383: How to Build a Sticky Brand: Insights from Sassy Jones CEO Charis Jones

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383: How to Build a Sticky Brand: Insights from Sassy Jones CEO Charis Jones

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It’s always a great episode when we get to see the evolution a previous guest has made in their business. We’re back with Charis Jones, CEO of Sassy Jones, an empowering fashion and beauty brand. She shares how she prioritized impact over traditional business metrics, establishing a colorful and elegant brand with a loyal following, or as she calls it, a “sticky” brand. 

In this episode she shares about:

  • Opening a physical store, noting the distinct experiences offered in-person versus e-commerce 
  • Managing work-family dynamics with her husband as company president
  • How to build a disciplined marketing practice
  • Her hiring approach and how she makes sure to prioritize her team’s strengths

Highlights include: 

01:58 Transition to Physical Store

03:47 The Challenges of Running an E-commerce Business

06:42 Scaling Without Investors

11:10 The Importance of Rest and Balance

20:48  Marketing Strategies and Execution

30:58 The Role of Experience in Hiring

34:26 Managing Family Dynamics in Business

39:46 The Importance of Recognizing Strengths

45:30 The Importance of Consistency and Staying Hungry

48:28 Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Check out episode 383 of Side Hustle Pro podcast out now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube

Links mentioned in this episode

Click here to subscribe via RSS feed (non-iTunes feed): http://sidehustlepro.libsyn.com/rss

Announcements

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Guest Social Media Info

Charis’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/charisnjones/ 

Sassy Jones’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shopsassyjones 

Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:00

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You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business. And I'm your host Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started.

Hey, friends, hey, welcome welcome back to the show. It's Nicaila here and today I am back with an update episode with Charis Jones. She is the CEO of Sassy Jones, the colorful fashion and beauty brand that changes women's lives and confidence through style. Now shrinks was in the guest chair back in 2021 Episode 166 We will link to that definitely go check it out. And she has shared how she has grown sassy shows. So just a few fun hard hitting facts about sassy Jones and Sharise. Under her leadership envision the brand has done the business and fashion worlds having reached a 24th spot on the Inc 5000 list and been named by Forbes as one of the top 25 small businesses that thrived during the pandemic. Sharif has also been recognized as the 2021 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year as a Tory Burch foundation fellow and as a winner of HSM the big five. Most recently that today's show covered her story of scaling the brand over 12,000% In just three years with zero investors while raising twin boys. Cerise had so much wisdom to share. And I love that conversation. So let's get right into it.

All right. Well, Charis, welcome. Welcome back to the guest chair. I'm so happy to have you. And thank you for making the time. Absolutely Nicaila. so delighted to be here. And to catch up with you. I'm excited. Likewise, it's been a while. And by the way, guys, be sure to check us out on YouTube because Sharise just looks stunning, as always, and you just you got to see us in action. Okay, so let's let's catch everyone up. So if you don't know, I will link to Cherie says original episode. But sharees, as you know, is the CEO of sassy Jones. So I noticed you describe sassy Jones as the colorful fashion and beauty brand that changes women's lives and confidence through style. I think that is so unique that you say that you don't say accessories, you don't say lifestyle products, you talk about the impact. Why is that? Impact has always been the my Why Nicaila Like, even when I think about before entrepreneurship, when it was a side hustle for me like and when I was working my corporate gig, and I would do these interviews on all these different jobs just trying to find who I am and what I'm going to do in the world. And so they would always ask me, like, you know, why do you want this job? Or what do you want to do? And my answer was always I want to make a difference. So for me, it's always been about impact. So fast forward to starting a brand. So like I would much rather leave a legacy of changing lives versus a legacy of, you know, revenue or a legacy of you know, how many employees I had or, or any of that silly stuff that does not matter on your deathbed. None of it does, right. But it's the the lives that you change and the stories that people can share about the impact that you've had on them along the way. So for me, that's the intangible currency, that's the KPI that you can't count, you know. And when we spoke, you were primarily online. So now you have a physical store. Talk to us about that. How did it come to be? And where is it? So it's in your hometown Center, which is in Richmond, Virginia. It's about 20 minutes from our warehouse. And so we're exclusively calm, but this place is kind of like a very fancy warehouse, right and so because I'm products I've always sat in a warehouse because we ship for a living, but I came across the opportunity for

Charis Jones 5:00

detail on like, you know what our customers need what I call a sanctuary. You know, our thriving community just needs a place to be able to experience the fields, to see it, to touch it, smell it, you know, and then try to dream or realize what you think it looks like online, what it actually is in person. And so the retail physical part of our brand actually humanizes the digital experience, you know, because you can't replace the human connection at all, you know. And so that's what the retail is for us. I also find that they tend to spend more in the store. Okay, yeah, you know, and then they do online, because e commerce is so competitive, you know, because you're gunning for what I call digital real estate. So people are just like scrolling on the phone, and you just have to be able to stop them somehow.

