surviving local

It's one thing to shop green all the time, but another to actually shop local. With so many outlet mall, chain stores and free-for-all retail going on lately, it's often difficult to see straight. For those of us in San Diego, check out my new article on Examiner on the newly created organically designed JessBecause, an Encinitas owned boutique that is modernly designed with a flair for boho. As I discovered talking to the owner, all one needs in life is a little color and some positive attitude. Let's try to take that motto with us wherever we go...no matter where we are.

Though her Encinitas shop is still just a "toddler," as owner and designer Jessica Reif says, before long her brand JessBecause will "be a full grown lady!" in what she hopes will someday be a nationally recognized brand. The enthusiastic shop designer who has dabbled in everything from visual merchandising while studying in college to retail work at Anthropologie and Shop Dreamy in Encinitas, is welcoming new guests every day to her Etsy shop and traveling boutique, JessBecause. The creative center which provides the San Diego local "an avenue where I could let my creative energies run free" was a long time coming, and she found it through one avenue; namely: color.

"I've always done something 'artsy' ever since I was a little girl," she says. "The materials would constantly change, but whatever I was working with definitely involved color, lots of color! It was only natural for me to choose a career that resembled my childhood pastime." Yet she isn't an amateur - to say the least the veteran colorer finds inspiration in every avenue – from the locals to the vast World Wide Web, where everything from 'Bohemian' styled merch to vintage typewriter rings are brought to life in her home. "Sometimes I find great deals from really big companies and other times, I owe a huge thanks to the mom & pop shops for coming to my rescue. When it comes to supplies, I have to get creative there…It's almost required of me to think of unconventional ways of doing conventional things. I'll admit, it's a pretty fun process."

Besides being ingeniously and creatively marketed, what sets her shop apart is her outlook: "My daily mantra: 'Keep the positivity flowing, keep our bodies clean and limber, and make our ever-changing surroundings a little more pleasing to all of the senses.'" Finding the abnormal in the ordinary, she creates life's provisions complete with a touch of vintage flair to make the mundane seem exceptional. Following her love for design, JessBecause was recently launched and has become the center of this young adventurer's life.

Visit her Etsy shop, JessBecause.com and check out her events calendar – she'll be hitting up the Encinitas Farmers Market (parking lot of Flora Vista Elementary, 1690 Wandering Road) on December 6th and Painted Rock Holiday Boutique on December 10th (Painted Rock Elementary, 16711 Matincoit Road, Poway, CA).

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