Meet Jessica! - Columbus Moms Network

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

My husband, Jared and I have two children, Brooklyn (9) and Wyatt (5). If you count fur babies, Chewy, our Aussiedoodle is two.

How long have you lived in Columbus and what brought you here?

I have lived in Columbus for 34 years. My dad’s job brought my family from Cincinnati to Worthington when I was 6 years old. After venturing down to Athens for college and graduating from Ohio University, I moved back to Columbus and have resided in Powell for 12 years. I’ve loved Columbus enough to never really leave.

When you have free time as a family, what do you enjoy doing together?

We aren’t good at relaxing; but, when we have free time (which is rare) we’re normally tackling projects around the house or for my business. If we’re not busy with one of those, we love the outdoors, so taking family walks with our dog, Chewy, riding bikes, and cooking out or exploring Columbus are always at the top of our list!

Tell us about your business, Simple Soft Serve and how it came to be.

Simple Soft Serve started as an idea for a graduation party in 2016. I bought the business in March of 2022 from a wonderful couple who owned it for four years. I saw a ton of potential in the business and have since grown it three-fold. I have really enjoyed the journey of owning a small business and finding new ways to make it the best it can be for both me and those who choose to rent from us!

What are some of the events that Simple Soft Serve attends?

With our business model being machine rental, we attend many different events such as: birthday and graduation parties, employee and customer appreciation celebrations, weddings, neighborhood gatherings, baby and wedding showers, tailgates and more! As long as we have appropriate power and a flat surface, we can go just about anywhere. Any and all ages LOVE ice cream so it’s really fun to help add a fun and delicious experience to so many events!

What do you love about your job?

What’s not to love?! Ice cream makes people happy which in turn makes me happy! I love connecting with people both prior to and during events and helping hosts provide a delicious sweet-treat experience for their guests. I never thought I’d be capable of some of the things I do now with this business and that’s been really fun! There is so much more that goes into my business than the eye can see (but isn’t that true for all) so while the joy of our soft serve is the cherry on top, other parts like learning how to back up our trailer into my garage or handling our 600lb machine/cart has become just as rewarding.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  

Even before owning this business, I have always loved soft serve over hard ice cream. As far as the flavor, vanilla soft serve with hot fudge and peanuts is a favorite. For me, there’s something about being able to taste the true flavor of the ice cream, so minimal toppings is my idea of the perfect ice cream!

What does a typical day look like for you?

My days look different depending on if I have an event or not, but most days involve: a long walk with the dog, running errands, answering event requests, working on social media content, being the master-planner and executor of the family calendar, transporting my children to activities and rarely sitting down. I’m really bad at relaxing, so I’m normally on-the-go all day and staying busy with something at home or with the business.

How do you juggle work and being a mom?

I know I’m not alone when I say, I’m not sure how I do it. Some days, I feel like I’ve mastered it and others it’s a struggle. As moms, I think we’re all hard on ourselves, so I try to give myself grace and put things into perspective. If I have a day off from events, I try to get some “me time” in and tackle the to-do list to make the other days easier. My business is mostly on the weekends and super busy in the summer so that can be hard too with the guilt of sometimes missing out on my kids activities, time at the pool or doing family outings. With the help of my husband and my parents I juggle it all a bit better. There are times, my children will come with me to events (during drop off or pick up) because of our schedules, but as a family business, I think most understand if that is the case.

What is the best piece of advice you have received from another mom?

The best advice I’ve received from another mom would probably be: give yourself grace, you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone and take time for yourself. All easier said than done, right?! To me, moms are often the ones who are the glue of the family, have a hard time saying ‘no’, and put everyone else first. While I still haven’t mastered it, I try to find time for myself each week whether it’s a long walk, getting my nails done or even a trip to the store alone. When things get really busy, I also continuously remind myself about grace — it’s ok to have things not perfect in my house for a day, it’s not forever.

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