Modern Women Making Waves: Jean Arnold

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Jean Arnold   Founder 479 Degrees Popcorn

I had the pleasure of meeting Jean Arnold last January through mutual friends on a wonderful trip to the British Virgin Islands. I was instantly engaged by her friendly demeanor, humor and energy. I was delighted, yet somehow not surprised, when I learned that she was the founder of one of my favorite popcorn companies. I have been enjoying 479° degrees popcorn since it first popped up in my favorite gourmet stores a few years ago! The fact that it is air popped (healthy!) and comes in mouth watering flavors (delicious!) makes it the perfect snacking popcorn in my opinion. Known as the guilt free, guilty pleasure, 479° boasts flavors like White Cheddar & Black Truffle and Toasted Coconut Caramel. Yum!

Jean's company vision was rooted in her childhood memories of cozy evenings spent with family, enjoying fresh popcorn. Over the years she experimented with many flavors inspired by her international upbringing along with her training at Le Cordon Bleu in London. 479° refers to the optimal temperature for popping corn, and the name of Jean's company reflects the careful attention to detail she has incorporated into every aspect of her business. Jean says, "Simple, honest pleasures are the most rewarding." I think you will agree once you get to know her --and try a handful of her delicious popcorn! Good advice is a gift — what is the best advice you’ve been given?

“Wherever you go, there you are”. It’s all too common to look outside of ourselves to make us feel happy, whole, and loved. It’s easy to blame others for failed relationships, lack of connections with our children, and strives at work/with friends. Our partners and relationships are mirrors of ourselves.

Own up to who you are, what you do, and how you affect others and your own life. Work on yourself. Take accountability. No doubt, this is hard work. It’s as mundane and grating as doing the dishes, taking out the garbage every day. But once you realize you are only thing standing in the way of you getting what you truly want in life, you start doing the work.

What is on the top of your bucket list?

Gosh, tough question. I’ve travelled extensively around the world as I was fortunate to live across 3 continents. Top experiences thus far: the solar eclipse in Zambian national park, blue voyage in Turkey, along with trekking in Nepal to base camp. What’s left as the top bucket list isn’t related to travel - it would be seeing the birth of my grandchildren. I presume it’s a top experience that exceeds the hype.

Who would you invite to your ideal Girl’s Night?

I guess that assumes someone famous? Richard Simmons and all my close girlfriends in 80s dance studio outfits.

What is your go-to piece of clothing?

Jeans.

What do you sing when you are alone in your car?

Bohemian Rhapsody! Doesn’t everyone? ;-)

What was the best compliment you have received?

That my two kids are awakened, conscious souls.

How has your life been different than you imagined?

EVERYTHING about my life is different than what I’d imagined. At age 40, I didn’t expect to lose my husband and consequently become a single mom. I didn’t know I had the strength and the resilience to come out of this stronger and more grounded than ever before. Since early on, having children has never been a priority but being a mom is the best thing that’s happened to me. My children teach me so much about life, keep me in the present, and bring true meaning to “why we are here” (this is one question that plagues most of us at the end of life). If fact, we should ask this question now, every day. I think the answer is simple: it’s for love and connection. To love completely, give with everything, and receive unconditional love. To have deep emotional, spiritual connections with our kids, partners/lovers, friends, and (for those lucky few) the entire collective consciousness. I didn’t know I would become an entrepreneur. I certainly didn’t appreciate the level of passion, tenacity, intelligence, and luck required to seed and grow a company from ground up. Consequently, I feel equipped to tackle anything professionally.

As a result of my journey, I am now doing my best to focus on “intentions” and not expectations. When you “imagine” your life to be a certain way, it often leads to disappointment. Expectations place responsibility on external factors to fulfill your “imagined life” and can often underestimate the personal investments required to create the life you want. Intentions on the other hand acknowledge the role you play and places responsibility on you. Intentions projects ideal trajectories without limiting other possible paths from unfolding in your life. It’s flexible on how your life unfolds, how long things take, and helps you to embrace every moment as significant. I know, easier said than done - I am working on this every day!

What is your most-used word? (And what word do you wish everyone would stop using?)

“I think…”. Stop hedging. Just say it.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Jimmy Fallon! I want to have his babies ;)

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Caviar. Also, sleeping naked in my bed until mid-day. It’s so decadent. I don’t get to do it often.

What is your favorite museum?

Tate.

What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone?

Energy.

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