Name: Jen Lewis
City: Austin, TX
Hometown: Tyler, TX
Profession: Business Owner and Director of Purse & Clutch, an online boutique for handmade, stylish, fair trade accessories
Are you currently doing things that you think will be a part of your life/career long term?
I’m excited to be able to say yes to this question! I’ve always wanted to find a way to pair what I’m good at with connecting men and women in developing countries with opportunities to support themselves and their families. I’ve tried teaching Chemistry in Central America and gardening with the homeless here in Austin, but they were never quite the right fit. I do, however, feel as though each random, odd job that I’ve had over the last few years has prepared me for a different aspect of my role in running a small business.
What motivates you (to go to work, to do what you’re passionate about, etc.)?
I keep pictures of the artisans I’m working with around my office. I learn as much as I can about the countries we’re purchasing handbags from and listen to music from their part of the world while I’m packing up and shipping boxes. I try to let the stories of artisan groups being able to hire new employees really sink in and focus on what I can do to help.
How do you balance your work life and your social life?
I’m such an introvert, I actually have to force myself to have a social life! Usually this combines work & friends since I try to go to local fashion events as often as possible. Since getting married this past year, my husband has really helped encourage me to get out of the apartment and connect with friends. So I guess I just answered the exact opposite of the question – oops!