Jessica Painter is the founder of In Her Circle, a judgement-free community. Originally from Southern California, she came to Canada for love and after, experiencing severe loneliness, she found her purpose: to help other women who were struggling with loneliness create authentic friendships. Through events like bracelet making, yoga and personal development, Jessica has fostered a supportive, caring environment that has helped hundreds of women to build their inner circle.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica through a co-working group and was immediately taken by her warmth and kindness. Jessica lives and breathes authenticity and I hope this interview will give you a peek into her business, purpose and why she is an incredible friend.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer to someone thinking of starting their own business (or to other entrepreneurs)?
Surround yourself with other people who are also pursuing their dreams in starting their business because your friends and family will not understand. Also, Google is your new business mentor.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop making choices to try and make everyone else happy. The only person's happiness you should be concerned with is your own.
What’s your definition of success?
Success is being brave enough to take micro actions each day towards your goal and not apologizing when you choose to pivot from the original plan.
If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be? Loneliness - can you imagine how beautiful our world would be if we focused on how much stronger we are together?
If you could invite three people, living or dead, for a fantasy dinner party, who would those people be?
Ali Wong, Sara Blakely, and Anne Lamott.
How did you find your purpose?
Through the pain and hardships that I have endured throughout my life, I knew that part of my struggle was meant to give hope to the lost and to heal the brokenhearted. My purpose became clear when I felt like I had no other option but to jump all in and to create a new, loving community that embraced all of the people who felt like they never fit in or had a place for them.
When did you “fail” and what did you learn from it?
Each time that an event or an idea has not come to fruition, I take it as a lesson of what my audience wants and what it definitely does not want. It may take you pivoting a few times until you finally get it right, but that's the beauty of this journey of entrepreneurship - absolutely no one gets it right 100% of the time.
What is the most memorable meal you've ever had? and with whom?
The most memorable meal that I've ever had was when I was 19 years old, studying abroad in London. I was living at a student house in Islington, and the food was absolutely terrible. One day, my friend Danica told me that someone from back home was in town for business, and he offered to take her and a friend out to dinner. She asked if I was interested, and I immediately said "yes!" A town car picked us up and took us to a small village, just outside of London. The restaurant was small but very elegant. Her friend treated both of us to one of those slow, European meals where over the course of 3 hours, new dishes kept coming, the wine was flowing, and the conversation was delightful. I remember everyone from my program being so envious that she picked me to experience that, and it's always been a special memory.
What are three items in your fridge you can’t live without?
Butter, cheese, and milk.
When it comes to your meat and seafood, what matters most to you?
I really like knowing where my meat/seafood was sourced from and how the animals are treated. I am a big label reader, and I also research the companies that produce the product to make sure that I feel that I am making ethical choices with the money that I am spending.
What is your favourite dish to cook for your loved ones?
Tacos or anything breakfast related.
What is your must-try local restaurant?