Sarah Knight - December 2018

Introducing...Sarah Knight! ✨ Sarah is the founder of @rocgirlgang and an inspiration to many. These next 6 entries will take you into getting to know Sarah not only as a founder, but as a mom and really humorous, realistic role model. ✨

Starting at the top left:

Entry 1/6: Sarah and I met for her interview during her youngest son’s nap. We related on how crazy schedules can be with kids, and how everyone’s got their own system. She’s thankful to have her mom and sister to lean on in her busy schedule. 💃🏻

Entry 2/6: “I just had this idea and I went for it.” said Sarah after speaking about the evolving of @rocgirlgang in her head. It was an idea that she thought that someone else had to have thought of already...but turns out after research on whether or not it was created, she was stunned to find out it wasn’t...yet. Between December & May she fine tuned her idea and created what we know and love as Roc Girl Gang. Thank you Sarah for being a HUGE inspiration to a lot of women in our area. 👏🏻

Entry 3/6: Friend. Role model. Creative. Wife. Founder. Mother. Sister. Sarah has many roles she juggles...who can relate? FT. The orange mug she had filled with hot water during our interview 😂

Entry 4/6: This mountain represents the challenges that Sarah has faced within Roc Girl Gang, and the things she has a hard time with in life. She mentioned at the beginning, “I’m not a ‘Betty Home Maker’ so it (being home) was hard.” and she also said shortly afterwards, “I’m a people pleaser. Criticism is really hard for me.” These are all things I have a hard time with as well, so it was really enlightening to see how someone who has accomplished so much, has similar feelings about things like I do. She is definitely very down to earth! Which is awesome 🙂

Entry 5/6: Roc Girl Gang comes off as many, but is only one creative soul. @itsjustsarahknight ✨ This symbolizes how Sarah foresees and creates all of the moving parts of Roc Girl Gang. She is one person and there is a lot of things to do! Go Sarah! 👍🏻

Entry 6/6: “...it bugs me that it bugs me.” said Sarah as we were talking about things people don’t know about her. She mentioned in our conversation how hard criticism is for her (and let’s be honest, what everyone has a hard time with) and she said it bugs her when things bother her online that are said negatively. We are all trying our best, no matter what, and we are happy that you’re trying your best for Roc Girl Gang! Rochester thanks you, and I thank you! 💕


Thank you everyone for reading and taking a look at my posts over these last 3 months. These six interviews have shown me a lot about our community, biz owners, and myself! Stay tuned in 2019...it’s gunna be a good one 😊

Sebastian & Colleen Hardy - December 2018

Introducing Colleen & Sebastian Hardy, owners of @livingrootswine✨ This pair have a million things going on with their new winery, but they always try to remember to make it fun! In these series of entries, we’ll find out a little more about this couple & what drives them to do what they love.

Starting from the top left:

Entry 1/6: I was invited to see their beautiful apartment within the same building of their winery on University ave for our interview. Even though they are extremely busy going between Rochester & Australia, they still make time for the ones (like me) that want to chit chat with a glass of wine and talk about one another’s passions. They are such a sweet couple! 🍷✨

Entry 2/6: When Sebastian was talking about how busy they are, he mentioned how he really respected what Colleen does for their business as well. They both have their places where they are mainly working, but they still run ideas they have onto each other and get one another’s perspective. Which I personally feel is such an awesome and huge part of being partners in a business but also partners in life! This beautiful couple is a great example of how to balance being married & being business owners together. 💕

Entry 3/6: “There’s so much to know and do...it makes for a diverse business.” -Sebastian 
This picture symbolizes the differences within the business of selling wine and winemaking. 🍷

Entry 4/6: It was really cool to hear from them about how diverse the business is, but also how they involve themselves in so many things day to day. A lot of times people get stuck in working on the same part of the business over and over and don’t look at the big picture of the whole business. But that is definitely not the case with this couple! Many times while we talked they agreed that they wear “many hats.” 🎩 Go to @livingrootswine and see how much love and time they’ve put into their winery. It’s amazing! “You’re constantly jumping from one thing to another.” -Colleen

Entry 5/6: Who would have thought during a huge life change and career change, that you’d also find the love of your life? That’s exactly what Colleen did! Moving from Chicago to Australia changed her life in so many ways. ✨Would you jump to the chance at moving to a different country? 🧐

Entry 6/6: They take anytime they can in their busy schedule to either, make work feel less like work, or to do something fun together. Colleen said this during our interview, “...ordering pizza from Swan Dive and doing late night paperwork up here. (in the apartment) Were finding ways to make it feel less like work.” This picture symbolizes the small pieces of time they spontaneously have a date night @radiosocial or grab pizza and do paperwork for living roots from @swandiveroc ✨


Thank you again Colleen and Sebastian for chatting with me! You guys are a great couple and great friends. Have a great rest of your year! 💕

Stephanie Christensen - November 2018

Introducing Stephanie Christensen! ✨ Stephanie is the owner of @justbrowsingroc & kills the brow and fashion game. In these next 6 entries, you’ll see what she excels in, what helped her perspective in opening her own brow studio, & what her new current life project is. 💕

Starting at the top left:

