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Designer Jessica Resendíz On The Healing Power Of A Solo Lunch Date

Welcome to Refinery29's Why I Do It, a series where we ask inspirational, successful people 29 questions about what fuels them on and off the clock. Because, let's face it: life is about so much more than chasing inbox zero.
At the ripe age of 12, fashion designer and illustrator Jessica Resendíz was already sewing, hand-stitching, designing, and reconstructing vintage pieces. Twenty years later, the Mexican-born, L.A.-based entrepreneur is still practicing her craft now, by way of her own brand, RaggedyTiff. And while her trajectory hasn't been linear (whose is?), one thing has remained consistent throughout her journey: the unwavering inspiration she draws from her Mexican heritage, which can be seen in her one-of-a-kind apparel, accessories, home decor, and stationery. In spite of juggling a thriving business, a family, and far more ideas than she can realistically carry out, Resendíz has no plans to slow down anytime soon, thanks to brands like Oral-B that help her stay confident in her success. Here's why she does it.
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What’s the very first thing you do when you wake up? Prioritize me — and my mental health — by taking care of myself: washing my face, brushing my teeth, reading a nice book, and drinking hot tea.
Power nap or power workout? A 20-minute cat nap.
Early bird or night owl? Early bird.
How many unread emails do you have in your inbox right now? My business inbox is pretty good — I don’t have any unread emails (yet). As for my personal inbox, I don’t know. Probably over 100.
Iced or hot coffee? Hot tea! I’m into jasmine-lavender flavor, but I also drink a lot of green or peppermint tea.
What’s your favorite thing that you keep on your desk or workspace? My vintage timer. I bought it at a thrift shop; the bottom of it says, “Time means money.” I also love my sage and crystals.
When was the last time you felt like a success? I hosted a pop-up shop in Houston, TX a few years back. (It was my first pop-up not in California, where I grew up.) I was nervous about the turn-out — I put so much time and love into it, and I thought, what if only four people show up? I was scared. But thankfully, people were lined up around the corner. They drove from cities like San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. I was like, Wow, this many people are paying attention to what I'm doing. It was the best feeling.
What do you do on those days when you don’t feel that confident? I love watching TED Talks, reading, and listening to podcasts. It makes me feel like I'm diving into a positive space rather than focusing on the negative.
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What’s one thing you do every day, without fail? Read a book every single morning, even if it’s just one chapter.
What’s something you wish you did every day? Run. My dream is to do 5K or 10K runs. I walk every day, but I wish I ran every day.
What’s your favorite piece of advice that you’ve gotten? To "live in the moment."
What’s your least favorite piece of advice you’ve gotten? "You’ll get over it." There was a point in my life when I experienced anxiety, and people would say, "Oh, don't think about it. Think about something else and you'll get over it." But anxiety is very real.
Who inspires you the most? My grandmother. I used to go back to Mexico, where I was born, every year, and she'd teach me how to make tortillas and wash clothes in the river. Because of her — and all of the things she taught me — I am the person I am today. She passed away a few years ago, but she's still my biggest hero.
Who, if anyone, do you try to emulate? My two mentors: Liz Hernandez (she's a motivational speaker and the founder of a video series called Wordaful) and Melody Ehsani (she's a fashion designer and co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, The Butterfly Forecast).
What’s something people ask you for advice about often? Business, motherhood, and mental health.
What’s a piece of advice you felt proud to give? I was a speaker once for an event with middle school-aged girls. I gave them advice on how to pursue their passions with love and hard work. It felt very special to just connect with the younger generation — I remember wishing I had someone to motivate and inspire me when I was their age.
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What’s your most-used app on your phone? It's a tie between Instagram and TikTok. Instagram is more for business and catching up. TikTok is also useful for business, I use it for advice, too. Or to learn how to make a dish, or to curl up and cry at videos of cats and dogs. It helps me get out of the 'work zone' a bit.
Where do you put your phone while you’re sleeping? Under my pillow.
What do you do when you feel yourself burning out? If it's something I know I can come back to later or pause, I'll just stop what I’m doing and take a power nap, have a nice lunch by myself, or go to the bookstore.
What’s something you consider a secret weapon? Journaling. If I have something going on or I'm having a bad day, I write about it in a journal. Letting everything out is de-stressing, and I feel like a different person afterward.
Where are you, compared to where you thought you’d be at 12 years old? I love my parents so much, but I couldn't wait to leave home and live under my own rules, not theirs. I always wanted to explore the world; I was very curious. And now, sometimes I have these wholesome moments where I think, Wow, I really did do what I wanted to when I was little, and I’m living on my own. It's crazy because I manifested that.
If you could change one thing about your professional life, what would it be? As a creative person, my mind is constantly thinking of all these ideas. So, I’m trying to find a way to not shut them down, but to be like, Okay, calm down, you can’t do 20 different designs before the year ends because it’s unrealistic.
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What’s been your biggest pieces of support, helping you get where you are? My daughter. Sometimes I’ll work late, and she’ll tell me, "Mom, it’s already past your bedtime. I think it’s time for you to relax." My partner also checks on me; he'll be like, "Let's take the dogs out. Let's go to the park." They both know when I'm stressed or overworked and need a break.
What do you do to start your workday? I do my self-care routine, then I check emails, check the website, and check inventory.
What's a step in your self-care routine that you'll never skip? Taking care of my teeth by brushing two or three times a day (I love my Oral-B iO Series 8 electric toothbrush; it's been my go-to forever), flossing, and using mouthwash. Oral hygiene is very important to me. I hated my teeth when I was younger and I used to get made fun of for them. I wanted braces, but my parents thought they were a waste of money. So, when I was in college, I saved up and got braces for myself. I think a smile — even if you don't have "perfect" teeth — is one of the most beautiful features on someone. It can change someone's day.
What do you do to end your workday? I love cleaning up my workspace. I know that means it's time to wind down, and entering a clean space in the morning is probably one of the best feelings.
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What’s the last song you listened to? "Colorado" or "Long Beach" by Kota the Friend. He's a really good rapper who sings about inspirational things.
What’s the last photo in your favorites folder on your phone? I recently found a farm near me that was growing beautiful marigolds (the flower is used to honor our ancestors during Día de Muertos each year). I went and took a bunch of pictures and videos of them.
If you could go back and do one thing differently in your career path, what would it be? Hire a sewer. You definitely need help when you run your own business.
What’s the last thing you do before bed? Go on TikTok and then read (I always end my night reading). I like physical books so I can highlight and bookmark things. I'm currently reading Lighter: Let Go of the Past, Connect with the Present, and Expand the Future by Yung Pueblo.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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