We had the good fortune of connecting with Sammy Jo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sammy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking risks, I believe, is essential in moving forward in just about any area of life. The choices we make can open so many doors for us, and if we learn to let go and trust (the universe, a higher power, ourselves, etc.) we can feel more comfortable taking those risks. The way I see it is, nothing that isn’t meant to be mine can be taken from me… so if I want it, I’ll go for it. I’ll take the risk. If it works out the way I hoped it would, that’s great! If it didn’t, it wasn’t meant to, and I always trust that something even better is waiting for me on the other side.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been trying to get my hands on as many creative mediums as humanly possible for as long as I can remember. From a very young age, I was drawing, painting, singing, playing guitar, writing, taking photographs, making short films, and more. I was never sure which path would lead me to success, and I’m still not sure where I’ll end up in the long run, if not endlessly finding new crafts to master and diving into new mediums. One thing I always knew for sure though, was that I’d not only love my job, but thrive, if it surrounded creativity and technology. So shortly after high school, I decided that animation was the perfect middle ground. I studied at Los Angeles Valley College and California State University Northridge, but ultimately decided over time that it wasn’t for me. I love to watch animation, but I didn’t find the same spark while creating it. After a few years of restaurant work and freelance art, I ended up in the cannabis industry, and worked my way up from production to marketing. This was it! This was where I could combine my love for art with my love for technology and its all surrounding another passion of mine; cannabis! Now, all of the things I loved so much growing up, (writing, photography, design, etc.) are at the core of my role at the cannabis company I work for. I genuinely LOVE going to work every day, creating, finding new and exciting ways to capture important moments, share information, and build community. Was it easy to get here? On one hand, I want to say no, because I spent so many years floating, working jobs I hated, fighting to prove myself as an artist while almost every member of my family told me I was wasting my time, and I’ve also had to work through two extremely traumatic car accidents over the course of four years, both of which set me back physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. On the other hand, I want to say although nothing felt easy leading up to this, landing where I did in the cannabis industry felt like a breeze or a manifestation coming to fruition. The role I have now is one I didn’t even know existed growing up, nor did I ever imagine that there was something so perfectly fitting to my interests. I’ve learned a lot along the way… about rejection, patience, trust (most importantly in myself), flexibility, collaboration, and leadership. I feel incredibly blessed to be where I am now, and I am very excited for my future – something I couldn’t say just a couple of years ago. As I’m only 24, my story has really just begun, but I can say that there is already a consistent theme surrounding trust in the universe (or a higher power) and trusting myself. Learning to let go and truly trust that I am on the right path, and that everything I need is waiting for me, is what I feel keeps me moving forward.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not a Los Angeles native. As a matter of fact, I’ve only been here for 6 years, but I feel as though there are endless places and experiences to enjoy. I’ll never see it all, but I’ll certainly try. When someone comes to visit, some things at the top of my list are the Griffith Observatory, a show at the Pantages, a trip to Disneyland, a beach day in Malibu, a visit to The Broad, an afternoon of food and drinks at Grand Central Market, a stunning view of the city from the top of the US Bank tower, and a picnic in the garden at the Getty. On the lesser known side, I’d take them on a whiskey tour at Lost Spirits Distillery, to the Museum of Death, grab some craft beer at Angel City Brewery, play some board games and enjoy cocktails at Guildhall in Burbank (they have an AMAZING cheese plate with truffle and herb butters molded into Star Wars characters), and grab an ice cream sundae at the Ghirardelli attached to the El Capitan in Hollywood. When it comes to food, I am very grateful to live in a city that is packed with culture and cuisine. Tatsu Ramen on Melrose, El Cocinero vegan kitchen in Van Nuys, Monty’s Good Burger in Echo Park, Cafe Gratitude, Canters in LA, Hinterhoff, and The Perch overlooking Pershing Square are just a few of the restaurants that come to mind when I think of showing someone around my favorite spots, but the list really never ends. My partner and I are forever on the hunt to find the best places to eat in Los Angeles, and the possibilities are truly limitless.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have a few shoutouts I’d like to give. The first is to my mom, for raising me all by herself, giving me all of the tools I’d need for success as an adult, and for loving me unconditionally through it all. The next is to my best friend Sabrina who has been by my side for the last 13 years of my life. She is the most supportive, uplifting, and loving friend I could ever ask for and she is a light that this world is lucky to have. The last is my sweet, patient, kind, smart, caring partner, Giovanni. In the five years we’ve spent together so far, he has helped me to grow in every area of life. He inspires me every day to do more, to do better, and to be the best version of myself. These three people are collectively my support system, my biggest cheerleaders, my heart, and my soul, and I wouldn’t be where I am without any one of them.