West Perro | Desert Inspired
Well you guys, it looks like we will be entering a new season! Matt recently had another MRI and it showed clearly that he has no disk in his lower back which is causing severe pain. That is why walking and even sitting is unbearable. Matt is overjoyed to hear that surgery will allow him to have his life back! The last year has been filled with confusion and pain and seeing him have hope again is refreshing.
Though there is hope, I have this weird struggle of anxiety. Having him home has been amazing! Having him home has allowed freedom for me to pursue dreams and at the same time focusing on being a mama. It is a bit overwhelming to think about how I will do mama, run a shop, run the blog, photograph, cook dinner, go to the gym, do laundry, and all the things while he is at work. Life has changed so much during this season but it's so helpful to have Matt home doing it all with me. Don't get me wrong, I want him better. Watching him in pain over this last year has been nothing short of emotional and hard. The weight I have carried is harder then I think I have even realized. Having Matt "back" will allow so much more! He loves DOING things and so I want him BETTER! My heart has hurt for my husband for so long. Watching him walk hurts. So do I want him better, HELL YES! Do I dream of him being home and we are creating and growing businesses alongside each other, damn right I am!
I don't know exactly what is ahead as we enter a new season, but I know good is ahead. I know Jesus has us. I am praying that new doors open, new ways of life begin, dreams are fulfilled and new ones are born. I am praying that our hearts are open to change and embrace it with joy!
Life is full of seasons and changes and it's all about what we do with it! Take risks! Try new! Fail and stand back up. Forgive. Love. Life is beautiful!
Speaking of changes and pursuing dreams, let me introduce you to Jimmy! Jimmy recently left the security of his "9-5" to pursue his dream! He is a maker of all things beautiful! He is the creator of West Perro. I am honored to have his beautiful work in my home and I love wearing his pieces too! I am also happy to have some of his work in the shop and excited to bring more in!!!
Tell me a little about you?
Hey all -- my name in Jimmy, and I'm the founder/creator/self-employed wanderer of West Perro. I still have no idea what to call myself because I wear so many hats! One human show I.R.L. and we're all in it together. Love this maker community. I live with my partner Damien and our pup Joey in Oakland, CA inside this amazingly beautiful old store-front loft. A really cool place with concrete floors, floor-to-ceiling windows with lots of natural light and filled to the brim with plants, succulents and cacti (hat joke in there ;D). I've been living and loving in California for a little over 10 years, and could not imagine myself anywhere else (in the US). Outside the US you can find me in Baja Sur California, soaking in the Pacific Sun on the coast.
How did you begin West Perro?
The brand began as a passion project for myself. I love statement jewelry, specifically necklaces with bountiful modern objects adorning them. So I began making them for myself, and a friend saw and asked me to make her one. And then that request doubled, tripled and now we're here... almost 3 years later. Currently, I am still making modern silhouette necklaces and earrings, in addition to my mainstay which are small-to-large scale wall hangings -- all created from polymer clay, hand-churned birch/maple wood beads, cotton threading and natural leather cording.
What inspires you?
The Desert. The magical terrain of the desert environment gives way to so much energy that fuels the creative soul. From varying color palettes, rock-to-sand textures and the multi-dimensional mountain/dune-scapes, I instantly fell in love. Amongst nature comes my other motivator, Joey my rescue pup. When I moved to California from Illinois, I was lucky enough to stumble upon him at the SPCA in Sacramento. He was the only pup not barking a storm looking for someone to take them home. So, once a Pluto (named by the fine folks who pulled him off the street) to a now Joey that lives a well-traveled life with me and my partner Damien.
Do you love living in the desert?
Truth by told, Damien and I are barely part-time locals to Joshua Tree. Being Damien's passion project and designer of our property, we've labored to build (and continue building) it into a private open desert retreat for camping, art and enjoyment. There, we live like locals in our RV trailer -- traveling the valley, visiting local shops (specifically those that carry the West Perro brand) and continuing to learn about desert life. Like anything, there comes a learning curve, but if you're patient, understanding and allow yourself to open up to the magic in the mojave, you'll get it.
You recently quit your 9-5 job to pursue West Perro full time, how is that going? Do you have any fears as you purse what you love? What have been some highlights to making this decision?
Oh my my, yes -- excitement and fear all around. But the rollercoaster is fun, with highs and lows of course. I think those are without a doubt, the successes and failures that allow us to learn how to do new things in life. And, when the curtain falls, I needed a solid break from corporate retail. Hats off to those that have done it for decades, but this year I had to follow my heart and my mind was sure to follow. Highlights have been this feeling of liberation mirrored by a sense of extreme hustle. Now I get to chose when to speed up and when to speed down. Any day can be a vacation, as long as I double up the things made the next day. Ha! But in the end, the ultimate highlight has been getting to know so many exquisitely, talented and kind people in the maker community. I can say without a doubt, that we cannot do this alone. Although we have our individual passions and usually one-human show brands, it is a community of connected love that thrives on just that rather than competition. All the feels for my fellow sisters and brothers making it happen out there.
What would you tell someone who is debating whether or not they should quit there 9-5 to pursue what they love?
Well, I wish I could say just DO it, take the plunge and go for it... but we are living in a bit of uncertain times, both locally and nationally. I'm a guy that lives life with a cautiously optimistic view. Be mindful that when you do decide to go self-employed full-time, that you realize that your decision may not only affect you. Now I don't want to scare anyone, but it is important to remember responsibility -- to yourself and others. But hey, my advice to anyone that wants to follow a passion project that may turn FULL-TIME hustle is to save for your break, much like you would a vacation to Mexico. Know how much money you'll need to pay your bills for a given amount of months (in most cases) specifically if you don't end up making $1 in profit, because remember -- there's the cost of goods and cost of doing business you'll need to factor into what you need for your income. And my last piece is advice is to have a semi-formed plan. It doesn't need to be fully baked, because you may need to kneed and mold it a bit, but have some things in place for you to follow. As much as I love the wandering part of what I do, I still need to know where my path is to keep going forward and doing what I love to do.
What do you hope for West Perro is in the next few years?
The WP brand will become more well-rounded to inspire the resort-destination seekers in life, in addition to the existing home dwellers. Category expansions will include WP Well-Ness - a self-care centric line focused on body and space, Well-Worn - a unisex resort-inspired apparel line with easy silhouettes and breathable fabrics in addition to added styles and colors of natural palm leaf hats for grown humans, kiddos and the littles, and then Well-Traveled - which will include both local and far-out travel destination packages offering the magic of each unique destination. My overall goal is to offer only the things I love in life -- creating a unique lifestyle brand, continually inspired by the desert terrain and allowing for the flexibility for all to enjoy, anywhere.