Sometimes the people who are most supportive of your dreams are the ones who dream biggest themselves.
They just get it.
That’s true for Jenn Jett, the Dallas-based owner of Jenn Jett Creative and The Well Studio , and this month’s #sheShines female entrepreneur feature. As a branding expert, she works with business owners to visually represent their dreams. As a conference mastermind, she facilitates space for women to encourage and connect deeply with one another.
We caught up with Jenn to hear about how she got started with her businesses, what she loves about conferences, and how she uses her knowledge of her Enneagram type in her work life.
Let’s start from the beginning. What was your first job after school? Or did you immediately dive into business ownership?
Right before I graduated college, I began freelancing as a textile designer for JC Penney. My first “real” job after school was as a Children’s Textile Designer at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in Arkansas. It was actually the best first job. Our team was small, so we had to wear a lot of hats. I only worked there a year but learned a ton in a short amount of time.
How did you get started with that initial freelance position?
While I was finishing my design degree in college, a friend was already working at JC Penney and needed freelance help. She was designing children’s clothes at the time. I remember her saying, “You can totally do this.” And to my surprise, the job required me to draw hearts and flowers all day. I kept thinking, “This is really a job.” I was hooked!
What prompted you to start Jenn Jett Creative? Have you always had an interest in branding?
I think, as a creative, when you work for a corporation or even a small-size company, you realize you have a skill that, with the right amount of confidence, you could go out and build a business from. I just eventually got tired of helping someone else build their business and decided I wanted to use my gifts and time to build my own. You do have to assess the cost of going out on your own, but for me, the freedom and flexibility I gained were worth it. I think the thing I love about branding is that I am a builder and a starter. I love helping people build their vision and dreams. Branding is the visual representation of that.
Tell us about Camp Well. What inspired this, and how did you prepare to launch this new arm of your business?
Camp Well is a four-day, faith-focused, deep-rooted retreat for dreamers and doers. I saw a need for this group to have face-to-face, authentic community. Women thrive in environments where they are understood and cheered on. I wanted to create a space where they could reflect, refocus and reset the dreams being stirred in them. I am a conference junkie, so after spending a lot of time attending retreats and conferences and then speaking at them, I did a lot of research on how to actually produce one. Then I just got the courage to say, “I can do this,” and I recruited the best friends a girl could ask for to join me on this crazy ride!
You’ve had so much success with Camp Well. Have you been surprised by the response?
I have been. I cry every start of a retreat and the last few minutes before everyone leaves.
Why do you think it’s resonating with so many women?
I think women just want to be understood. They want to know they are not alone in their overwhelm or the fact that they don’t feel “enough” as they pursue a dream or launch something they are passionate about.
As a business owner, what has been the most challenging part of running your own company? Any secret sauce you want to share to future lady bosses considering making their side hustle dream their full-time reality?
Discipline has been my biggest challenge. If you are familiar with the Enneagram (basically a personality test), I am a SEVEN. I love adventure, and structure is my kryptonite. Sitting still is hard for me, but my job requires hours at my computer at times. One thing that has helped is block time. For instance, I try to only schedule meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This leaves Monday for easing into work and getting organized. Wednesdays are “zone days” where I try to work straight through the day. And then when Friday comes, if I can just work half a day, I do that and start the weekend early!
What have you found has been the greatest medium for you in terms of promoting your business, getting new clients and campers, etc.?
Instagram and Mailchimp. We connect on Instagram and reach back out through newsletters.
We absolutely love the way you styled your Body Bark piece. How would you describe your overall look and style?
Basic with a flair. My wardrobe is pretty simple, but I love pairing random items, wearing pieces in a unique way or adding some fun accessories.
One thing that may surprise people about you is…
I am an outgoing introvert.
Your favorite way to spend the day in Dallas is…
With friends over happy hour on a porch in 70-degree weather…which is so hard to come by!
Your all-time favorite lady boss mentor is…
Jo Saxton. She has been an amazing coach in my life!
Thanks so much to Jenn for sharing her story with us! We hope her story encourages and inspires you to dream big and take the risks you’ve been wanting to take. Join us again next month for another #sheShines!