Welcome back to our meet the team blog post! This week we will let Jess tell you a little more about herself in her own words. Jess has been a huge asset to our team in the transition of ownership and runs our West Melbourne location with class.
So here is Jess…
I’m the middle daughter of three girls, born in W. Palm Beach, but I grew up mostly in Titusville. My father worked at Grumman for the larger portion of my life where he retired from a few years ago. Although we didn’t move around as much as some, we were transferred to Virginia for a few years in my teens, then back FL. I’ve lived in Melbourne since 1991. I have one son, who served in the army at Ft. Bliss Texas starting in his teens, and recently moved back to Florida with my beautiful daughter-in-law and granddaughter, who is the joy of my life!
I followed in my mother’s footsteps and became a licensed aesthetician (currently known as a skincare specialist) around 20 years ago, and although I still retain my license, I’ve been more of a “Jill of all trades”. I’ve been called a free spirit more than a time or two, which I take as a compliment considering I can be quite the perfectionist without conscious taming. I am a ‘bit’ of a research nerd in subjects of interest to me including health and nutrition, theology, psychology, and the arts. Although I attend seminars much less frequently lately, I love to learn on my own and consider it a lifelong love affair, second to the relationships I hold dear…well, usually second.
-How did you get involved in escape rooms?
In 2015 a close friend who was among the original ERE owners invited me to beta test one of their escape rooms prior to their grand opening. I had never even heard of an escape room before but I left on a natural high that night. It was just so different from any other entertainment we had in Melbourne at the time. A few weeks later she asked if I wanted to work for them part time, so it began as a second job until I took on a management position. I’ve been here ever since and it has been an amazing wild ride, filled with changes, challenges, growth and blessings!
What is your favorite part about working escape rooms?
There’s so much I love. I enjoy seeing others happy and I love to help people grow. I love to entertain, to laugh and be creative, and this job allows me to do all of that and so much more. At the end of the day it IS a job still, but there are two amazing sides to it. One, it tends to draw other employees who are like minded and entertaining so the atmosphere can be very uplifting. And the other side is getting to see others put their phones away for an hour and actually interact and work together. In our job we get to encourage, motivate, entertain, and provoke new thought patterns that excite. I’ve just about seen it all at this point, and I (not so) secretly call us, ‘Escape Room Entertain Us’!
What game would you design a room around if budget weren’t an issue?
There are many but I’ll keep it to a few…In no particular order:
-An Avatar esque room
-A Lord of the Rings type room
-A fantasy virtual reality room with a theme that’s loosely between the Labyrinth, and Alice in wonderland
-A futuristic artificial intelligence room where A.I. has taken over.
-What is your favorite room at each location
My favorite room at West Melbourne is The Undead (but it’s surely about to transition to our new room!…*no name drop.) As for The Undead, I love the that players have to use teamwork to succeed because they are separated.
At Downtown, I like The Society best. It’s the only escape room I’ve played twice, and I liked it both times! I haven’t played the games at 321 yet, but based on the theme, and what I do know about them, I think The Heist would fit the bill! ?
-What are your hobbies outside of escape rooms?
My hobbies have always been seasonally situated. I have such varied interests but as of late you’d probably catch me either researching, writing (one of my favorite past times *shocker* lol), or playing with my current favorite human in the world, my granddaughter Julia. I’ll leave the next season’s adventures to surprise.
-If you were a fictional character who would you be and why?
Lagertha from Vikings:
She suffered through grief, betrayal, set backs and countless trials and losses but still fought on, and loved on. She was feared even by men because let’s be honest, she was a beast in battle! At the heart of it all though, she was a girl who saw deep meaning in simple things like farming the land. She fought to stay true to her beliefs and see those she loved prosper. Destiny just chose her for more and she lived it, willing to die for what she believed in, and her choices…but not without a fight.
-If you could choose a slogan for your life what would it be and why?
Again, there’s no way to pick one, but one for today:
*I can’t change the world alone but I’m working on my ripple.*
Mother Teresa spoke truly when she said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
I believe we’re here on purpose, and for a purpose. We’re all part of a much bigger story in my belief. I just want to touch the lives I’m meant to, and do the things I’m purposed to do for others while I’m here.
What is one tip you would give to someone who’s never tried an escape room yet? (Ugh, just one? Lol) Book your room privately if you don’t want to be paired with others.
Where’s one place in the world you’d like to travel and why?
It would be all of the places. I love the differences in people, and foods, and cultures. I’ve always wanted to travel to other countries but stay off the beaten path for much of it…to visit locals and pick their heads for new wisdom…to eat a meal with them and learn how to make it the way they do. If I HAD to pick one I’d say my top four (lol) would be Africa, Israel, Italy and Ireland. As for souvenirs, I’m not big on ‘stuff’ so aside from pics./video, I would just like to learn something new and valuable, and hopefully leave the people I meet with a positive memory/story…
Thanks for reading about Jess! She’s a wonderful and conscientious worker with an eye for detail! We can’t wait for you to come back soon and meet some of our assistant managers!