Being named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list is no small feat, yet, mere minutes with Jaclyn Johnson and you completely understand why she’s taking her industry by storm. Channeling a setback into an opportunity, Jaclyn founded (No Subject) as a way to build and establish brands; in the process, she’s building quite the name for herself, too.
Read on to learn more about this Achiever’s drive, entrepreneurial advice and what big dreams she’s still holding out for. (Plus, see below for a chance to win a VIP ticket to Create + Cultivate in LA next month!)
Darling Magazine: Tell us about (No Subject) and what drove you to start it.
Jaclyn: (No Subject) is a creatively driven marketing, events and influencer agency. We work with brands to drive sustained buzz that translates both offline and online.
Starting the company was actually very organic. I had gotten laid off from my position that I had moved to LA for and was feeling super low and unsure of what I wanted to do — especially being in a new city! I started gathering freelance clients, eventually moved into an amazing space in downtown LA, and I was able to hire my first employee. We saw a hole in the market when it came to marketing for fashion, beauty and lifestyle clients in Los Angeles, so we took advantage and grew from there.
DM: As a young woman running her own business, what unique challenges/fears have you faced and how have you conquered them?
Jaclyn: When I first started I had to deal with a lot of patronizing behavior as well as getting low balled financially for our work. At first, it really was frustrating and I found myself taking less than fair pay just to seal the deal.
However, after our second year, we were in a better position to say no and able to really negotiate a rate that was akin to the kind of work we do. Negotiation is an amazing skill to have and one best learnt by experience. I have seen too many women say “yes” to unfair circumstances or pay and I can’t stress enough the importance of push back and being able to successfully ask for what you deserve.
DM: How do you stay inspired in a digital age? What motivates your design process for a client?
Jaclyn: I absolutely love Pinterest for visual inspiration. I am constantly inspired both personally and professionally by all the amazing design and personal style posts! I am big on textures and colors. When working with a client whether on an event, a logo, etc., I always put together an inspiration board of palettes before getting started.
DM: We love how you’ve transitioned an online-driven company to also focus on live pop-ups and events. Tell us about Create + Cultivate and why it was important to branch out in this way.
Jaclyn: I think a few years ago everyone got swept up in technology and connecting online — and then there was a bit of backlash. People were craving interaction, so we started to put together events that we felt bridged that gap between offline and online. We wanted to create experiences that were unique, thoughtful and had purpose. We launched Create + Cultivate as a way to bring together creative, entrepreneurial women that were doing amazing things and bring it offline for real conversations, discussions and some fun. The response was incredible and we are set to have our largest conference to date this March.
People were craving interaction, so we started to put together events that we felt bridged that gap between offline and online.
DM: Your dinners with One Colorado blend beauty, creativity and a variety of local vendors. What was the catalyst for them and what do you hope guests walk away from a dinner with?
Jaclyn: Thank you! One Colorado is such an amazing client and has incredible retailers and not to mention a gorgeous setting — we wanted to bring together different communities (foodies, fashionistas, entrepreneurs) over a set of dinners designed to spark conversation.
Our goal is to drive awareness of what One Colorado has to offer (incredible restaurants such as Escuela Taqueria and retailers like Mohawk General Store) and also host a group of incredible individuals across industries to gather over delicious food and incredible experimental cocktails by Rachel Mae Furman.
We work such incredible and talented partners who really bring together all the elements that make our dinner parties unique. We are always looking for ways to freshen up the age-old dinner party in new and exciting ways.
DM: What advice would you give to the girl who is second-guessing herself in going after what she really wants?
Jaclyn: I think second guessing or questioning yourself is totally healthy and normal — I still do it! But I think it’s more about taking those questions and really mapping out a plan of what you want and how you plan to achieve it.
Be your best friend and worst critic and react accordingly, but never be afraid to fail — failure often leads to success.
Give yourself a point A to point B scenario and commit to it, once you take the leap you’ll find there is always doubt trying to creep in but you just have to manage it. Be your best friend and worst critic and react accordingly, but never be afraid to fail — failure often leads to success.
DM: You’ve already accomplished so much at a young age. What other big dreams do you still hope to reach?
Jaclyn: That is such a compliment! My parents instilled such a sense of hard work in me, so I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon. I do have new ventures on the horizon I am excited about. Namely, growing Create+ Cultivate into the ultimate platform for the next generation of female entrepreneurs and creatives. I am also dipping my toe into retail with our experiential storefront (weareonholiday.com) opening later this year. I want to keep learning, keep innovating and take on new projects that both excite and scare me.
We’re giving away one free VIP ticket* to next month’s Create + Cultivate! Check out the speaker lineup here, then see below for your ways to enter! [Contest open until 2/16/15 at midnight PST]
*Airfare/Lodging not included.
Images provided by Jaclyn Johnson