“Who is that Sista with all of that moxy?!” – Crystal Veness talks to Jen Jones

“Who is that Sista with all of that moxy?!” – Crystal Veness talks to Jen Jones

My first thought when I met Jen Jones. She was on the beach at a kiteboarding competition in the Columbia Gorge and you could just tell she was someone you wanted to know.

My first thought when I met Jen Jones. She was on the beach at a kiteboarding competition in the Columbia Gorge and you could just tell she was someone you wanted to know.

So I asked her. And here’s what I found out: She’s a creator, an entrepreneur, a dream chaser, and a total badass. A role model in every sense of the word. And basically just killing it at life.

I got the opportunity to chat with Jen after the premiere of her latest project, Where the Wind Blows. Here’s what she had to say.


photo: Jen Jones

We just saw the new episode of Where the Wind Blows North Carolina, and it is stunning! What was it like to see the project come to fruition?

Hey Crystal, thanks for tuning into our series! Ya know, we’ve been working on WTWB for 3 summers now and I must say that the reward keeps getting greater. Between the love and trust growing within our team, the increased production quality and watching the ladies shred harder every year, it just tickles me to put a big bow on it and send it out into the universe.


photo: Jen Jones

What inspired Where the Wind Blows?

There’s a little article that was published in The Kiteboarder Mag that tells the full story… In a nutshell: 5 summers ago when I was new to the kiteboarding scene, I’d go sit out on the spit with my camera and click off frames of impressive maneuvers, not having a clue who was who or really where the sport was at that time. The infamous Joby Cook took a chance and hired me to shoot the Rosham Throwdown in 2012, which put me face to face with the athletes involved. I was blown away by the camaraderie and sportsmanship on the beach – especially between the women. I had a fun dream-chat with Dominique Granger about doing an all ladies camping trip down the Gorge that could be photographed and written about.


photo: Jen Jones

After a couple years in the Hood River community and experience gained on set of a couple moto movie projects with our Director of Photography (and my sweets) Wiley Watson, I was writing an email to our leading ladies about this crazy idea for a mini-series.

What projects are you working on now?

So many projects, so little time! Of course I’m STOKED to have partnered again with Avangrid Renewables for the latest installment of WTWB this year. They are digging working with our team and we have a couple of other pieces we’re producing for their brand. The Fotobus is my newest endeavour! Basically, a 1971 VW Bus (my daily driver, actually) that easily transforms into a photo booth on wheels.


photo: Jen Jones

I’ve been working with The Kiteboarder as Art Director for 2 years and am excited to see the fall issue hit the stands – feels awesome and kind of hard to believe. Other than that, trying to keep up with tens of thousands of photos that need to be edited for various other clients and continuing to dream up the future.


photo: Jen Jones

How did Moxy International come about?

I came up with the concept of Moxy in Fall of 2011 (dang, time flies). At that point I was traveling A LOT, working by myself 95% of the time and had recently been on this wild trip to Argentina with some well-known snowboarders, who inspired me with their creative ways of doing good in the world. I not only had a burning desire to work more with a team, but to create a brand with a clear intention of giving to our earth, not just taking from it. In my 2011 sketchbook under a handwritten list entitled “ideal moxy clients”, you’ll find “wind energy company”. . . dream it, believe it, work really hard to achieve it.


photo: Jen Jones

The FotoBus is potentially the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. What's the story?

It’s a good one! I was born into a VW enthusiast family, had a couple of 1980’s Cabriolets in high school and college and about 5 years ago, I bought my first bus – a 1972 campmobile named Sunshine. She lives at my Dad’s house in my home state, just south of the St. Pete Skyway bridge in Florida.



photo: Jen Jones

Of course it killed me not having her out in Oregon – it’s the ultimate PNW adventure mobile, right?! Well, as fate would have it I found another diamond in the rough… Luna. Buried on Craigslist and sitting so pretty, I drove to Portland to “check her out” and ended up driving her (literally squealing all the way) home.

I had already been dreaming of what I would do if I ever brought Sunshine out to the west coast, so once I had Luna (purchased on 4/20 of this year), there was no time to waste. With lots of research, craftiness and cash flying around, I launched the “FotoBus” photobooth biz on June 4th this year.

Of all of the hats you wear, which one do you get the most joy/reward from?

Good question! I absolutely love playing the producer role in the WTWB series. It’s something I had never really done before, but utilizes my love for motivating and bringing people together. The results from those efforts are the beautiful moving pictures you see on the screen, which is a pretty incredible feeling. I hope to do more work like this in the near future.


photo: Jen Jones

What attracted you to the world of kitesurfing?

The water! I am a true sun and salt girl, so living in Hood River (essentially 3 hours landlocked from the ocean) can be tough on the soul. Kitesurfing is kind of like the pacifier that I suck on in between surf sessions. LOL, that’s kind of a gross metaphor but I couldn’t think of a more accurate way of putting it.

What did it take for you to be able to turn doing what you love into a successful business?

1. Big Dreams.
2. Belief in my intentions and and capabilities.
3. A support system (mostly my dad in the beginning and now an abundant community and friends)
4. A lot of hard work – all nighters, no weekends and determination.

What are you doing in your everyday life to stay at the top of your field?

A big part of it is keeping your highest potential in mind and striving for that. Making little tweaks as you go along, trying something completely new in your craft and seeing how it sits. I think being inspired by others is a huge part of even knowing you have room to grow, but staying true to your own uniqueness is where you’ll find the good stuff.

And of course!! A healthy body runs a healthy mind, so getting out and kiting, surfing, yogaing, gardening, dancing and playing are truly essential to staying sane.


photo: Jen Jones

What advice can you offer other women looking to bring their entrepreneurial spirit and passion together?

I’m going to cop out here and share an Ira Glass quote that has really kept me motivated since I started out in my entrepreneurial venture (over 7 years ago)…

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” – Ira Glass

There aren’t enough good things to say about the WTWB project. Inspired. Authentic. Stunning. I could go on for a long time, but I assume we all have other things we need to do today.

If you haven’t seen the latest episode of Where the Wind Blows, you can watch it now.

You can follow Jen’s work on Moxy International’s Facebook and Instagram. We can’t wait to see what’s next!


photo: Jen Jones

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