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As we come across good people doing good things, The Swell Collective features a tribe member living the tribe values out loud. BE GOOD. DO GOOD. SEE GOOD. SHARE GOOD.

Name: Jennifer Heu

Occupation: CEO of ROOTEDwear, surface designer, artist, marketing and branding consultant for conscious companies, full-time seeker, part-time lover, freelance dot connector

Organization Name(s): ROOTEDwear Honolulu, HI
FOUNDER of We Are BeautyFULL

Contact Info:
Website: www.rootedwear.com / 

What change in the world would you like to see through the work you’re doing?

I have always been driven to create.  To make.  All I’ve ever really wanted was to make the world a more BeautyFull place.  As an artist, you get to create images and work that connect people.  It is always my hope that anything I contribute would uplift someone’s spirit, or create a sense of connection, empowerment and expansion. There is no stronger force on Earth than people who are joined together by collective empowerment.  I believe that recognizing and celebrating the things that make us different are what make us the same and should be celebrated. I want to create a space for people to celebrate the beauty in one another.  I want to help you bring your dream into the world, because that is also a part of my dream.


Describe the journey that brought you to the work you are doing today.

I was always a bit of a tomboy.  I grew up in the country…I mean, country.  So, when you live in the middle of nowhere and are an only child, the only thing growing faster than the weeds is your imagination.   Just at a bend in the road where the pavement ended and the gravel started, I spent a lot of time outside marveling at emerald green skyscrapers, and turning birds into spaceships.

After high school, I packed up and moved to the Bay Area, hungry for contrasting experiences.  I wanted concrete, swarms of people, and anonymity.  As much as I loved Hawaii, everyone knows you, as someone’s something.  Her Daughter, my Cousin, your Friend.  While that can be and is comforting and familiar, it can sometimes shape your experience and people’s perception of who they think you are.  I think anyone who’s from a small town can relate to that on some level.  

To make a long story short, I spent about 7 years in the Bay Area, first at the Notre Dame de Namur University, and then transferred to The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where I majored in Fashion Design and Marketing. Circumstances brought me back to Hawaii, and in an effort to still be creative, but faced with the task of having to support myself, I became a make up artist, then a business manager, then an account coordinator and trainer, etc. 

I have to say, I love the adrenaline rush that comes with building and driving a business.  The Cosmetic Industry was long on glamour and adrenaline, but fell short when it came to what I felt like fulfilling my life purpose was.  The entire industry is driven on creating a feeling of beauty equating power, sensuality as sovereignty.  I know, it gets heady.  We become drunk on illusion, dynamo damsels who can be anything, do anything….with the right shade of lipstick.  But something about the whole thing always made me wonder:  Am I really helping?  It’s heartbreaking to think about the women over the years, not feeling beautiful, feeling less than perfect as they were. I found myself connecting to them on some unspoken level, not just in the way that it is to realize their inner beauty as an outward expression, but in feeling like somehow I was missing the mark.  We need to remember how amazing we are regardless of our size, height, skin tone and socioeconomic status and we need to remind EACH OTHER.  That’s why I founded We Are BeautyFULL.


What or who inspires you? Why?

The Renaissance Men and Women of the world inspire me. The Poet Warrior Scientist Ninjas. The Qwerky and Twerky. The Beat Drop Drummers who walk their own paths. They are a reminder that we can be more, we can do it all, and there are no limitations. That is incredibly, incredibly inspiring. Frieda, Albert, Oprah, Abraham.      

I’m also an admitted audiophile. There is something about the transcendent quality of music that has always been vital to me. Music is my witness, my accomplice to every creative endeavor.  The list is long and eclectic, with everything from Bob to SBTRKT. I’ll spare you the “About Me,” section on my FB. Recently, I’ve been exploring the connection between frequency and the effects on neurotransmission and healing damaged DNA.  


What is your greatest personal or professional challenge at the moment? How are you working to overcome it?

Immediately I’d have to say the crossover. There comes a time in life when you have to make those big direction decisions. I am so grateful for the life experiences I’ve had thus far, but anyone with a thirsty soul can only think about water…and that’s the best way I can describe this personal exodus of mine. I’m living my bigger dream. I remind myself of that anytime I think about going back.  It takes real bravery to strike out and leave the familiar behind, but to not do so would be to live in a cycle, and I think that part of my big soul lesson this time around are to break those cycles. 

Also, sugar.  Don’t even get me started on that.


What advice would you give your 18 year old self?

This is a fun one because she was a lot smarter than I am. She was fearless, and knew exactly what she wanted out of life and how she was going to get it. That chick was an assassin with a pen and a BIG picture: dangerous, in the best way possible. I think the only advice I could give her would be to be kinder to her soul, and to not doubt herself when she felt like she was less than. She was never less anything.  


What is most rewarding about the work that you do?

I get to imagine. I get to create something from nothing. I get to work with passionate people who are really making amazing contributions in the world. Freedom.  Need I say more?


Anything else you’d like us to know or share with our fellow Swell mates?

YOU are the ONE