Highway to Well is both a personal journey to finding your inner balanced badass as well as a chance for us to support & celebrate each other and share our tales from the road. This week we’re making a pit stop to hang with Jess Davis, founder of Folk Rebellion, wife, mother, entrepreneur and pretty balanced badass! 

Jess has lived 9 lives. She’s a “40 Under 40 Alumn”, chronic try-new-things-er, a former ballroom dancer, and all around balanced badass. She quit her full time job and founded Folk Rebellion – a movement where she promotes slower-living and the more mindful use of technology. As a formerly plugged-in digital strategist and award-winning brand consultant, her fast tech-based career allowed her a unique perspective from the inside – out.

After 10+ years of helping clients find their digital voices, Jess looked up and realized she had in fact, helped create a society that was no longer present or connected at all. After much soul searching, research, and family-imposed vacations offline, she discovered her calling – to use her megaphone to inspire folks (and herself) to return to living in “real-life” … all while balancing their digital one.

Her rebel spirit is fueled by meandering, cliffs, live music, New Orleans, bulldogs, her family, autumn, the Adirondacks, being bored and whiskey… not necessarily in that order. We invite you to absorb some of Jess’ inspiring insight and learn more about her journey below!

NOISEMAKER - Jess Davis founder folk rebellion


What were some of your more memorable milestones on your own personal journey? 

Gosh there’s quite a few that come top of mind but the major ones are as follows:

  1. Deciding 3 weeks before college started that I wanted to turn down my scholarship and leave instead (on that same day) for an adventure out west with my best friend as a snowboard bum and bagel sandwich maker. This started my path on going the road less-traveled and not giving a shit what people thought of me and my choices or what the status quo was. It also was the first time I really followed my intuition. A little voice in my head kept screaming that being pinned down in one place for 4 years wasn’t in my DNA. I later learned that its actually true, written in the stars, I am happiest when I don’t know what life will bring.
  2. Studying art in Italy & Greece. I decided I wanted to go and so I did. Simple as that. It would’ve been easier to listen to all the reasons I couldn’t or shouldn’t. Instead I packed a backpack and gained 20 pounds on cheese and wine and about 20 likeminded friends as well. What I discovered was that when I traveled, I was truly present. I didn’t know at the time that I was being mindful or meditating on that monastery wall, but looking back I now realize this was a super enlightened period for me.
  3. NYC – moving there, living there on and off since 2001, surviving, struggling, loving and hating lady liberty all in one. I think New York made me street-smart, hungry, scrappy, creative, and resilient. All of these skills make me who I am today and made Folk Rebellion possible.
  4. Settling down – my son & my husband may be my greatest milestones since it’s so against my grain to be settled. Becoming a mother & wife grounded me in ways I never thought possible. And that settled down fear I had actually is ridiculous now looking back. Being a constant in someones life doesn’t mean settling or being stuck. It took a long time for me to get here. And I still travel all over. Maybe not in hostels with 4 bucks to my name but with a happy 4 year old in tow.
  5. Folk Rebellion – the aha moment thats been dancing in my head since the onslaught of iPhones. It’s literally my calling.


BUMPS IN THE ROAD: What have you found most challenging and what has helped overcome those challenges?

  1. Giving up my source of income was TOUGH. I’ve been fiercely independent my whole life. So to take my savings and plunk it down into my mission and stop the steady flow of dollars coming in was beyond scary. I was lucky to have enough to get me by for a long while so that all revenue from Folk Rebellion was going right back into the business. I am REALLY lucky to have a supportive husband who deserves a future FR product named after him.
  2. Working from home. They’re called the “salad days” right? It made no sense to me to pay for an office or co-working space when I had room in my own home. Welp… that comes with days of no human interaction and sweatpants. Admitting I was lonely and letting myself go was the first step. The second was throwing out all my sweatpants and finding a temporary workspace where my partner and intern and I could meet face to face and not break the bank.
  3. Balance – maintaining it. I preach it, and always lived it, but being so driven to share the mission of FR and all the unexpected hurdles of an entrepreneur life I had to take a step back many times and see if I was living my truth. The first time I was really able to admit this and the fact that I was drowning was when I asked a longtime friend and colleague to come aboard and be the yin to my yang. Rachel Greenstein became my partner and gave new life to Folk Rebellion. Now I can better focus on the things I am good at and keep work at bay when I am with my family.


What’s on YOUR HTW mixtape? 

You asked! Here goes 🙂 So much rock n’roll. The Stones, ACDC, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Clapton, the Foo Fighters, and Led Zep, Queen, Paul Simon, you name it. Also some DMB, Blues Traveler, and No Doubt (my 18 year old self won’t let it go). Lately I’ve been listening to Shakey Graves, Bahamas, Sturgill Simpson, Mumford & Sons, City & Colour, Hozier, Dawes, and Leon Bridges. Add in JJ Cale and Tom Waits for good measure. Guilty pleasures are anything Britney Spears, Hall & Oats and Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”

What does your bumper sticker say? 

Let’s Wander Where the Wifi Is Weak

Gas Station guilty pleasure…. 

Reese Pieces, 12 pack of CL’s (coors lights), and Smart Water (I know, I know….use your own bottle!)

Jess Analog as Folk



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