is busy, busy world. So that's a huge undertaking. But with the retail store, it's more of a tangible experience. So that's why we went for it. And we want more, more and more and more, you're so

Nicaila Matthews Okome 6:05

right about that. Because when you go to a store, I mean, who has ever walked into Zara and left with the one thing they went for right? As soon as you see that thing, right, that's why those stores have the stuff at the checkout. We always hear the bad parts about physical right, like overhead and all this other stuff. That element that I forgot about. Now, is overhead a pain. Are there some pains that come along with having a physical store? Yeah,

Charis Jones 6:36

sure. Nicaila. But here's the thing, the way that we do EECOM it is way more expensive to run an E commerce why biggest myth in the world? Because Okay, all right. Take us personally 40 full time employees just for EECOM. There's a warehouse, there's client experience, there's marketing, all these things we do in house. We don't farm out any of this stuff, right. And there's the design floor. And so there's the staffing, there's the payroll, right just to run a website, then the upkeep a website is a 24 hour a day business, right? If something crashes or something goes wrong, then things get crazy. Also, we launch our product and we design pretty close to fast fashion. We're launching two new arrivals per week. That is a lot of work. Right? That's a lot of design work. That's a lot of product iteration. That's a lot of writing product descriptions. That's a lot of coffee. That's a lot of email. That's a lot. You know what I mean? So right, so they'll call you there's just more to do there's more widgets, digitally, right? And then because it's so competitive to do business digitally, you have paid ads, right? That's a way more you know, and so there's that, oh, and then the rent for the warehouses, right. And so we have to warehouses, you have to pay for a place for your people to come to work and you know, for the products to be housed now. Okay, you have a little store little tiny stuff. doesn't cost us anything additional, because we already have the products in house, you know, so we just hang them up on pretty white hangers and have the decor, you know, spectacular. But we're just paying rent. And for three employees. Yeah, no money. Yeah. In our studio. So yeah. And then our econ customers visit the store. So we don't have to advertise the store like we do. EECOM

Nicaila Matthews Okome 8:43

Oh, right. Right. Okay, so the E comps that are local and can come into the store. And then the ones

Charis Jones 8:49

that are not local, like they fly into come to the store, just for the expense. Yeah, like we have more clients than we do local, you know, and you don't need many of them a day, you may need four in store customers a day. And that's it, you know, to do really well. And so that's why.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 9:12

And so one of the things you've done really well is scale without investors. Talk to us about how you did that. What was the process?

Charis Jones 9:20

Oh my gosh, the process is still processing.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 9:25

So the process is always in

Charis Jones 9:27

process. So backing up to starting this brand, I sold a car, that would be what you would consider my first level of investment. And so when I wanted to, like kind of go full force in this thing, I didn't have a whole bunch of money to do it. But I was like I had this car that was paid off. So I just sold it and then that's how I got money to buy a product and also do my first marketing of it, which was a trade show. And so did that fast forward. Just continue to Oh, my second round of investment was when I saved all my money My maternity leave, right. And so I thought that I would go back to work when I was pregnant. But I was like, in case I'm not sure, I'm just going to save all of my money and still be working the business on the side. So I would have eggs, when I decided to ditch the job, and then just go full force with the brand. So I had that kind of a nest egg, right. And then I flipped that into a tour. And the tour was when I was in the minivan drive into all these various states doing these trade shows everywhere, right. And so the money that I would make from that, I flipped that into EComm. Because I couldn't continue to be on the road. So long as a new mom does, you can understand I had twins, you know, that was excessive. And so I just had to pivot the business. And we've been continuing to do that and operating by cash, like, you know, we have a credit card, American Express that we pay off at the end of each month. And we have zero investors, I don't even know how to pitch this brand. You know, and so, you know, so by the grace of God, and just, it also being very, very glitchy, and very, very sticky. You know, we've been able to amass a very high repeat customer rate, which keeps us you know, not meeting investors.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:21

And what do you mean by sticky for those who don't understand.

Charis Jones 11:24

So we have a, I don't like to use the word coat like I despise when I hear that. But we have a very, I like to say sticky, it means that we are unmissable, right, when you encounter one of our products, it's memorable. If you see a woman and sassy Jones, you tend to not forget or your head might turn, you know. And so it's that kind of that kind of experience that we sell. And when the customer gets a piece of it, she wants more and more and more. And then she becomes a collector. Right? It works well, because we release so frequently, you know, new arrivals, and we serve her in as many areas as we can in her life, you know, from beauty, to home decor now to clothing, accessories, handbags. So we are her one stop shop, and she trusts our quality, and our aesthetic. So that's what I mean by sticky.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:27

And the brand loyalty is amazing. When it comes to sassy John's when we spoke last you talked about the weekly live parties you would have on Facebook, I believe it was Do you still do that? And if not, then what have you transitioned into doing?

Charis Jones 12:43

Okay, so that is the equivalent of my talk show. That's the equivalent. So yeah, so it's called sparkle party. And now we're doing it twice a week. So we're definitely still doing it. So much so that we're doing it way more frequently. Because all it is it's our way of playing like QVC or Hsn. You know, yeah. And so we are just sharing the new arrivals via live stream in a very fun way. And so, yes, still doing it, and still loving it and still having tons of fun with it. You know, and our customers look forward to that that's kind of like their gathering spot to, you know, so it's as important to them. And so they get

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:25

to see the new items there too. So it's kind of like they they're looking forward to that. Yeah, I love that.

Even so many people, you make it look so easy. So many people try to replicate that. Like, and we're like, oh, no, this is just a lot of work. This is hard. You look so seamless, so relaxed. You're you know, it's like you're built for this. So how do you maintain the steam the stamina to to keep on doing that?

Charis Jones 13:58

I know how to rest. Okay, I was so crazy asked me that question because I was talking to my mom this morning. And she was like, you know the difference with you. The reason that you can keep doing what you're doing is because you know how to take a beat and just sit down. And Nicaila When I read RSR, I'm talking about like not getting dressed a wash at my tail like rifling, let the kids run around nappy. You know, we just we our answer

Nicaila Matthews Okome 14:24

to

Charis Jones 14:28

it's an art of not caring, but you still know that everything's gonna be okay. That kind of risks where you can still physically allow your mind and your body to relax. And in conjunction, you're not worried about what's coming next or what's around the corner. It's just like, I'm gonna put a period on today. Tomorrow's trouble will be enough of their own, you know, and so for now, and that's the only along with my spirituality. You know, I believe in God, my faith is very, very strong. I have to talk to Jesus the first thing every morning when my feet hit the ground, and my meditation practice, and then just my hunger for more endorphins, and dopamine. So I like to exercise. And that is my energetic recipe, and just keeping a lot of BS out a lot of nonsense. You know, no gossip, no low vibrating conversations. And so those are the things that helped to keep me going. But it is not easy. I don't want to fool anyone. And just I get that, you know, myself and the brand, we kind of make it look easy. But behind the scenes, there's blood, their sweat, there's tears, they're staying up until two or 3am, just last Friday, because something broke on the website. And my husband's the president of the company, and two of our directors just up on the phone at 1:45am fixing stuff. You know, and so those are the things that people don't see. But it takes a lot to do this, but we definitely make it look pretty. Oh,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 16:04

yes. You recently were featured by the today's show on how you've scaled the brand over it says 12,000%. In just three years. Wait, it's been more than that. Now, when did you actually launch? We've been in business for 10 years. Oh, okay. That was how aggressive it was? Yeah. Yeah. So

Charis Jones 16:23

like the first two to three years. I was like, kind of like a side hustle. Right? I was still working, I got the business license. And then I actually went full force when I had my children.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 16:35

And that's like the opposite of what most would expect. But you went full force after you had the children. What do you think that was? You know, I

Charis Jones 16:43

think, you know, you're a new mom. And it's amazing how the kids have a way of motivating you and just like making you feel like you were made for so much more. And I always had a vision of how I wanted their lifestyle to be. And like always thought about if one of them fell down on a playground and birthday here at wide open to the white meat and like, and I didn't want

to ask the boss to leave, and like go get my kid because they hit open to the whitening your enemy. Right? That was my motivation for lifestyle for us to be able to just wake up one day and look at each other said, You won't go to Myrtle Beach today for the week. You know, and so it was just that was the attraction for when I had them. I think that was a difference maker between it just being me. And then now with the family.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 17:43

Yeah, for sure. I 100,000% agree with you and have felt that since becoming a mom before, it was just like, oh, I don't want to ask my boss for vacation, I want to go. But since becoming a mom, it's like, Wait, I don't think this country is really built for people to be able to work and be there for their kids in the way that I need to be there for my child. And now children. And so I'm like, I will do whatever it takes, you know, to make sure that I continue to thrive in business. Because like the type of involvement I want to have and the type of responsibility that I now have. I have a different motivation. You're so right about that.

