Category Archives: interviews

Interview Series: Michi Regier

For my next interview, I introduce Michi. We went to the same high school and worked at the Arizona Renaissance Festival together. I ran around with the stage combat troupe; she played instruments and danced. We also went to the same prom.

prom with bryan, michi, adam, jamie 1996

bryan, michi, adam, jamie

JC: Tell us a little about yourself.

MR: According to the 10,000 hour rule, I am an expert at violin and accounting; I might make it there someday with yoga.  Once upon a time I lived in a yurt.  My dream job would be as a folklorist, just recording and reporting on interesting traditions around the world.

JC: I’ve heard there’s an amazing link between math and music. I haven’t studied much of either, but have you found that you interest in one moves the other forward?

MR: It’s all just patterns to me; music is patterns with soul. I saw Irish music like another crossword puzzle to figure out or language to learn because its shapes and ornaments were so different from classical music. Some people say this perspective takes the magic out — I think finding patterns makes life more interesting, especially when you start to see connections.

Many folk musicians tend to disagree with this link between math and music; they aren’t often “paper”-trained, so they see it more intuitively.  Except drummers. Drummers totally love patterns. “So, you went from a’counting to accounting!” – Antonio Albarran (Gypsy Guerilla Band)

JC: What are the instruments that you play? Are/were you involved with Morris dancing? How did you become a musician?

MR: A) violin/fiddle depending on the outfit. What would I really love to play? The Indian sarod, the Turkish cooking-pot banjo (chumbush), and the musical saw. B) You said we didn’t have to talk about the Morris dancing!!! Except for that one time, when we arrived in England, and there were fireworks and Morris dancers in the middle of the night; it was almost as if they knew we were there. C) I was born this way (maybe not, but it was both nature and nurture in my house).

michi playing music

photo by Jon Baade

JC: So your family is also musical?

MR: Sure! I use every chance I get to show off my dad’s art:

His sculpture is displayed in various galleries and installations around the country. This one has probably had Regiers the longest:

There’s a nice writeup of Dad & Grandpa here:

Mom just retired from school teaching and published a book:

JC: Would you like to share some internet links?

MR: As for my stuff, free music links here:

  • “Videos” are the ones I’ve recorded at home with my looping pedal
  • “Playlists” are things other people have captured of me (see “World,” “Water Street Bridge,” “Festivals,” and “Steampunk”)

  • Couple of my CD’s are available for free here (shhh)

Non-free music available here:

I use twitter for accounting, live-tweeting silly TV and generally non-music stuff:

I’m keeping a blog (sporadically) –

Favorite charities: – I just love what these folks are doing. Great message and high production quality. – donated 30 violins to teaching at an orphanage in Mexico. Earned a forever spot in my heart. – great for the family Christmas cards –

and of course, there’s always micro-lending with Kiva.

bryan, michi, jamie, adam in renaissance costumes at the boyce thompson arboretum

most of the pictures to my blog are borked!

So many changes in my life this past year and it shows in unexpected ways. One of which is that most of the photos in my blog are now broken links. I think I may re-upload the ones to the interviews since those have always been the most important posts to me. Perhaps I will delete some of the other blog posts.

I have set up some interviews and want to continue doing that.

Also considering selling my Cannon and buying a Fuji.

peach pink rose

peach portland rose

interview series: Kylie Streed

kylie streed -

I met Kylie at our mutual friend Brian’s party. Kylie and I were sitting by each other on the couch commiserating about our gluten free lifestyle. We were both eyeballing the cookies while making chit chat. She mentioned she was a hairstylist, and I reported I had just that week gotten my hair cut. I had my hair pulled back and also was wearing a hat. I dutifully showed her what I was feeling rather apathetic about and she responded by saying we should cut it! I agreed!

She cut my hair with regular scissors in the hallway at Brian’s house in the middle of a party. I love her spontaneity and her infectious laugh. She’s a warm and caring person who is now my new hair stylist!

kylie streed -

kylie streed -

Jamie: Tell us a little about yourself.

Kylie: I was born and raised in sunny southern California, but now I choose to call Portland my home.  I’ve been specializing in men’s haircuts for a little over eight years.  I feel like the luckiest person alive because I get to make a living doing pretty much my favorite thing in the world.  I also love to read; I have at least three books dog-eared at any given time.  That’s right– books.  The Kindle makes me nervous and doesn’t smell nearly as good as ink on fresh paper.

kylie streed -

Jamie: Southern California and Portland, Oregon are practically complete opposites in some ways, yet really similar in others. What do you love about both places? And what do you miss most about SoCal? I’d love to know about some of your favorites places and restaurants too!

