We had the good fortune of connecting with Jess Van Zeventer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jess, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
At first glance, a home decor business can seem superficial, but over the past year people have seen how important it is for their home to be a welcoming space. My home has become a safe haven, a place of warmth and light that I share with others. And this feeling of home has transcended into what my business represents.
I started hand making boho decor resembling sunshine and this brought light into my customers’ homes. As my business grew, my personality became intertwined with it. The success of my business predominately comes from Instagram and there is a perception on Instagram that life is perfect; with overused filters and only capturing the good moments, it skews our perception of reality. In contrast, I use my space on this platform to be real, by sharing Stories and Reels that show who I am. It’s not about the end result of having a beautiful home, but it’s about enjoying the journey, laughing at yourself, and accepting that mistakes will be made along the way. Understanding that home takes time, that living on a budget means being okay with less than ideal spaces, and working with what you have and then seeing the beauty in it.
Every week we do Funny Friday, where we share cheesy jokes submitted by my audience. I realized the impact this small silly gesture had when one week was skipped and I got tons of messages asking for the jokes. Messages came in telling me that people look forward to Fridays to watch my stories and unwind from a tough week. Those messages told me the importance of sharing joy and laughter with others.
I am humbled and blown away by the kind hearted messages I receive from the community. People have said that I’ve helped inspire them to revamp their home, which has made a difference mentally to live in a safe place they love. I get feedback saying some have gotten more in touch with their creativity, and some feel more comfortable to be themselves and show their silly side.
I derive my deepest happiness from spirituality. I work to channel Bible principles that shape my life positively with others. The most touching response I’ve received from the community is that my care and heart shine through my business. There is more happiness in giving than receiving, and it’s important to treat others how I want to be treated.
It’s not about what you do, but why you do it. My motivation is love. I believe that any business can bring value to enrich others lives when they really examine their “why”. At the end of the day, sales or not, I feel a sense of fulfilment in knowing I’ve helped inspire others. That’s the fuel that keeps me going.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My vision from the start has been inspired by nature. I feel that the greatest designs are found in creation all around us. If art is inspired by nature, it is sure to evoke awe, power, and peace. I have been inspired by the grace + beauty of the ocean + mountains of the Central Coast. I like to use natural mediums such as raffia and dried florals. I also make art pieces that resemble the Sunrise using local Redwood that is grown and milled in SLO.
My shop began on Etsy selling hand made bohemian wall art. The shop quickly grew, and I found myself unable to meet the demand for my handmade products. Fig + Rosewood has now started a carefully curated line of bohemian goods, encompassing the work of various artists and designers. I still do monthly drops for my handmade pieces, but now in a more modest quantity so as not to compromise on the quality.
It has taken a lot of hard work + dedication to grow my little business to where it is today. My heart is attached to this business and the customers who have welcomed it with open arms.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, I’ve got a crush on my little city. I’ve got all the heart eyes for San Luis Obispo, and I love playing tour guide! Our trip would have to start out with a trip to Scout Coffee. Love their honey + lavender matcha latte iced.
Then we would have to immediately drive up north to Big Sur. Anytime someone comes out to SLO, we’ve got to make the drive up to Big Sur to see the amazing rugged coast line of the Central Coast. We would spend the day exploring around in nature- spotting zebras on Hurst Castles property + watching the elephant seals sunbathe. From hikes in Limekiln to surfing some epic spots + laying out on the beach, Big Sur never disappoints.
The next day I would have to take my guests to Sally Lou for brunch and then for a hike up Madonna to see the epic view of Bishop’s Peak. After that, we would have to unwind and enjoy the views of Baileyana Winery. It’s always a good time sipping a buttery glass of El Gordo Chardonnay while playing a round or two of Bocce ball.
The final day of my guests weekend with me would have to include a trip to Montaña De Oro, enjoying a walk through the enchanted eucalyptus forest leading out to the secluded beach. We would have to picnic out there for the afternoon. Before my guests go, we would take a trip downtown to see Bubblegum Alley and enjoy some pizza at my favorite restaurant, Flour House. The trip would have to end with drinks on the rooftop of Hotel San Luis Obispo.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Fig and Rosewood wouldn’t be complete without my husband Joel. We have become so intertwined with our business that our nicknames have actually become Figgy for me, and Rosewood for Joel. Seriously, without him the brand would just be Fig! No zest or fun in that! My hubby supports me and backs me up in all my ventures. He is my #1 fan and he helps me see my self-worth and value. He encourages me to keep going. And of course I have to give him 100% credit for helping me film and edit all my funky DIY reels. Rosewood is the best!!!!