I began my journey into being an entrepreneur while living in New York City and working full time in medical sales. It seems like an odd jump from sales to design, but I'm an MBA with a creative soul so I had always filled my New York nights with fashion shows and industry events. I never considered myself a designer, but I have always had a strong sense of style, love of creating, and the business sense to put it all together. That love moved me to begin taking classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology at night and weekends as a hobby and started creating jewelry for myself.
While in attendance at a fashion show event, a buyer at a prominent NYC store asked about one of the pieces I was wearing and when I told her it was my design she gave me her information and told me to submit my line sheet for consideration. I told her I was off on a red eye that evening and I'd send it right over on Monday, but the truth was I didn't have a line yet or even knew what a line sheet was so I was just trying to buy myself some time as I googled!
I laugh at what my first line sheet looked like, but I finished a few pieces, shot a line sheet, and just like that my jewelry line, JASMINE PENNAMMA, was born. Since then it has been on celebrities from Rihanna to Kim Kardashian and appeared in publications like WWD, Marie Claire, Oprah, People Style Watch, and more.
It was a time where people were starting to shop directly from designer websites and I was able to drive traffic from press mentions directly to my website while also keeping a presence in prestigious stores such as Henri Bendel. Social media marketing and google ads helped make my online store drive 80% of my sales revenue while relying only 20% of my business on wholesale sales, primarily for brand recognition.
After moving to Los Angeles I was still traveling to NYC frequently for trade shows and desk side meetings, but decided to slow down and completely take a year off to stay home with my daughter after the birth of my first child. During that time I was obsessed with all things parenting and wrote a blog reviewing luxe baby items. My year home was coming to a close and it became important to try and figure out a way to monetize what I was doing in order to stretch that time home with them out even more and became serious bout generating revenue through ad sales for the site as well as affiliate ads.
After the birth of my second child, a son, I was very uninterested in the majority of what I saw to dress a boy as I looked for products to feature so I converted my baby blog community of luxury mother and mother-to-be shoppers over to my newest brand with the launch of CHILDISH LOS ANGELES, a kids t-shirt company, which has allowed me to continue staying home with my young children through the use of Instagram and influencer marketing. Once adapting methods of online advertising through pinterest, facebook, and instagram, I have been able to switch into autopilot for that brand and consult other businesses on how they can grow their sales using online advertising and digital platforms while still spending quality time with my young family.