We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Zavala and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennifer, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I have always been an artistic and creative person, but I had no idea how to pursue it professionally since I was intimidated by all the stories of artists not being able to accomplish their dreams. After the first wave of COVID 19 hit Houston and the lockdown began I found myself bored and quite depressed. It wasn’t until my mom gave me the idea of customizing my own Starbucks cups (Because who doesn’t like coffee? and honestly I am a bit obsessed with that company).

I started with making orders for my family members, such as making little stickers and custom cups, face masks, even some shirts. Next thing you know I started selling to people in other parts of Houston, then to people in other cities in Texas, and then to other states nationwide. My little hobby that came to be because of COVID 19 is slowly blossoming into my own small business.

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.
So I create my own Starbucks cups, well I do a lot of other crafts as well but my main focus is custom cups. I am very excited for the upcoming holidays, I have a lot of ideas planned and cannot wait to get started. It took me a lot of trial and error to get where I am, and even now I still struggle with drawing certain designs and getting the cuts right. I learned that even if I mess up that I just have to keep going. I can always take breaks but giving up IS NOT an option, I have to work in order to achieve greater things.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
AHHH this is a little hard, THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO, one week would not be enough. I would for sure take them to the museum district, go check out the Cockrell Butterfly Center which is my absolute favorite. After that walk around Hermann Park and maybe go see something at the miller outdoor theater. Obviously I would take them to all the best food spots, there is so much to eat we would for sure gain some weight.

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?
First and foremost I’d like to thank my parents. I honestly wouldn’t be doing this without their help and support and their encouragement. They pushed me into becoming a better version of myself, one who is independent.

Second I’d like to thank the rest of my family members for never giving up on me. For being the first ones to ever to buy what I made, and for sharing my creations with others.

Lastly I would like to thank my friends!! all the ones who had faith in me, who believed in my small business, would hype me up, hype my creations up, and share everything that I made on social media.

I am thankful for all of those people in my life!!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/designs.byjd_/

Other: tiktok: @designsbyjd

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