Alum Jen Jones follows her heart in ‘Where the Wind Blows’ kiteboarding mini-series
Oct 1, 2015
By Bobbie Stewart Just as wind in Jennifer Jones kiteboarding mini-series “Where the Wind Blows” is unpredictable and exhilarating, so too is the Flagler College alumna’s life on the road — as an entrepreneur, visual storyteller and freelance photographer.
Jones travels about six months out of the year working on various projects. Her most recent one, a three-part mini-series that follows the wind-chasing adventures of four women, takes place along Oregon’s coastline and in the state’s Columbia River Gorge region.
“I wanted to create something that set a good example of how we could live,” the 2008 graduate of Flagler’s Graphic Design and Photography program said. “Athletes are social icons in today’s world and showing the real way they live — taking care of their bodies, supporting one another and respecting their environment — I hope will inspire others to do the same.”
Jones conceived the idea for the mini-series in the summer of 2012, after she had moved to Hood River, Oregon, in the winter of 2010. Other creative artists got wind of her project and soon after, the idea began to take real-life form.
The result is a cinematographic wonder. As producer of the series, she collaborated with her team to capture the elemental ruggedness of Oregon’s coast as well as the Gorge region’s organic food bounty and focus on sustainable living. Kiteboarders “land tricks,” board manufacturers discuss the value of sourcing sustainably-harvested wood and area farmer’s markets showcase vibrant produce and homemade pizzas.
The project was a perfect marriage of her love for healthy living and love for inspirational entrepreneurial projects. Moxy International, the name of Jones’ business that produced “Where the Wind Blows,” was launched in 2012. She’s also now the art director for the quarterly Kiteboarder Magazine.
“I definitely characterize myself as an entrepreneur,” she said. “I love working with others, but like to be the leader. Since going out on my own, I feel like I’ve been really crafty with how I make a living. I am often juggling a dozen projects, which are typically spread out all over the map.”
Over the past five years, she has moved from St. Augustine to San Diego and to Hood River. Along the way, she’s learned what it takes to run the show: passion, motivation and an “amazing” support system.
“It’s not easy to be your own boss, stick to working hours and essentially promote yourself to new positions and reinvent the wheel,” she noted. “Having mentors, a business coach or good friends that are in the same boat are essential to survival and sanity. It’s also important to stay on top of educating yourself in your field.”
Education — specifically the kind she gained during her days at Flagler — has served her well in her visual storytelling pursuits.
“To this day, I have yet to have a project that Flagler didn’t prepare me for,” she said. “The work ethic that the Graphic Design program instilled into me is the foundation of my business. You get back what you put in, and you have to be self motivated, because no one is clocking you in or out. My professors in college also gave me self confidence — teaching me to go with my gut and push the envelope until I had a strong piece.”
Though branching out on one’s own professionally may seem daunting, Jones has learned to trust her instincts, appreciate victories along the way and gear up for what she knows will be the next big adventure.
“If you have a vision, dream huge,” she advises. “We all have to start somewhere and it’s going to be a long road, so choose something that fires you up and gets you motivated to get going. Once the wheels are turning, things will start falling into place and you’ll see the magic of what following your dreams is all about.”
Followers can also check out Moxy International’s Instagram at https://instagram.com/moxyintTagged As