Hey love! Tell us a bit about you.
Hi! I’m Jojo, currently experiencing a chapter of my life that I can only describe as something I manifested in my dreams. Three months ago I took a leap of faith, listened to my heart, and decided to no longer live with a fear based mentality. So I quit my standard 9-5 job, packed up my things, and left my studio apartment on the beach in Venice, California to live on the road in a van with the love of my life and our dog. I couldn’t watch another day go by where I was daydreaming about so much more! Taking this risk was the best decision I ever made.
I am now traveling the country seeing beautiful historic spaces and sharing conversation and stories with people from every type of different backgrounds. My heart and mind both continue to open and expand with gratitude and love. I think in today’s society we have somewhat lost our way, whether we meant to or not. We are consumed by social media and comparisons, money hungry and fame seeking, segregated and hostile - and all the while our standards for humanity and the environment have dwindled. One of the biggest reasons for making this lifestyle change and embarking on this journey was the concern that I may not again have an opportunity to see the current state of our kind and so much of Mother Nature’s beauty. Wildlife is disappearing, communities are crumbling, and I couldn’t sit back and continue the mundane cycle without knowing I’d had a chance to see and feel all of the beauty that our world has to offer.
May have browsed your insta-shop for all things vintage, what inspired you to start it up?
Friends with Benefits Vintage is a labor of love, created by my partner and I. Born of a shared passion for vintage aesthetics, conscious shopping, and the endless stories that timeless clothing and trinkets hold. We were deeply inspired by the history in all of the garments and accessories we started to come across on our travels and knew we had to share these treasures with the world. Additionally, many of our friends want to say goodbye to fast fashion but don’t have the time or patience or even locations to turn to that carry exactly what it is they’re looking for. After enough people started sending personal shopping requests our way, we realized this passion and apparent need could be combined to start something really great. Our customers really love receiving an item from us, because we share the history of the garment and place it was sourced. It kind of brings a revived life to something someone else thought to get rid of. You can check us out on Instagram at @friendswithbenefitsvintage
And how would you describe your own style?
I would describe my own style as a little bit tomboy with a lot of funky flair. People always joke that my boyfriend and I dress very similar - you can find both of us in oversized vintage tees, Dickies, and Doc Martens and eye catching headwear most days. Because I thrift so much, the pieces and style are always uniquely my own. I wear what I want without worrying what others think, if it makes me happy I am going to rock it! And that has resonated well with my followers, friends, and family. I love seeing people step outside the box and not be afraid to shine, and sometimes all it takes is inspiration that varies from the current trends.
You’re quite a traveler! Where have been a few of your most memorable “getaways”?
I am a sucker for lush scenery in nature. Give me some blue, green, and yellow tones and I am a happy girl. That being said I think two of my most memorable getaways would have to be Yosemite National Park, Roosevelt National Forest, and a beach stay in Baja, Mexico.
Yosemite is truly breathtaking. From icy fresh water plunges to running through big open meadows, my heart was singing the entire time. The hikes and terrains are endless with incredible views, so you’re always going to stumble across some form of magic while you’re there.
Roosevelt National Forest is also one of my most memorable escapes. When the Aspen tree leaves are changing you’ve never seen anything like it! Bold, vibrant yellows for miles and miles. They say the color yellow psychologically brings feelings of optimism and increased energy, so I definitely recommend this forest in Colorado during early Autumn for an incredible sight.
And last on the list was a carefree trip I took to stay in a little casita on the beach in Baja, Mexico. After an outing to a beautiful winery called Cuatro Cuatros, I found myself on the beach with my boyfriend, just a couple weeks into dating, sharing just the sound of the waves and the mutual appreciation we felt for what we were experiencing in that moment - a Blue Mind. This is the concept that bodies of water can have a truly calming, positive effect on our well being and mindset. Time stopped standing there wrapped up with him, and I acknowledged then what I’d known all along - I was in a pure state of love. Simple, slow paced Baja will always have a place in my heart as a most memorable getaway from that day forward.
What about a place you’ve not been to yet, but is definitely in the planning!
I am dying to go to Tokyo! For as long as I can remember Japanese culture has really intrigued me. When I was in elementary and middle school I was reading and drawing my own Manga, and binge watching all of the Anime movies and television shows possible. I think the fashion sense in Japan is so out there, I’m honestly obsessed with all of it! I’m definitely planning a trip to Tokyo, I get butterflies just thinking about it.
And…favorite EM product?
Deciding on a favorite Everyday Minerals product is tough! I prefer a natural look when it comes to wearing makeup and EM does just that. I am currently loving the Baobab Face Oil. It gives my skin just the right amount of moisture but leaves me feeling bright and dewy. I learned through EM that the Baobab is considered the tree of life, and this oil definitely gives my skin life with noticeable hydration!
Was there a particular moment or time when you realized what you’re pursuing now was worth all struggles, and you WOULD stay determined to follow your heart?
Definitely. The start of our trip wasn’t easy. The van experienced a handful of bad luck mechanical issues, which ended up being extremely humbling. This vehicle isn’t just a transportation device for us, it is also our home. So the fear of not knowing when it would be repaired, if it would be repaired, where we were going to stay and so on was really grounding but definitely a struggle. Once everything was taken care of I remember a moment hiking through the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, a space that has history in its terrain dating back 65 million years. We came across a large pack of Big Horned Sheep grazing. I’d never seen anything like that up close before. Taking their beauty in with the endless untouched natural land as a backdrop was so touching and reminded me exactly why we push through the struggles. The struggles with the van, struggles with getting homesick, struggles detaching from material items to embark on this life changing adventure are totally worth it. My heart hasn’t failed me yet.
To follow her travels on Instagram... @jordanladd_
SHOP WHAT'S CURRENTLY IN JOJO’S MAKEUP COLLECTION:
Explorer Lip Gloss
Baobab Face Oil