Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Jenkins Downing a.k.a. The Jazzie 1.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my entrepreneur journey over ten years ago when I was “let go” from my corporate job due to the downturn of the economy. During the time of “The Great Recession,” it became very clear to me that working for a corporate company 20+ years in order to gain enough money to retire was not a realistic plan for my life. However, I refused to let the professional setbacks I encountered during the recession get the best of me.
While working in corporate America, my expertise were in the following industries: Finance, Accounting, Business Management, and Human Resources. However, those types of jobs didn’t fuel the fire burning in my creative soul. I found myself working in the corporate office during the day and pursuing my career as a model/actress/writer during the evenings and on the weekends. Then IT happened. I lost my full-time job… a great job… a job that I loved… a job that paid well & offered great benefits… a job that I gave years of my life to just to be told, “Sorry, we have to let you go today” because they could no longer afford me as their employee. That day changed my life. Instead of going home feeling defeated, I went home feeling determined. My happiness with what I was doing professionally became my priority instead of just finding a good job with good benefits. It was time to turn my passions into profit, which is exactly what happened when I made the decision to go from employee to entrepreneur!
Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe I’ve been a business owner for over 11 years now. I am very devoted to using my creative & professional expertise to help others discover their own talents and reach their supreme potential. From 2007 to today, I’ve been blessed with several entrepreneurial opportunities including being the executive producer and director of my first film docu-series, a small business consultant, media personality & published author. I am a vibrant soul who simply desires to fulfill my divine purpose using my divine gifts.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Entrepreneurship is not easy. It can be a gift and a curse. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s definitely a gift to do what you love & get paid for it, create your own schedule, and make a difference in the world with your skills and expertise. It can be a curse when you are not prepared, misinformed, make costly mistakes, hire the wrong people, or simply fail for other business-related reasons.
When I made the decision to become a business owner, I was unemployed. I didn’t have money in savings to use as start-up money. I didn’t have a business plan. I didn’t have a mentor. The internet quickly became my #1 source for information. I spent all day & night online researching how to start a home-based business. When I wanted a change of scenery from being at home, I would go to the library, Barnes & Nobles, or even the lobby of the Aloft hotel (which has a vibrant, creative & modern environment) to work on my laptop. In addition to doing my own research, I enrolled in a 2 year Small Business Management/Entrepreneurship program at Scottsdale Community College. Enrolling in that program taught me all the ins & outs I needed to start and manage my own business. I was so proud of myself when I graduated & received my certification because it was a personal goal I accomplished in order to become a better business owner. Upon completion of my program at SCC, I had a business plan (and could teach someone else how to make one). I had resources to get start-up money & grants. I knew how to create my own website. I had new business ideas, marketing strategies, and more! It was a combination of all my resources, higher education (from school & my own online research), and less than $1000 remaining from my financial aid that contributed to the birth of my new business.
I am a firm believer that anything is possible with faith in God and hard work. How can you truly want something if you’re not willing to put in the work for it? Having a vision is simple. Turning the vision into reality is hard BUT possible! Perspective is everything. There’s a big difference in the person that says, “I can,” and it gets it done opposed to the person that says, ” I can’t,” and does nothing. I love to motivate others on starting their entrepreneur journey because I am an example of the “I can” personality. My advice to others is the same as my business motto: “Make your next move your best move!” Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Definitely!
We’d love to hear more about SkyyFire Productions.
I refer to myself as the “ultimate industry pro” because I’m a woman that holds many professional titles. As the Founder & CEO of SkyyFire Productions, most of my entrepreneurial focus is on this business because it is my first company and most recognized brand. SkyyFire Productions (SP) is a model and talent management firm with a specialty in event productions. Our team of experts specialize in the Modeling, Fashion, Acting, Performing & Creative Arts industries. SP is highly recognized for hosting events that provide opportunities for aspiring models and talent to gain exposure and industry experience. We also assist small business owners and new entrepreneurs by coordinating and hosting events that promote their products and/or services. Our goal is to take an individual’s talent, career or brand to the next level.
SkyyFire Productions is also known for its team of industry educators. We provide individual and group programs & workshops for personal and talent development, which includes the tools, techniques, and resources necessary to become successful within a desired industry. Our mission is to make a difference and lasting impact to ensure a brighter future for those pursuing these types of careers. We understand these are the types of professions that create confidence in our inner selves to display the beauty of our outer being.
Although SkyyFire Productions is my business brand, I also have a personal brand known as “The Jazzie 1.” I am often referred to as “The Jazzie 1” when serving in my other professional, creative roles such as: runway & print model, actress, radio/tv host, songwriter, lyricist, filmmaker, producer, and motivational speaker. Regardless if I’m referred to as “SkyyFire” or “The Jazzie 1,” I am extremely blessed and proud to represent brands that EMPOWER, EDUCATE & bring EXCITEMENT.
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
In regards to mentorship, I didn’t have a specific person that worked with me as a mentor. However, I’ve learned by watching and communicating with many other successful entrepreneurs and business owners along the way. Networking is a BIG DEAL when beginning or operating any business. It is very important to place your business or brand in front of the right people at the right time. In my early years of starting my business, I attended many networking events just to promote my business and establish a relationship with other business owners and local professionals. Now that I’m 11 years in the entrepreneurship journey, I have several people in my network that I could call on as a mentor that is far more successful and experienced than myself. I strongly believe that mentoring can come not just in the form of people, but also in the forms of being your own seeker of information, online research, textbooks, self-help guides, workshops, and other business-related resources. My new personal favorite is YouTube University.😊 You’ll be amazed how many things I’ve learned & been able to apply to my business by watching online videos from other business experts. Each one can teach one!
- Model & Talent Development workshops (for new or experienced models) – starts at $50/class (group & individual classes available)
- Small Business Consulting – hourly, monthly, or special group pricing available
- Event planning/Productions – pricing varies per project
- Fashion Show Coordination – hourly or special event pricing available
- Website: www.skyyfireproductions.com
- Phone: 480-331-7017
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @skyyfireproductions
- Facebook: @skyyfireproductions
- Other: www.jazzie1.life
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