Charis Jones 18:29

We can be playing around, you know,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 18:34

we've had experiences where people make you feel bad for needing to go take care of a kid and it's like, I know.

Charis Jones 18:42

Oh, you so right. Okay, yeah, fun story. Alright, so there's this organization that I'm a part of that is an amazing organization, right? It's called YPO. And it's for the top 1% of CEOs, I think the minimum entry is now 15 million in revenue, right. And so, needless to say, there's not a lot of women in this organization, specifically not a lot of black people, and definitely not a lot of black women. Right. And so, they have events, host events all around the world internationally. And I was talking to one of the members yesterday and just giving offering some unique perspective, right, because as a man, they are able to, especially at their earning potential at their earning level, they're able to just drop everything, get on a flight, and go and have a beer and have a drink here and go everywhere, right? Because nine times out of 10 at their level, there's a wife home, or someone in a female body, typically, that is managing home, whether it's children, but as female, you know, and also as female being the CEO. That is a very interesting dynamic, especially me working with my husband. Yeah. And so um You're right, it takes some work to get them to understand. But our priority is usually our family. And I am so proud of that, you know, and I don't say, you know, to your point, I don't by anyone trying to make us feel guilty, you know, we raised the world. And so where would you be without, you know, a strong woman?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 20:18

Exactly.

So we're gonna transition a little bit now to talk about you originally saw for sassy Jones. And what do you see now? As far as where do you want to build the company to?

Charis Jones 20:35

So this is a lovely question. So right now, it was very different from what I wanted, what I thought St. John's would be, was a brand where we sort of had franchises, or we had consultants where people could sell the jewelry, you know, but we have more. And now it's going to be a very, very strong econ brand. But we will also have stores all around the globe. And that is my sole focus, we will have these hubs for community style sanctuaries all around the world where you can come and find the unique trinkets, you know, that really defines who you are in your style journey. And so that's what we're gonna do. And that's the focal point,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 21:21

I can picture that that is so beautiful, and I love the word, the phrase style sanctuary. I love that I can. And I'm very excited for what you're building, you know, you are a marketing icon for me. So I want to get back to the marketing piece a little bit. Because, again, there are things that you do that not that they're easy, but that when others try to replicate it, you know, we come up against, like, why is it so hard? Or why can I do this level of interaction with my community on a consistent basis? What are some tips that you can offer, in addition to resting, but what are some tips that you can offer to build in a regular marketing practice? In your business? That feels good.

Charis Jones 22:05

I would say the first thing before you get into any strategy is to not judge yourself. So marketing is a creative process. And it's a free flowing process just like water, right? And so it's super important to not start with the end in mind, which is so backwards from what the world tells you. It's so because they're like, fit the big hairy goal. No,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 22:30

they're quote unquote, marketers, who, to this end goal in mind. So I love that. You're saying that okay, though, let me cut you off. Now hold that thought, No,

Charis Jones 22:39

but that's what it is. And for me, every time I've done that, I've experienced incredibly soul crushing defeat, right. And so it's good to have a goal, but you shouldn't hang your whole life's work on it. So much so that when you don't need it, or when something doesn't go as planned, God is in control of all of this, and we just own alone time. You know, so the first thing is to not judge yourself in your creative process, just whatever it is that you want to do, just let it flow, right, whatever that looks like. Whatever it is, if it's a billboard, whatever your marketing idea is, the next thing that I would say is the plan, right? So what our marketing looks like is a playbook, we have about a 12, tab spreadsheet on Google Sheets. And it pretty much out lies, every single piece of copy that is going to be on social media, it outlines every single piece of copy that is going to be on a text message with a text message. Assets are going to look like how we're turning the website over for the week, what's gonna go where on the pages. It's all very intentional. It's super succinct, and it is very well planned out. So I would say it's first when you don't judge yourself, okay? Just let yourself do whatever you need to do. But then when you get into a place of deciding you get into planning, right? And so, after planning, I would say it has to be relentless execution, relentless, to the point where you're doing it for discipline, not for results, right? You're just getting in a groove of showing up. However many times if you're posting four or five times a day, twice a day, once a day, whatever it is doing that and not looking for no claps, no praises no revenue, no dollars, you're doing it for the discipline muscle, your ROI, and that is growing this discipline muscle so that you can check the box that you showed up for today. And I promise you that money will rain down, I promise you right. And so that will be the next thing just continually showing up. When I was doing sparkle party and I've been doing this work for six years now. You don't think I could tire Nicaila Yeah, yeah, why? I mean, at now we back then it was just jewelry. Now we have clothes, I'm literally changing clothes, like sometimes eight different times within 30 minutes on Livestream in front of people while still talking and holding the audience

Nicaila Matthews Okome 25:15

attention.

Charis Jones 25:16

That's some fancy footwork, mentally physically, stamina wise, all of it, right. So my point is, it's super normal to get tired, you know. And it's super normal to feel like you want to throw in a towel and give up all of that is super, super normal. But you also have to keep into perspective, like, what you're doing and what you're after is so abnormal. So you can't execute normally anyway. Right? After some good lie you after some skyscraper live stratosphere level stuff. So you talk about, you talk about work after three months, and I've given up because it doesn't work.

You know, perspective is so important. It's just like, even in our fatigue and our whatever we're dealing with, it's just like, just take a step back and understand and give yourself praise for what you are accomplishing what you're actually doing. And it may not have materialized in the way that you want it to yet. But you I can guarantee you're changing lives, right? You're adding joy. And you are, you're being faithful to yourself into your dreams. Because for me, if it's like if I fail, I'm living all the life out of my body, or straight out of my body, right? And so it's like, I just want to know that I gave it my all. So execution is so important. That's the most important part of the marketing tactics.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 26:54

That was a word that was a sermon. That was everything I needed, personally. Because there are moments when, although I know this, and I will not know this, like everything you just said, but although I know about the discipline muscle, because it obviously got me here. There are times when you once you've you know, gotten a certain place where it's not as easy to do something without looking at the numbers. Because yeah, to a place where that's what you look at, you know, yeah. And you have to get back into that creative space. And then there are times that I get into that creative space, but I still, because these apps have also trained us to do this. I'm still like checking, and I hate that, because that interrupts the creative, free flowing process that got me here to begin with.

Charis Jones 27:41

Yep, it's so true. Oh, my God, and how we are conditioned to believe that that is our validity. Yes.

Unknown Speaker 27:49

What?

Charis Jones 27:52

You know, it's crazy, but that is how we are how we're trained now, you know, and if at all possible, like me, Nicaila, I have to have my phone, I had to put time restrictions on my apps, like, I have to catch myself in the second it is a millisecond by millisecond process to be like, no, okay, this is not your work, it's fun to check on Instagram. And you know, and check the revenue and just making sure that you're on track. But me personally, I've developed a practice where I don't check revenue. Until when I was really good at this, like last year at my peak, I wouldn't check him until the end of the day, or the end of the week. Right? Now. I'm like, because 2023 was way different, right? So now at the end of the day, but my husband, he's like, every hour. He wakes up checking the bank account. I'm like, you know, like, soon as you wake up. I'm like, you know, we got to fall back on if I'm grateful for, you know, we don't burn all the boat

Nicaila Matthews Okome 29:01

into the dance. But I know, but I appreciate that again, because that was an important reminder. And also confirmation that what I've been thinking about doing, I'm on the right track, because yes, there are times that I just want to create. And it's not going to make sense to anybody else. They're gonna say, Well, hey, why is she doing that? Isn't she a podcaster? Does she talk about side hustles? But it's because I have a vision. I don't know where it's going yet. But you know how you receive something on your heart. And there's a reason for it, but you don't know what it is? Yeah, I get a lot of that creatively, and I'm sure you do, too. Yeah.

Charis Jones 29:33

And that's the good thing about it. Like, we just gotta learn to listen to it, to respect that voice and like execute and just give it life. Give it some energy, give it some go. And it's gonna be amazing because we always get so caught up in the how, like, how are we gonna get it done? We didn't want our strategizing.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 29:53

How are we gonna measure this process? We should still spend time on it. All right guys listen. The product boss hosted by Jacqueline Schneider and Mina Colosi SAP is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. Take your physical product sales and strategy to the next level to create your dream life with host Jacqueline Schneider and Nina como Sita, as they deliver a workshop style strategy hour of social media and marketing strategies. So you can up level as the boss of your business. So I have an episode for you guys to check out is called save money by eliminating excess packaging. If you are someone who is getting ready to create a product and you are thinking of doing all this packaging, you need to listen to this episode, listen to the product boss, wherever you get your podcasts. You talked about the size of your team, that's also really impressive. But you also say a lot about you know, keeping it in house. Do you mean in houses also with as far as who you hire? Like? What's your approach to growing your team?

Charis Jones 31:10

Yeah, so for us, it has to be a really, really good culture fit. And typically, like what we do now is we'll do attempt to hire, so we will bring you in a series of interviews and like in the warehouse, we'll take you on a tour, we'll let you do like a demo day, just to make sure that this is where do you want to be, you know, and then we'll get to the 90 day mark, and we'll decide if we're right for one another. Right. And that's just before we get too far deep in it. I'll also do internships before I offer a position, you know, because resumes and interviews are cute. So cute.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 31:55

Yeah, the meeting the representatives so cute.