Kylie: They really are so different from each other.  That’s what’s so nice about still having family in California.  I get to enjoy for a few days and then come back to reality– kind of like playing with my friends’ kids.  I love the warmth and smell of California.  Maybe my olfactory system is super sensitive, but I think all places have a unique smell.  I love that in Portland, you can walk to your neighborhood theatre and watch the Country Music Awards or just a basketball game with fellow beer drinkers.  There’s such a strong sense of community here.  What I miss most about where I grew up is the Mexican food!  not many things are fried in lard up here in the northwest, unfortunately.  I did find one restaurant that comes pretty close to SoCal- There’s a divey little joint on East Burnside called Ole Ole. The tacos are to die for and very affordable!  Which is good, because everyone in Portland is either retired or working on their doctorate.  Another place I love specializes in Ethiopian cuisine.  No jokes, please.  It’s called Bete-Lukas.  The owner is a kick and the food is always fresh and delicious.  And because I have three stomachs, I can’t forget about dessert.  Rimsky-Korsakoffee House in the Buckman area is as out there as it gets.  Incredible and interesting hand crafted pies and coffees.  But, beware of the bathrooms- that’s all I’ll say.

kylie streed -

Jamie:  I thought I was a die hard paper book person too, but my friend Jill gave me a Kindle, and I was surprised how much I do like it! It’s been a lifesaver living in a small place. Haha! What kind of books do you read?

Kylie: I’ll read pretty much anything that I’m given or is recommended to me.  I get a lot of books as gifts. It’s pretty interesting to see what people come up with.  You can always tell what kind of person someone thinks you are by the books they give you.  Chuck Pahlaniuk is my favorite author, so I’ve read all of his work.  You may know him from such titles as, “Fight Club.”  I’m really into science fiction and memoirs.  I’m just fascinated by humans; I’ll read anyone’s story.

kylie streed -

Jamie: You seem like a brave and fearless person. Does anything scare you?

Kylie: Turning thirty!  No, but seriously, a few things do.  I’ve always been deathly afraid of heights.  Once I’m at 30,000 feet on an airplane I can relax–sort of.  But skyscrapers…forget it.  I also have a healthy fear of large dogs; it stems from some sort of childhood canine trauma, I’m sure.

kylie streed -

Jamie: I used to love flying, but I like it less and less these days. I do like heights though. They remind me of dreams I have had in which I can fly. But let’s circle back around to the hair cutting thing: when did you get interested in hair cutting? And why are you specialized in men’s hair? What inspires you? Tell me all the things!

Kylie: Do you ever fall in your flying dreams?  I heard that’s good luck!  Hair cutting…let’s see. I’ve been fascinated with the entire beautification process for as long as I can remember.  When my parents would have guests over, I’d walk around the room and paint everyone’s fingernails.  I’m sure I did great work at four years old!  

Whenever my dad would go in to get his hair cut, even if it was early in the morning, I’d go with him.  I’d sit in the lobby and watch intently.  I loved the sound of the shears snipping the hair and how effortless and graceful the stylists looked while working.  Later in life, I was always the first in the house to notice when Dad came home with a fresh haircut.  His face looked brighter and he seemed to have a spring in his step.  Men’s hair holds my interest because of the precision involved in cutting, and even styling it.  Women’s hair is fun to look at and play with, but the technician in me loves dealing with tight shapes and weight lines.  It’s also fun to show a man that a good haircut really can make a difference in how he feels and even acts.  I feel that the extra time and attention I’m able to devote to my clients gives them a certain confidence and dare I say…swagger?  

I love to flip through cheesy magazines like US Weekly to see what the “beautiful people” of the world are doing with their hair.  Since my shop is in a men’s clothing store, I also draw a lot of inspiration from expensive suits.  I like to give my clients a haircut that will enhance their style and maybe even get them to switch from a polo to a nice sport coat.

kylie streed -

Jamie: Would you like to share some internet links?

Kylie: (online scheduling.)

kylie streed -


Thanks to Kylie for participating in my interview series! If you have any questions for her, ask in the comments below! (And go get a hair cut!)

interview series moving forward and some reflective thoughts

unicorn portland

Last year was one full of great changes for me.

David and I left Phoenix to move to Portland at the very end of February. I had lived in Phoenix my entire life. My original plan was to move after college, but it took a little over ten years.

We went from owning a large home to renting a small (725 sq ft!) house! We learned and are still learning to pare down what we have. It helps that we don’t live close to any big box stores full of inexpensive and tempting things. There’s a sense of accomplishment to let go of things we’ve been holding on to both physically and emotionally.

After finally getting my health under control in 2012 and moving at the beginning of 2013, I was finally able to get a job in a new career. I am so grateful for those who saw my potential and ignored my lack of experience. I am grateful for the teammates who help me with the steep learning curve everyday and make my job a fun place to work. I am full of joy to move forward and learn new skills and grow. Thank you: Jarnigan, Jesse, Wael, Jordan, John, Kenny, Mike, Ian, Robert, Lucas, Matt, Will, Grant, Raul, Charlie, Mel and Alison.

