Meet Jerri Evans, The Turning Natural Juice Bar Founder Transforming Lives in the Black Community
So welcome to the guest chair Jerry. Thank you for having me I'm so happy to have you here as I mentioned I was in the juice bar on h street the other day, and I was like this is so yummy. This is amazing I'd love to know more about your story. So first and foremost what was your career path before becoming the owner of turning natural juice bars. So prior to juicing, I was an air nautical engineer I worked for a major company which is probably the main companies in the Department of Defence Specialty was F twenty, two fighter jets. So Bess, literally my background I didn't WanNA been engineer at first I wanted to go to fashion but we had a career fair in highschool they separated all the boys of jobs that they believe men become in they separated the girls with like nursing and teaching and I didn't know you know to be feminist then I just wanted to go with the boys and so went with boys and this guy from NASA's Guy Actually said women do not become engineered. Yet I was so offended I went home and that's home. My Mama say what I only WanNa do fashion anymore I wanNA become an engineer and she's like. Bass drastic. So I just kind of looked into what types of engineering I would potentially enjoy in to be truthfully honest none of them were remotely interesting. I just knew that airplanes was probably the most interesting to me and I ended up majoring in Tennessee State University. So you were on that path and what did you envision your life looking like before this whole entrepreneurship thing happened. My first internship with with Nasser in our member calling my mom during that year that summer I was like. Do this every single day for like sixty five years. There's no way. This could be life, and so I knew that I was going to work for a while I. Just knew that couldn't be that person that worked until retirement indigenous. No hope to petty pitch whatever they decided I I earn so. Actually, GonNa. Probably be engineer for a while. Then I had no idea. So, walk us through what was the motivation behind starting turning natural. While two thousand, one by MOM was diagnosed with Stage two breast cancer and even though Stage two is roads of we early at that time cancelled as like a death sentence, everyone was so afraid of being diagnosed in, you know all the people that we had known to be diagnosed like my aunt who was diagnosed with stage four she passed away shortly after being diagnosed in. So our live drastically changed a mom went from a meat eater to vegetarian to Vegan and. Nine and a half years she was cancer free. Very healthy life in we found out in two thousand ten that cancer I came back. When it came back, it was much more aggressive. It's spread to her bones and then it went to her liver was in like two weeks of out that it came back my mom transition and so you'll never really hear me say my mom died I think super aggressive word. In it helps me cope to say she transition because I believe is energy. Redo that guy we just exist in another space and so shortly after my mom passed a believe that very next summer I quit my job and has started going to grief counseling When my mom transition, they give you this pamphlet that tells you what morning is GonNa look like in one minute you're GONNA be happy. One Minute you're going to be said and you're going to be depressed. That you're going to be angry. and. I was just angry I was angry for a very, very hard time. A MOM's a super spiritual woman. I was very angry with guy. Stop believing in any and everything in ages I'm already an introvert. So I literally practice. introverts space like no one could get in my space in. A really good friend of my recommended grief counseling which even made me angrier. Like I don't want to go to counselling I don't want another person to tell me to be absent from the bodies to be present with guy like that didn't make sense to me and I didn't want someone else to say I'm sorry for your loss because I really don't know how to respond to that. I don't WanNa say thank you that you're sorry for my law. So I was just in a very angry space in a started going to counseling. It was difficult because everyone that I had talked to a new mom. So I never had to explain my mother in the way that I had to explain to this counselor. and. She told me that morning isn't linear. You're not going to feel one way today, and then the next day is the next phase in pampering. You're gonNA fill multiple things on multiple days. And that was probably the single best advice that I could have gotten after my mom transition. So I'm sitting at my desk at my job at the time when I'm still in engineer and I hear my mother's voice and she said, why are you still here now in my mind I'm like I read about this this is the point where my mind I'm going crazy because if I turn around my mom is standing here I am not Right anymore. and. So I stopped what I was doing and I turned around I. Heard it again of course, she was there but I knew that Mitt like you don't WanNa do this anymore you not fulfil. You're just doing it because you're good at it. and. So I went to my boss's office and. told him as saying, Hey, you know I can't do this anymore. And you know at the time I was doing about equipment. The workload that I had was equivalent to two or three people job title. And so he said, don't worry. We're interviewing people were going to get you some help You don't understand I don't want to do this job at all anymore So I quit.