Jennifer is half Canadian who can touch her nose with her tongue. Fortunately for Jen, her talents stretch beyond that. She is a mother and worked as a model for 15 years. While modeling she worked at various restaurants around Chicago. After her modeling career came to a close, she took all her experience working in restaurants and decided to go into the business herself. She found a partner and opened up Bread & Wine. Her goal was to put something beautiful where there was nothing. After four years of owning a restaurant, Jen recently started a blog called Tall Orders, where she chronicles her experiences of what it’s like to own and operate a restaurant.
What do you wake up thinking about?
I wake up thinking about who I have to pay today. I wish it was something more spiritual and I’m working on it. It’s the nature of the beast when you have employees and vendors. In order to operate a restaurant you have to pay people first or there will be no restaurant to operate.
What's your morning ritual?
Cup of coffee, run, yoga, check bank account, make Stella's lunch.
How does social media play into your daily life?
Social media is a way to reach an audience about what you’re doing in business while cutting out the middleman. There was a time when if you were selling something, whether it was a song or a toothbrush, there needed to be someone to tell that story. An editor, agent, PR person, media outlet, are not as valuable as they once were because the masses have created their own way to spread news via social media. As we see conventional media outlets go under, we all know it's because people are getting their information from another source. For business it gives you more power to build a customer base and to be able to speak to them directly. Personally I just like to keep it light. FB fighting with my sister Mary is a good time and I leave it at that. It’s another form of entertainment.
Are we more connected or disconnected than before?
I think we are more disconnected. Instead of going to lunch with our friends, we are taking pictures of our food and sharing it on social media. Either we’re not fully present in the moment with people at the table because were looking at our phones or we’re not really connecting with people that we care about because we can just see what they’re up to on Facebook. The day of wondering what someone is up to is gone. The day of putting yourself out there and connecting with someone in a real way is gone. Technology/social media has taken away being fully engaged and that saddens me sometimes because there was a time that you had the best moments with five people and no one else knew about it except those five people, which created intimacy. I see that diminishing and that is the best part about being human.
What is most important to you in life?
Not letting my fear control me. Not letting what other people think of me stand in the way of me doing what I think is right for myself. I struggle with that everyday. Being authentic.
More about Jennifer: Tall Orders