I am thankful for my friends and family who have visited me here in Portland bringing pieces of home. I love showing my new city to you. I still have so much to discover each day about this magical place full of artists, trees, and quirky shops. Oh and the food. Thank you Tom, Sarah, Jill, John, Stacy, Erica, James, Tim, Anke, Judy, Chanelle, Gabe, Susan, and Bree. (Am I forgetting anyone?)

And speaking of food, what a perfect city for me! Restaurants that label their menu with gluten free indicators (GF)! Chefs who understand special diets and embrace the diversity of their patrons! Hooray!

Just under the gun, Stephanie slid into Portland. She left Phoenix before I did, but overshot and landed in Seattle. She just moved to the neighborhood last month! I am thrilled to have one of my best friends back again.

We visited Phoenix in May for my little brother’s wedding. It was originally going to be a destination wedding, but they changed their plans. It ended up being just perfect for them: full of friends and family. Dancing, eating, toasting, drinking…so full of emotion and celebration.

I rode my bike to and from work about 10-11 miles round trip along the river on a bike path from the beginning of October to the end of November. So maybe about 460 miles? I suppose that isn’t much for you regular cyclists, but quite a lot for me. I am excited for the mornings to warm up a tad (50 degrees please!) and the sun to extend it’s daylight hours so I can ride again.

In some sense, my blog has suffered because of my new life. I feel compelled to be outside so often. I love exploring and when I am at home, I like to unwind with my knitting. I have met so many wonderful people here though, so I want to continue my interview series and increase the frequency. I can’t believe I only interviewed three people in 2013!

2013 Interviews




2012 Interviews:






2011 Interviews:












2010 Interviews:






Interview Series: Corey Pressman

I first met Corey at the sausage making class at Portland Homestead Supply. He was the instructor but seemed more like a host of a party. (If you get a chance, you really should take his class. It’s like an intimate dinner party where you get to help make the food.)

The thing about Corey is he is one of those clever and charming people that you feel like you’ve known forever. He’s a great conversationalist and super intelligent.


Jamie: Please tell us a little about yourself.

Corey: You can never step in the same stream twice.

Jamie: I’ve never had anyone answer that first question so succinctly. I am curious to know the journey of an anthropology professor into a software design and development founder. I picture one as a nutty professor of sorts, surrounded by cobwebs, dust, and musty books. Perhaps with an old desktop that is terribly out-of-date. While the other person has a pristine Apple laptop, wears a hoodie, and goes to “meetings” at coffee houses. How did that transition happen? (And don’t destroy my illusions of what an anthropology professor is like if you can.)

Corey:  Actually, being an anthropology professor prepared me well for a life of software design.  Anthropology’s focus on culture and ethnographic field methods have been somewhat co-opted by the user experience industry.  Also, delivering over 4,500 hours of lectures prepares one for speaking at conferences – something I do quite often. This is my main form of marketing.  Lastly, my talks, blog posts, and approach to digital strategy and design all derive from historical and anthropological research about things like stone tools, cave art, and medieval scrolls.  So – I’m still a nutty professor, writing pedantic and oblique blog posts, surrounded by musty books.  I do, however, have a shiny Macbook Air and meet with clients at Heart Coffee Roasters.  No cobwebs, however.  And hoodies are for hipsters and children.


Jamie: You told us a lovely story about “becoming a foodie” in the Sausage Making class I took at Portland Homestead Supply. Would you mind sharing that story again here?

Corey:  I had been a line cook on and off for a few years.  However, I did not yet understand the magical aspect of food.  It was a meal at Wildwood on NW 21st – it had just opened and there was a real buzz about the place.  

I remember the dish being set in front of me: bacon wrapped trout on a bed of lentils.  Simple enough.  But it was symphonic – an astonishment.  The woodsmoke of the bacon, the texture of trout.  And the lentils were all nose –  so complex and perfect that I can STILL taste them.  I put my fork down after a few bites, took a deep breath, and wiped away tears.  That was when I realized I knew nothing about food.  

I’ve been trying to learn a little something of that magic ever since.



Jamie: So if you had a perfect food day in Portland, what would that look like?

Corey: The perfect food day – love the concept.  It would start at home with a hot mug of black Heart coffee made in a french press.  I would fry eggs in walnut oil and an eventual splash of moscatel vinegar (cooked off), salt, pepper.  This is eaten with good toast and enjoyed with the wife and children.  Lunch at Olympic Provisions – probably one of Joe’s genius soups (beet!), a green salad, and a glass of white.  Snack of nuts and chocolate at 3:00.  Dinner with the fam at Navarre.  Stinky wine, greens, rabbit, mussels, white beans.  Right before bed, I smother a banana with peanut butter and eat this over the sink, breathing out of my nose.

