Community, Interviews, Space Owners

Space Owner Spotlight: Jess Ingram

Meet Jess Ingram, space owner of the spacious photography studio in East Williamsburg, and her favorites spot around Brooklyn and Manhattan 


My name is Jess or @nativemess. I’m a full blown creative. Currently, my main outlets are styling, creative direction, branding, and art. I do some “modeling” here and there but prefer to stay behind the camera as much as possible. Three years ago I got a promotion with a corporate fashion brand. This moved me from the sunny state of Florida to New York City. I had been with the company for about 4 years and needed a change. I parted ways with the corporate world and ventured out on my own. Eventually landing in Brooklyn with my studio! A big push for me to get the studio was to be able to provide a space for like-minded creatives. A space to foster creativity and bounce ideas off of other people. I always wanted and needed this when I was younger and now that I have it, I want to share it.

We are in Bushwick/East Williamsburg. The space is down the street from the L train, a few blocks from the JMZ, about a 15 minute bike ride to the heart of Williamsburg, and a $15 Uber to Soho. Every person, I feel, is doing something amazing and interesting over here – building sculptures, playing music, dancing in the street, filming a show, designing, painting, creating. When it is nice out I like to get on my bike and cruise down streets that I typically do not take on a daily basis. The people and all the old industrial buildings is very inspiring to me.


Jess’ Brooklyn Picks:

Coffee shops: Blue Bottle for convenience. Bake Shop or Grassroots for amazingness. I love Matcha and they both have a good Matcha. If you go into the city tho – Spreadhouse hands down!

Pizza place: Roberta’s

Where to grab a quick bite: Brooklyn Natural Market on Bogart has amazing deli sandwiches! So good!

Hotels: I would vote for Wythe Hotel, William Vale, or The Williamsburg Hotel.

Restaurants: Guadalupe Inn is my favorite restaurant in the area. They have tacos and live music every night. WIN WIN! Rider in Williamsburg is also amazing! Located on the corner of N 6th and Wythe. There is nothing on the menu there I do not like and I’ve tried everything. If you get a chance, I would definitely check it out!

Bars: Lantern Hall, El Cortez, Topaz, there is even a bar in the basement of my place. I’ve only gone a few times. Feel if I lived, partied, and worked all in the same building it might be a bit too aggressive. Hah!

Where to listen to live musicLantern Hall, Baby’s All Right, Rough Trade, Williamsburg Music Hall, Warsaw, National Sawdust, Freehold


Book store: Molasses Books

Galleries: Sideshow on Bedford always has interesting artists. There was a cool gallery called Reverse but it closed down. There are a lot of “pop-up” galleries in the area. You have to keep your eyes open!

Museums/Attractions: My favorite museum is The Whitney or the Cloisters but both are in the city. In Brooklyn – Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge, the piers in Dumbo (best view of the city), Museum of Food and Drink, Smorgasburg, so many things!


Furniture/design shops: Other Times – They have really cool vintage furniture here. The whole shop has a pretty rad aesthetic.

Other Must-Sees: One more cool thing about this area is the vintage shops. I grew up thrifting because, as weird as it sounds, I wanted to be just like my grandma when I was a kid. I started thrifting to find clothes similar to hers. That is not even a joke! She was the raddest woman ever. There are so many vintage shops around here! You can go into Friends on Bogart and they will give you a little vintage shop map which can make your hunting a little easier.