Jessica Hendricks Yee On How Her Phone Distracts From Creative Thinking

The founder of The Brave Collection shares the quote that gives her strength and how she makes time for meditation.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?Jessica Hendricks Yee: Ideally: Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes. I’m not a morning person, so if I can’t handle a morning meditation without falling back to sleep, I go into the loo and wash my face with a fragrant tropical scented wash — the warmth of the water and sensory deliciousness of the ritual wakes me up and gets me exited for my day.

TG: What gives you energy?
JHY:
Sunshine, 8+ hours of sleep and a matcha latte.

TG: What’s your secret life hack? (Trick or tip that makes your life easier)
JHY:
Shabbat.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JHY:
Mrs Dalloway. And Weetzie Bat.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
JHY:
I love being able to capture images through my phone at all times — it allows for moments of inspiration to stay with you in a library of memories at your fingertips at all times. I love having a digital pen and paper with me to record ideas on the subway or when I wake up for water at 3am. I hate however, having this little tentacle of myself available at all times for anyone and everyone to demand my time and focus — it distracts from creative thinking and mindful living so devastatingly. So I suppose I’d deduce this relationship to: Romantic yet needy.

TG: How do you deal with email?
JHY:
Bang bang bang with a constant source of caffeine ingestion, and then I’ve earned my right to disconnect for a while and focus on creative.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
JHY:
Call my sister in LA and cross my fingers she can step away to have a quick catch up!

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JHY:
I felt so burned out at the end of 2016, after a full decade of dancing through the chaos of New York. I hopped a plane to Los Angeles and stayed for three months. It was the most freeing, rejuvenating experience. Back in NY now, I think of LA as less of a place, and more as a state of mind that I can call upon from here in New York. It’s so important to get out of your bubble and remember there are countless ways to live your life and each day — you get to choose.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JHY:
When I saw another woman’s success as competition instead of inspiration. Reframing my mind to be energized by other people’s successes instead of demoralized or competitive.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
JHY: “
There are two kinds of people in the world — those who do things and those who talk about doing things. Be the first kind.”


Jessica Hendricks Yee is the founder of The Brave Collection, a line of jewelry handmade in Cambodia to support local artisans and fight human trafficking.

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