Jamie: Haha! That last part! Would you like to share some internet links?



Big thanks to Corey for participating in my series! I really appreciate him answering my questions. If you think of more, ask them in the comments, I’d be happy to pass them along.

Interview Series: Sarah Heath

I’m excited to bring you my first Portland interview! Sarah was one of the first people I met when we moved into the Sellwood neighborhood. She was at the meeting the neighbors held to discuss the mural design for the Sherrett Square intersection. She showed up without shoes on in late March, and my curiosity was piqued!


Jamie: Tell us a little about yourself.

Sarah: I’m a 23 year old artist and playful living extraordinaire! I spend my days working on creative and collaborative projects and try to be as helpful and goofy as possible! I believe that the best way to inspire others to do good in the world is to live your truth. I love graphic novels, harmonizing, loukoumades, and playing my soul sport ultimate Frisbee.


Jamie: I’d really like to know more about your barefoot philosophy-how did you get into it? Do you ride your bike without shoes? Do you go into restaurants without them?

Sarah: Well sure! It all began many years ago down in the Rogue Valley where I grew up. We lived on a few acres of land surrounded by meadows with views of mountain ranges and I’d spend hours upon hours romping around in “the back 40” unshod. My mom would insist that I wear shoes, but after many futile attempts, she finally conceded to allow me to play without a scolding because I’d never listen. Going barefoot wasn’t even a question. It just made sense. It felt right.


I wore shoes or sandals in public places when I had to and at school. Shoes became more of an installation in my life during my high school years what with sports and the desire to fit in being larger factors. At some point, I started to realize how odd and almost nonexistent it was for adults to walk around outside of the house without shoes. This was troubling because I felt the most like myself, I felt the most comfortable barefoot, and I didn’t want to be chastised or gawked at for it. At that time I was getting into film and I thought it would be a great documentary topic from a social commentary point of view. I began researching feet and barefooting and discovered that there were several organizations that were totally dedicated to barefooting, which was awesome! I also discovered that many myths surrounding laws and the dangers of going barefoot in our modern societies were false.

I shelved the idea for a while, but kept coming back to it excitedly. While at university, my activist fires were ignited and with my new found confidence I felt empowered to be more vocal and active in my barefooting. I gradually moved almost completely away from shoes and over the past couple of years have been working on the preproduction of my documentary film Foot.


All of the research I’ve done over the years has expanded my knowledge of the scientific and health related reasons for going barefoot, but the deeper truth was there all along. I knew it as a child, as I think we all inherently know it. When we go the beach or park and slip off our shoes without a thought, instinctually gripping at the sun warmed sand or luscious grass beneath us. Our bodies and hearts know that it’s good because it’s how we come in to the world to experience it. It’s how we connect to everything. To the past, present, and future. To life!

I try to be barefoot as much as I can, but I usually bring sandals with me if I know I’ll be going into buildings that may have an issue with being barefoot. I’ve asked all of the places I frequent and about half of them are fine with me coming in unshod. Usually it’s liability that folks are worried about which is unfortunate. I do bike without shoes. Two summers ago I biked to the coast barefoot!


Jamie: You are onto something there with the idea about instinct for sure. When we truly connect with nature, we do instinctually take off our shoes. But what about winter? Don’t your feet get cold? And in this climate in particular, a lot of people take off their shoes when entering a house, how do you navigate that custom if your feet are wet or muddy?

Sarah: People who live primarily barefoot actually have warmer feet because their circulation is better. When you use all of the muscles in your feet to support and move your entire body instead of relying on the support of shoes, your feet demand more blood flow which your heart is happy to provide. A lot of times in the winter I’ll start out with wool socks in sandals and a half hour later I need to take them off because my feet are too hot. This isn’t always possible as it does get very cold and wet in a lot of places, so I do wear wool socks with sandals or shoes that I make. I’m crafty and love tedious projects, but there are handcrafted moccasin-like shoe producers out there. The closest to Portland I know of is in Corvallis and they are named Soft Star Shoes. (Website below). They’re really wonderful!

As far as going into homes goes, feet are much easier to clean than shoes for one thing, so it’s usually enough to just wipe on the doormat a few times. If it’s particularly mucky out, I may bring along a hand towel just in case, or I’ll ask for one when I arrive. Also grass is a great bath and mat all in one!


Jamie:  I am also very interested in the work you do with the Planet Repair Institute. Could you talk a little about that? (And in particular, the project you did about making your bed!)

Sarah: Sure. Well PRI is the home I share with four others as well as a demonstration site and permaculture school. We all work together on experimenting with all kinds of urban homesteading projects such as growing our own food, installing rainwater catchment and other water systems, straw-clay insulation, and community asset sharing. Every year we participate in the Village Building Convergence as a site and we host a 15 day Permaculture Design Course that’s spread out over several months in the summer and fall. We all also have our own projects outside of the house, but at the same time are all very invested in this place. Mostly we’re all very interested in exploring ways in which we can sustain our needs at home, instead of outsourcing them and spending most of our lives apart from the place and people we love.


