Jessica O. Matthews

Age: 24
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY. Holds dual citizenship in Nigeria and the U.S.
How We Know Her: Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Uncharted Play

In the fall of 2008, while studying to be social scientists at Harvard University, Jessica O. Matthews and her classmate Julia Silverman (cofounder and chief social officer of Uncharted Play) were tasked with creating a "massive multiplayer game." After a few false starts, the women stumbled upon the idea to address the energy needs of developing countries using a universally popular game: soccer. The two girls used this idea to invent the sOccket--a soccer ball that doubles as an eco-friendly, portable generator. In May of 2011, Jessica and Julia founded the company Uncharted Play, a business that addresses real-world issues by distributing the sOccket to impoverished communities and working to promote events grounded in the idea that fun can be "FUNctional."

Q&A

What inspired you to start your business?

After the initial success of the sOccket, it became obvious that we could do more to build a sustainable model around fun and function. On one hand, we knew that we needed a solid business structure to really take the sOccket idea from a class project to a meaningful innovation. However, there was also a clear hope that Uncharted Play could be an example of what's possible beyond the sOccket--when people not only aim to "do good" and "do good business" but make it the foundation of an organization's DNA. If we can inspire even just one more person to found a social enterprise because we've created a path, then Uncharted Play will be a success.

Throughout the course of your career, how have you stayed true to your spirit?

My family and friends are great when it comes to keeping true to myself. According to them, I've always been a wild spirit, incredibly difficult to tame and always looking for something meaningful to direct my energy into. Of course, the rest of the world doesn't always know what to do with people like me, but my family and friends are always there to let me know that it's okay to be my authentic self, no matter how weird it may seem to the masses.

You talk a lot about play. What are some of the things you do to unwind?

I love to play recreational sports and dance for fun whenever I hear music. In general, I try not to take myself too seriously--this means laughing frequently throughout the day and making sure I take time to do simple things like watch ridiculous TV shows.

You can also share how you live a life with spirit on Baileys® creamwithspirit.com. Sign up and upload photos from Instagram, Facebook, etc. using the hashtag #withspirit.

Mickela Mallozzi

Age: 30
Hometown: Stamford, CT
How We Know Her: Host and Founder of Bare Feet™

If you asked classically trained dancer Mickela three years ago whether dance was still a part of her life, she probably would have said no. However, when her passion for the art just wouldn't subside she quit her job in music management and started Bare Feet™, a travel blog in which she chronicles her adventures traveling the world and learning about other cultures through tradition and art. Bare Feet™ has since expanded into a popular web series and Mickela is now determined to someday create her own international dance tours. Her mission is to inspire through dance, harvest creativity and make it easy for others to learn along with her.

Q&A

Throughout the course of your career, how have you stayed true to your spirit?

Three years ago, when I first started pitching the Bare Feet™ idea to production companies, distribution channels and sponsors, I had a relatively positive response, but the most common reply was, 'You're too niche...' I realized I wasn't doing this for the appeal; I honestly started this project to educate myself, and maybe a few others, on traditional dance as a means of communicating and connecting with other cultures. I never wavered from that. No matter how many times I heard the word 'no,' I just kept looking for opportunities where the answer would eventually become 'yes.'

What is your favorite type of dance?

Personally, my favorite type of dance is ballet. I grew up as a classically trained dancer, and that specific technique will always have a special place in my heart. Outside my training and through my travels, I have also had the privilege of learning the tango in Buenos Aires, which has been one of my favorites. Talk about having a conversation with someone through dance!

What are your three travel essentials?

Collapsible Travel Bag - I never check a bag so I can save time waiting at baggage claim and eliminate the possibility of losing my luggage. I always pack my Longchamp Le Pliage travel bag in my carry-on so I can pick up souvenirs during my trip like traditional costumes, musical instruments or masks.

Pen & Notepad - In a digital age, we rely heavily on our smartphones. When I'm traveling, my phone is usually roaming, so the battery tends to run out much faster. I always have a pen and a little notepad on me to jot down ideas, names of places, etc. They'll never run out of juice!

Comfortable Shoes - I'm not a heels girl, unless I'm dancing. I always pack comfortable shoes--comfortable enough that if I were stuck in them all day, I would be 100 percent fine. (It happens more often than expected.) And there are plenty of fashionable flats out there!

You can also share how you live a life with spirit on Baileys® creamwithspirit.com. Sign up and upload photos from Instagram, Facebook, etc. using the hashtag #withspirit.

Amy Jain (pictured right) & Daniella Yacobovsky

Age: both 30
Hometown: AMY—DALLAS, TX; DANIELLA—LAS VEGAS, NV
How We Know Her: Cofounders of BaubleBar

Just months before they were set to graduate from Harvard Business School and head to Wall Street, Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky made a life-altering decision. Instead of following a secure career path, they opted to turn a school project into a viable business in the world of online retail. Frustrated by what they saw as the lack of a middle market in the jewelry industry (only investment pieces or cheap thrills), they launched BaubleBar, an e-commerce site for high-quality fashion jewelry without the markup. Sourcing jewels directly from designers, BaubleBar offers a constant influx of new items and collaborations with big names like Ericson Beamon, Nina Garcia and Maya Brenner. We recently sat down to talk with Amy and Daniella about taking the jewelry biz by storm.

Q&A

What's it like working as a duo? What are some of the best and the most challenging aspects?

It's great! We've known each other for about nine years and are very close friends. We know how to work well together, which means knowing the other person's strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, we complement each other well, which is probably the key to our success. The most challenging aspect of working together is that we communicate so well that we sometimes need to remember to take things out of 'Amy and Daniella' language so other people in the room can follow along.

