Spontaneous road trips with friends and making fast friends with strangers--anywhere. For Shelby Jackson of Bradenton, Florida, this is only natural, because for her, #peopleareworthit. When we took a deep dive into Treehut’s Instagram history, it makes sense that the photo we came across was from a photoshoot Shelby had taken of two friends. A look through her own very vibrant Instagram feed (@shelbstaa) feels like a reflection of this people-positive philosophy. It’s a window into a life that proudly embraces even the smallest moments with the people in her life--whether she’s known them for five years or five days.
We felt lucky to have been able to exchange words with Shelby for our second Customer Spotlight in the Anniversary edition of our People of Treehut series. We are inspired and energized by her free spirit and you will be too!
Hi Shelby, thanks so much again for taking time to chat with us. We're excited to have you on board. I noticed that the hashtag #peopleareworthit appears prominently on your IG - I love that, and the feelings your words convey about the people and experiences in your life.
I am so honored and pumped to share with you guys.
Going off of your original Treehut photo, who was the recipient of the watch? Was it engraved?
These are my friends Mia and Doug. Doug was the recipient of the watch and my friend Mia gifted it to him with their anniversary date inscribed on the inside. P.S. - I actually gave them a really hard time that day because they were wearing (what I considered to be) the perfect outfits for the 4th of July. Only they wore them a day late. Ha!
Where has life taken you since that time?
Wow, where has life take me since that time? such. a. GOOD. question. 2 months before that photo, my dad died of skin cancer. So the last three years have been a conglomerate of incredible highs and some incredible lows. Because of this, I have learned so much in the grieving process & I am thankful for each moment along the way!
What's your favorite memory?
I am actually always using superlatives: most, best, favorite, & they honestly change but it's because I really love SO many things. So maybe I’ll pick two:
This year my friend Brooke moved to northern California and I got to road trip with her all the way from Florida. It was my first time seeing the muted colors & pastels of the desert in Nevada and I'm pretty sure I kept shrieking because I loved it so much!! My second favorite memory from this year was when I met my new friend Jazmine. In less than a week she really showed me all of my favorite qualities in a leader and everything I aspire to become more like.
What's your happy place?
My happy place. I have many, but I like to think the happiest place is on a back porch eating tacos & sharing life with my friends & family. A close second is the window seat on some flight to a place I've never been, meeting the stranger in the seat next to me. #peopleareworthit
Who, or what, inspires you?
Jesus & Bob Goff (my favorite author). They both were--and are--all about the people.
We're inspired by you as someone who appears to be very present, travels often and really embraces simple but special moments (like meeting and getting to know complete strangers). What's been your most interesting experience, and what has surprised you?
Gosh, I love this question.
Last year on the #brookeandshelbygowest adventure, my last stop was in San Diego to visit some of my best pals from college. While visiting, I met one of their neighbors, Peter (whom their two year old daughter accidentally introduced me to), when I was walking her to the library one day. A few days later on my way home from the store I decided to fulfill a lifelong bucket list: carry a 6-pack of beer on a walk home from the store. With the sun on my face, good tunes in my ears and the glorious breezy California weather, I was sure I was living my best life.
After dinner, we had 3 beers left so I decided to share one with their neighbor Peter. I showed up to his apartment, knocked on the door and gave him one. The next day, on my last night in town, Peter knocked on the door with 2 beers for me and my friends. I'll never forget because he said: "Last night, you didn't know it, but I had just gotten home from a friend’s funeral and the beer meant so much to me."
To be honest, some of my best stories are shared with strangers, just like Peter. And somehow it always surprises me, but I love that people are still people and we all long for connection.
Words to live by?
My sister Teri used to have a quote on her MySpace that she heard from a college professor that's seemed to stick with me for over a decade. People will disappoint; love them anyway. That’s actually a portion of where my life mantra "#peopleareworthit came from. I never wanna get so busy that I can't make time for a conversation with a best friend or a stranger. Life's too short to forget about the people.
Which Treehut watch did Shelby get for herself this time around? The Bamboo Boyd Blue. Her engraving? “People are worth it”. And as we might have come to expect, Shelby’s watch of choice isn’t for herself at all but for a friend. Shop Shelby’s watch here.
A very warm thanks to Shelby for taking the time to share her experiences with us and making our day!
If you missed our first-ever Customer Spotlight last week, find it here. If you liked what you read here, be sure to let us know in the comments and check back next week for our third Customer Spotlight!