Meet your Barista- Jazz

Jazzmyn wears many hats at Live Oak... she is not only our Hospitality Manager and the Queen of Clean... she is our Captured Community liason.  You can find her slinging espresso shots one minute and teaching an abstract art class the next.  We LOVE getting to know her and it is a joy to watch her art & graphic design business flourish.  Here are a few more notable things Jazz has to share:


What is your name?


Tell us where you are from,

Southern California (sounds heavenly doesn't it?)

What is your favorite Coffee Drink?

Oh man so many choices, Cinnamon Mocha, Cappuccino, vanilla Cold brew Red eye  (right?!)

What do you LOVE about Midland?

I love the opportunity to grow yourself without feeling intimidated by the immediate world around you. Like what you do is making a difference  (me too, one of my favorite things about Midland is that it feels like a small town with big city amenities & opportunity)

How do you hope to make Midland a better community?

I hope to simply bring the idea of how amazing each person is individually and how we each have a great part to play in the grand scheme of things. (amen)

What is an embarrassing moment you can laugh at?

Dang, um, most recently, I was carrying the electric kettle out to Ethan's car when I slipped on some ice and went down real quick, but managed to not spill the water or get to hurt. Then to hear my fall from Ethan's point of view and Logan's from inside the shop lol.  (hahahaha, oh man)

What is your favorite thing about Live Oak?

My favorite thing is the people. Everyone has made me feel empowered by my own destiny. Like I can do anything. It's a beautiful place.  (some people look for a beautiful place, others find a place and make it beautiful.... you my dear Jazzmyn are part of why it is such a beautiful place)

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy simply hanging out with my Babea And my 3 cats.  (i love that Jazz's cats have human names Dan, Josie & Wilbur)

What are you passionate about & what are some of your dreams?

Making people feel important, like their story matters and what they've been through makes them beautiful. (<-Passion) my dream would be, to simply make a difference in people's lives, through art, advice, anything. To simply touch their lives.  (I am with you sister, let's do it)

What is your favorite Charity and why?

4ocean at the moment. They clean up our oceans:)  (very cool, here is a link to check it out and see how you can help:

Artist Diaries-Gessica

Our friendship with Gessica began when she unexpectedly wandered into Live Oak... in her words, she was "drawn to us"... we instantly connected with our mutual love of people and art.  In the past year, Gessica has taught countless painting  & homeschool classes through Captured Community, championed & led our first ever Camp Equip program.  She is a mentor for our Moxie Girls club and has recently started Prayer and Painting workshops.  Gessica's passion, enthusiasm and warmth lights up a room and makes you feel as if you have been best friends forever.  Here is a little more about Gess, enjoy friends:

Where are you from?

Middlebury, IN

We all feel awkward at times... can you tell us about a time you felt particularly awkward & out of place?

I was asked to give my testimony in front of a group of college kids and their parents (for the first time)... I stumbled over my words and felt like I made no sense. I was horrified because all I wanted to do was encourage everyone and I could not get any words to flow right.

When did you first fall in love with Art and why?

Ever since I can remember I have always been doodling. I really began to appreciate Art a few years ago. I watched a woman paint during a church service and it really touched my heart. I was captivated by the positive message through a simple painting.

Who is your favorite artist?

Mindi Oaten (she is the artist I wrote about above). Olivia Alexander as well. They both allow God to guide their paint brush and process and I aspire to be like them. As far as "famous painters" I love them all for different reasons!

What is your favorite thing to create?

Pastels! Your hands get incredibly messy but the end result is beautiful!!

Tell us about the emotions you feel when creating?

I feel every kind of emotion. In fact creating is what helps me control my emotions sometimes. I feel at peace, I feel good and excited that the end result will eventually lead to a masterpiece.

What breaks your heart? What things would you like to make better in the world?

What breaks my heart is kids without parents, never truly feeling the love from mom and dad. I would love to create a place where there are moms and dads taking care of their children - they did not have to focus on their hurt but had the capacity and resources to love and love well.

How has art helped you to process pain, joy, & sorrow?

When I feel pain and sorrow, I force myself to draw, paint, doodle something. It reminds me there is an end to the process, but the process is necessary. Sometimes the pain and sorrow have to be felt in order to really see and feel the joy.

Do you think art can change the world?

Yes, it has the ability to transform lives & make our world a more beautiful place

In what ways has creative expression helped you learn new things?

Creative expression has helped me learn new things because it helps me appreciate others creative expression. Whether that be through latte art, crocheting, creating furniture, making music, etc. Art can be expressed in so many ways and we can learn a lot about people and really truly appreciate who they are. Art helps me see the world through the lens of beautiful and capturing great moments versus what is wrong with it.

Do you have any advice you could give to a person trying their hand at art & desiring to explore their creative side?

Go for it. Be kind to yourself because art is a process. Practice. Practice and Practice. Make a "creative challenge" - for example a 10 day create challenge (or choose whatever number you like) - this forces you to create. Do not beat yourself up on how it looks but ask how you can learn from it and get the result you are looking for. Surround yourself with other creators. Ask for thoughts and opinions but remember that everyone's art is personal and may not always captivate the audience. Sometimes it is simply for you and your God.


Square Roots + Midland Recyclers + Live Oak = Making a Difference


We Love People... and care for people by taking care of the earth we all love and depend on. We believe that wasting less is a beautiful way to show appreciation and respect for what we've been given. That's why we are proud to be partners with Midland Recyclers and Square Roots Composting; two awesome organizations that are helping us work toward our goal of responsible & intentional care of our resources. Composting our coffee grounds and food waste, and recycling our cardboard and plastics are small ways we can make a difference.

About our partners: Midland Recyclers is a nonprofit organization that has been working to make our community and world a better place since 1987. Besides operating the recycling center here in Midland, they provide business recycling, educational programs, and so much more! Learn more about this great organization at read an excerpt from their website below:


Midland Recyclers Mission:

To educate the community on resource conservation through waste reduction, reuse, and recycling.  To conserve resources by giving residents and businesses an opportunity to recycle by operating the Midland Recyclers Center where materials are accepted and processed.  This includes many materials not accepted by other programs.  To provide volunteer and work experience opportunities to individuals of all ages and abilities.  To offer cost efficient waste reduction and document destruction options to residents and small businesses.



Square Roots is a Midland-based composting company working hard to eliminate waste and enrich our environment. Square Roots provides food waste pickup services for anyone in the area, using several natural composting methods to turn our food waste into nutrient-rich natural compost to improve soil health for your plants and gardens. See how you too can get involved, at  read an excerpt from their website below:

Square Roots

SquareRoots food-waste pickup and compost service is a family-owned company in Midland, Michigan that integrates our personal experience with composting, recycling, natural farming and resource conservation.  Over the years, we have developed numerous environmentally sound methods of resource conservation utilizing composting, vermicomposting, bokashi and organic gardening into a set of services that produce sustainable, efficient and measurable results. Bringing our years of experience to the community, we want to share what we've learned along the way and enable you to become better acquainted with sustainable, environmentally-efficient living.

SquareRoots unique service enables you to be proactive in making Earth healthier by keeping energy-rich food material out of the landfill and putting it back into lush, green, growing plants.

Perhaps you would love to compost, but lack the time, expertise or the space to do so. Our convenient pickup service empowers you to be environmentally responsible without all the hassle!