Entry 1/6: When Stephanie and I first started chatting in our interview, I really got a warmth and authentic feeling from her. She stressed how she always wants to be there for her clients, and you can tell she is that way with everyone! 😊

Entry 2/6: “After I did my blog for a while I thought, ‘What’s next?’” Stephanie started loving fashion and shared it with the public. Her thoughts on fashion and what she liked pretty quickly became popular. As creatives, we both agreed that we always need a new project or something to do. So after her blog, she thought about what was next. What’s next on your project list friends? ✨

Entry 3/6: “I could do brows with my eyes closed.” -Stephanie Christensen, owner and brow genius at @justbrowsingroc 💃🏻✨

Entry 4/6: Stephanie and I towards the end of our interview talked about the process of IVF, her perspective on how lucky she is, and how happy she is to be almost done with her first trimester. This picture symbolizes the chance of getting all your variables right and having success! In this case, the beautiful opportunity of pregnancy.

Entry 5/6: “I love clothes and trialing and toying with my own style. I like to do it all.” Who else is into changing up your style each day like Stephanie of @justbrowsingroc? I’m right there with her! This picture symbolizes the idea of correlating different emotion colors and feelings with each outfit worn. 👗👕👘👚🕶👛👢🧢👡

Entry 6/6: "I just really wanted to feel ready...I’ve always struggled with taking on other people’s feelings as my own...so it felt extra awesome to know that I was confident and 100% ready...it’s a different type of choice committing to IVF.” Stephanie I am so proud of you & how well you’re doing. I’m there for you whenever you need me! And I can’t wait to meet the baby. Just a few months away!

Do you have questions about IVF? Do you know someone that’s going through this process? Stephanie is a great role model and resource. Thank you Stephanie for talking with me again! I love showing the Rochester community our business owners and influencers and how they deal with real life struggles (and successes) just like us.

Kurt Indovina - November 2018

Introducing Kurt Indovina! Kurt is a guy floating around Rochester making cool videos for people within the city, and on @youtube 💥 Every Friday we can expect a new production from him, and it never disappoints! Not only did he do a video recently for @uglyduckcoffeefor their announcement of being open on Mondays, but he also spoke for @upstatesocial a few weeks ago. In these next 6 entries, we will see what Kurt’s thoughts are on what can make you successful, his journey to find where he is today, and all about his crazy, whimsical self! ⚡️

Starting at top left:

Kurt entry 1/6—

Kurt has always had a love of comics, video games, and making videos. He went through some twists and turns going from Rochester to Seattle, to then finding another job in Rochester with @roccitynews. But he always knew what his passions were and decided to just jump for them after recently deciding to go freelance. Sit and have a cup of coffee with him, and you can get a lot of insight on random video game facts, or the nitty-gritty of what he thinks are the foundations of success. He believes that every journey is different of how you would go down that path, but he’s happy to help give some insight. 🦖

Kurt entry 2/6 —
Kurt started in western NY and wanted a cool new start. He decided to travel with his girlfriend to Seattle where he landed a job at Nintendo as a game tester. (Freaking awesome right?!) After about a year, circumstances changed and it led him back to Rochester. Moral of the story? It was a good move. Thanks for coming back Kurt. Not only for your own development as a creative, but for the people of Rochester. From the humor in your videos, to being a role model for us who just need to just do it. Take the risk. Do your passion. Repeat. 👽 Go follow @kurt_indovina everyone.

Kurt entry 3/6 —
“I eat 2 eggs and an English muffin every single morning.” Kurt believes in doing things the exact same everyday to get himself in a good routine. He wakes up at 4am everyday, eats the same breakfast, works the same times everyday, and goes to bed at the same time every night. Is he on to something we’re not? Hmm 🤔 Either way, this is the recipe for his success.

Kurt entry 4/6 —
I asked Kurt to tell me about himself and what he wanted to viewers to know...his response you ask? “My name is Kurt, and I am a video makin’ dude.” Well folks, there you have it! 💡🎥

Kurt entry 5/6 —

Read this. Do it. Forget to do it. Read this. Do it. Repeat.

Kurt entry 6/6–
There’s many levels, gears and details to Kurt’s work, but one thing is always the same...a consistent routine. Waking up at 4am everyday to complete work that he loves. But everyday, and every week, there is something different & unique about this work.

Thank you again @kurt_indovina for supporting me & the @jsd_perspective blog!

Cris & Rory Van Grol - October 2018

Introducing Cris and Rory Van Grol! Rory is the owner of @uglyduckcoffee and Cris is a photographer, working towards becoming a doula (@rallydoulas) and is a stay at home mom with their 2 sons. In these next 6 entries, we’ll find out where the start of Rory’s passion for coffee bloomed, his thoughts on blending being a business owner and father, Cris’ perspective on their family, what her goals are and where it all began.

