By Brandy Black
Paletas by day, dance parties by night and and an engagement photo shoot in-between. Power mom Jennifer Roper is an inspiration and truly fabulous. I don’t know how she stays on top of it all while raising her daughter in Los Angeles with her wife. I finally caught up with her in all the madness to find out what makes this woman tick!
She tells me about her family…
My wife and I have been together for 11 years but were just married this past June, 2 days after the verdict to legalize same sex marriage We set the date before we knew but figured it was going to be a huge celebration or a giant F-you, either way a it was going to be an crazy, fun, emotional fete. Our (then 7 year old) daughter chose her role in the wedding to be the ring “burier” She not only brought the rings down the aisle but did a reading of a poem she wrote and read the lyrics to The Cure’s song “The Love Song”
Tell me about Si Paletas and what inspired you to start the business?
The only thing I feel like is really “me” has to do with food, travel, celebrations/gatherings and aesthetics. Combining all three led me to Paletas..beautiful to look at but made by hand with interesting flavors and totally inspired by my Mexico travels somehow it all led to these crazy interesting ice pops. My daughter certainly loves being the test taster.
You have been our family photographer for years now, how long have you been LA’s family/wedding/corporate photographer?
I graduated from art school and had always know I would be in the arts in some fashion. Photography always satisfied my voyeuristic nature and I loved the off the cuff aspect of weddings, events and portraiture. You can treat every event the same or look for something new each time and I choose to do the latter. I thrive in being thrown in to a new situation and having to flourish. It is the same feeling i get when traveling.
You have been an inspiration to my family in that you have a deep love for travel, tell me where you’ve been and why it’s so important for you to travel with your family?
Just like I mentioned above I LOVE being in the midst of unfamiliarity. I often explain that when i am in a country I don’t know the language I feel like the rest of my senses (or survival instincts) kick in on overload. I become hyper aware of people and social nuances and I love that. We started traveling with our daughter since day one and my biggest hope for her is to instill a curiosity for the world. It is too easy to become myopic with a child and we always want to remind her that there is so much more in the world than our immediate surroundings. As a family we have been to Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Quebec along with many domestic trips. My wife was born and raised in the Czech Republic and I have traveled most of Europe and beyond. We leave for Turkey in a few weeks!!
What else should I know about you?
That is about it. Although we live in Los Angeles I don’t feel like we have a very LA lifestyle. We are pretty focused on our neighborhood in our daily life then try to get away, locally and internationally as much as possible. My daughter thinks she is going to grow to be a photographer but she doesn’t realize I won’t allow it and will steer her into something sensible like the Peace Corps.