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Meet Trailblazer Jennifer Jackson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Jackson.

Jennifer, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am just a girl from Cleveland who decided to go for it. Growing up, I always had a niche for artistry. As a teenager, I expressed my creativity and artistic abilities including drawing, painting, practicing calligraphy and doing hair. As a undergrad in college, I studied Graphic Design, with the hopes of graduating and pursuing a career in the industry working for a major magazine in New York City. When things took a turn, I had to drop out of college during my senior year and work a full-time job. While working, I started my first blog, called ArtsyGlam where it talked about art and the beauty industry. I also re-enrolled back in school and later earned my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Going back into the blogging world, I created my alias JayChantelle, (a combination my nickname and my middle name). I started a new beauty blog called Everything by JayChantelle where it’s content was related to makeup and healthy living. A couple of years later, I rebranded my blog, and changed the name to I am SohoGlam. Even though I had my industry experience in Corporate America, I still was not satisfied.

As a lover of painting, I used it as a creative outlet to express my artistic ability, and discovered a love for makeup along the way. I instantly fell into makeup artistry, beginning with eyebrow arching, filling, tinting, and so on. I have worked with noted makeup artists and photographers on various projects in Cleveland, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia. In early 2017 prior to my relocation to Atlanta, I worked and trained as a Professional Makeup Artist at Cleveland Makeup Artistry on editorial and bridal makeup including airbrushing, proper application of MAC Cosmetics and custom blended skin enhancing with foundation, concealer, and powder.

Since I moved to Atlanta, I networked and connected with fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs, I recorded makeup demos during Facebook Live broadcasts, launched my podcast called, The Beauty Suite and filmed/edited/published my first YouTube video and vlog. I am also working on building my clientele in makeup.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road was definitely not smooth! I come from a working middle-class family where everyone was raised to go to school, graduate and work a full-time job then retire. I am the flower-child of my family. All of my life, I dedicated myself to the arts. In high school, I excelled in all of my art classes, I sang in the choir and was a member of a drama club. I also planned to study cosmetology. I struggled with my loved ones during my college years as I tried to convince them that I was going to have a successful career as Graphic Designer, but they were not convinced. Even while working in corporate, I struggle every day because I am not in my chosen field. I’ve dealt with constant jealousy from colleagues, managers who did not believe in me and countless rejection from makeup jobs. I was even forced to quit a job because of false allegations were made up about my work ethic. I knew I was destined to move from Cleveland to Atlanta and after three failed attempts, I made my move official in July 2017.

My advice is to never give up on yourself. Do what makes you happy and honor your calling in life. Ignore the naysayers and follow your dreams. Always educate yourself so you can stay informed as no one can take that away from you. The journey will not be easy, but when you look back at your progress, all of the challenges will be worth it.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about I am SohoGlam – what should we know?
I am a blogger, specializing in beauty and lifestyle. My blog is called, I am SohoGlam. The term I am SohoGlam is an expression of my style and identity. I am also a self-taught freelance professional and published makeup artist and creative director. My brand, I am SohoGlam offers elite makeup services, on set makeup services and consultation/education services. I launched my podcast, The Beauty Suite earlier this year where the topics are about beauty and inspiration.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
On top of everything that I do, I also still work a full-time job. I have been in the healthcare industry for eleven years and based on my experience, female leadership in healthcare continues to thrive. However, I noticed in the corporate sales industry, female leaders tend to make it harder for up and coming leaders, particularly women. Since my passion lies in the beauty industry and I am working diligently to transition my career on a full-time basis, I have met some female leaders in the industry who are willing to educate others and a lot who will not. Meaning, as an artist continuously trying to expand my artistry, other artists refuse to share their knowledge on specific techniques. I think it is sad. The beauty industry is a billion-dollar industry, and it is cut throat, but there is plenty of opportunities to make money so why not help each other out?

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Marina Claire & Company, Cleveland Makeup Artistry

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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