Starting with the top left:

Cris & Rory entry 1/6: I snapped some photos from my iPhone of them while at Ugly Duck and had them look through which ones they liked and didn’t like. Instantly, after the third or fourth photo, I got a response of “This is us.” from Cris. It wasn’t the most perfect photo, well lit, or one taken after many practice shots. It was the photo that expressed them the most. Rory throwing up a peace sign, and Cris chuckling at what he was doing. This is them because they are so REAL. They explained to me at the beginning of the interview that a few days earlier Rory asked Cris, “What did you want to be when you grew up?” Laughing at this, we all agreed that Rory is no where close to what he wanted to be...a baseball player! These next five entries will show you how much love these two have for each other, and how inspiring they are as a couple who support one another in what they want to do.

Cris & Rory entry 2/6: “It’s more than a beverage. It’s a fabric of lives. A community.” Rory said this while explaining how passionate he is about coffee and owning a coffee shop. He feels coffee can be the center of people’s lives, and to be honest, I agree. We can all relate over coffee (or coffee shop beverages.) Whether we’re going on a date, hanging with friends, studying, working, etc. it can all start and end at our local coffee shop. We’re thankful you kept on with your passion Rory...you have brought Rochester an amazing coffee shop.

Cris and Rory entry 3/6: Rory developed his love for coffee in Rhode Island and brought back the feel and vibes from that area to Rochester. We’re thankful this love for coffee grew over time working at different coffee shops here & gave us @uglyduckcoffee

Cris and Rory entry 4/6: She asked herself, “Do they have enough food in their fridge...are they being supported?” and then she’d respond back mentally saying, “I’m only their photographer.” But now has the mentality of, “That’s what you have to do for people. Just show up and ask.” -Cris talking about going on photography shoots then vs now.

Cris and Rory entry 5/6: Just read these beautiful words. Remember what inspires you about your spouse or partner. So much love.
“The way Cris just interacts with our sons is amazing to me...it just inspires me to be a better person. Her nurturing, creative, empathic spirit is amazing. That is just apart of her...it just makes me feel that much more connected to her...her holding me accountable inspires me too.” -Rory
“He is the most dependable and hardworking person I know...he just shows up.” -Cris

October 2018: Cris and Rory 6/6: Connect. Loyalty. Accountability. Passion. No matter how you look at it, this is the foundation of Cris and Rory’s work & family life. Sit down & have a cup of coffee at @uglyduckcoffee, you’ll see.

Thank you again for letting me get to know you more Cris & Rory!


Sapphire Courchaine - October 2018

Introducing Sapphire Courchaine, the Coffee Manager of @localsonly311! The pieces of art below are my interpretation of Sapphire’s drive to learn about all things coffee, what things she loves about her space at Locals Only, how she worked up to where she is today, and balancing the life as a coffee manager while being a mother & wife. Check out my step by step posts on Instagram @jsd_perspective.

Starting from top left:


Sapphire entry 1/6: One of the first things Sapphire said to me was that she is a “coffee nerd.” And it gave me the understanding of how she feels about her work, and coffee...that it doesn’t feel like work, and it’s not just coffee! When someone is a “nerd” about something (in my opinion) it means you’re totally geeking out over something that you love and maybe everyone else doesn’t. It’s so cool to see Sapphire doing what she loves to do, and using her creativity skills within her latte art. In our interview, she mentioned that she’s been attending all of the “latte art throw down’s” in Rochester for years. She has been supporting & showing her love for creativity, latte art & community for over 8 years. I’m excited to share with you all what other quotes and illustrations that inspired me after talking with this awesome lady!

Sapphire entry 2/6: “Just make baby steps everyday.” was Sapphire’s response to my question, “What advice would you tell someone who is just starting out something they are starting as a hobby or passion?” She herself admits that she has a hard time with staying focused on one thing, and gets bored easily. (We related on that) So taking baby steps helps her, and it can help you if you are building your dream as well. We all know it can be hard to do that, especially when you’re so excited to grow! Sapphire is a great example of hard work, building your resume, and doing what you love.

Sapphire entry 3/6: Sapphire mentioned that she has to deal with balancing a family life, and work life. Having a 9 year old can aim to have its challenges while balancing being a manager! She tries her hardest to create the best possible space for herself while at work to make it a good environment away from home. Hence, the espresso machine being right by the window at locals only. I admire Sapphire’s balance and how she can follow her passions. I’m sure her son & husband look up to her! Thank you for being a great example. Symbolized here in the picture is a brain that has to deal with the balance of family, work and then blending the two together.

Sapphire entry 4/6: “Any chance I can get around a window or light, I flourish.” Sapphire has her espresso machine at @localsonly311 right by the window. Now you know why! Plus she mentioned how much she loves the plants at work.

Sapphire entry 5/6: “...just making it more thoughtful.” Sapphire said after talking about what she was doing as she grew herself on social media. She was putting more thought into what she posted, what type of pictures, & the quality of the content. That is a really big point I’ve heard among a lot of business owners and influencers. I try to learn from what Sapphire has said about her content, as well as other people’s advice on their content. Put yourself out there & be authentic...and make it more thoughtful.

Sapphire entry 6/6: “You can always start over. Tomorrow is a new day.” This is one of sapphire’s motto’s that I feel like a lot of us business owners and managers forget. Even if today sucks, tomorrow is a new day and it WILL get better. Pictured here is coffee beans falling from the sky because...why not?

Thank you all for your support!