A Southern California native, Jenise Fryatt grew up in the suburbs under a brown sky, playing on a blacktop and eating Coco-Puffs.
Nature was a well manicured park or rare family vacations at her retired grandparents’ North Dakota farm. Nevertheless, she had a deep reverence and love for the Earth that she couldn’t explain.
This feeling led to grief in college when she learned how terribly harmful to the planet humans had become. After graduating with a B.A in communications, she briefly considered going back to college to learn a skill that would help, but settled instead for a job as a reporter at her hometown newspaper.
She was going to be Woodward & Bernstein eventually. Instead she got a rude awakening about the myth of independent journalism.
By the time she was in her mid 20’s her less-than-healthy childhood habits began to catch up with her. And when modern medicine didn’t seem to help, she began to hone her diet and lifestyle a bit more.
Parenthood brought her to La Leche League, a breastfeeding support group that led her to whole foods cooking and attachment parenting. It was largely due to that influence that she chose to have her second child at home with a midwife attending.
Wanting to make sure she did the best job possible as a parent, she read LOTS of books. In the end she realized that to be a good parent, she had to be the kind of person she wanted her children to be. This led her to pursuits that were her passions as well as those she believed would help her to be a better person. These included: acting, improv, Al-Anon, yoga and meditation.
In 2010 when her two children, Giselle and Tyler were nearly grown and out of the house, difficult economic times led her to discover social media as a way to find clients for the family audio visual business, Icon Presentations. It was a turning point for her, as she discovered that the skills she learned in college as a communications major were perfectly suited for digital marketing. She began blogging on a regular basis both for Icon and for outside clients.
In 2012 she began working with Smarter Shift as a content marketing strategist, a company of which she is proud to continue to be part.
Financial independence came just as she was beginning to reassess her life. Would being an empty-nester consist of eight hour workdays punctuated by T.V and trips to the mall? She began to see modern society and it’s work/consume/debt “system” as a trap that was causing all humans untold suffering as well as damaging the planet. And she longed to live in a place less planned and more inline with nature.
Fortunately working from home gave her new freedom. No longer tied to a particular workplace, she and her husband Mike bought a couple of acres of land in the San Bernardino mountains and have begun to set up their homestead. In addition to her content marketing job she now tends a garden and some chickens and is learning how to use permaculture principles to create a diverse ecosystem that works with Mother Nature and supports self-reliance.
Leslie vanWinkle here. Just read your bio – we share a professional journalism and media background. I’m glad you are living a balanced life on land you love with a man you love. I still aspire. Blessings.
Hi Leslie! Well it sounds like we will have lots to talk about when we finally get a chance. Blessings to you too!