Today we’d like to introduce you to Carolyn Jarrett Jones.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Carolyn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The easiest way to explain how I got to where I am today as to say that I never wanted to work for a typical business. Being an entrepreneur was my sole purpose from the moment I got out of school.
In 2001, I started a business called ChicagoBeauty.com. It was strictly an online business and I started with literally zero capital. I had great success starting off in the Chicago market and eventually we morphed into Prettycity.com because we were active in 30+ markets across the USA.
In addition to being an online beauty expert for hundreds of thousands of women, we also hosted amazing events with Shape magazine in every market from Atlanta to New York City to Los Angeles and beyond.
Then, because of an extremely litigious divorce, I lost access to my business. Sadly, I found myself without my life savings without any income! And I was a pregnant with a “surprise” baby at the age of 41! I quickly pivoted and started a new company with my now business partner, Johanna Grange… she had previously been my top sales person and true “rain maker” at prettycity.com.
Together, we started Oak Street Social, a social media marketing firm dedicated to making brands of all types truly buzz-worthy on social networks. Thanks to my creative strengths and Johanna‘s ability to bring on partners, we hit the ground running! Within one year I was able to earn a salary that would support my family, which now included four sons! Johanna was able to quit her full-time job as an executive sales manager at a well-known dot com.
I truly believe in entrepreneurship. I believe it is possible for all people who love what they do to make a good living at running their own businesses. I believe it is amazing for women like me who want to raise a family and be professionally successful. I don’t think there’s anything better than owning your own business, setting your own standards, picking your own priorities, and writing your own story.
Has it been a smooth road?
My first piece of advice is… Go for it!
My next piece of advice is, you must be smart, you must be efficient, and above all else you have to pivot when needed.
This is not grade school, running a business is not pass or fail. You’ll have to make tough decisions, you will do things that are not perfect, you have to remember that every minute of your time is valuable and every risk has a reward. What will you risk?
We’d love to hear more about Oak Street Social and PrettyCity.com.
Oh… this is so hard for me! I take such great pride in everything my companies do.
Here’s the thing, if you go to a party with your best girlfriends, you will undoubtedly be in a room filled with women wearing different dresses in different colors, different shapes, and different styles. This is life! Not everyone has the same preferences.
You won’t make everyone happy. You have to accept this and you have to do work that you think is amazing! When you do that and you’re true to that, you will find many customers who will love what you do! And occasionally, you’ll find someone who’s not a fit for you. And that’s OK. You’re not their style. Let them go elsewhere and find someone who is.
I am so proud of the many amazing partnerships we have created at Oak Street Social. We have upwards of 50 clients in JUST 4 YEARS… and most of them are an exact fit for our brand. We have partners who appreciate what we do and treat us as valued partners of their brand team. Through social media postings, professional photography, and storytelling copy, we are able to capture the essence of their brand and bring it to life on social media. This is no small feat and it’s HUGELY rewarding.
I am also beyond thrilled to share that Prettycity.com has created a truly life-changing partnership with an organization called Changing the Face of Beauty. Google it. I dare you not to feel insanely inspired! Our new campaign called #beautyforall launches in March 2019. It will change what we think of as beautiful in the most awe inspiring of ways.
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?
I think that networking is essential. Being successful in life is all about relationships. My business partner at Oak Street Social, Johanna, does the lion’s share of networking for our firm. I don’t spend great time networking as I’m more of a creative type however I put considerable time effort into maintaining the relationships that I have with my clients and I feel a personal connections in business is everything.
- Address: Prettycity.com and oakstsocial.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @carolynjarrettjones
Oak street social