Introducing our newest trailblazers: Jessika and Jana Petten are sisters from Newfoundland who are some of the most creative and inspiring entrepreneurs we know. Whether they are baking, applying coats of gorgeous, glittering makeup, styling secondhand outfits, or designing deadly graphic tees– they don’t take a break! These gals are ruling social media and are definitely figures to keep on your radar.
TWT: Please tell our readers about the different things you do. Your many different ventures, jobs, blogs, and businesses!
J&J: Yeah, there’s a lot going on right now, haha. Jess has been a hairstylist since 2009 and a make-up artist since 2010. We both started our cupcake business, Best Kind Bakeshoppe, in September 2012. It was around 2013 when we gave blogging a try for the first time. And Jana started her NL-inspired clothing line, Figgyduff Dory, in the beginning of 2014. I think we covered it all, haha. We’re still fine-tuning how to balance and prioritize it all, haha.
Side note about Figgyduff Dory: We at twowildtides are absolutely in love with this brand. We rock our pieces everywhere we go and were also lucky enough to be able to collaborate with them last year. Check out that article here.
TWT: How did your amazing careers get started?
Jess: I’ve always had an interest in hair & make-up. When I was still in high school, I used to buy Manic Panic hair dyes at the Avalon Mall Sunday night flea markets to use on my friends’ heads. I guess my careers started after studying Hairstyling in St. John’s and Make-Up Artistry in Vancouver.
Jana: I went to Vancouver the same time Jess did. Of course, haha. I studied Fashion Merchandising instead of Make-Up. We’re definitely both driven by a need to be creative. The cupcake business just kinda happened. Figgyduff Dory, though, has been a dream of mine since I was around 12 years old. Everything we’ve done, though, has started out very small and grown very slowly. (Sometimes painfully slow, to be honest).
TWT: What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
Jess: When it comes to what I do on Instagram, I think my biggest challenge has been carving a niche for myself here in Newfoundland & Labrador. Sure, there’s always demand for bridal make-up and prom updos, but that’s honestly not what pushes me creatively. I’ve had to just do my own thing. Me and all my colours and all my glitter.
Jana: I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I worry way too much. Every single week, I have to tell myself to keep going. Otherwise, I’d just fret about all the “What ifs?” and end up doing none of it. Staying motivated is definitely a challenge for me.
TWT: What has been the key tool to your success?
Jess: PERSISTENCE. I don’t remember the last time I actually had a day off, haha. In all seriousness, staying true to myself has probably been the key tool to my success.
Jana: I think we both have pretty good instincts when we’re being creative. We’ve trusted them this far, and they haven’t lead us astray yet.
TWT: Describe what it’s like to be your own boss in 3 words:
Jess: Inspiring. Frustrating. FUN.
Jana: All-Consuming. Challenging. Rewarding.
TWT: What advice would you give to somebody trying to get into entrepreneurship?
J&J: Honestly, our best piece of advice would be to start small and grow it at a pace that works best for you. We’ve always tried to have our ducks in a row before starting something new. When we started Best Kind Bakeshoppe, for example, we both had other full-time jobs. When the cupcake business eventually got super busy, we started baking full-time and reduced hours at our other jobs. We’re still not 100% where we want to be, but we continue to work at it. (Like Jana said, sometimes the growth is painfully slow, haha).
TWT: We have heard some of the incredible work you have done to support local food banks. Could you tell readers a little more about that?
J&J: When we first started the Bakeshoppe in 2012, we used to create monthly variety packs to support local charities. (We’d pick a different cause every month). We continued doing that for a couple years, and then became regulars at Some Good Market and started donating to the food bank. Laurie LeGrow, the organizer of the Market, deserves the credit for helping the food bank. (It’s since donated over $70,000 to local food banks thanks to vendors and customers).
TWT: We know that like us, you value supporting local business. Can you name a few of your favourite local hotspots?
J&J: If it’s a Tuesday, you’ll probably spot us in St. John’s down at Yellowbelly. Sometimes, though, we switch it up and grab falafel wraps at Mohamed Ali’s. These are both usually followed by some Moo Moo’s. Since we’re suckers for buying physical copies of albums, (and we spend 16-hour days baking and need music to get us through, haha), we love going to Fred’s. Even more local to us, though, (since we don’t live in town), is the newly opened Brigus Seasalt & Thyme. There’s a Touton Burger on their menu, and it’s delicious! Can you tell we like food?
Jess: I feel the need to give the Stout at Yellowbelly its own shout-out right now.
Jana: In that case, I’m giving one to the brunches at Mallard and Merchant.
TWT: What is on the top of your bucket list right now?
Jess: A trip to South Africa.
Jana: A bunch of places in Eastern Europe, and Morocco.
TWT: Where is the coolest place you’ve been?
Jess: That’d be a tie between Cinque Terre, Italy, and Hobbiton in New Zealand. Second place would go to the Swiss countryside viewed from a train window.
Jana: Globally, probably below the surface on The Great Barrier Reef (I’m at a loss to properly describe the vivid colours of the fish). Locally, though, I’m seriously charmed with Bonavista and Fogo Island.
Jess: Wait a second!! I forgot about Dubrovnik! Clearly I can’t choose favourites.
TWT: Like us, you seem to value your small town, east coast roots. What is your favourite thing about where you live?
Jess: Plenty of scenic spots to take photos! And the memories I have of growing up here.
Jana: The Boat Lighting in the harbour in December! It’s become one of my favourite Christmas traditions.
TWT: Do you have a favourite quote or words to live by?
J&J: “Stay the course”. It’s a quote our Dad has been saying to us for years.
We want to thank Jess and Jana from the bottom of our hearts for taking the time out of their busy lives to answer these questions for us. We hope you are as inspired by their responses and wise words as we are.
Be sure to follow Jess & Jana on their (many!!) Instagram accounts. You won’t be disappointed! We draw inspiration from their Insta each and every day. They are: