May. 15, 2017

Jocelyn Patterson

Georgetown Women Who Brunch

I met with Jocelyn Patterson at Diangelo’s on Front Street one afternoon. We stopped in and had a delicious salad and some of their bruschetta (one of my personal favorites). We spent about an hour talking and, of course, that meant I had to come home and write about my time with her.

“You know I left when I was fourteen years old and moved to New York,” she said of her youth.

“What was in New York?” I asked.

“My mother,” she replied as she explained, “My grandmother raised me and when I was fourteen, I just decided I wanted to go live with my mother for a while.”

Sheldon Butts had suggested we meet. He thought I would find her to be an interesting person to write about because he felt she added to the community of Georgetown. So naturally, I had to ask the follow up question as to why she came back to Georgetown.

Jocelyn explained that her grandmother had passed away and in doing so, left her everything.

“That is such a sad reason to return,” I commented.

“It is,” she agreed. “She was my best friend. I used talk to her all the time about things. I will miss her so much, however, God has a plan and sometimes you can find blessings in the most devastating places, even in death.”

We talked about Sheldon Butts, we talked about some of her family, and we talked about her career. Jocelyn shared with me that her grandmother taught her to find what she loved to do and to have a job doing it. She loves shoes.

“I even sold shoes online for a while,” she admitted.

“Shoes?” I said quite surprised.

Jocelyn laughed, “Yes, shoes!”

“Well my daughter would marry you. She’s a shoe horse and loves her shoes.”

“I would marry her too because I love shoes just as much,” she said laughing. “I wanted to design a comfortable shoe that is a classic pump for professional women and it won’t hurt their feet to wear them. I want to specialize in sizes 10-14 for women.”

I nodded my head. “Uh-huh, I really need to introduce you two. My daughter would be your perfect model to try them out. How did you learn to design the shoes, though?”

“Well, I went to different places and learned from different people,” she explained. “At the time of my grandmother’s passing, I was all set to move to Milan, Italy. I had already shipped things over there to where I would be staying. I did live there for about six months before finally moving back to Georgetown.

We even drew pictures of shoes on my notepad. Her picture was far more artistic than mine.

As she drew her shoe she added, “I also worked as a U.S. Brand Ambassador that represents overseas corporations, specifically Africa. I worked with Lonia, another shoe designer, and have worked for free just for the experience by doing an internship designing shoes. I’ve even made my own design and had the first prototype made. I’m working on the second prototype now.”

“What is a U.S. Brand Ambassador?” I had no idea what that was. The question was begging to be asked.

“There are companies overseas who don’t sell in the United States and a U.S. Brand Ambassador helps those companies to be able to do that,” she answered.

Jocelyn explained the design of her prototype, which is a weave or Gullah style. She’s trying to stay with an African theme. She compared it to the Gullah basket weaving I’ve seen. That does sound like a very beautiful design and I’m anxious to see her work completed (to buy my daughter a pair of shoes).

In addition to the shoes, and since returning to her hometown, Jocelyn has started “Georgetown Women Who Brunch.” I love this concept and I do believe it will do really well here.

“Tell me a little something about it,” I encouraged.

As her eyes lit up, I could see this is something she’s very passionate about. “Well, when I came back home, to Georgetown, I noticed that a lot of my friends, particularly women, are in the same place doing the same thing. I thought about that for a while and decided I wanted to help women to become something more than they already were. I wanted to empower the women of Georgetown to live a more purposeful life and open their minds.”

“How do you do that though?” I asked as I took some notes.

“We meet for a light brunch at different places, usually about every other month, and I’ll have a guest speaker who will talk about what they’ve done in their lives that gives them purpose.” Jocelyn went on to add, “I hope to one day have regular memberships.”

Jocelyn told me to find her and Georgetown Women Who Brunch I simply go to Event Brite and search by city and state (Georgetown, SC) and her events will come up.

Sheldon was right; Jocelyn Patterson is truly an amazing woman. I’m glad she’s returned to Georgetown because she has some wonderfully innovative ideas that will help our town and community grow. Welcome home Jocelyn!