Busy Bee Meets Boss Babes Part 12. Jes Bailey!

Hi busy bees,

I'm back with another boss babe on the blog! Meet 

Jes Bailey! 

Jes describes herself as a daughter, sister, wife, and fur mama to her dog, Remington. 

She is also an educator, businesses owner and creative. She owns "Mess by Jes" which specializes in hand lettered goods. 


I connected with Jes through a mutual friend; her cousin Leah was a sorority sister and roommate in college! Leah reached out to me about Jes' business and I'm excited to feature her beautiful work on the blog this week! 

Mess by Jes is a bunch of hand lettered goodness, whether it be home decor, wedding/event signage, invitations, envelopes, or clothing. You name it and I will letter on it.

The name was always kind of a given because ever since I was little, I’ve been a total mess. Clean room? What’s that? Stains on my clothes? Always....Who am I kidding- the mess has stuck with me through adulthood. It just kind of made sense to use that for my business- sometimes I even think my parents purposefully named me something that rhymes with that, although they’ve never admitted it, ha!

As for being creative- I owe that entirely to my grandpa. He passed away my junior year of college, while I was studying abroad in Italy, and right then and there I decided I wanted to change my major to art and become an art teacher. He has always shared his love and passion for art with me and I wanted to continue his legacy by teaching others the same way.
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Let's get started! Meet Jes: 

I’m Jes Bailey, the hands behind Mess by Jes, and yes I only have one S in my name (thanks mom and dad).

I was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia, and went to college at James Madison University with a BA in Studio art and an art ed licensure (go Dukes!).

My husband coaches baseball at Hampden-Sydney...which is why we live in Farmville. And honestly, I’m learning to love it here.

I teach in Keysville, which is a town even smaller than Farmville. I’m a huge family girl and it was very hard for me to move away from them.
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Tell us about your amazing business! 

I’m a hand letterer, I like to think that’s my specialty. In second grade, my teacher told me I had the worst handwriting she had ever seen...needless to say my little 8 year old self was heartbroken. I went home that day and practiced... over and over and over again. Looking at fonts on drink bottles, and food boxes- mimicking every curve of each letter. I’ve never had anyone talk down on my handwriting since. I’m currently in the works of creating my own fonts! Keep checking the website for updates!

Sometimes it’s hard for me to admit my hobby is finally starting to become a business. What started as doing wedding signs for myself, turned in to getting paid to do them for others. Eventually I plan to do my artwork full time, but until then I’ll keep art teacherin’ to the future Picasso’s of the world!
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Walk us through a day in the life of Jes! 

I teach elementary art full time so I’m usually at school for about 9 hours a day Monday-Friday. It’s hard to find motivation to focus on my business once I get home, all while trying to win housewife of the year, which I never will.

It makes life messy. There are plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of nights where dinner doesn’t get done (leftovers are the best), the laundry remains in the dryer, and the house looks a mess...but I’m okay with that (and thankfully so is my husband). He is one of my biggest supporters who puts up with the mess too!
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What keeps you motivated?

Honestly, my customers. Whether they’re friends, family, or strangers- it’s people like you who keep me going.

I LOVE hearing positive feedback and how much people appreciate my work. I’m such a perfectionist and can be so hard on myself, but seeing others light up when I can creatively make their dreams come true makes it all worth it.

I try my best to make sure all my customers are fully satisfied with their pieces because when they’re happy it makes me happy too.
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Being a female entrepreneur isn't easy.

What is something you are struggling with in your business right now that other boss babes can relate to?

To stop comparing. There are SO many AMAZING boss babes out there and I think in today’s social media obsessed culture, it can be so easy to get discouraged looking at the work and lives of others.

It’s so important to build your “tribe” with these women, rather than sit on the sidelines and wish that were you.

Life is hard, and it’s never as pretty as it looks on social media. We have to stick together and stop competing.

Advertise, encourage and support one another.

Stop putting each other down and don’t be afraid to reach out to people who inspire you.
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How do you balance it all and keep things in perspective?

Truthfully, balancing is hard.

Having a full time job where I’m allowed to TEACH others to love art is such a blessing, but sometimes being surrounded by that atmosphere makes it exhausting to find time to create stuff for me or my business.

I love creating, and sharing that passion with those around me, but we all have moments where we’re “burnt out.” I just have to remind myself that I’m a human and I’m allowed to take breaks and some time for myself and my family.

I work very hard to push myself through the late nights and work-filled weekends. So, some days I may have black circles under my eyes and paint in my hair, but at the end of the day, it’s always worth it!
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What are your favorite tools to stay productive and organized?

Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

But also, I’m a huge list maker and am slightly obsessed with notepads and planners. So much so that I have WAY too many and never end up putting everything in one spot.

I’ve always been a mess (aka, where the name came from) and I’ve decided it’s okay to be that way.

Art is one of the few hobbies/professions where it’s okay to embrace the chaos and get a little dirty. I have a huge white board in my art studio that I keep track of orders on and I have learned that having tons of drawer storage and a label maker has saved my sanity plenty of times!
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What is your favorite quote?

There’s nothing more truly artistic than loving people.
— Vincent Van Gogh

WOW! Thank you so much for being part of this blog series, Jes! 

So much of your story is relatable. I found myself nodding and laughing along as I read your story. Embracing the mess, making your business a priority, quitting the comparison game, and finding your tribe were my favorite parts, that I could most relate to. Your story is a beautiful reminder that nothing is perfect; life is truly messy but beautiful at the same time! 


You can follow Jes at:

Website: www.messbyjes.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/messbyjes

Facebook: www.facebook.com/messbyjes

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