To gear up for our Summit 21 Conference this year in Los Angeles on October 5th, 21Ninety has scored exclusive interviews with some of this year's participants. Enter Melessia Joyce Martin, creator of the JaBOS Agency, a company dedicated to empowering women through lifestyle products.
Read 21Ninety's exclusive interview below:
21Ninety: Can you give us a little of your background? What inspired you to create JaBOS agency?
Melessia Joyce Martin: Well, it started with just me doing taxes for others after working for the government and getting laid off. Then I started buying and reselling merchandise goods at the flea market when my elder sisters still hung onto their 1970 dresses. I liked them and wore them too. Then I got online using apps such as eBay and now Poshmark.
Then I created the agency partly because I'm also skilled and educated, holding a BA and first-year MBA program among other certifications. I created a nonprofit in Georgia for fatherless boys, and their coexistence parents, children in need and homelessness. The other day, I walked downtown Atlanta, and a homeless guy leads the way to the parking garage. I have that on film. Gave him $2 bucks.
21N: How long have you been creating beauty and lifestyle products? Was this always your chosen career path?
MJM: Since I could walk, which was about two. I love creating. My passion began with fashion, believe it or not; I use to dream about clothing at night. The designs I had made up in my head and waked up and wear something comparable to what I had thought about that night. Besides my love for Michael Jackson as a child, my passion was art, fashion, drawing, making things from clay, pottery, workshop, frames, creating, playing with our five dogs and just wondering!
21N: What was the process like in building the business and how long did it take to get it up and running? What inspired the name choice?
MJM: To have a foundation for my son and I. The process was easy, I knew that I wanted to help others, create and sell! I used a third part company for licensing and then got state licensed. The name stands for Jonesmess advisory board online services. Jones is my former name; I'm adopted into the Jones family, Mess is for my first name, and one of the email addresses. JaBOS is pronounced JaBO like The Young & the Restless soap opera tv show jabo make up line. I noticed one day!
21N: What kind of work goes into the process of creating these products? What types of materials/ingredients do you use?
MJM: I want to create more soaps and candles, which I love. For now, I like to draw portraits and landscapes using all medians. I have a few from college, but my portfolio was stolen. However, I've never started over. But I do have about 5,000 pics these days on my iPhone. I also created store windows using mannequins clothing props too. I've worked for The Atlanta apparel mart as an intern and NYC fashion showrooms, Speigal magazine, fashion bug, Upton's, first issue, seven and Macys! I'm a visual and love the sea. One thing, I do not like to sew any more since third grade it's to slow for me. But I do love every stitch, pattern, shape and color! I took photography, art in school plus five years of Spanish stand still never spoke it.
21N: Which products were the most fun to create? Any favorites for clients?
MJM: Ads, online digital boards. I once interviewed for a dentist she wanted to know how I can create a more marketing presence for her office. After I told her she still didn't hire me. But I said, enhance the children ads and place fun things to do in the office posters and games and I told her to sign up for google ads, etc. along with my company. I refer to other companies, and now real estate.
I love to interview with them to get a feel of what their thinking or what they want. Some of the clients, I started out referring storage Comp - President called me per my resume and said he was looking for good people, and I referred my cousin's son there. The airport, insurance companies, sound quite dull?
I refer to real estate now. I met a millionaire female owned company with three offices she hired me to refer others as her lead! But she's doing well on her own! So proud.
21N: What do you love most about the work that you do?
MJM: Everything creative, I wish I had a free standing store boutique like Ne-NE'S stores. I would Master the funk.
21N: What do you hope to gain from attending Summit 21?
MJM: A more inspiring, gifted, and knowledgeable presence!
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