Throughout the course of your career, how have you stayed true to your spirit?

We started BaubleBar based on our own needs as two people who love and constantly shop for jewelry, and we always try to see things through the eyes of the customer. Whenever we think about introducing anything, we take off our CEO hats and put on our consumer hats--if we wouldn't be excited about buying it, we don't pursue it.

What are your three essentials for the holiday season?

1. Baubles, of course! They spruce up any outfit, so we can easily head from the office to after-parties without changing.

2. The YSL Touche Eclat, to help hide the effects of sleepless nights.

3. The Olympus Pen camera, to capture every single moment.

You can also share how you live a life with spirit on Baileys® creamwithspirit.com. Sign up and upload photos from Instagram, Facebook, etc. using the hashtag #withspirit.

Jennifer Pahlka

Age: 42
Hometown: Oakland, CA
How We Know Her: Founder and Executive Director of Code for America

It wasn't until Jennifer began her career in the non-profit sector that she really got a behind- the-scenes look into the way government works--and simultaneously realized why many feel so disconnected from the institution. Never one to sit idly on a problem, she was determined to fix it. So she founded Code for America--a business that works with talented web professionals and cities around the country to promote public service and reboot government through web-based solutions like transportation apps that track real-time subway arrivals or a school-selection tool for parents. Jennifer is well known for her TED Talk, Coding a Better Government, and she is passionate about helping American communities grow through meaningful technology.

Q&A

We heard that you live with five chickens (cool!). What's another fun fact about you?

Actually, now it's eight! We added a Golden Laced Wyandotte and two Australorps to our flock. We hope they start laying soon. Another fun fact? I always live on borders between two cities. I think it's significant because I like working between two groups or communities.

You speak on a lot of TED panels. Do you have a favorite TED Talk?

I have two. Sir Ken Robinson's famous plea for a more progressive, creative education system is both entertaining and really important. I think a lot of people understand what's he saying in this talk, but I wish we were doing more about the problem!

My other favorite is Brene Brown's talk about shame and vulnerability. She really gets at that crazy tension in our lives between being strong and opening ourselves up to each other. Everyone says this talk speaks to women in particular, but I wish more men would watch it and try to relate.

Throughout the course of your career, how have you stayed true to your spirit?

Many people have wanted Code for America to be dozens of different things and I've had to remember that we're a lot more likely to achieve our vision if we stay true to our character. I'm glad I've resisted the temptation to be all things to all people. But as both Code for America and the opportunity to do more has grown, I've also had to let go of parts of who I thought I was in order to rise to that challenge. The trick is to know what's core and what needs to change over time.

I'm lucky to have been surrounded by people who encouraged me to be who I am… I don't know if I would have started Code for America, or if Code for America would have had the same impact, if not for these people. If I have stayed true to my spirit, it's an outcome of getting clear on my values over the years. Looking back, I'm surprised it took me so long. You get a little more confident as you get older.

You can also share how you live a life with spirit on Baileys® creamwithspirit.com. Sign up and upload photos from Instagram, Facebook, etc. using the hashtag #withspirit.

Marlo Scott

Age: 42
Hometown: Columbus, IN
How We Know Her: Founder & Owner of Sweet Revenge

After spending years at some of New York's largest media companies as a director of new business ventures while also moonlighting as an at-home cupcake chef, Marlo Scott was desperate to start her own pastry business. When faced with a particularly "lucky" layoff back in 2007, she embraced the potentially dire situation and took it as her opportunity to transform her love of baked goods, travel and adventure into the quaint cupcake and wine bar, Sweet Revenge. There she bakes and sells all her own cupcakes and pairs them with beers and wines--creating, in short, the ultimate happy hour.

Q&A

What inspired you to start your business?

I had a special knack for getting laid off in my past corporate life and got the pink slip at three companies in a row. I also had a gift for working for uninspiring superiors. This combination of factors inspired me to become my own boss. I knew I could create a happy work environment for myself and others, love what I do for a living and bring a little joy to the world though sugar and alcohol. Hence the name Sweet Revenge—indeed, it's my very happy revenge on The Man.

What is your favorite cupcake and beer or wine pairing?

My fave cupcake-and-wine pairing is the namesake Sweet Revenge with a Malbec, since I'm a peanut-butter junkie. It's a peanut-butter cupcake with chocolate ganache in the center, topped off with peanut-butter-fudge frosting, cocoa dusting and crumbled peanuts. The Region One Malbec is from Argentina, and it's quite jammy and smooth. Together they taste like a very adult PB&J.

Throughout the course of your career, how have you stayed true to your spirit?

My mantra is 'live life deliciously.' Ever since I left the corporate jungle, I've worked hard every day to see that dream come true (for myself and others). I believe in developing my staff, helping my patrons network and seeing folks connect, so they can set out on a path that makes them happy. I'm very appreciative of my staff, neighbors, friends, family and patrons from near and far who help me achieve my big dreams at Sweet Revenge. It's important to give back and put good karma out there.

You can also share how you live a life with spirit on Baileys® creamwithspirit.com. Sign up and upload photos from Instagram, Facebook, etc. using the hashtag #withspirit.

Spirit in Action

Spirit in Action

Photo credit: Benedetto Di Girolamo

Mickela Mallozzi overlooking her family's hometown of Minturno, Italy

Photo credit: Bridget Palardy

Mickela Mallozzi with a tango partner in San Telmo's Sunday Market at Plaza Dorrego

Photo credit: Mike Kuharic

Mickela Mallozzi with the Caribbean Ritual Dancers at the 60th Anniversary Carnival in St. Thomas

Spirit in Action

Spirit in Action

Spirit in Action