Jessica Rebstock is a free-spirited creative blogger who thrives living a healthy lifestyle. She takes pride in the fact she has a non-traditional lifestyle that strives to live an imperfect life and refuses to protray it any differently in her writing. She owns and manages “Hello Gor Jess” which is a play on words of her name. “We should embrace our imperfections. We need to be more open and be more relatable. I want to remain authentic, and I have so many people reaching out to me to say how they relate to the content. That’s why I do what I do,” Rebstock said.
The blogger wrote and illustrated her children’s book “Sophie’s Saturday Adventures” in a creative writing course in college in 2012. It was an assignment and she recalled when it was time to turn in the project. Her teacher “made us line the board with our books. I couldn’t believe what had happened next. She grabbed my book and said’ I can tell this book will be terrible.’ I was mortified. The cover wasn’t what it was today, it was honestly pretty terrible. But then the teacher flipped through the pages and said, ‘this is an example of never judging a book by its cover’ . It was a literal parallel for what was happening in my life.”
Rebstock remembered when she was on Thanksgiving holidays trying to brainstorm with her mom about what to write about. Her mom brought up the fact that Rebstock’s childhood alone is enough for a children’s book, ”I had a creative and relatable childhood. She said her Saturdays would consist of throwing on her tool belt and going to work in her clubhouse. “The inspiration was me. I had my special place where I would play, so when I wrote this, it was all true, I just changed the names of the characters.” She had two best friends that are also in the book, and everything that happened in the book’s plot, actually happened to her. She said it was also really fun to illustrate the book, “I’m by no means an artist,” she said while laughing, “but it was fun to pull out construction paper and markers to start drawing child-like illustrations.” While completing the book during Thanksgiving holidays, Rebstock and her family faced hardship. Her mother found out she had breast cancer, and the emotions that came with the news affected the process of the book. Despite being overwhelmed, she finished the project, and she said the instructor did not want to give the book back and urged her to publish one day.
Which is exactly what Rebstock accomplished almost ten years later. She said the process of publication was really smooth, but the most challenging part was the anticipation of receiving the shipment of the final product. It was late by over 4 weeks which made the wait even harder, but she understood it would come when the time was right. She finally received the shipment while she was on Facetime with her mom, and she said she was initially shocked when she held the book in her hands for the first time. “I think it just hit me today,” she said, which was a week later. She had 150 preorders and has had a great response so far.
It can be difficult to accomplish goals in the creative industry, but Rebstock said, “you’re not going to be prepared. There’s no time that you’ll be ready, you just have to do it. Find the people to surround yourself with that will support your dreams and goals. If it’s pulling on your heart, it’s there for a reason, and someone might need to hear that message.