People Feature | Tessa and Derek Harvey
I met Tessa in the first month or two of returning to Colorado Springs. I remember when our mutual friend, Abby, introduced us to one another thinking she had to be one of the coolest additions made to COS since I’d left in 2012. I mean, she left again but for while she and her husband and one of their precious daughters, Journey, was here the city was cooler. When I was curating the list for who to feature throughout this series, they popped into my mind without much effort. Primarily because they’re one of the best examples of actually following the heart that I’ve ever seen. Tessa came into my office at Welcome Fellow and said she was moving back to the PNW because during a recent vacation they felt it was best. Only in my dreams. Now, they live in a camper on their friend’s property. They fasted from social media IN FULL for a year. They go on couples retreats to work on them and their togetherness. They’ve been through incredible loss and the most miraculous gifts. Although we don’t talk frequently, I’m thankful for social media so that I can catch glimpses and be reminded to check in with what my heart wants, not just what my mind tells me is good. Thanks for your time, Harvey’s. I can’t wait to see where you go next. xx-k
Q: “What are two things you would want us to know about you as individuals?”
Tessa Harvey “I’m a crunchy-granola mom, wannabe minimalist, and an idealist married to a realist. I’m a deep feeler and have a high value for connection and vulnerability. When I was 17 I got to back-pack around Europe for a month with my brother and cousin and believe that’s where my love for travel began.”
Derek Harvey: “I just underwent a major career shift after a decade in the non-profit world – I’m now a freelance consultant. I’m also a writer, speaker, wannabe cyclist and minimalist, and a musician. True story: I once played drums with some bandmates of mine at a bar in Albania…we played a Celine Dion song. Even Albanians love Celine Dion!”
Q: What are your days filled with, Monday through Friday as well as your weekends?
TH: “Currently our days are filled with juggling our two daughters, Journey Mae (4yrs.) and Wilde Hope (10mo.) while both building businesses. Our newest venture has us living in a travel trailer on some friends' property. So our days are now filled with the outdoors and trying to plan for adventures as a family on the weekends. When we’re not working on the daily hustle we like to go on bike rides, hang out with friends, go on hikes and when we can I love to go to the coast for some beach time..”
DH: “Well, we live in the Pacific Northwest so... first? Coffee. Always. As Tess mentioned, living in a travel trailer on five acres has brought our family in very close quarters, which has been amazing! We now spend a lot of time together cooking, eating, exploring outside, and going to coffee shops. Our 4-year-old actually requests to go to coffee shops…what kid does that?! I’m currently hustling that entrepreneur life by freelance consulting. I have a few clients right now that keep me busy, and they’re VERY different from each other. One is a community development corporation that’s all about serving underserved communities. I consult on their communications, marketing, and branding. Another client is an email marketing company for e-commerce businesses. I project manage and consult on their systems and processes. On one end I get to be strategic and creative, and on another I get to tap into my very natural rhythm of thinking analytically and being process-oriented. Weekends are filled with hang times with friends or other projects we’re working on (podcasting, blogging, videos, etc.).”
Q: “How does the other encourage you or challenge you?”
TH: “To be honest, this is one of the hardest things in our marriage. We communicate so differently and I’ve struggled to feel encouraged by Derek. But it’s because his style is so different than mine. I give lots of praise and encouragement with my words and sometimes it can be quite intense. Derek is quiet and gentle in his delivery and often with as few words as possible. This drives me nuts. But he does encourage me in ways that often go unnoticed. He helps me by creating the space I need to chase my dreams and by asking me the right questions to get me thinking. He also helps encourage me by doing a lot around the house. There are also not very many ideas or dreams that I’ve had that he has shot me down on. He is usually so encouraging and supportive of all my crazy ideas. But he always adds his thoughtful insight and helps me in ways I never fully appreciated before.
DH: “Sometimes Tessa straight pisses me off with her “encouragement.” However, I’ve learned over time that her encouragement and challenging is from a deep place of respect and conviction that I have more to offer the world. And she’s often right…further pissing me off. She can be annoyed when I seem to be acting aloof. But she’s just the right amount of spice I need to get my rear in gear and go after the things I actually want to pursue! She helps me walk the walk instead of just talk the talk. She's incredibly encouraging with her words and often goes out of her way to help me create space to be creative and get refueled.
Q: “What was your career or what you were pouring into when you first met one another?”
TH: “When Derek and I met we both were young and didn’t have a career path ahead of us. Derek changed his major his second year in school and started chasing more of the media world. He got his degree in Radio and Television and that landed him his first job doing media directing at a local Church. At the time I was into photography and carried my camera everywhere. I began to build a business with photography and also graphic design.”
DH: “Prior to meeting Tessa, I was pursuing a pre-med degree and planning to become a Physical Therapist. Somewhere along the way I realized that’s definitely NOT what I wanted to do. I was far more interested in tinkering and technology. I also thought I’d be a preacher and teach the Bible and, ya know, save the world! I’m now doing none of those things. I’m still saving the world…it just looks different.”
Q: How does it look now?”
TH: ”After 9 years, last month Derek finished working at a church and decided to chase his dream of consulting and lean into more of his untapped potential. He is a peacemaker, bridge-builder and a restorer. He wanted to bring that to the consulting world. It’s a new chapter for us and we couldn’t be more excited and hopeful for taking a leap of faith to walk more into what we feel we were made to be doing. Derek and I have always felt we work really well together. Before we had kids we worked together on the media team and I was a graphic designer and he was my boss. 😉 We loved it, it was a fun time in our lives and I enjoy looking back on those days. It was also filled with binge watching the T.V. series, Lost. I’m still doing graphic design and photography but feel a pull into a new venture. Still navigating what it all looks like but I’m certain it will involve me writing and speaking. Just not sure on the “what” yet. In the meantime, Derek and I started a podcast called, The Wanderers. It’s been a place for us to share and talk about some observations we’ve had about life and navigating grief and deconstruction as we’ve had to overcome some hard things in the last few years.”
DH: “My vocation is richer now than I ever thought possible. I’m pursuing things I never thought I would. And I’m exploring areas I never gave myself permission to explore before. Tessa is a big instigator of that. I’m now fully self-employed. I’m freelance consulting and dreaming of ways to generate cash flow on the side (investing in real estate, etc.). I’ve launched an online business and created an online course. We’ve launched a podcast together! We’re talking about doing a video series or YouTube channel on tiny living. Life is exciting and full! I couldn’t be happier with my career right now.”
PC: Emily Louise
I’m thankful for the depth of the share throughout this post as well as the tale we’re told of young love growing deeper roots with each obstacle and year that life presents. Thanks for being vulnerable, light hearted and sharing with your story with us. xx-k