Beauty and Travel Secrets From Don’t Shush Me Club

It’s a fabulous Mother’s Day weekend and I want to kick it off by introducing you to some of the most amazing women I know. To get the ball rolling, please meet my sister from another mister, the one with skin like porcelain, the Jess or #JustJess!!!  I met Jess a few years ago in the design and technology world and was immediately drawn to her inspiring nature and sense of goodwill. In late 2017, Jess unintentionally started a movement called Don’t Shush Me Club. Before Boyd and I left for our first trip to Italy back in February, I received two super comfy t-shirts in the mail from Jess with Don’t Shush Me in big bold letters. 

The long sleeved one was exactly what I needed for the plane, but I thought, there’s no way I can get away with wearing this. But I did. Then, later I wore it on the streets of my neighborhood – Wynwood, Miami, Florida. Both men and women were stopping me in the street asking me where I got it

For those lovely people that I met at Wynwood Walls, I can’t wait for you to read this and the best part is….not only is the link for the shirt included, but Jess has graciously offered my friends and readers a 20% discount if you use coupon code: PSTHISROCKS off your entire purchase on Don’t Shush Me Club’s website.

Ann Taylor

Wondering how and why Jess started this movement? Read on….and discover her favorite travel spots and dive into her skin care routine too! Yes, the travel and skincare questions were totally selfish asks on my part. Here goes….enjoy!

PSTR: Jess, Don’t Shush Me Club is HUGE and grew so quickly! Tell our reader what prompted you to start the Don’t Shush Me movement.

JESS: It was an organic happening based on a literal shushing.

It all began one evening, while out for dinner with mostly male colleagues. We were at a sports bar after a day of work and someone said something funny and I laughed. Now, I am somewhat known for my laugh. It has even been called a cackle. My theatre pals always love it when I’m in the audience because, my laugh…well, you get the idea.

So, I laughed, and my colleague shushed me. Actually said “SHHHH!!” I looked around and mentioned that we were at a sports bar and it was loud with the people and music and sports, and I was pretty sure no one was bothered by my laugh. And he looked me in the eye and said to me that HE was bothered by it. What?!

It turned out to be just one of many things about me that bothered him. I am “loud”, a WOMAN and, on occasion, I have opinions! And sometimes, even pink hair.

That evening, I remember feeling uncomfortable with what had happened. It felt like it was a small thing, yet it wasn’t. A man sitting at that table laughing — BELLOWING, even — would not have been shushed. I took to social media and recall writing “Don’t. Shush. Me.”

Some time passed and eventually, I chose to walk away from what I was doing, and embark upon something new. I was 47 and starting my life over again with absolutely nothing but my integrity and my good name – which, to me, was everything. That was in October of 2017.

On Halloween, I was trying to come up with something to do, and at the last minute ended up deciding to be an exaggerated version of myself. I found the biggest pink wig I could get my hands on, printed some “Don’t Shush Me” buttons, and so it began. It was a one-woman protest of sorts, for myself.

Fast forward to the Girl Boss Rally the next month in NYC which I chose to attend because I have immense admiration for Sophia Amoruso and I really needed to be surrounded by strong, driven and supportive women. On a whim, I decided to make a t-shirt to wear to the rally with the words “Don’t Shush Me.”

Wow, the shirt was a hit! Women wanted one.They wanted pictures with me and the shirt. Most important, they wanted to tell me that THIS HAPPENS TO THEM ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME. It was clear to me that I needed to get this message out and available. I also had to decide if it was just a shirt or was it more than that.

I am lucky to know some pretty talented folks and with a small, yet mighty crew (including an awesome man — he actually came up with the “Don’t Shush Her” shirt), we managed to go live with www.dontshushme.club at midnight on my birthday just a few weeks after the rally. It was a powerful moment. One of many.

It’s important to me that people understand Don’t Shush Me doesn’t mean say what you want when you want with no regard for those around you and your environment. It is so much more than anything like that. It means don’t lessen me. Don’t devalue my voice. Don’t squish or squash or degrade me. As women, we struggle with this and it is time for it to stop. An idea isn’t better because it comes from a man, nor is it not as meaningful if it comes from a woman. A good idea is a good idea!

PSTR: Because I know our female entrepreneur readers will want to know, what did you do prior to Don’t Shush Me?

JESS:  I have done so many things! I have a theatre background, I’ve been in sales and marketing, and may or may not have dabbled in puppetry. Most recently, I was the VP West Coast for a tech start-up in the interior design industry.

