Meet One of IFEL's Entrepreneurs!
The J Agency Communications Group
Tell us about your business:
The J Agency Communications Group is a Philadelphia-based boutique public relations and marketing firm. We specialize in working with lifestyle, beauty, and education brands. Through our signature C.R.E.A.T.E.S method we ensure we keep our clients top of mind. Customers Results Experience Awareness Team Education Strategy.
How did you get started?
A former student, turned client encouraged me to start my the company. He was having a photography event and wanted to get some press and I said, "Oh I can do that for you."
My B.A is in Mass Communications and for almost two decades I have worked in some capacity of communications via journalist, publicist, or business consultant. After finishing college and moving back to Philadelphia, there were no jobs in the field so I began working as a substitute teacher and enjoyed it. Moving up the ranks I worked in many of the Philadelphia’s area schools through administrative roles. After interning for a few companies in the area, I realized I could do my own thing on the side and started working as an entertainment publicist and developing a name for myself within the city.
Once my student reached out to be a manager, I declined and said I could be your publicist and The J Agency Communications Group was born. I also have a Master's Degree in Education so I thought what could I do with my background that I would love and this was a unique union of the two.
What are some of your biggest business challenges?
I currently still work in a high school and when I first started success came very quickly and I was no where near ready. I had no systems in place and was not clear at all about who I wanted to work with. I really was operating with no plan in place. I really got serious about the direction I wanted to go and said I am giving myself 3 years to lay the foundation build and then run the agency full time. The biggest challenge was I was operating like a freelancer and not a CEO, I thought I needed to be a one woman army but realized how quickly burn out would set in. Also being consistent. Without having a clear direction for the company how could I hire and have employees? Where was I leading them to? Then consistency was a big thing. Some days I would be really excited about the business and other days I was so disengaged so I ignored the business altogether.
How has IFEL helped you?
Having IFEL has helped me to have a support system to tap into. It's hard when you don't have people in your circle who operate business to bounce ideas off of. I have completed the business plan, working on the marketing plan and just being able to connect with someone to hold me accountable has been invaluable.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to travel and attend concerts and recently started a podcast. Yes I like to stay busy but in a productive way. Also, spending time with my children - one is away in college so when she's home we like to hang out. My youngest is 10 so when I can pull her away from electronics she's pretty crafty.