Thousand Bike Club:
Who is Jess?
Jess Puccinelli: Jess Puccinelli can't sit still. Founder of Haute Hope, a socially conscious gifting studio - she spends her days working with companies that give back, speaking on entrepreneurship, and dreaming up dope collaborations. In between, she can be found riding her 1986 Peugeot, running/hiking L.A. trails, and scouring thrift stores for one of a kind pieces.
TBC: Day in the life of Jess...
JP: As someone who is not wired for routine, my days are pretty varied. Even so, I do have a shell of a routine, but make a point to leave room for flexibility and freedom. My days typically involve waking up around 4:15 am and hopping on my bike to go workout in Santa Monica. I bike back home, make coffee and begin to mentally prepare for the day. This looks like journaling, praying, reviewing my calendar, and making to-do/not-to-do list.
By 7:30 am, I’m eating a massive breakfast and spending at least 45 minutes to an hour reading. By 8:30 am, I’m ready to go and start checking in on e-mail, social and news. After that I dive into any creative work I might have. Often this means working with my hands assembling boxes, writing for our blog, or even running a photo shoot…the list goes on.
Once 1:30/2pm rolls around, I’m back on my bike for nearby meetings, co-working sessions, or deliveries. The day starts to wind down by 7:30. I’m a total morning person and by the time evening comes around I’m pretty spent. I end the day with a hot cup of tea and good read.
TBC: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
JP: I definitely did not set out to become an entrepreneur. However, now that I’m in it I realize it’s the ideal type of work for me. I entered into this world because I got the idea for Haute Hope and knew I had to pursue it. I was excelling in a marketing job, enjoying a steady paycheck when boom - the concept for HH presented itself. Nine months later I’d put my notice in, and began this wild adventure!
TBC: Story behind the name of Haute Hope?
JP: Fortunately the name came to me pretty quickly after I had the idea. Haute is french for chic, elevated, couture. Hope is the substance of all things. . So the idea is that we would bring hope to others - our model is neat because the giver, the recipient and the people who created the products all receive hope in someway when our gift boxes are exchanged. Our tag line sums it up, “Gift Well. Do Good.”
Best thing that's happened to you since starting your own company?
JP: I should probably say having a full feature on CNN. But it’s actually anytime I get a personal message from the recipient of a gift box. Getting to hear how receiving a gift that gives to others affects someone never gets old. It’s because all of a sudden it’s not about the recipient - they have a profound moment of realization, “By receiving, I gave.” and they are forever changed. They get it. Those are certainly the best moments.
TBC: Where and why you ride. Were you always into cycling?
JP: Running my own business is easily the most difficult thing I’ve done to date. There have been so many low moments where I’ve put myself last, and forgotten how to enjoy life. Riding has become a remedy to many of those feelings. The 6 mile RT morning ride is the most insane burst of adrenaline. When I ride, I only focus on riding. I have to be alert and tuned into my surroundings. Not to mention the city instantly became accessible - what’s traffic??
Most of the time I’m riding through Sawtelle, Santa Monica, Brentwood and Westwood - but I love doing cycling events like CicLAvia. Recently I woke up at 3:00 AM to crash the L.A. Marathon course. Mind blown. Talk about feeling connected to the city - I was L.A.’s biggest fan after that!
TBC: Favorite Thousand product?
JP: Stay Gold helmet!