My bed project is expanded upon on our blog listed below, but basically I needed a new bed one day and didn’t want to purchase one because beds are weird and chemically and I have no idea where or how they’re made. So I thought, “why not make one!? How hard could it be?” Fortunately because we do a lot of building around here, we had all of the tools and spare lumber for the job. I did source some nice scrap untreated cotton canvas for the mattress and bought some localish straw to stuff it with.


I love making my own things. It’s one of the most satisfying activities to partake in. I’m so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to spend a large portion of my days making my own furniture, clothing, food, and artwork instead of performing ultimately meaningless tasks for someone else hours on end so that I can pay for yet another person to provide for my needs. It’s not perfect, certainly not always so dandy or easy, but it is always rich and meaningful. And that’s what matters.


Jamie: Would you share some of your favorite internet links?

Sarah: – Awesome shoe company in Oregon – The society for barefoot living’s homepage – Permaculture demonstration site and home – Great Portland organization that puts on the Village Building Convergence – My garden inspired earring website – A magazine that I really love!

Look out soon for my film’s website!

Thank you so much, Sarah, for taking the time to answer my questions! You are so interesting, and this interview only scratches the surface. Please everyone reading this, feel free to ask her more questions, and I will make sure she sees your comments.

interview series! corbin chamberlin!

“You can never be overdressed or over educated.”

-Oscar Wilde

I met Corbin sometime in the past few years in my time at Liberty Market. He’s a regular customer whenever he’s in town. You can often catch him on his laptop or having a meeting over coffee. He makes me laugh, and he challenges me as a friend. Also, he has fabulous hair.

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Jamie: Tell us a little about yourself.
Corbin: Arizona native. Can’t get enough coffee, carbs and expensive silk scarves. I’m a fashion writer (The New York Times, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and an editor at the New York Observer’s SCENE Magazine). In addition, I’m working on two books at the moment. I’m an advocate for long dinner parties, pricey perfume and late-in-the-hour consumption of ice cream. Overall nice guy with a soft-spot for outcasts, misfits and troublemakers.

Jamie: I’m curious about your fashion history. Were you a toddler born with all the right tastes who demanded to dress yourself or was this something that more slowly developed?
Corbin: I’m really fortunate to have a ultra-stylish mother and grandmother. I was always concerned about what I was wearing, but I wouldn’t consider it fashionable or stylish. I had a uniform; oxford shirt, bow-tie and vest.

Jamie: What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever worn?
Corbin: I’ve worn a lot of outrageous items (long fur coats, capes and caftans) to suburban-spots outside of the anything-goes-streets of New York City and haven’t felt embarrassed, rather a tad overdressed. Perhaps I blushed a bit when I ran into a very important editor-in-chief in the hallway of a hotel in L.A while wearing gym clothes.

Jamie: Gym clothes are one of those necessary evils, aren’t they? What advice do you have for the average suburban American? What to wear? What not to wear?
Corbin: I suppose gym clothes are a necessary evil– after all the gym is hell. The best advice I can give is that once you’re done with your spin class, go home and change. No one wants to see you in sweaty-spandex at the market, really there are no good excuses. I’m in LOVE with the fitness gear from Nike. It’s the gym, not a the Oscars– just keep it basic, modest and clean.

Jamie: Have you ever met Stacy and Clinton?
Corbin: I’m sorry, who? Doesn’t ring a bell.

Jamie: Would you like to share some internet links?
Corbin: Well, you should read the following everyday…

And follow these divine individuals on Twitter. .

Also find me at @Corbin_C and for my constant mischief making.



(photo provided by Corbin)

Thanks again Corbin for participating in my interview series! If you have any questions for him, please ask away in the comments!


interview series! jessa!

I first met Jessa through my work at Liberty Market. I run the twitter and facebook, so there are a lot of people that I interact with pretty regularly even if they don’t know it’s me right away. Jessa and her husband Dan were coming to almost every single community dinner that Liberty Market ran each month. (I think maybe they missed one?) So, I would chat with them there while I was taking pictures, and eventually we’d get to chatting when we would run into each other during the week as well. Jessa is someone who runs hot! She’s always got several pokers in the fire-she’s making things happen!

(more photos from the May 2012 community dinner found here.)


Jamie: Tell us a little about yourself.
Jessa: A favorite quote of mine is “Give me dirt & I’m happy.” 
I’m a country girl living in the city and in my very limited amount of free time, I find myself wheeling & camping with my Toyota FJ to find dirt. Nature is my rock, my home, my everything. When life becomes too much, I find myself in the middle of nowhere soaking it all in and even getting married in it! I am in love with photography so anyone that follows me on Instagram can see who I am and what I like in a nutshell. I’m simple…but complex at the same time since my mind goes a mile a minute. 
I’m not one to talk about myself… But I could go on and on and on.

Jamie: I can relate. I feel so much more connected to myself when I am out in my yard or my community garden. There’s something about the smell and things growing that really centers me. Are you actually from the country or do you just gravitate towards it? I was born in the middle of downtown Phoenix, but sometimes I think that my family’s roots as dairy farmers in upstate New York runs deep. Where did you get married?

Jessa: I was born in Tempe and grew up in Gilbert backing cotton fields and even the well-known Morrison Silos. As a kid I remember the bus ride passing all of the fields and stopping at the small farm houses to pick up the farming kids. I always wanted to be them. My family is originally from Danville, Illinois, and I’ve heard that my great grandparents had a large farm. Must be in my blood…. 

Dan and I are seriously in love with nature, and we couldn’t see getting married anywhere else. In July every year the Toyota FJ Summit happens in Ouray, Colorado, and it just so happened all of our friends were going so we decided to plan a small wedding at the base of Bridal Veil Falls. To get to Bridal Veil Falls, there was an easy option and a hard, scary option-of course we chose the hard scary option of doing Black Bear Pass BEFORE the wedding! Life is Short, live it each and every day! After doing this trail and being two hours late to the “set time” to meet everyone else at the location we were happy to be on flat, stable dirt! We had one of our best friends become a Dudeist Priest online, many friends wore Fuzzy Duds, and we did our own vows around wheeling and nature. It’s a day we will never forget! 

(photo provided by Jessa)

Jamie: So pretty much everyone who knows you, knows that you are the driving force behind The Gilbert Farmer’s Market, but how did that happen? What was the journey leading to it?

Jessa: This is a fun story of how the GFM was born... Yes it’s Dan and my baby! 

Many people know about me because I’m the one behind the social media but my husband, Dan, is the other half to the market that many people don’t know about. We have worked with each other for years so there was no question about this partnership. 

Let’s go back to the summer of 2010. Dan was in real estate working for the banks and I was working with my dad at our family’s popcorn factory. The one and only Bubba’s Popcorn where we create magical Flavors of popcorn like our number top seller’s Dill Pickle, Fruit Stand and of course Windy City. 

My life is always changing, it’s something I’ve accepted since it’s been happening since my childhood. I woke up on Friday morning at 4 a.m. after a dream about a farmers market, and that it was ours! I remember this like it was yesterday, I snuck out of bed and our two rescues followed, I grabbed my laptop and sat on the floor so the dogs wouldn’t wake up Dan. By the time the sun was coming up, I had researched WHERE all of the markets in Arizona were and was ready to go learn as much as I could as fast as I could. One thing I was very strict about from this day was to not solicit at any market and instead grab their contact information and contact them later. I wanted to respect all of the other coordinators, and I still do this today. 

Long story short, we did the necessary research, put together a packet, met with the town of Gilbert, and opened on October 23rd, 2010! 

(picture of early morning at GFM location, taken from the GFM FB page)

Jamie: Wow. That’s really amazing. Most people say they have a dream, but they didn’t really HAVE a dream! So what are the roles that you both play? Was it hard to leave the popcorn factory? (Also, I am imagining it’s exactly like Willy Wonka’s except with popcorn.)

Jessa: The popcorn factory is a smaller version of the Willy Wonka chocolate factory, just with popcorn!    We are currently rebranding ourselves and will have many more products and Flavors coming before the end of the year! Fun stuff is happening and it’s so good to see it finally growing! 

I never really left the factory while I was researching for the market we adjusted a few things and hired people to cover my shift in the factory. I have become more of a behind the scenes owner for the factory.

It’s been a wild ride with the market and I’m just lucky to have done something about the dream I had, what if I hadn’t? Something I always think about now! NEVER talk yourself out of a good idea! 
For the market, Dan and I cover everything together from website building and maintenance, to building a farmers’ market app for iPhones, to social media and paperwork. We have a system where we cross-check each other’s work on a regular basis so everything is very organized. We’re OCD and everything has its place from paperwork to market set up on Saturdays. It’s not an easy job by any means but we enjoy it!

Jamie: Would you like to share an internet link or two?
Jessa: I’d love to! 
My Favorite AZ Rescue, who I used to volunteer at: Friends for Life Animal Rescue

This is one of our favorite towns we have ever visited and believe that everyone should see the beauty! This just happens to be where we got married as well! Ouray, Colorado

One More Link
Fuzzy Duds: The non-official clothing of our wedding! 

My newest favorite site 
We always hope to get a chance to travel to a new place and what better way than to stay with a “local” at their home! SO FUN! 

Thanks Jessa for spending the time answering all my questions! Please feel free to ask her your questions in the comments below!

interview series! krystofer james!

Krys is one of my most favorite people on this planet. I’ve known him since I was in fourth or fifth grade (we went to the same church), and he was a year older (and probably didn’t even know who I was.) We became friends somehow or another during those years growing up, and we were in the same pack of awkward/emo/drama-kid/musician group of friends in high school. Krys is hilarious. And wicked smart. He’s loyal and brave. He’s one of the good ones.

(photo credit: Jamie Mulhern)


Jamie: Tell us a little about yourself.

Krystofer: We moved to AZ from California when I was 2, so I’m dang-close to being a native. That doesn’t mean I’m particularly fond of the weather or our national perception. I spent a little time at a handful of colleges, including a PC hardware certification program that led to a couple years of working IT for Tempe-based MicroAge (still kind of alive, but a shadow of its former self).

I started doing church music with a guy named Jason Borrmann, he’d wind up to be one of the most influential men in my life. He gave me the opportunity to intern at my home church in Mesa in 2000 (for those of you who keep track of this kind of thing, it would be classified as a megachurch – for the rest of you, yes that’s a thing). I worked there for six years and learned a lot about working in a creative team and leading people. I believe leading volunteers has made me a better manager of employees for a variety of reasons.

Jamie: Aside from being your boss, who was Jason to you?

Krystofer: Jason was the consistent older male in my life, my musical role model, my best friend, a shaper of my humor, eventually my boss, then my professional peer. Arguably the most influential person in my life (sorry dad).

While working there I met Melissa online. We celebrated 9 years of marriage on August 29th.

(photo provided by krystofer)


Krystofer: Then I spent two years as the arts pastor for a “church plant” (also a thing) in north Phoenix. It was a great experience to have more responsibility and creative freedom coupled with a smaller budget. I don’t mean that sarcastically – scarcity of resource can work a different set of creative muscles.

Then another influential man in my life extended me a job offer. Brandon Willey needed help with his growing web development company and asked if I’d like to leave church work and work with him. I am so glad that I did. Brandon introduced me to Twitter, and encouraged me to use social media for networking and marketing the business. Getting into Twitter, social marketing and going to Ignite Phoenix impacted my life greatly. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that these things altered the course of my life. I have always been an introvert, sometimes painfully so. But putting myself out there in social and on the stage at Ignite helped me become more comfortable with another version of myself- one that is confident in who I am. Working in church ministry can lead to always presenting the “right” version of yourself. I call it “the illusion of authenticity” – the leadership wanted me to seem authentic without crossing any of their comfort lines. I owe much of my current life path to Brandon.

(photo provided by Krystofer)

Krystofer: In this season, we had two beautiful daughters. I am ridiculously in love with them. Being a proud parent, I am prone to talk a lot about my kids, and I know your childless hipster audience doesn’t want to read about it. (For those that are interested, the girls have a Tumblr)

(I met Krys for photos, and his girls were drawing and coloring. Yaya wrote me a song, and it is called Unicorn. All the lyrics are “unicorn.” And I am pretty sure she wrote it in binary.)

(photo credit: jamie mulhern)

Krystofer: On June 19, 2010 Jason killed himself. That sucked. It turned out he had been trying to tough out some mental illness on his own. This experience has made me more sensitive to mental illness, and also led me to ask a doctor about my own depression. I am now on Prozac. I am just as smart and capable without it, but it helps me keep from being overwhelmed by things.

Jamie: That was an awful thing. I’m glad that it pushed you into looking for Prozac though. Was it something you immediately faced or was it something that slowly emerged? I took an antidepressant for a couple of years. I’ve just decided to try again without them…we shall see how things go. 

Krystofer: I had dealt with irrational thoughts on and off for years, but never really thought much of them. By irrational thoughts i mean always being afraid people will think I’m a fraud, waking up and saying to myself “I hate my life” even though I have a great job and a beautiful family, stuff like that. About a year after Jason’s death I started noticing that I was getting easily overwhelmed by things at work. I was also getting very insensitive to my family’s feelings. I finally talked to the doctor about all this stuff, they put me on Fluoxetine (generic Prozac) and as long as I remember to take it, I’m much more effective and pleasant to be around. 
Jason’s story has helped me separate the person from the condition. If you have heart disease, there’s medication to help that. If your brain chemistry is off, it may be alleviated through medication. I would like to encourage any of your readers who deal with anxiety, depression, or difficulty dealing with their own feelings/thoughts to talk to someone about it. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy; you may just need some help with your brain chemistry.

(photo credit: jamie mulhern)

At the end of 2010, I stepped out on my own to freelance multimedia production and social strategy. The design and marketing connections I had made came in handy to get me work, but it was a tricky time to set out on a new venture as the sole earner. Another Twitter connection connected me with a content marketing agency in Scottsdale and I worked there for a few months producing infographics, working on Facebook pages, and learning more about SEO. I’m very grateful to the people I worked with there. In July, 2011 I was approached by another Twitter friend to come work for a larger digital marketing company. I now lead a social media team and love it.

