Meet Christina Skeens
A Be A Better Human Story
Rollerblading queen, real estate maven, and Black Apron at First Watch. Is there anything Christina Skeens can’t do? From New Jersey to Florida, Christina has kept First Watch a close part of her life and continues to shine as an ambitious, passionate, and outgoing leader who lifts up her teams and customers just as much as their morning coffee.
What’s your First Watch story?
I was born and raised in south New Jersey. Four years ago, my best friend started at the First Watch in Cherry Hill as a cook, and she recommended I apply. I took the leap!
I started when the restaurant was brand new, and I became one of its first two black aprons. Life took me to Florida about a year and half ago and I moved down with my boyfriend. We were just so tired of the cold! Now, I am at our 4th Street location in downtown St. Pete.
Any First Watch memory stand out to you as your favorite?
Receiving my black apron. This was something I had worked so hard for, and it was recognized. Now, I help with coaching and training other staff members and every day I try to set an example for others to give them something to strive towards.
Are you a morning person or…?
I’m definitely a morning person, up bright and early, ready to jump out of bed and bring that energy to work. My favorite part of the day is my first couple of tables in the morning. Some of my regulars make fun of me because I am always cheery and bubbly. Some of them are just opening their eyes and here I come in with a hot pot of coffee. Nothing better.
How have you made someone’s day brighter recently?
I think of a lot of my regulars. There was one I hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks, even though she usually comes in all the time. I asked her, “what’s going on?” She shared that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and her mom had just passed away. My heart was broken, so I bought her meal that day as a little something to take care of her. She gave me the biggest hug. For our regulars, you really do become part of their life.
I’m proud of how much I’ve grown. It’s also been fun seeing the team grow and develop with me. And since I moved down here almost two years ago, a lot has changed in my life but First Watch has been that one constant.– Christina Skeens
What keeps you busy outside of work?
When I’m not at First Watch, I’m helping people find their dream home. Yeah, I recently got my real estate license. As a kid, I went to open houses with my parents all the time and fell in love with driving through neighborhoods. Buying a house is a big decision in someone’s life and it’s rewarding to be able to help others make that decision.
What’s your favorite place to escape to?
Fort De Soto Park just outside St. Pete. The water there is so beautiful. I have two German Shepherds – Axel and Vera – and I like to take them around there for walks.
What keeps you motivated?
I have always been a driven person. I want the best life I can make for myself, and that means doing things that I love and that make me happy.
When you’re eating out, who do you bring around your table?
Honestly, everyone that wants to come. I’m a more-the-merrier person, and when it comes to my friends, it doesn’t matter if I’ve known you for 10 minutes or 10 years: you’re going to be at my table. What’s on the menu? I’m partial to Italian food, especially rigatoni alla vodka for dinner.
What’s a dream you hope to achieve?
So, I mentioned real estate earlier. I would love to hit a million dollars in sales someday. But outside of work, it would be a dream come true to wake up every day and go to the beach. I’d like the freedom to do that.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of how much I’ve grown. It’s also been fun seeing the team grow and develop with me. And since I moved down here almost two years ago, a lot has changed in my life but First Watch has been that one constant.
Want to join Christina in making days brighter?