About Jessica Tejeda of Jessica's Shredding Team of the East Bay Area: Hayward, CA
Founder / President
God didn’t teach her to quit.
At age 19, Jessica Eloisa Tejeda wanted one thing: an office job.
The problem? She didn’t have any office experience.
Growing up, her family owned a chain of restaurants. Through working in her family’s restaurants as a waitress, Jessica learned she loved serving people. She always made sure they were comfortable, satisfied, and happy. She was a hard worker and knew that an office job could help her build a better life for herself and her child.
But every receptionist job listing asked for at least a year of office experience. It would take a miracle to get hired, and so Jessica prayed.
Her miracle came when she responded to a newspaper ad and applied to work at a local shredding company.
It was clear she didn’t have the right experience for the job. The owners were a father-son team, and the father was ready to reject her outright: she was too young, didn’t have enough computer experience, didn’t know the programs she needed to know. But the son saw something during her interview and decided to give her a chance.
They taught her everything: how to use a computer, how to speak like a professional, how to interact with customers, how to operate a phone with six lines.
Every day she got something wrong. Every day she was scolded for a different mistake. Every day she cried in the bathroom on her lunch break.
But she didn’t quit.
After a few years as a receptionist, the company’s accountant announced they were retir-ing. She asked for the job and got that same familiar answer: you’re too young, you don’t have enough experience, who’s going to trust you to handle money?
But she prayed. And she remained dedicated to the job: even when she was pregnant, she only took a day off to give birth and then was right back in the office the next day.
The company hired four different people for the accountant job—and not one of them stayed for more than a month.
Finally, they gave Jessica a chance. The previous accountant trained her in accounting, her binders exploding with notes. She was determined to make this work.
Nothing worthwhile in life is easy.
Even though in her professional life she was making strides, her personal life became more and more difficult by the day. She found the courage to leave an abusive marriage, but divorce left her feeling like a failure. Her faith broken, Jessica gave up on God.
Trying to live without God was the most challenging time in her life. She felt completely alone, even shunned by her own family. At work, the bookkeeper was still pointing out her mistakes, and it seemed she’d never make it as an accountant. She didn’t know where she and her three kids were going to live. For a time, they lived in a garage, with barely enough to get by.
She felt like she had lost everything.
But as always, God had other plans.
Something called her back to church, and God spoke to her. He reminded her that He still loved her, He will always love her, and He will always be there for her. No matter how many times she failed, He would help her get up again. And as long as she moved forward with God, He would never leave her behind.
When she started rebuilding her relationship with God, she got her family back, her chil-dren back, and met the man who would become her husband.
Things began turning around at work, too. After three years of pointing out her mistakes, the company bookkeeper finally said to the owners, “You need to put her in college to study accounting.”
And that’s what they did: she took classes at Chabot College while pregnant with her fourth child.
After two years of taking classes, she learned enough accounting to finally, truly excel at the job she was so dedicated to. She knew what she was doing and felt confident in her work with financials and income statements. Everything began coming together. Everything finally made sense.
Even the bookkeeper noticed her hard work paying off.
“You don’t need me anymore,” he said. “You pay me for no reason. She gets it.”
The company owners began entrusting her with more and more responsibilities, until she was essentially running the company herself.
No one made a single decision without consulting Jessica first. Everyone came to her for answers and guidance. She worked side-by-side with the owners, who trusted her with the whole business.
And ever the servant’s heart, Jessica was always willing to help.
A new chapter begins.
In 2019, when the owners announced they were retiring, at first Jessica was nervous: Where will I go? What will I do next? What will my future hold? But she knew God would direct her path.
“He’s taken me this far,” she said. “He’ll tell me where to go next.”
When she spoke to the owner—the same one who interviewed her 23 years before, who gave her the chance that would change the course of her life—about what she could do when the company sold, he said simply, “Why don’t you start your own?”
The idea of owning her own business wasn’t something Jessica ever really considered. She saw how her family struggled in the restaurant business, and she didn’t want her kids to think she wasn’t there when they needed her.
Start my own business? Her gut reaction was, “Yeah, right!”
So Jessica prayed.
She thought back through her whole life: her difficult upbringing, the struggle to support her family, the abuse she went through in her childhood and in her first marriage.
Now that she was finally happy—a loving family, a beautiful marriage—could she risk losing it all?
“God,” she said, “if this is something you want me to do, open the doors, and I’ll step through them. But if this is something that will break me or break my family, just close the doors and I’ll understand.”
And you know what? Every door seemed to open for her, with even the slightest touch.
Everyone she spoke to about her venture had a positive, encouraging response. She made a list of the steps to get her business off the ground and began ticking each item off, one by one.
Not once was a door closed.
Her first clients directed her to BNI (Business Network International), which helped her expand her network further and become a better businessperson. She learned the way she always did: by getting her hands dirty, learning from her mistakes, and not letting anything stand in her way.
A year later, and her shredding company—Jessica’s Shredding Team—is in business and moving forward.
God didn’t teach her to quit.
Jessica went from nothing, to running an entire company, to owning her own business. There were so many moments she could have quit, but she didn’t. She grew stronger than she ever thought she could become, and with God at her side, she knows that anything is possible.