When a friend introduces me to someone and says, “you need to know this girl” — I pay attention.

That’s precisely what happened the first time Jenna and I crossed paths. A mutual friend introduced us and we immediately hit it off, chatting it up for as long as we could until we had to part ways.

This was only a few short months ago, and in that time I’ve gotten to know Jenna personally and professionally and she has taken up residence as a guest editor here this winter. As a seasoned copywriter, Jenna is impeccable with her word. She’s not only a gifted writer but a deeply soulful woman who I am proud to have and be part of the tribe here.

I hope you enjoy getting to know this beautiful native Angeleno today!
xo

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Jena!! I’m (beyond) thrilled to get the chance to chat with you today and share more about what you do and what you’re all about with our readers. So, let’s start at the beginning, tell us who you are and what do you do + create + love?

I was born and raised in Highland Park, California, on the east side of Los Angeles. And now I live in Pasadena, just a few miles from where I grew up.

I’m a soulful storyteller, which is my favorite way of saying that I love the written word and am blessed to help other people tell their stories (and tell a few of my own, too!) in a way that is true to their experience and deeply connected to the audience they’re hoping to reach.

Why did you initially decide to work for yourself and become a copywriter?

Because I had run out of reasons not to! 🙂
In all seriousness, I just knew that I loved writing more than anything else, and I wanted to spend the majority of my time doing that. I also knew that becoming a copywriter (or, helping people tell the stories of their brand or business) was a way for me to serve people through my writing.

And so, I did it! I started my business and put myself out there as a copywriter. I won’t say I didn’t know what I was doing when I started ― I certainly did my homework ― but I have learned so much (and continue to learn so much) and my own brand and business have evolved because of that.

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I love that. I resonate with the feeling of literally feeling like you have no choice but to do the work you do. I feel the same way. So, tell us what’s important about what you’re creating and offering?

I honestly believe that every single one of us has an important story to share with the world. You do and I do and she does. And I deeply and truly feel that so much of the discord and disconnect in our world could be overcome by people sharing their stories; by opening up and saying (or writing): “Hey, this is how I feel. This has been my experience. This is where I’ve fallen, and how I’ve gotten back up. You too?”

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell our stories; not only because it can be vulnerable and scary (which it often can be), but because most of us don’t know where to start. We don’t know how to write about ourselves or what parts of our story to share.

My goal is to help people through that process so that they’re connected to the audience that needs to hear what they have to share.

That is beautiful, I love that notion that we all have a story to tell. So true. While clearly you love what you do, I know it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows when you’re creating a business from the ground up. How do you stay motivated and inspired in work/life, when things are feeling harder than you’d like?

Oh, a lot of ways! I’d say meditation and prayer are the most important practices for me; the ones that keep me consistently uplifted.

And honestly, reading the stories of other (mostly) women helps, too. They might be fellow writers or entrepreneurs or they may be women who seem wholly unrelated to me, but I gain so much insight and inspiration through reading about them and their experiences.

Yes to all of the above (women’s stories are so empowering and inspirational)! What does it mean to you, to live a life and have a business WITH SOUL?

It means that I have to continually check in with myself and make sure that the decisions I’m making ― in my business and in my life ― are aligned with what feels true and good and right to me.

Daily meditation has been really helpful in this regard ― it forces me to slow down, stay present, and become hyper-attuned to what I want and need in any given moment. I’m not perfect at it, of course, but I’m getting better every day―and that’s my ultimate goal.

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Aside from meditation, I’d love to know — what gets you out of bed every morning?

Coffee. 🙂

And, on a good day, it’s knowing that I get to spend time alone with myself, with my journal, and with God before I have to connect with the rest of the world.

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Nice, I think morning rituals and routines are super important. I’m always curious what other people do each morning to kick off their day. Okay, as you may or may not know, I’m a big believer that our six senses (see, smell, hear, touch, taste, feel/intuition) are a pathway to fulfillment and joy and by using them, you cultivate more mindfulness in your daily life. Do you actively practice using your senses? If so, what do you feel is your predominant or favorite sense?

I had never really considered this idea before, but I love it! I get a lot of joy out of seeing (not surprising for someone who loves to read and write), but I’ve been really focused on feeling and intuition lately.

I’ve come to realize that my heart and my body always have the answers I’m seeking, so I’m working on being more closely attuned to what my intuition tells me in any given (personal or professional) situation.

You’re so right — heart + body are where it’s at! So, if someone was headed to your town (Pasadena, CA) to visit, what are the top 3 spots you send them?

Pasadena is the best! Please come visit! Three of my favorite Pasadena places are:

  • Pasadena Central Library: The building is beautiful, the Wi-Fi is strong, and the books are free.
  • Copa Vida: This coffee shop is one of my favorite places to get work done and people watch. It’s big and beautiful (and walking distance from historic Old Town Pasadena), and the coffee is delicious!
  • Mi Piace: If you’re a fan of Italian food, you must go here. Everything is delicious, and the service is always impeccable!

We’re big birthday (month) fans around here – what’s your dream way to spend a birthday?

I’m a big birthday fan, too! Birthdays ― mine and other people’s ― are my favorite. These days, I’d love to spend my birthday in a cabin in the woods. I’d hike, I’d journal, I’d pray, I’d go to bed early.

It’s a bit different from how I would’ve chosen to spend my birthday 10 years ago (or even one year ago), but quiet, solitude, and reflection are increasingly my favorite ways to spend my time.

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As an introvert and HSP, that sounds absolutely divine. Tell us, what are you working on right now that feels like a celebration?

The Independent, a print publication for creative entrepreneurs, is an amazing project that I’ve been working on with my two co-founders for several months now! I’m incredibly excited to get this publication out into the world.

I’m also working on re-branding my own site and services in the new year! I’ll have much more to share soon! *wink*

Yes, I’m so excited to check out the latest edition of the magazine — I’m such a sucker for print! Over the years, you’ve undoubtedly learned a lot. If you knew then, what you know now — what message would you have for your younger self?

You don’t have to be perfect, baby girl―and nobody really expects you to be. Be gentle and graceful with yourself and with everybody else. We’re all figuring out this “life” thing together.

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And finally — what is one thing you know to be true?

We’re all doing the best that we can, and if we all share our authentic journeys and experiences, we’ll be a better, more loving, and more connected world because of it.

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. . . . . .

I mean . . . how amazing is Jenna? I am totally smitten with her, her work and the purposeful way she engages with life. She is the embodiment of everything we believe and talk about here at The Girl Who Knows.

Thank you Jenna, for bringing forth stories and helping to put them into the world. And for shining your inner light so bright everywhere you go and in everything you do. We are all the better because of it! I can’t wait to see where 2016 takes you!

Be sure to head over to Jenna’s website and check her out, and reach out to her if you’re in need of some copywriting assistance! And don’t forget to pop over to social media (Instagram + Twitter) and say hi as well.

I’ll see you soon when we get to know yet another inspired and inspiring girl who knows!

xo,
Stephanie

 

Photos courtesy of Jenna Arak

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