When the coronavirus pandemic hit, event designer Ieasha James saw her business slow down, since most weddings and other spring and summer gatherings were canceled. But the turn of events didn’t slow down James one bit. Rather, the Dorchester resident saw an opportunity to step up her philanthropic endeavors, helping those in need with everything from delivering groceries and care packages to providing Easter baskets for one family’s nine children. “I honestly believe that’s what I’m here for, to help others,” said James, 39, who lives with her 4-year-old son, Christian. “I’m blessed to be a blessing to others.” James, owner of Endless Flair Events, is also building her company’s in-home dining segment, which she said is seeing rapid growth. “It’s similar to what we do for big events, just for smaller groups in your home,” she said. When James is not helping others or working to grow her business, she said she loves to relax and unwind in Jamaica. We caught up with the Cambridge native to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination?
Jamaica. I love the culture, food, hospitality, and sea green water.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing?
In Jamaica, it’s the authentic jerk chicken, rice, and peas and [other] vegetables.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?
I would like to travel to South Africa. I haven’t as of yet due to time, but it is on my list for 2022.
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?
I cannot leave home without lip gloss. I use a particular brand that isn’t sold everywhere, so I would be miserable if my lips dried out.
Aisle or window?
Window most definitely. I love heights, so having the pleasure to look out the window during departure and arrival is so exhilarating to me.
Favorite childhood travel memory?
It would have to be the summers I spent in La Habra, Calif., with my family. I loved that I was able to experience Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, and Disneyland every year.
Guilty pleasure when traveling?
I would have to say it’s leaving the resort to venture into the community to understand and feel the culture and meet the people.
Best travel tip?
Make sure you bring cash in addition to your credit cards, pack extra underclothes — because you never know what will happen — and don’t forget your lip gloss!