Jen Adams careers has featured stints in music, fashion, beer and now gardening. Jealous doesn't even seem like a strong enough word.
What restaurant are you always excited to get back to?
Mr. Martinos in South Philly. This was our neighborhood jam for many years. How lucky we were to live a block away from a magical former hardware store turned Italian Trattoria. A transport to a land of homemade pasta, baked ricotta, lemon tarts and most importantly Marc and Maria Martino’s warm hospitality. Always a minimum three-hour dinner with friends! Sadly, Marc passed away last year, RIP. Maria is now doing pop-up dinners on occasion, and she announces those on Instagram. www.instagram.com/mrmartinos
How did you end up in your industry?
I’ve spent some time in a few different industries, and have been fortunate to market products and brands that I’ve felt personally connected to in some way. I started in ecommerce with a company called CDNOW. We literally sold CDs on the internet in the late 90s early 2000s (until Napster and the digital wave swept that all away). I learned so much about ecomm, marketing and the power of a smart, collaborative and respectful work culture. Everyone who worked there were music lovers, in bands themselves or always up to go see a show during the Khyber Pass and Trocodero heydays in Philadelphia. It was so special. I still have some of my best friendships from that era so very long ago. I next spent over a decade at Urban Outfitters. I truly believe that I got that job in large part due to the fashion blog that I had created on the side with some friends. I was able to position my fashion knowledge through that lens, coupled with my marketing and ecommerce experience. Working for such an entrepreneurial yet large successful brand was a priceless experience. As marketers, we thrived through the introduction of social media, smartphones and so much more. Then, I moved into craft beer with Tröegs. Having lived in the best craft beer city in America (that’s Philly if you ask me), I was hoping to learn from a new industry and bring some fresh ideas to the table. Luckily, the Trogner brothers welcomed me in and we did some really enjoyable work on telling the brewery’s story and building out our marketing and creative efforts. I recently took a new job at Burpee Gardening (based in Bucks County). I am so psyched to be part of the gardening movement, and to connect with gardeners at all levels. I’m a beginner myself. In my first week, I was able to walk the fields with our amazing horticulture team, learning about the new tomatoes they’re over the moon about, and then taste-testing. Not unlike learning about beer ingredients, and brewing, and understanding how technique impacts flavor. Super fun! I know “pivot” is somewhat of a cliché buzz-word but I’m here to say it can be done. It’s all about being yourself, positioning your strengths and embracing the opportunity to learn.
First piece of music you ever purchased?
Nevermind by Nirvana (made possible by babysitting)
Favorite activity to pass time when you're not working?
I love the random day trip with my husband, and two children. Most recently we went to the Baltimore Museum of Art. It’s free and I had no idea we’d find the largest Henri Matisse collection in a public museum. In the early 20th century, Baltimore sisters Claribel and Etta Cone amassed one of the most impressive collections of modern art in their Baltimore apartments. Their collection and story now make up a wing of the museum. Super inspiring! I also love the American Visionary Art Museum, and Paulie Gees Pizza in the Hampden neighborhood. Paulie recently opened a spot in Philly. Get the Stinger Bell! House-smoked mozzarella, basil, lemons & post-oven hot honey + Charmery across the street for ice cream.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
“Just keep being yourself.” I’m a big believer that being true to yourself will benefit you in the long run, both personally and professionally. Admittedly, I have to constantly remind myself of this wisdom. No one has everything figured out and everyone has their own unique perspective to bring to the table. So, bring it!