get to know the guru: jess davis
Jess Davis is the founder of Folk Rebellion - a movement where she promotes slower-living and the more mindful use of technology.
As a formerly plugged-in digital strategist and award-winning brand consultant, her fast tech-based career allowed her a unique perspective from the inside - out.
After 10+ years of helping clients find their digital voices, Jess looked up and realized she had in fact, helped create a society that was no longer present or connected at all. After much soul searching, research, and family-imposed vacations offline, she discovered her calling - to use her megaphone to inspire folks (and herself) to return to living in "real-life" ... all while balancing their digital one.
Jess is a speaker on the topics of unplugging, technology, balance, and slow living and a regular contributor for Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and Wanderlust. Her workshops, coaching, and corporate wellness programs share the learning’s of Folk Rebellion.
Her rebel spirit is fueled by meandering, cliffs, live music, New Orleans, bulldogs, her family, autumn, the Adirondacks, being bored and whiskey...not necessarily in that order.
What makes you come alive?
Oh man, I want to answer this so eloquently but I will just say what came immediately to mind. Being outside, on a cliff, with water nearby. Music. Any and all, but preferably live and on a cliff outside, near water. My son. Reading. Hammocks. Travel. The sun on my face. A paper map. Blank pages. Nights with good friends. My business, Folk Rebellion. Talking about our new screened-in society and how we can make it better. And unfortunately, lately, politics.
We all have our own unique gift to share with the world, what’s yours?
For as long as I can remember I have been a champion of change. I am happiest when I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I love picking up and moving, changing careers, trying on new hats. I’ve challenged friends to not fear it but embrace it and all the possibilities that come with a new zip code, hobby, or partner ☺ So it’s very natural that my passion (which I truly just discovered a year and a half ago) to encourage people to take tech breaks and add more balance to their lives was based around change. Another gift that helps with all above is my ability to story tell or weave a good tale. My nickname growing up was Mother Goose. So instead of telling someone why they should ditch out on 6 months of routine for an adventure overseas, I share my stories of wandering through whitewashed stone streets, churches with a thousand doors, or tomato so ripe it feels like you’re biting into an apple. Hopefully my storytelling provides inspiration and courage to take those leaps where you don’t know what’s on the other side.
Who or what inspires you? (Don’t be afraid to get detailed and in-depth.)
So many things and people. Color is a huge inspiration to me. The brighter the better. Weather as well always seems to play into my creativity. My mom – she’s the strongest woman I’ve ever met. People who create and make. I am blessed to be surrounded by people that truly believe they can add something to this world. Women who have the courage to say “this is not always easy”. Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes. Families who show their children the world.
When was the last time you mustered the courage to do something that scared you? What was it, and what did you learn from it?
I’d have to say it was the decision to quit corporate America and start Folk Rebellion – a movement where I promote slower-living and the more mindful use of technology. It was big and awesomely frightening. I took my savings and plunked it down on the metophorical table as to say “I’m all in”. Having to give up that security of a savings account, a job with a regular paycheck, a routine schedule, etc was so scary that I hired a life coach to have someone else validate that I was on the right path – no matter how scared I was. Turns out I was and one of the 1st things I learned was that I should listen to my intuition more often. Gut calls and a sense of “knowing” is rarely incorrect.
What and where is your next big adventure?
I’m headed to a bunch of Wanderlust Festivals this summer and it just so happens that Aspen and Tahoe are within driving distance. So of course the gypsy in me saw this as an opportunity to take that #vanlife road trip across the South West I’ve been dreaming of since I saw Thelma & Louise. I’m packing up my family, my Folk Rebellion goods, and some mix tapes and hitting the road in Vanagon. In my head it will be sleeping under the stars in places like the Grand Canyon and Sedona and traversing deserts with windows down and music up but it may very well turn out to be 11 days of “mom, are we there yet”. And I’m actually OK with either!
Dish out a piece of advice for a 20-something (or anyone, really!) looking to make his or her mark on the world.
Put your stake in the ground. And hold firm. Whatever it may be. A lack of boundaries welcomes a lack of respect. For me, its always been my time. I want to spend it how I want to spend it. When I was climbing the ranks there were many time-suckers who tried to get their way in through any crack they found. It was up to me to say “no”. It took a long time to get the courage but once I did I now know how important it is. So whatever means the most to you. Whatever is your deal breaker. Keep it front a center in your minds eye. Put a stake in the proverbial ground and decorate the shit out of it so you never lose sight of it.
Keep up with Jess + Folk Rebellion: