None of what is happening at Bloom would be possible without the incredible team behind it. With our Meet the Team Series, we will be introducing the individuals who are working hard to make all of this possible.

Now, meet one of our most helpful team members, Missa, one of our Project Managers:

Portrait of Missa

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Oakland, California, but my family moved early, and I grew up on Whidbey Island in Washington.

What do you love most about Whidbey Island?
Whidbey is beautiful. Being on an island means water is always nearby, the weather stays mostly constant, and you are separated from the crowds of the bigger cities. There are tons of great places to explore, some really interesting history, and was a great place to grow up.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
There were a few things in theater I wanted to be when I was really young. I thought I would be a great Stage Manager, or Costume designer. When I got to high school, I was deciding between a Sign Language Interpreter, Drama Teacher, or Computer Networking. I mostly pursued sign language for the first couple of years, and almost had an associate degree in deaf studies, before I switched to business.

Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?
Who wouldn't I share a meal with? As long as the food is good. Maybe Alton Brown is a good choice. We could talk about food, he's really entertaining, and you know he will bring something good if it is potluck style. Although, I did have the opportunity to dine with Ernst Loosen, at a winemaker dinner, and he has some really great stories, excellent taste in wine, and wears very colorful pants.

What is your biggest vice?
Collecting hobbies. I have to try a little of everything. It has gotten out of control honestly, and now there is sewing/pattern drafting, baking, cooking, painting, calligraphy, leather craft, jewelry, photography, furniture design/construction, dance (mostly swing), beekeeping, pysanky, auto restoration, glass bead making, and a whole lot more.

Who has inspired you most in your career?
The teacher I TA'd for senior year of high school. She taught me a lot about work ethic, sharing knowledge, taking care of your community, and having confidence in myself. Just before graduation, she had the students in the class write me a letter of recommendation as a group project (while I was out of the room for graduation rehearsal). The letter included funny things like “smells good”, but also really nice things like “is really patient when teaching new skills”. She, and those students, really made a huge impact on my life. She even hired me for my first post high school job, as a sign language tutor for elementary summer school. Thank you Ms. Z, you are still the best!

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I wrestled in middle school (varsity) and high school (JV).

Outside of “Bloom hours”, what's your favorite way to spend time?
Working on my 1969 VW Karmann Ghia. I converted it to an all electric vehicle, and it runs better than it ever did with the gas engine. I'm also really into costume design, so Halloween is a big deal around my house. Everyone has to suffer through, I mean gets to enjoy multiple costumes each year.

What was your very first job?
My Aunt hired me when she opened her toy shop. I mostly helped set up shelves, and installed the POS software. Although, she did also keep me on long enough to paint a mural for the stuffed animal wall.

What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
Day9.tv and competitive video games. He's a video game streamer/commentator. I started watching him back when he played StarCraft 2 (Fun day Monday). Now he plays other games and does commentary a lot more. I am terrible at these games, but I do love to watch.

What are three things still left on your bucket list?

  1. Visit Brazil for Carnival
  2. Take a sommelier course
  3. Stay in an Ice hotel during the Northern lights.

OK quick answer!

Podcast or book? Book

Texting or talking? Texting

Invisibility or super strength? Super strength

Cake or pie? Cake

Star Wars or Lord of the Rings? Star Trek

Tea or coffee? Both

Ocean or mountains? Ocean

Climb a mountain or jump from a plane? Climb a mountain

Ninjas or pirates? Pirates

Would you rather be a tiny elephant or a giant hamster? Tiny elephant

Photo by Jamie Colman