Jamie: You’ve been a musician as long as I have known you. What has that journey been like?

Krystofer: It’s strange, but it’s hard for me to think of a time when I wasn’t involved in music. There really isn’t a “pre-music” part of my life. As far as official training, I started playing string bass in the school orchestra in elementary school, took a couple years of piano and started messing around on guitar in junior high, then started seriously playing electric bass as a sophomore. That was the turning point. My sophomore year, I was in orchestra and jazz band at school, and playing with Jason in the youth group at church on Sundays. This meant an hour of classical, and an hour of jazz theory every weekday, followed by pop production on Sundays. That year is when music became very clear to me – almost like Neo at the end of the Matrix. After that I took music theory whenever they offered it at my high school, and I’ve always loved it. Many musicians endure theory to get what they need from it, but I love it. It’s the math and science of music. 
I did a whopping one semester of music education at ASU, but didn’t attend all that much.
I’ve continued to play church stuff, as well as some session and sideman work. (session = studio, sideman = live paid gigs). I think I’ve played on 40 or so projects over the years. I’ll give you a spotify link to some of them. Playing session work is great, I absolutely love it. Between all the projects I’ve touched, there is a creative part of me that will outlive me, and that’s rad. Also, any time I get paid to do music I need to be grateful. I’d be doing music anyway, and in the hunter-gatherer sense, it’s not all that valuable a skill.

Jamie: So…what’s music theory? I’ve heard you mention it before, but since my single (much hated) musical skill is whistling, I never did learn much about the musics.

Krystofer: Firstly, I am supremely jealous of your whistling abilities. I need to record a beatbox + whistling jam with you. 
Music theory is the set of rules that music seems to follow. In a way, it’s our means of interpreting acoustic physics in an easily expressible standard. It’s like a programming language that provides a framework for building songs. Each genre has a different take on the standard classical rules, but even turntablism and dubstep can be analyzed, notated, and compared to traditional tonal harmony. 
It can raise interesting questions, like do we write music this way because it’s what our brains want to hear, or do our brains want to hear music this way because it’s the way we’ve always heard it? And if we met an alien race that did not hear, would we be able to prove to them that music is happening? 
I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds, but here are a few things to check out if any of your readers are curious about the strange world of music theory…
Bobby McFerrin Plays The Audience – musical genius Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the pervasiveness of the pentatonic scale using an unwitting audience. 3 Minutes, totally worth it.
Axis of Awesome – Every Pop Song (NSFW) – comedy/music act Axis of Awesome shows you why so many songs sound similar (and why mashups are sometimes really easy). 5 minutes, but don’t watch it if you want to be able to maintain your childlike wonder.
The Rite Of Spring – In 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring debuted. The music was so different and so much more dissonant than anything the audience heard, that their brains literally couldn’t handle it, and there was a RIOT. For reals. Take that, Woodstock. That Wiki entry talks about the ballet, but this podcast explains the neurological phenomenon at 32:15 – super fascinating to the likes of me. Anyone on the fence about the musicality of dubstep should listen to this 10 minutes for some historical context on pushing the boundaries of acceptable harmony.

(photo credit: Chanelle Sinclair, taken at Ignite Phoenix)


Jamie: What’s it like being so damned clever? Does it hurt?


So here’s the deal, I’m going to just come right out and say it. I’m smart. Being quick witted, into words, and being starved for paternal approval leads to being what some might call clever. And yes, there are times it hurts. Even though I’m pretty sensitive to others, there are times my cleverness has hurt others. That’s not cool. “With great power,” right?

Jamie: I knew you’d hate that question. I almost thought you wouldn’t answer my questions at all when I threw that one out there. I’ve been reading a little about spirituality and paradoxes (thanks Richard Rohr!), and he said, “Everything except God is both attractive and non-attractive, light and darkness, passing and eternal, life and death. There are really no exceptions…You and I are living paradoxes, which everybody except ourselves sees. “ I think that just recognizing ourselves for who we are frees us and leads to peace. But you are really clever and I admire that about you.

Krystofer: ok.

Jamie: Would you like to share an internet link or two?

Krystofer: yes. (spotify playlist of some of the stuff I’ve played on) probably the easiest place to track me down if you don’t know what this is, i have no time to be your friend only go to this event if you like cool things
for cat people: 
for dog people:

this actually brings me to another strange point. leading a social media team has turned me into a bit of a nexus of internet crap. people send me videos, memes, etc and expect me to send and post them. I’m like Mesa’s less interesting, less asian, less Takei, less famous George Takei.


Big thanks to Krys for his openness and willingness. Please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments.