Hernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
La Verseau ( Lah*Ver*Sow) represents the story of a creative outcast who turned dirt into pixie dust. My brand represents a kid who spent hours at the book store researching and learning about ancient practices, colors , and numbers. A kid who was bullied because of their color of their skin and intellect. La Verseau showcases how a kid’s creative dreams can become realities. La Verseau was birthed through my need to give, and I would first make jewelry for myself and find too often giving my bracelets away to strangers i’d share compassionate stories with. My brand represents the creative who doesn’t fit in a box I started making jewelry as a therapy to cope with my heavy work as a human trafficking social worker. I found refuge in the use of alternative forms of wellness to use with my clients. My knowledge in indigenous healing methods led me to crystal therapy and meditation. My brand is based off of advocating for total wellness of mind, body, and soul. It embraces the idea of wellness and healing for everyone, when they receive a piece it is a co- creation between them and I. Many of those who seek my pieces are also seeking peace, balance, or some specific intention. The success of the brand in the last year is dedicated to the supporters who have reached out sharing stories about them connecting with my pieces. La Verseau birthed Crystal Carriers, meditation workshops that I facilitate for the community. My entire brand stands on the foundation of humans gathering of all colors, shapes, and sizes and recognizing tools for healing traumas or energetic blocks. La Verseau has brought people from all over the country to turn their heads to something different and it encourages education, self-actualization and healthy motives. La Verseau pieces are one of a kind, my pieces are uniquely influenced by being unconventional. This brand is an example of how a young woman can put her practices and knowledge and create a successful business that is loved and supported by the community. It stands as an example for everyone, even the outcast, that a little support, creativity, and hard work can go a long way. I hope that La Verseau continues to be a representation of light ,love, and healing to the world.
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.
Aside from being a jewelry designer and poet, I spend my days fighting for social justice. For the last 7 years, I have worked in direct social services. The first two years I spent working with children and youth diagnosed with autism and the last five working with sex trafficking survivors and sex industry workers. Working in one of the darkest industries that exists on planet Earth will shift your entire perspective on life itself. When I first started , I had no idea how I would be of use. I didn’t know too much about the subject but I knew that it was stigmatized, taboo, and not many people liked to talk about it. This job is not for the weak, I witnessed some of the most horrendous human interactions that anyone can imagine. To this day, I am still surprised that I managed to sleep at night . This job is probably one of the hardest I will ever have, I learned about the nature of humans. I was one of a handful in the whole nation fighting, educating, and working on the front lines of this movement. I remember so clearly my Dr. being concerned about me saying, she could never do my job ( and I could never do hers)! What I learned the most is that if I was going to be of any use to the people that came to me I had to get my mind, body, and soul to be resilient I had to learn how to look at torture wounds and not flinch, hear horror stories about kidnapping and people being raped and sold by their own parents without moving a single muscle in my face. But most of all, I had to learn how to be efficient and effective as a leader to be able to help anyone. Luckily, I was working on my personal development through Proworld Life and the program helped me gain insight and strength. I started to use my own personal development knowledge with my clients. My focus with each person and truly my life person is to help each person remember who they are. What I mean is, people who experience severe levels of trauma usually are battling issues with self love, trust, self -worth , self- esteem and other personal factors. I taught art therapy groups, LGBTQ Trafficking awareness, HIV Education, and empowerment groups in which I constantly addressed deep rooted issues. What we believe about ourselves and our worth impacts us every day from the moment we wake up to when we sleep. My goal was to be a fixture of hope as well as a support that introduced education on simple life questions. What is love? What is self worth? Who am I ? What I found is that many of us, not just survivors, is that we don’t know what these questions mean, let alone be able to answer them. When we start to address our own questions and find answers or definitions, the magic happens. Most of us walk around every day without even know WHY. This matters, it matters to many. I have worked with over 1000+ clients in the industry and heard hundreds of stories that have motivated and molded me. Every single face in need has lit a fire under my belly. Never has it been easy to hear about someones worst days, at times I would leave work feeling helpless, hopeless, I would even cry my way back home. I carried a lot of responsibility and was dedicated to helping in every way that I could. At times I felt like I needed to have all the answers but what I found was strength through the process of finding them. It never failed me, I swear there are always little helper angels that would come in last minute and pull miracles. I know for a fact that if I didn’t see living miracles happen every day I wouldn’t have ever been there that long. I overcame my biggest challenges by knowing who I was and what I had to do. I work every day on my personal development and I know it must sound redundant at this point but its now in my cellular make up. Working against the system that is ( all of the oppressive forces of the USA social services system) teaches you that you cannot change what was built but you must build on top of it. My generation is the first generation to literally change generational consciousness by uprising against the closed minded structure of the industrial era. Along with this, human sex trafficking is a silent world wide pandemic. It is difficult to work in an area that is not talked about openly or makes so many people feel uncomfortable. The truth is that people, especially in this country like to be in denial that it exists and see it as a international issue when its in our own backyards. It seems as I have been put in a position to be a voice and I have and will continue to speak for those who haven’t had the chance. I left that position in January to focus on my graduate degree and expand my projects and businesses. I left for many reasons but I felt like I could reach more people through education and stepping into a position of leadership within the movement as well as advocating. Currently I am working on creating bilingual workshops to education on sex trafficking awareness, My goal is to educate as many communities in as many languages. Along with La Verseau, sex trafficking advocacy is a passion of mine but my hope is to transition in to the Arts. I graduated this year with my Masters in Nonprofit Management, my dream is to become a leader in the organizations I work with like HNDP. HNDP helps inner city youth have access to professional mentorship and learn skills for the entertainment industry. I hope to assist in the evolving of such an amazing organization. I love the arts and want to incorporate other programs that address social issues as well as being creative. I am an example of how you can use your creativity and make a business from it. My legacy is about world change, the only thing I have ever wanted is to do the most I can to leave this world a better place than when I came into it. Its time for a new generation of leaders!
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?
I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, its my home and my heart. When anyone comes to visit me my goal is to make them eat the best food and have the best energy around them. Friday: I take everyone to my favorite Thai spot in the Valley ( ill fight anyone for the title) Chutamas Thai in Northridge is hands down the best in the area. After dinner we are going to West Hollywood to enjoy the busy lights, sip on a Mojito at Cabo Cantina and get some dancing in. Saturday : We can start our trip off by taking a trip to Studio City and having brunch at The Front Yard , mimosas are a must! Then we would take a little drive all the way down Ventura Blvd, possibly stop for some amazing Mango Sticky Rice ice cream at Wanderlust Creamery in Tarzana. A block down from Wanderlust is one of my sanctuaries called The Imagine Center. It is a crystal store/ meditation community center. I spent some of the most enlightened moments of my life in that space, very spiritual place. Probably head out to Malibu right after and watch the sunset. Sunday: We would to my favorite vegan restaurant Follow Your Heart and eat the best mac n cheese for lunch , possibly take a smoothie to go. The next stop is my favorite crystal store The Native Spirit Lodge, it has so many amazing pieces. I love taking people to the crystal store because not many people have experienced one. After spending all my savings on crystals I would head out and possibly do a sunset hike in Chatsworth.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned, success isn’t built by one person. I have been fortunate enough to always have been a seeker of truth. This might seem as a task of an individual, but my truth would be different had I not been always guided by amazing individuals the universe placed upon me. Many people have influenced and impacted me , I stand with the revolutionaries, the compassionate, the creative and the willing. Always. Today, I want to give a special shout out to a person who has been a pillar to my business, spirit, and overall expansion in the last 3 years. I want to introduce you to William Valen Correa, creator and innovator. William does many things but specifically is Co Founder of an amazing nonprofit organization that works with LA inner city youth called HNDP. I encourage everyone to go check them out , they provide professional mentorship for youth interested in working in the entertainment industry. Although Id love to share more about HNDP, I want to share about his other passion, Proworld Life. William created Pro World life as a membership organization that helps individuals with personal and business development, I officially met Will in May of 2017, we had been trying to meet for months before but just kept missing each other. He had reached out to me in Oct of 2016 on instagram after somehow a video showed up on his feed about my interaction with sharing stories + giving out my bracelets. Quite honestly, he tells the story better but at that time I wasn’t in the best place in my life. After hitting a low point ,I had embarked on a journey of healing and spiritual growth at the time I felt alone, a bit misunderstood and a bit lost. I was 27, and at this point open to new understandings, I was working every day ( and still do) on my development. Shedding and facing childhood traumas , I was finishing up my undergrad and I was planning on heading to the Peacecorps after graduating. At this point Will had been reaching out, I kind of thought he was weird and I was like, “what does this guy want” ? At the time I was working on a research study and I met up with my team at a cafe in Silver Lake. Since Will lived in LA , I finally scheduled a meeting with him after, I was ready to see what he had wanted to speak to me about. I had no clue who this guy was or what he wanted but when I finally met him and he shared his story with me, I felt like I had entered the twilight zone. This stranger and I had many things in common, what took me by surprise the most was his intuition and his connection with his own experiences. He shared about having an organization that provides artists and creatives a space to thrive, little did he know that one of my dreams was to have a performing arts center for youth. Along with this, I was captivated by his creation Proworld Life, a platform that nurtures and educates on business, entrepreneurship, and making dreams come true. I thought it was great , but at that time I had zero head space for business or even believed I had capacity to be a business owner. Will was ready to help me, he saw how I connected my bracelets with other strangers and he wanted to help me create something from it. Of course, I said no. at the time I was not ready. I was truly captivated by his mission to connect like minded individuals and I was more interested in the mentorship he provided for personal development. I was still struggling with demons and I had no idea what was about to occur. I left that day motivated and Will had shared a book called The Professional You Handbook with me I took. Two weeks later, my life stopped. I was involved in an incident with a toxic ex which nearly broke me. It took me months to recover from what happened and I stopped my Peacecorps application. This individual tried to break me in every facet of my life, I had no where to turn. The day after the incident happened I woke up and my gut told me to call William, this was the second time I would ever speak to him and I felt embarrassed but I did it anyway. He answered and proceeded to take the next three hours to help me process, he gave me coping tools and exercises to help me. I kid you not, when I got off the phone, I did everything he told me step by step and my life has never been the same after. He came to me at the time when I needed help with restructuring my beliefs about myself, my surroundings and how to build capacity. I went through his personal development program which transformed my doubt into confidence in many ways. I questioned and answered some of the deepest parts of me and I am every grateful for the experience as uncomfortable as it may be. It is never comfortable to have someone addressing the deepest parts of your vulnerabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. But it was necessary, and at some point everything started to just be better. For about one and a half almost two years I worked on my development and the whole time he was telling me, “start your business, start your business, sell your jewelry….”. I just could not see myself doing it. It wasn’t until late 2018 when I was accepted into the graduate program for Nonprofit Management. I was terrified of that too, my biggest concern was, “how will I pay for this”? I did not want to spend the next 10 years of my life paying off school loans. So of course, for the millionth time he said to me, ” start your business”. Of course, I told him he was crazy. I wasn’t going to start a business while having a full time job as a trafficking case manager, graduate school and internship, I thought I would lose it. He believed in me when I didn’t, and this I will always be grateful for. My job required lots of giving but it was new to have someone give something back to me for the first time. After much thought, I said, F**ck it, lets do this! What did I have to lose? That ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. Slowly but surely he introduced this 11 page business plan template ( scary) to me and we started to get to work. I am grateful for this friendship I gained, the business partner I made as well as being a part of a community of entrepreneurs. William has integrity and morale like few in this world , this allows his business to function genuinely. Proworld Life is innovative and it has changed my life. I have learned about marketing, promoting, branding, creative directing and so much more. La Verseau has only been around for a year and it is growing every day. I am so honored by the love and support that has come. Proworld Life has also been a platform of wellness, it is an organization that encourages forward thinking, creativity and is about creating a new generation of leaders. I want to thank William and Proworld life for their support and every piece of knowledge I have learned. Proworld Life was built for the dreamers, nothing is impossible! Its just the beginning! .
Facebook: La Verseau
Other: @crystalcarriers @proworldlife