Interview with online magazine Speaking of Everything

I had the honor of being the June "it girl" for online magazine Speaking of Everything. Below is a snippet of the interview I did with them! In the interview I talk about the day in the life of being an online shop owner, as well as life in Paris!! 

By: Danae Edmonds

One of my favorite things to do when I am in need of inspiration is to browse the ‘Explore’ feed on Instagram. The pictures I find there are always so beautiful! I had the pleasure of stumbling upon @EttaVee and I was instantly in love. The pictures of Paris, original artwork and behind-the-scenes looks at her full-time job are absolutely stunning and I am pretty sure I ‘liked’ every single photo I saw. Her feed is a perfectly arranged blend of an American girl living in Paris creating beautiful artwork and enjoying life. I am completely thrilled to bring you the woman behind the magic, Jessi Michelle Thomas.

Name: Jessi Michelle Thomas

Age: 28

Job Title/Company: Founder + Artist / EttaVee

Education Background: I have a Masters of Fine Arts specializing in Art Direction and a BA in Communications with a focus is Advertising and PR

1. Tell us a little about who you are.

I’m Jessi Michelle, I’m a 28 year old American artist living in Paris with my frenchie fiancé. I was born and raised in the Mid West. Lover of all things colorful, leopard, food and travel! I believed in working hard and keeping being optimistic. I love inspiring and bringing joy to others.

2. Can you explain to us what you do for your 9-5 as well as your work with Etta Vee?

9-5: During the day I work as an art director at a small advertising agency located just outside Paris. My job includes, developing ad campaigns, graphic design, branding and directing photo shoots.

Side hustle: By night I run EttaVee, an online art print and fine art boutique on etsy. I would describe my pieces as colorfully whimsical, from the heart and always with a dash of gold leaf, which I add by hand! A lot of my work is inspired by travel, pop culture and nature. I aspire to have this as my main hustle!

3. What do you enjoy most and what are the biggest challenges you faced as an American living in Paris?

Being an American in Paris is much different than I had imagined! Before moving here I had often heard that the French weren’t big fans of Americans, but in fact I’ve found it to be quite opposite!! They really appreciate our optimistic “can do” attitude, openness, ambition and fun approach to life. And contrary to popular belief – they also love to practice their English  I really enjoy living here. It has helped me grow as an artist. There’s so much art and history readily available here, one can’t help but be inspired. My fiancé is a pastry chef so I’ve been enjoying all of the delicious food that comes my way! Also, it’s nice to have so many different countries just a train ride away!

I would say learning french has been the biggest hurdle I’ve had to jump since moving to Paris. French is a complicated language, even for French people! I started studying French a few months before moving here. I found it to be especially challenging when interviewing for jobs and when I eventually started working. In the advertising industry I need to be able to communicate creative ideas, which can already be challenging in English- let alone in French. Let’s just say, I have had my fair share of laughable mix-ups and awkward moments! Thankfully, my french has improved immensely.

read the rest of the interview here