Crazy how you meet people when you’re out to learn and connect and some of those connections just seem to stick! She’s been in Raleigh, NC for about 10 years, but I met Jessica Woodbury last fall at Internet Summit 2016. There we were in a crowd of folks and turns out we knew a couple of the same people. Then we started hanging out at other marketing events, before connecting on a more personal level. One day we found ourselves sitting around chatting about culture and faith. Something new. And I just thought: wow, I’m so glad I met this wonderfully talented, passionate woman! Proud to call her a friend and just as glad she was willing to be story #21 in Women & the Ways We Work, my weekly blog series promoting the many ways women work and sharing stories to inspire.
- Jessica, what is it that you do in your “day job” and why have you chosen that?
Believe it or not, I do exactly what I set out to do. I’m a producer with Kino Mountain Productions. I’ve held a variety of positions within the film, television and non-broadcast industries, but in this season of my career, I love, love taking clients through the video production process and helping them tell a good story.
- That’s cool! Is that what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be in the visual and media arts—not much has changed there. Well, except for that brief time I wanted to be a professional whistler. Coupled with watching copious amounts of Nik at Nite in the 80s and 90s, I also used to sneak out of my top bunk to watch The Wonder Years. One night in particular, the Academy Awards were on instead and I was hooked. It was the first time I realized there was a whole industry around this stuff!
- You’re hilarious. How happy have you been with your choices, as life has evolved?
Good, bad, ugly… they’ve all made me who I am today. I’m happy with how things have played out thus far.
- So true. Sometimes I feel like you’re an old soul with so much wisdom. What are your best sources for learning?
There are an unending amount of resources available today, but I think the most important thing to do is get a mentor. I’ve had the absolute honor of being mentored by some incredible individuals throughout my career. They have been my most trusted learning sources.
- Right on. Thoughts on the professional experience for women?
I work in a male-dominated industry, but I have to say, throughout my career, my male colleagues have always made me feel valued. I realize not everyone has had this experience though, so I’m always motivated to encourage young women to pursue their dreams and help however I can.
- Outside of your career, what do you devote most of your time to?
I love me some Jesus, so I’m pretty involved with my church, The Summit. I love music, so I’m constantly listening to something. I can go from Marvin Gaye to Pearl Jam to the Indigo Girls in a hot minute. I released my own set of ditties last year too. To celebrate the album’s one-year anniversary, it’s available for free download right now. Go get you some!
- Oh, my gosh, I had no idea you put out an album. Totally love the tracks! Jesus and some music. Sigh. How do you feel most inspired?
I feel most inspired when I’m engaging with other artists. Be it musicians, writers, painters, marketers, filmmakers, etc., the creative community feeds off itself. We all make each other better.
- We really do have to support each other. Who do you look up to?
My Mama. There’s nothing that woman can’t do. I’m so proud to be her daughter.
- Moms can really make us who we are. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
How honest do you want me to be here? Ha. In an effort to continue to combat the stigma, I’ll share I’ve struggled with depression most of my life. It doesn’t define me—it’s a disorder I have to intentionally manage. If you or someone you know is struggling, there is so much hope for you. You are strong and worthy. Ask for help.
- I’m glad you were honest. That’s brave too! More of us need to talk about that stuff. What are you most proud of?
Saying, “I do,” to my husband, Nathan. Best decision I ever made.
Thanks for reading Jessica’s story. Share in the comments how it impacted you or share it on social media. Check out next week’s weekly post on Women & the Ways We Work. Missed the others? Take a look at my blog to read the others. Know someone you think should be featured? Can I help you or your organization with a storytelling project? Contact me and let’s chat.