We had the good fortune of connecting with Jess Brewer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jess, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The thought process was not very linear. I definitely did not wake up one day and decide to start a business. Last year, I consciously decided to go on a self-teaching journey to learn as much as I could outside of my career in medicine. Nothing was off limits: finance, stocks, accounting, or forming a business, which led to the creation of a random LLC.
Almost simultaneously, my friends and I decided to meet for breakfast one Saturday after lock-down ended. I think my text read, “Let’s start a breakfast club for those local to Venice. We can call ourselves the Venice Breakfast Club, first meeting is this Saturday at the Window 10:30am.” That was it. That was the spark that started it all. We began meeting at restaurants in Venice each week and soon an Instagram handle and a “merch line” was created. I enjoyed learning about social media business accounts, graphic design, branding, merchandising- it was all so new to me.
After an organic growth spurt and positive response from the community, I realized how important it was to keep this passion project alive. People crave connection and community, and Venice is the perfect melting pot for the concept to do well. From what started as a small adventure between friends, VBC morphed into a lifestyle brand that focuses on connecting the community and supporting local businesses and charities. From these roots, we decided to launch a clothing collection influenced by the soulful, happy and creative group of humans that make up The Venice Breakfast Club.TM (Launching soon!)
Overall, the community drove my thought process from the beginning. I listened to what they needed and strived to provide that through our events, meet-ups, and even merchandise. I have many people to thank for the support, advice and help along the way, and VBC truly would not be here today without them.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I decided early on in life I wanted to make a career out of medicine. I placed myself on the fast track to securing the required education and starting my profession. Although I love working in emergency medicine, I felt “boxed in” to medicine because I had no formal education or training outside of my chosen career, specifically in business. So for me, the biggest challenge to overcome was believing in myself that I could start a company and become an entrepreneur. Once I started on this journey, I researched as much as I could and learned to ask for advice and help from friends, strangers, and even social media followers. Since starting the company, new world has opened up to me, and I am so grateful I had the confidence to take this giant leap of faith.
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?
Since I live in Venice on the beach, I will make this our home base. I would take my friend to explore Venice via the Canals, Venice Walk Streets, and definitely take a sunset walk along the boardwalk on Friday or Sunday afternoon, when the concrete strip is most alive. For local shopping, we would take a stroll down Abbot Kinney and peruse boutiques and local coffee shops.
My favorite beachside patios include Figtree, Great White, Hotel Erwin and the Whaler.
Favorite nightspots include Gran Blanco, Little Friend and my most favorite speakeasy at Killer Shrimp.
A trip through Venice would not be complete without finding a silent disco on the beach or joining a midnight moon meditation.
Moving out of Venice, we would head to DTLA to find a rooftop with a view for some drinks followed by a hidden jazz club for some late night dancing at Spanky’s.
My favorite day activities include hiking through Pacific Palisades, exploring Malibu beaches, and biking down to Manhattan Beach for lunch. I love trying different fitness classes that offer unique locations or experiences- and Venice and Santa Monica have the best beach and outdoor options from Beach Cycle, DMN8, and Motion LA.
We would spend a day exploring an art gallery or museum – LACMA, The Getty are my favorite. Griffith Observatory is worth a trip as well.
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?
There is one friend who has supported me and encouraged me from day one. Danielle Lewis is not only a great friend, but is someone I look up to when it comes to treating the community, the planet and friends/family. She makes a habit of building others up around her, which in retrospect makes her stand a little taller. She has both silently and loudly supported me in starting and growing Venice Breakfast Club. Thank you D!
Instagram: @venicebreakfastclub @jessibrew
@muitamuthee @ebtilley @tessiegroff