PSTR: How has Don’t Shush Me affected your life? And in the process, what has surprised you the most?

JESS: The biggest effect on my life has been the almost daily impact this message is having, and hearing the stories. My new friend Robyn at the post office (I’m spending a LOT of time at the post office these days) asked me one day what it was that I kept coming to ship out. When I showed her, she opened up to me about how she has been shushed over the years. I had to get her a shirt. Now when I see her, she loves to tell me about the reaction she gets when she wears it! It gave her such a lift.

Then there’s the woman who wears the shirt proudly because she grew up in a strict environment where women and their voices were considered to be less than the men and their thoughts and ideas.

And my 5-year-old niece who explained to me what Don’t Shush Me meant to her and it was to not mess up her talking. Kids get it. If you want to hear the truth, ask a kid.

This shirt and its message means something different and unique to each woman. I am stopped by people every single time I wear my shirt, and I’ve learned that women don’t want to be shushed anymore. I know I don’t!

PSTR: Where do you see the Don’t Shush Me movement in a year?

JESS: I’m extremely excited to have partnered with Girls Inc. Los Angeles and we have some terrific events coming up over the next few months. Within the next year, I’m hoping to expand with different chapters across the country.

Next up is versions of the shirt in different languages, starting with Spanish and French. The shirt is going global, and I can’t wait for the crazy ride I’m about to get on.

Lastly, I’m working on a children’s book that incorporates the message in a way that will empower young girls and boys to stand firm in their voices and opinions and to respect those of others.

PSTR:  What can people do to support the movement?

JESS: Click here and buy a shirt or many shirts! We donate a portion of all sales to Girls Inc. LA. Get one for yourself AND a friend! We even have onesies. Just for being a Rockin’ Reader of Christi’s P.S. This Rocks lifestyle blog, use coupon code: PSTHISROCKS to save 20% off any shirt.

If buying a shirt or a button isn’t on your agenda, supporting the movement is actually very simple. Be aware of the ongoing shushing. Don’t accept it. Don’t do it to others. And don’t do it to YOURSELF! The shirt makes the statement but you don’t have to wear it to be aware of it. Women must support each other. This includes ALL women, especially women of color and women in the LGBTQIA community. I’m aware of my privilege. It is my responsibility to use this privilege to help affect change for all women.

Our mission statement is clear: Don’t Shush Me is a vibrant, intersectional movement to amplify women’s voices.

A clarion-call demanding gender parity, equity and a sustained commitment to honoring women’s contributions, Don’t Shush Me invites us to move from requesting a seat at the table to radically reimagining the table itself.  More than a cheap slogan or trendy social-media fad, Don’t Shush Me is a useful mantra reminding us that everyone wins when women win. What this means is evolving on a daily basis. It is a humbling experience. I’m grateful for it. 

PSTR:  When you’re not creating awesome shirts, rallying or working what does a day in the life of Jess look like? 

JESS: This adventure is constant, but on the occasion, I have some downtime you can usually find me cuddled up with my best girl, Lily. She is an 8-year-old Maltipoo and, as you know, dogs are the coolest.

PSTR:  I must say…your skin is THE SKIN I would steal in a heartbeat if I could. Please do share your skincare secrets so that we can all get that “Just Jess Glow”!

JESS: Well, thank you! I do appreciate some good skincare products. I may even be a little obsessed with them. I am currently loving:

  • T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial by Drunk Elephant. This at-home peel really works! I notice an immediate glow to my skin and my makeup goes on nicely. I have done a lot of peels over the years and this is the first at-home peel that even comes close.
  • Cicapair by Dr. Jart.I adore most things by Dr. Jart but this is my absolute favorite! I put it on after I moisturize and it evens out my skin tone. You can wear alone as it gives skin a beautiful finish, or use it under foundation. It creates a perfect canvas. ALSO, SPF 30! Extremely important to protect your skin.
  • Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector. One of my best friends introduced this product to me while we were at a trade show and both suffering from lack of sleep and a bit too much bourbon. This product makes me look like I have slept a full 8 hours, gotten a massage, and done a juice cleanse! It works to brighten the eye area in a way nothing else I have used does. Put it on under your concealer. Magic.

PSTR: Tell us about your self-care routine.