Charis Jones 31:58

Yeah, it's the equivalent of someone's like, their ID profile. In some situations, it's like, this is this is what you want to show. But let's see what you are really made of. And so the only way that I can know is by experiencing your work and collaborating and working with you. And so for me, that will look like I'll give you a project, if you really want it. If you say you have a job, you'll take a day off, you'll come in the office, you'll complete the project or watch your working style, you know, in the right person, because now we have so many applicants who are like, Well, I'm not going to come and give you my work for free. And I'm like what the right spirit, the right person knows that this is an investment and they're confident in what they offer will get them what I want. Right, instead of worrying about giving something away for free. The world is abundant and unlimited. What are you saying? Yeah,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 32:50

you know, I have seen that mentality too. And I get where it comes from. But if you're starting some relationship with all this animosity, like if we can't trust each other, in the interview process, we're not meant to work together. If there's all this, like you about to steal, Mike No, no, let's just go our separate ways. Because if you go like this about that, but yeah, people have trust issues, people have trust issues, for sure,

Charis Jones 33:18

you could definitely just by that, that interaction, you can tell how it's gonna end up turning out? Because they're turning it out? You do because there is not just the professional aspect of it, you have to make sure that the whoever you're working with is emotionally Well, yes, right? Yes, it's also set, you have to have an emotionally healthy person that you're working with. Otherwise, there could be control issues, or ego issues, or narcissistic tendencies, or, you know, like all of these. So, in this whole examination of like, the internship that we're talking about, I'm watching all of that I'm watching how you receive, because how you receive is equally important as to how you give, right how you execute that project. You know, so all of that matters in our hiring process. And we find that the ones that stay around the longest are usually self starters. You know, they're usually entrepreneurial to a point where they want the covering, but they still want to do their own thing. You know, and a lot of our people, they like the covering of not having to foot the bill. Right, but we allowed them the freedom to creatively express and to pitch ideas and to without having to worry about having them pay their mortgage, you know what I mean? And so those are the kinds of fits that typically work best for us. And they don't have to be experienced. They just have to be, they have to have a certain spirit where they're willing, you know, where they're a self starter, very independent. Just like for example, someone that works at Wendy's who is an amazing burger flipper. Stan comes on in who smiles at the drive thru window will make an amazing shipper. Even though they're not, it's because of their what I call the piecework rate. Right. So if you can flip and flip and flip it serve as service or, and work in that hot kitchen with a smile on your face, you can't just show come here, and it's good AC, and pack some boxes while we listen to trap music all day. You know, and so there's some transferable skills, especially in the operations part of our business that just work well, you don't have to be experienced, you know, you just have to have a good spirit.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:41

That's really helpful. I mean, not everyone, I know, some of us, we just want to get someone right. And it's not like you're rushing, but maybe not everyone has the leverage right now where they can have an internship first, or if someone's like, hey, either you hire like I'm not, you know, wanting this test period. Sometimes you have to grow into that until your company because that, but still, you can have a 90 day everyone can have a 90 day window and put that in your employment agreement that if it's not working out, we'll just have to go our separate ways. Because after that interview, you're still learning the person and you're still showing and proving when you're the employee. Yeah,

Charis Jones 36:23

and then also just think about you as the employer. You know, I mean, you're not who you're gonna ultimately end up being either, you know, and so you weren't just as much as your users are for, you know, judging the other person or, you know, us too, and our leadership skills and our training ability, and all of that, you know, and it's like, we're gonna grow it. And that really brings humility to the entire situation, right? We're gonna grow together, I am today, not the leader or CEO, whoever that I will be in five years, and you're not the person you're gonna be in five years. So let's grow together. And some of our biggest and brightest players came in the door with zero experience Nicaila, we for refer a whole bunch of nobodies, like none of us graduate college, you know, like, my husband is not experienced in what he's doing. I'm certainly I'm a self taught designer, I just have billion dollar ideas, and I have a work ethic that you know, that it's crazy. My best friend is our marketing director, she has zero experience in what she's doing today. Zero, she has a whole team, you know, you gotta give people a chance to. And as long as they have the right attitude the right way. We talked about the spirit, just the right like, they want to learn. That's our lead me because you can't teach you came by loyalty. You can't bother Oh,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 37:42

no, no. Yeah. Oh, I love that you stated that. And that just brings me also to this idea that you need all this to start your business or you need, oh, let me go back and get the certification. And let me go back and, you know, go to school for XYZ. And there's nothing wrong with school, you know, I'm a schooled out person. But at some point you got to do. And don't you dare try to go back for another certification before? Okay, I'm talking to you. Who's listening? Don't you dare before you try and do a little bit, before we jump into the lightning round, I'd love to know how you manage the dynamic of working with family. So husband, you mentioned your best friend, how do you manage that dynamic,

