Become Inspired by Jessica Collaco’s Leap of Faith

Jessica is one of my co-workers at Cafe Gratitude. She was part of the original group hired for the opening of the Venice location. I didn’t really get to know her until years later. She was pregnant with her third daughter when she was hired and went on maternity leave about five months after we opened. She was lucky enough to actually take a year off after her daughter was born and we were all lucky enough that she came back to work with us. Jessica is a star that shines in our community.jessica collaco She is so supportive and caring. She’s always available for “mommy talks” as I still consider myself a new mom even though my son is two years old. She inspires me in many ways. She somehow balances being a working mom with also being a children’s book author. I know how hard it can be to continue an art while being a mom and working. Sometimes that art can only be nourished in the wee hours of the morning. Yet she still comes in work smiling and happy to be there. She is also a grounding force as a friend and to her family. I don’t have many of those as I seem to be the very same to many others in my life. Jessica helps me figure out the boring stuff no one wants to think about; achieving financial goals, life insurance, and parenting issues. She somehow makes it look easy being a mother of three, a part-time server, and promoting her book while balancing life’s obstacles. I hope you will enjoy her inspiring story.




When in your life did you realize your dream?

There is something about having children that makes you get really focused, really fast, on what you want to do outside of your time as a parent. Those 3 minutes a day start to look really important. Sometime between wiping spit-up off my shirt and trying to fold a fitted sheet, I had an epiphany that if the mindful, inspiring, positive children’s books that modeled compassion, empathy, optimism and reflection didn’t exist, then I may very well be able to write them myself.

How would you define success?

Balance. Have you ever seen a circus performer spin plates? Or have you simply noticed how tricky it is to find perfect balance on an old-school scale like they have in the Doctor’s office? I have personally experienced “isolated success” in family, career, spiritual growth, health, relationships, etc. but I have found in order to have that success, I must let go of something else which tips the scales or sends a plate crashing down. When each area of my life has a level of satisfaction and I feel at peace, I feel successful.

How do you describe your work?

I write empowering children’s books that encourage love, unity, inner-peace and optimism. (I got really frustrated with books and media that were modeling unkind behavior and values, so I decided to create stories that reinforce all the beautiful qualities we showed up with).

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Figuring out how to use correct punctuation in narrative form. No really….I am proud of that, learning how to purchase a bar code for my cover, how to use and prepare illustrations for printing and how to do a book reading that will hold the attention of ten 5 year olds. firenzecollage copyI am proud that I had the courage to figure it all out and make a book that communicates a message to readers (not just the kids) that we are here to share our gifts, even when it’s difficult.

What was your “leap of faith” moment?

I never intended to start a publishing company. I was simply going to send my manuscripts off to traditional publishers and let them do all the hard stuff. Until my husband told me about a friend who works with a lot of illustrators….and my cousin introduced me to a book printer….and a friend told me about Kickstarter….and a co-worker said he was willing to make a promo video for me….and someone I met was willing to make some sketches for me. When all the pieces were right in front of me, I decided I would crowdfund what I needed to get the book drawn and figure out how to get it printed. You must also know I was enormously pregnant with my third child at this point….so it was a hefty leap (watch this video if you don’t believe me).




What advice would you give to someone in your field?

If you don’t know, Google it, ask for help, seek input from those you trust, get feedback. Then go take a bath, be still, take a nap—do whatever it is you do that allows your intuition to function outside of logic. Have the courage to wait until any doubt or confusion passes and make choices from a true place of clarity.

How can people view your work?

-Our first title “Firenze’s Light”, the empowering tale of a firefly who must decide whether to hide her light or let is shine, can be found at www.shineyourlightbooks.com or on Amazon (hard cover, ebook, audio book).jessica read

-In the Los Angeles area, you can support your local bookstores by purchasing “Firenze’s Light” at Alice’s Quiet Mind Bookstore (located at Agape Spiritual Center) or at {pages} a bookstore in Manhattan Beach.

-Follow the progress of our next titles and get a dose of inspiration when you follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Jessica is so wonderful to have offered all of my readers a FREE download of Firenze’s Light for a limited time! So share this with your friends!



One thought on “Become Inspired by Jessica Collaco’s Leap of Faith

  1. Sue eiler

    Jessica , I have really enjoyed reading your book to our grandchildren. ( Lauren has 4 and Ross is expecting 4th.) Keep writing! Sue Eiler

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