Jessica Nelsen

Director, Non-Profit

If you opened your own business, what would it be?

I just did on International Women’s Day with my friend Reanna, Sisterhood Soup! For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to help other women embrace their most authentic versions of themselves. Sharing our success and failures is so healing and necessary to truly move into the “good stuff” in life. Building a business around creating community and sisterhood is a dream come true for me. It would be such a gift if I could establish myself and Sisterhood Soup as a community builder, a support and a vehicle for women to discover their inherent magic and amplify their dreams.

 

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Look people in the eye when they are hurting and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. It took a lot of life lessons for me to learn those two things. I was so focused on my own goals and thought that being strong/driven meant being unemotional and rigid.

 

Experiencing loss and hardship with age showed me that being vulnerable doesn’t make you weak, it makes you relatable. Once you are able to open yourself up and offer your skills/insight/support in a way that builds people up, incredible things happen.

 

Exceptional Skills- 

Putting myself in other people’s shoes, looking at things from all angles, strategic planning, relationship building and eating an impressive amount of chips and queso.

 

What makes you feel fulfilled? 

  • Being surrounded by my friends and family

  • Positive forward movement

  • Being in wide open spaces outdoors (cue the Dixie Chicks).

  • Sometimes it’s as simple as a tall glass of wine and some bravo TV.

 

When asked to describe yourself, what’s the first word that pops into your mind? 

Advocate

 

Favorite Book- 

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

 

What makes your heart race? 

When dreams get put into action, meeting a likeminded boss babe doing big things, my thoughtful husband and chasing around my 8 month old.

 

Organization or cause near to your heart- 

I love the incredible individuals I have gotten the chance to know at Susan G. Komen Greater Iowa and I have loved working with all our community partners to better serve women and their ability to gain access to life saving resources surrounding breast health.

 

I am so impressed with Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, Kids First Law Center and one of my first full time gigs was with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa. They are without a doubt having a profound and positive impact on kids who need it the most.

 

What keeps you up at night?

Currently, my baby that would rather be held then sleep in his own crib. Generally speaking, I worry a lot about the people I love. My grandma (my kindred spirit) who has dementia, my mom (single parent), my step-daughter (13 yo) and her ability to be a strong, confident young woman. I also worry about always pulling my weight in relationships. Working in nonprofit and starting a business with a person I admire always has me asking, “could I be doing more?”

 

What is a belief you once held but no longer do? 

I don’t know if it’s necessarily one belief but I never truly understood/believed the impact of my privilege until I met and worked with/for people without it. I cannot speak for all people. My success is not just a byproduct of my hard work. Privilege is real, call it what it is and stop casting judgement on people. SO much of success depends on life circumstances.

 

What are you interested in connecting with other women about? 

All of it. Everything. I want to connect, support and be in their corner. I want to talk about the good stuff, the hard stuff and dream big with women who want to continue growing. Shits hard, let’s chat.

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