Charis Jones 38:32

you have to stay in your own lane. And listen, I also just have a very built in understanding that it can get messy. Okay. So and what I mean by that is working with families like it all being in one pot, right? And so we understand my husband and I, that we talk sassy Jones a lot. Everywhere, around our kids date night, dinner table in the kitchen, it comes up, when we first started to work together, I tried to like put barriers on that. And like, you know, to really build it out the way that I thought it should look, you know, like, No, we're home, it's fine. We turn off, you know, two girls a job, you know, so I definitely tried it. And you know, that was way more stressful for me, are trying to keep us in containers, you know, based on norms. And so, now we just were like that one big pot of spaghetti. Like when we want to talk about it, we just let it out. And that in and of itself brings us joy, because we're working on something purposeful together that we're proud of, and that feeds us it is part of our life's purpose. And so we are unique as in where we share that, but also it can't have the takeover spirit Hey, it's Sundays he like he wake up first thing in the morning before he says good morning, he's talking about some revenue. Like I brushed my teeth, you know, and so you just have to stand up for yourself and just have your boundaries as necessary. You know, but I don't judge him for it because I do the same thing on a mini a day, you know. And so I call it a blessing to be able to be there for one another in that way, you know, as far as family is related, and then my best friend, it's really unique because I'm her boss. That is a very unique dynamic, you know, she's a very special person where she doesn't take anything to heart. You know, like, all the feedback that I give her is pretty succinct. And within sassy Johnson probably harder on her than I am any other employee. Oh, wow. Yeah, yep. Yep. So there's not any nepotism or, you know, favoritism or any of that. So, but it's unique. My advice is to make sure that you stay in your lanes in terms of your tasks, the things that you're responsible for. Okay. That would be one big piece of advice. Like, I can't be doing her marketing strategy calendar. Right? Yeah, the things that I am assigned to do, I will do the things that she's assigned to do. She will do when she needs to seek me out for advice, or whatever she will do. So my husband is full on finance. Yeah, so what do I look like trying to step into a whole CFO role? You know, and pulling reports and talking money, and it's an add in it? Right? And so I'm amazing at making money, I will never be broke, but I can't keep it. So probably I would be broken.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 41:53

I am amazing. I make him money. What did you say? rewind this and put that on my wall. I like that. Not that part about not keeping it though.

Charis Jones 42:05

Like, you know, it's it's the truth. I am not amazing at managing money. You know, like, I can manage, I can keep it but he knows how to proliferate it. You know what I mean? And that is a that's a gift. You know, he's held us together and very tough times. Yeah, I wouldn't

Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:22

recognizing strengths. You know, it sounds to me, like recognizing strengths is also key, like, not only are we staying in our lane, but we're recognizing that this is a strength and we should you know, have this person do what is their strength? Yeah,

Charis Jones 42:38

even outside of their bad role. You know what I mean? Like, just whatever you're amazing at these are going to be your responsibilities. And that's sad, because that brings you joy. So I fully agree with that.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:56

All of this was very helpful for me too. And I hope you guys listening find this to be helpful as well, because I too, I had that issue, like I said, where I too, was trying to make sure we weren't talking about business or anything related to what we're doing entrepreneurially after a certain time, or we're just having us time, and it was harder, it was actually more problematic, because then it's like you're policing what someone can talk about, if an idea just popped into their head, they're not trying to like talk about work all the time. It's just, it just pops into their head. And like we are partners in life and business so we can freely chat and just spending time together is still spending time together. So that's an important mind shift too. And I think this year, and going into next year, what I really want to focus on, and I hope you guys do, too, is focusing on what things feel like not what it looks like, because society can tell you what is norm, like, what is the norm like you said, or what you should be doing to separate business and love. But if that doesn't feel good, you don't need to focus on doing something because it looks good, or because this is what you think it should look like, do what feels right and good for you.

Charis Jones 44:13

Or you better preach as I mean, that really summarizes Yes, what stepping into 2023 and moving into 2024 it needs to feel like and I think that we should be led by our feelings because we came out of the era of feeling bank backs, you know, like don't feel feeling like I'm taking the lights

Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:39

are they are there for a reason.

