The Family: I have four parents (both parents remarried), who are amazing, giving, bright people. They aren’t perfect, but they are good people. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have all four parents be such giving people. They all help others out, they all give to charity, they all help out so much with our family and grandbabies.
I am the oldest of seven children, not all biological, but we’re all brother and sister at heart and I don’t differentiate between them. There are 5 girls and two boys. I have a huge extended family with all these cool, interesting, crazy, loving people. They are artists, performers, designers, bartenders, bouncers, editors, nurses, office managers, writers, construction, and soooo much more. The light of my life are my beautiful nieces and nephews. I have 6 nieces (Acacia, Abigail, Hannah, Skylar, Madison, Sophia, Sydney & Chelsey) and 6 nephews (Scott, Draygen, Aiden, Cash, Colin Grayl & one on the way). I also have one adorable great niece Cheyanne.
My Entrepreneurial Spirit
Housekeeping: My first company was Jennifer’s Housekeeping. I started it when I was about 14 years old. I spent a lot of time with my Grandma and Grandpa, mostly to get some alone time away from the big crazy family and partly to help them out. My Grams had a hard time getting around, so I would clean her house, organize cupboards, closets, etc, and rearrange furniture. She would give me a few dollars here and there as my payment. Eventually her friends started asking if I could help them out too and they paid me. It started with family and friends and grew and grew. I made in one day what most kids my age had to work all week to earn. Eventually I got my own phone line and business cards. I ran my business until I was in my 20’s and moved out of state.
Photography: Somewhere in that time I started playing with photography. I got a lot of compliments on my photographs, people started handing me the camera to shoot the group or picking my shots for their framed photos. My interest in it really got more amplified when my sister Beki, took a photography course in high school. I started working at a local portrait studio and then another and another. I began landing jobs on my own and it grew into a business. I love being a part of peoples memories and seeing my photos on their walls.
Web Design: Web design was my next passion. I discovered the internet in 1998. I had a blast chatting and looking things up and one discovery led to another before I realized, holy cow, I could make money on this thing. I started an internet company in 1999 and hired a web designer. They charged me an exorbitant amount and the site never worked properly. They bullied me because I was young and female and I let them. I was so upset I went out and bought Frontpage and a book on how to use it. I sat there til I was crying and frustrated. Another thing to thank my sister Beki for, she came over and read the book to me while I did the activities on the computer and before I knew it I had a webpage. One page led to another and soon others were hiring me.
Graphic Design: Webpages need graphics. My photographs worked well in some cases, but in others I needed ads, font’s, colors, and all kinds of images. Buying them can be very costly, so I learned to do it to cut costs. I bought Adobe Photoshop and played until I learned my way around.
Advertising and Marketing: I was a natural gorilla marketer. When I was a kid with my first business I had to use my instincts and make up fliers, go door to door, place an ad in the paper. I even learned to barter and make deals. I used a lot of what I did as a kid to market my internet business. My successes had other people asking me to do it for them too. At first it was family members, then their friends, then their business connections, then networking. It grew and grew.
PR: All of the above led me to my current job as a Publicist. I think knowing so many people helped me. I always had someone in my family or a family friend who did something someone was looking for. Need a mechanic, I know one. Need a printer, I know one. It always felt good connecting people and getting things done.
I love Public Relations. I love branding, fundraising, event production, image consulting, making a business or product the best it can be and then getting the word out to the world for them. Publicity is in my blood. I love to dig in and help make things a success.