We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Reneé and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I think about risk, I always revert back to the saying: “When I try, I fail. But when I trust, I succeed.” I know that no matter how big the risk, I have faith in knowing as long as I trust in God, everything will happen as it is meant to happen.
And I will always succeed. No matter what the success looks like.
It actually took me a long time to realize that success has many faces when taking a risk or a leap of faith. I took my first big risk when I moved by myself from the West Coast to NYC to further my career in Visual Merchandising. I was in my mid 20’s and only knew a handful of people in New York but something in me said if I don’t go, I would regret it for the rest of my life. During my 8 years in New York I learned a lot about myself and realized very quickly that risk taking is the bread and butter to success.
I went from an in-Store Visual Merchandiser that executed set ups, to a Corporate Visual Communications & Merchandise Execution Manager who created the Directives and Department Pages for all locations to use when doing their set ups. I was blessed to be in the company of CEOs and VPs of Fortune 500 companies throughout my career. My talent and work ethic was admired and praised by top Executives.
Even with all my career success, I wanted to shift my focus on building my own brand, something that I could call my own. I have always had a passion for Interior Design and Home Decor. Working with buyers and merchants I realized how much of a need there was for quality, inexpensive Home Decor that appealed to people of color. So, I took what I would call the second biggest risk of my life…. I quit my corporate job just before the pandemic, came back to California and started my online Home Decor Boutique ‘D’Vine Designs’.
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.
I am currently the owner of an online Home Decor Boutique as well as a Senior Merchandise Presentation Specialist for Whole Foods Market. If you would have asked me 6 years ago if I could build a plan-o-gram using Spaceman, design fixtures in SketchUp, create a store floorpan using Illustrator or create and edit a best practice video using Premier Pro, while simultaneously building a small business I would say you’re crazy!
Being a Visual Merchandiser for over 15 years allowed me to design spaces and create displays that were aesthetically pleasing for stores. I started D’vine Designs, a Home Decor online boutique, as a way to offer affordable, unique, aesthetically pleasing Decor pieces for your home. I want people to walk into their home, office or business and be surrounded by unique pieces while also feeling like they had their space professionally curated for them without breaking the bank. Home Decor can be affordable without jeopardizing quality.
I got to where I am by taking the risk to leave a company of 12 years to go to a company where people believed in me the way that I believed in myself (Thank you Tysh and Yara). Macy’s invested in my career growth which subsequently helped me put my foot in the door of corporate America.
It was extremely hard leaving a company I had been with for so long, but when you take a leap of faith, after the first few steps, you realize you’re still walking the same, just on a different path. With each step I learned something new and forced myself to learn as much as I could from everyone around me. I will forever be grateful for my experience with H&M and the support and abundant amount of encouragement I received when I left Macy’s for my own personal growth.
Everyday is hard, everyday there is a new challenge, but everyday is a new adventure on a course that I have set for MYSELF.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If someone were to come visit here in my home town of Vallejo…I would say lets go to San Francisco to Pier 39, walk around Fishermans Wharf and take a Ferry ride across the bay to Marin. We could walk around, shop and eat at Larkspur Landing. Back in Vallejo we would visit ‘The Grind Cafe’ for a breakfast burrito and coffee, go to the local honey farm just outside of Napa, then make our way to Napa to go wine tasting.
A few other places to visit for great food would be University Ave in Berkeley, Taste of Burma in Concord, Ca and ANY CORN CART on the street! Trust me, they are better than the Restaurants.
Disclaimer: I have not lived in California in over 12 years so I don’t know many places to go, so I still need my own tour guide sometimes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my parents Sophia and Robert, both successful businesses owners, made sure to tell me how extremely proud of me they are/were. Thank you for raising me to be fearless and independent enough to survive on my own. Thank you to my siblings Robert, Allen and Ever for teaching me how to be a big sister and how to love and care for someone other than myself.
Miesha, my cousin/sister and Auntie Suzanne my second mom, for being the voices that pushed me to keep going.
To my friends that became family: Mario, Jade, Ivore, Tiff Dreamz, Sherita, Lain, Sherise, Reggie, Bug, Sarah L, Lah, Kiara, KB, and Erica thank you for helping me survive LIFE!! There wouldn’t be a J.R without the help, support and love from you. Whether we speak everyday or once a year, please know you mean the world to me and I love you for pushing and believing in me.
Instagram: @d_vinedesingsca / @jayrenee0512
Facebook: @D’Vine Designs