JESS: I am working on this, I need to be better. For me, the best self-care includes:

  • Talking on the phone with friends, NOT just texting. Seeing people in person is even better. So much time is spent on devices and there is something very healthy-feeling about having a good conversation and laugh with a pal.
  • Massage. When my brain won’t shut off or I start to feel panic about this or that or all of it, I go get a massage. It allows me to disconnect and be quiet. I find myself getting really good ideas and problem-solving during this time. I am not the kind of person who can relax easily and when it gets too much, massage helps me. Yoga too!
  • Walks. Walking and trees and getting my bare feet on the grass just feels right and helps put things in perspective for me.

PSTR:  What are your top 3 Netflix picks?

JESS:

  • My Next Guest with David Letterman. I have cried during each one, so good.
  • Black Mirror. Brilliant. Terrifying.
  • I just saw Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric and really appreciated it.

PSTR: I love My Next Guest with David Letterman too!  Do you read? If so, what are the titles of the last three books you’ve read?

JESS: I DO! I used to read all the time and need to get back to it. Shut the phone off and read!

PSTR:  Have you gone to the movies lately? If so, what did you see? How was it?

JESS: YES! I saw Black Panther and it was sooooooo great! Really loved it. 

PSTR: When traveling, where do you enjoy going? Why? 

JESS: Vancouver, my hometown. I enjoy it because my family is there. I love the trees and smells and mountains and the ocean and even the constant rain. The greenness of it is special to me. It’s a very happy place for me and I miss it when I am not there.

PSTR: What advice can you give our travel lovers about Vancouver? 

JESS: Try to do things the locals do versus touristy things. You absorb more of the culture and get to see what makes somewhere special in a unique way. I really like to find the spots the locals eat or their favorite bar – it always seems to be tastier and more fun! Also, when in Copenhagen – eat pastries every day!

PSTR:  If we were back in LA for the day, where we would go for the day? What would we do?

JESS: Come to LA! First, I WOULD pick you up at LAX and for anyone who lives here, we know this is a big deal. Then we’d check in to the Chateau Marmont because, LA. I’d take you to the original Du-Par’s for the best pancakes in the universe. We’d have to walk those off a bit before heading to the Getty Museum. This place makes me so happy every time I go. Sometimes I attend the exhibits, sometimes I just walk the grounds. And the view! We’d probably have to get massages at this point, so we’d make our way to Studio City to The Now Massage. By then we are probably hungry again and the only place I’m taking you is my most favorite Mexican restaurant/food truck El Super Burrito.

When do you arrive? Tick tock, I’m waiting…

PSTR: Soon! Soon! I promise. {Now you have it in writing.} If you could live the life of any Hollywood actress, who would it be?

JESS: Cate Blanchett. She does film and theatre and seems to have created a life for herself and her family that is balanced and free of Hollywood weirdness. I love her work and style and oh, I wish I had her life! Talk about skin!

PSTR:  What advice did your mom give you?

JESS: Don’t be an asshole. Seriously! I spent some of my childhood living in a teepee. I had a lot of freedom as a child. I was allowed to express myself and be creative, and art was a huge part of my life growing up. My mother once held my hand and showed me what she called my “magic line” and said it meant I was filled with magic and that I could do or be ANYthing. I believed her! I still do.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts or am not insecure about things (writing about myself – yikes) but I am really lucky to have a mom (who raised me completely on her own) who really encouraged me to be ME — with my loud laugh, opinions, and crazy-colored hair.  Thanks mom! I’m working every day to make her proud. 

PSTR: I’m going to purchase your beauty recommendations now! I need them. Hopefully, some magic will happen along the way along with my new Revive Light Therapy panel. Not that you need it, but be sure to tell your friends to ENTER TO WIN A REVIVE LIGHT THERAPY PANEL – CLICK HERE. After that , I’m going to have much needed chill Friday night watching Gender Revolution with Katie Couric! Thanks for all of the advice, Jess! We’ll be sure to update our readers on your success along the way. Remember guys….

P.S. One more thing —- Watch Jess as she gifts Joanna Cole of Hearst Publications with a Don’t Shush Me shirt live at NeueHouse in LA. 

Christi Tasker
Christi Tasker Christi is a fashion-forward, globetrotting, social media marketing queen who is passionate about helping businesses reach their goals and dreams. She’s an innovator and creator who thinks that “the runner-up in the first place loser.” Earning her reputation for exceptional service by always delivering more than expected for her clients is the core of Christi’s nature.

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