We had the good fortune of connecting with Jess Mercier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jess, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Making things has always been like breathing to me. Some people meditate, art is my meditation. It’s the place I go where the rest of the world goes blank and intuition takes over. I always knew I wanted to be some kind of artist. While at art school in Boston, I pictured myself living in an open loft covered with paint and canvases. My time at culinary school gave me my passion for desserts and decorating. After a long journey to where I landed today, my ability to use art and design to help other businesses is my driving goal.
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.
Though I advocate other businesses, first and foremost, I am an artist. Having a creative brain sets me apart from other designers. My creativity has helped me build my business. My time as a pastry chef taught me that there is a scientific process to making a dessert, a structure that is laid out before you make it “pretty.” We eat with our eyes first, but the end result doesn’t work unless the ingredients are measured perfectly and are added in the right steps. The same goes for branding. The color choices and typography must not only elicit a feeling but they also need to look great. If you asked twenty-year-old Jess if she was going to be a graphic designer, I would have definitely said no. I always perceived computer work as cold and calculated. I was much happier getting messy with my art, paint on my hands or frosting on my cheek. What I have learned is that I am able to put my heart and emotion into helping businesses represent themselves in a professional and polished way. Using my skills as an artist to build other people up is now a passion of mine.
Building my business from the ground up has not been a cake walk (pun intended). It has been making mistakes and learning to grow from them instead of beating myself up. I continue to educate myself, absorbing more and more information that I am excited to pass on to my clients. I never want to stop growing and evolving.
Another huge challenge of mine is being a work from home mom, as well as a special needs mom. Maintaining a harmonious balance of working with children at home while also trying to be the best, most intentional mother, can be exhausting. I feel so lucky to be able to take snuggle breaks or to be able to care for them when they are sick, not worrying about who will cover me at the office for the day. There are days when a huge pivot is needed, and I have to reach out to a client for a meeting reschedule, and I have to overcome feelings of frustration and guilt. I think all parents, whether they work from home or in an office outside of the house, have struggles. Being a parent is hard, running a business is hard. At the end of the day all the hard work is worth it.
I want the world to know that if you have passion behind what you do, the people will come. If you truly want to serve the people of the universe, to build them up and make this world a better place, you can.
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.
I was just talking to my husband about this the other day. If we had someone come to town to visit, where would we bring them to show off our city? As a trained chef and a mom of small humans, one of my favorite things to do is cook at home and develop new recipes. We love to go to the Tomball Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and pick up fresh and local items for the week. We always make sure to stop and get macarons from Indulge Gourmet Desserts, my daughters’ favorite. We have to get there early because she always has a line and sells out! We also love the goat cheese from The Dapper Goat. Right around the corner from us in Cypress is a great butcher, Stone Cold Meats. We go see them when we are in the mood to grill steaks. We also love Bearded Fox Brewery for their kid and dog-friendly (we have a new 4 month old goldendoodle!) taproom and they have rotating food trucks often. Right next to Bearded Fox is 2 Guys 1 Pit BBQ: my favorite is the sausage and the potato salad. On Thursdays I meet my amazing women’s group for lunches at Thistle Draft Shop. I love the atmosphere there, and the food is incredible. The staff is always super nice, and I was pumped to see a beer from the Maine Brewing Co. on tap, a little taste of New England brought me back to my roots. I am always hoping to support local businesses, and I love all types of food, coffee, and drinks. I am looking forward to venturing out and expanding my list of favorites as time goes on.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I made a huge move across the country right before I started my business. We are from Massachusetts, and when an opportunity arose for my husband for work, we decided to roll the dice. Here in Houston, I was finally able to take some time deciding what I wanted to do. At first, it was designing tee shirts, then logos, then I built to full branding packages for businesses. I really owe so much to my husband, and our family for the support through the past few years. They have always believed in my talent and passion. I have an incredible circle of women that have supported me. I also made connections through women’s networking groups and continue to widen my network of inspiring people. Two of these connections are my dear friends Kari and Angie. They show up for me every single day to support me, bouncing ideas back and forth, collaborating in business, as well as in everyday life, kids, and family.
I also give so much credit to my clients. In a sea of designers, they chose me. I am one hundred percent grateful for the opportunity to design for every person that comes into my business, and the trust that they have in my vision and knowledge.
Personal Photo by Natalie J Photography