Joanie Simon is the creator and lifestyle personality at JoanieSimon.com. Joanie went through a life-changing transformation, which led her to quit her job and pursue her passion. Learn more about Joanie…
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
First job: My first real job was as a barista at Starbucks in 1999. I remember being so overwhelmed when I started, worrying that I would never be able to memorize the recipes of the drinks and all of the coffee knowledge. But, with a fun team of co-workers to support me, I learned how to bust a out double-tall-vanilla-skim-macchiato and survive the busy morning rush. I actually still have my Starbuck’s apron!
Favorite AZ restaurant: Can I have a top 10 list? Seriously so many favorites. But, as a third generation Arizonan, I’m serious about Mexican food and my favorite is La Santisima on 16th Street. I have literally had dreams about their Cochinita Pibil Quesa (a giant crispy corn tortilla quesadilla loaded with cheese) and their salsa bar is one of the best in Arizona in my opinion.
Person who has impacted your life the most: My husband. I would not be who I am and doing what I’m doing today without him. He supports my hair brained ideas, encourages me when I’m overwhelmed and is an amazing Dad to our two crazy little boys. I feel fortunate that he takes my business seriously. When I said I wanted to start a YouTube channel and full-time blogging, most people would think that’s crazy and treat it like a hobby. But, he’s my number one fan and even helped build me a studio kitchen to take my dreams to the next level.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes and why: My appearance on Guy’s Grocery Games will be my 61st TV appearance. The first time I was on TV for a cooking segment, I was beyond nervous and couldn’t sleep the night before. But, I did it, and kept doing it as often as possible. Facing those fears and pushing through the discomfort, gaining valuable experience enabled me to keep calm under pressure when filming with the Food Network. I got to do something I had been dreaming of for years because I persevered and can now show up on set without feeling nervous about being in front of the camera.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: I openly share my story as a recovering alcoholic and am thankful every day for having overcome that addiction. Life is still stressful and imperfect, but I have learned how to properly manage anxiety and live life more fully present.
Someone who inspires you: I am a huge fan of the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron and his ability to share his life in an open, authentic, many times hilarious way, on his own terms, inspires me to continue my journey as a content creator.
“We all fit in because none of us belongs anywhere. And, boy, what you can learn: dirty words in every language and the fact that nobody is just a typist, just a dishwasher, just a cook, just a porter, just a prostitute. That everyone has a story. Everyone has at least one story that will stop your heart.”
Blown Sideways Through Life
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Know that you’re not going to be good at it for a while and that there will be a bazillion uncomfortable moments. You might have some natural ability to talk in front of a crowd or a camera, but being good in front of the camera / at photography / at video editing doesn’t just happen (at least it didn’t for me). I had to publish 120 videos that are now cringe-worthy to me in order to start making content that I’m proud to share. But, if you don’t put yourself out there, open yourself up to embarrassment / criticism / and fake it till ya make it, you won’t ever get to where you know you can be.
What makes someone fabulous: The most fabulous people I know are good listeners. A lot of people are usually only half listening (myself included!) but the really good listeners, to me, are extra special and fabulous!
Learn more about Joanie Simon and check out her videos and recipes at joaniesimon.com.