Born to a staunchly feminist mother, Jes Watson rebelled at a young age the only way she knew how — by learning how to cook, clean and craft her way through life. Fast forward to present day and Jes is now the editor of SweetHome on sweetspot.ca, where she gets to bake up a storm and write to her heart’s content on a daily basis.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Amazingly, I have a BFA in acting. So I basically earned a degree by doing yoga, chanting through my chakras and dressing up in ridiculous period costumes. About halfway through the program I realized I’d rather be writing the drama than acting it out (but I still do a mean mime wall).
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Oh, gosh. Some cozy cottage in the woods, letting my daughter tumble over me in a field of wildflowers. Or living in some gorgeous New York apartment. Either way.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t be pushy, but be persistent — it’s a fine balance. Curiosity and confidence are your best assets.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I’ve had a subscription to the New Yorker since I was 18, never met a Granta I didn’t like and I love gawking my way through Vanity Fair. TV-wise, I’m really loving Portlandia and Boardwalk Empire these days.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Joshua Jackson. Hello, Pacey! It was like 23-year-old me giving 15-year-old me a high five through time.
I interviewed a celebrity stylist who actually fitted me with a synthetic hairpiece before I left. I walked back to the office with this crazy rug dangling off my head like some sort of mangy dead animal, and couldn’t figure out how to get it off until one of my coworkers managed to wrest me from it.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Own your mistakes and don’t be afraid to mess up. The messes are always more interesting, anyway.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Suggestions are always better than questions. And use the phone sparingly – seriously.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I always love working with PR on big events like Toronto Fashion Week, TIFF and IDS. There’s a lot going on and everyone is so harried, but it’s awesome to see everyone pulling together to make it all happen.
Slow walkers. Poorly bound books. Sloth.
Hanging with my toddler. Freshly laundered sheets. Dusk runs and night swims.
Best place on earth?
My cottage in the dead of winter. You have to ski in and it’s just unbelievably quiet, pristine and beautiful.
Fred Armisen. I am so obsessed with Portlandia.Or Werner Herzog — just to hear him talk in that voice for a few hours.
I have a major lady crush on Patti Smith.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I really love making dorky family music videos with VidRhythm for the iPhone. Every song’s a winner.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean, then lake, then pool. But I’ll take whatever is closest.
Voicemail or email?
Email. I don’t even check my voicemail anymore. My mom is the only person who even bothers leaving me messages.