5 years ago, Jess Figueroa (who goes primarily by the name "Fig") packed up two suitcases, flew to San Diego and never looked back. Passionate about photography, creating and self expression, Fig has spent her time in San Diego wearing many different hats, and ultimately, discovering herself and her community.
I talk to Jess about this and more, including her favorite pieces from our Shoreline Collection below.
Tell us about yourself, who is Fig?
My name is Jess but everyone except my family calls me Fig, like the fruit or the newton and go by she/her. I'm just a Jersey girl that packed up two suitcases and bought a one way ticket to San Diego 5 years ago without having a game plan or job lined up, but I made it work and have been lucky enough to call this place my home. During those 5 years of adjusting, learning and self discovery I was able to finally be comfortable in my own skin and with how I identify as well. In my other life after graduating from the University of Delaware, playing D1 soccer, and majoring in Health and Physical Education I realized that career path wasn't really meant for me and I left my teaching and coaching behind.
After moving out here I worked many different jobs to figure out what I wanted to do. I started off bartending and eventually bar managing because that's what I had the most experience in at the time. After, I worked at Taylor Guitars where I was a guitar neck specialist and also sold shoes at Vans. I always shot 35mm film photography on the side because that’s where my passion really resides in the creative arts space, but unfortunately as an artist in San Diego, it is hard to survive. That’s where my career as a headhunter in the Biotech and Pharma industry began in addition to taking on a Social Media Specialist position with Queer Gxrl, a queer events company. After my company shut down, Queer Gxrl became my main job, where I continue to be their Social Media Specialist but also their Operations Manager.
When do you feel like your most authentic self?
I feel the most authentic when I'm around the people I love and I'm doing able to be the most self expressive (creating art, photography, dancing, playing music).
Existing as a queer person in the US is becoming increasingly more difficult. How do you remain positive in today's climate?
By continuing to believe that there is good in people, having hope, and giving love while teaching people how to love one another.
What is most important to you when shopping for clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident?
What's most important to me when shopping for clothing that makes me feel comfortable and confident is finding a pair of shorts, pants, or swim trunks that fit my hip and butt area perfectly. Being masculine-presenting and having big hips can make it difficult to find something that fits right
Favorite piece from our new collection?
In the San Diego area? Check out Queer Gxrl here.
Shop the Shoreline Collection here.