Charis Jones 44:41

Like it may originate from your gut, you know, and so in your gut, our stomachs are more developed in our brain, believe it or not, right? And so it's like, if everything originates from here, why am I going to suppress that? Especially as female? It's our guiding life. It's our And white posts. So yeah, I'm biased

Nicaila Matthews Okome 45:04

though, because I'm definitely a feeler, you know how they have the Myers Briggs? I'm definitely an F. So I am totally biased, y'all. But still I love tapping into the feelings. All right, so we're going to jump into lightning round. Before we do that. One last note on your business, you have always come out the gate being very profitable, right? What was that experience? Like for you? Like, it just seems like it was like, you know, quickly to millions, and then you just keep doubling, tripling that? Has that been like a shock to the system? Or was it just something that, oh, you manage it with ease? You know, your husband is doing that. And it's easy for you know, why keep using Easy, right? But what I mean is, to me, if you know, my business is making millions and millions, like, I'm like, This is good. I don't see nothing wrong with that. So what's the experience been like for you?

Charis Jones 45:58

So let me tell you something, you have to always stay hungry. Always. So yes, we did scale relatively quickly to have been in business for 10 years. And full time for about seven of those 10. Right. So scaled. 2020, COVID was humongous. For us. That's when we started to see 10,000% growth and like crazy things, right? And the beauty of it is that we were doing the things that we already were doing. Yeah, we didn't have to change for COVID. We just had a bigger audience because everyone was home. Okay, so we come out of COVID. Right. And you think that that demand is still the same? And it is not? Right? It is not the same? And so, and I got a little comfortable. You made the comment, like Yeah, but you know, in the millions, you know, you're here. And then and I'm like, I felt that way too. And I'm like, Oh, I've arrived I made it, you know, Girl, please, you can lose it just as quick as you made it if you do not stay hungry. If you do not continue to show up. If you do not, you know do everything that you did to get here. Yeah, it's a erasable. Yeah, it is, right. And so the important thing for me is to find ways that I can sustain this, because I am going to be going and inventing and creating, that's what I'm going to be doing. But I also know that in doing that, I need to find easier ways, processes, people, you know, to be able to sustain it for as long as I want to sustain it. And so, yeah, if that looks like after a sparkle party, one day, I turn on reality TV and just chill out for the rest of the day, because I'm exhausted. That's what I'm doing. Because I've already done my million dollar activity. You know what I mean? And everyone else can do their million dollar activities. So, yeah,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 48:01

yeah, I love it. Oh, my God, I just love you and like, the way you speak. And the things you say to people tell you this, like, first of all, you also kind of look like Kenya more Has anyone ever told you that? But you can't really see the resemblance. So when you said reality TV was cracking me up. But um, one mistake I've made in business is thinking that when things get to a good level, that is always going to be that way, and taking for granted that things will shift like, Oh, these Facebook ads are working great. Oh, wait a second. No, they're not working anymore. What's happening? And so when it's good, keep doing more of what's good, you know, to a reasonable level, don't like burn yourself out. But that is one thing, that we have to realize that things are gonna change. Like, no matter how good it is, they're gonna change.

Charis Jones 48:58

Yeah, and you just got to be real good with change. You got to get real good with that. Because you're so right. Nothing is ever going to stay the same. And as long as you can continue to, like thrive in an environment like that. Get every good, you

Nicaila Matthews Okome 49:15

know, yeah, working on it working on thriving in the changes. But now that I know that it's always gonna change. It's a little easier, right. Alright, so now let's jump into the lightning round. You know the deal. Just answer the first thing that comes to mind. Are you ready? Okay, let's go. All right. Number one. What's of resource these days that is really helping you in your business that you can share with the side hustle pro audience, not Google. Not Google,

Charis Jones 49:44

audible. That's the first thing. Yeah, that for. So Audible is where I listen to all my books, you know? And so from what is the dude's name? He is who I'm listening to right now.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 50:02

Oh, rich Paul.

Charis Jones 50:03

Yeah, listen to it. Okay, so his book is amazing. That's what I'm listening to right now. And it just really reminds me of the Greek the hustle to, like, never lose it, you know, like, the streets, you know. So it's like things a remind me that things could be worse. And that like, in my head, I'm always a drug dealer. Like, it's bad. It's bad. Yeah, like corner boy, hustle, knowing that somebody is always coming for your spot, ie like the popo might be right around the corner. Like that. Like, yeah, paper bag boy. That level of hockey? Yeah.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 50:48

All right. Number two, who is a fellow Black woman entrepreneur who you would want to switch places with for a day and why not celebrity hate to do it to you, but not a celebrity? No, I

Charis Jones 51:01

love that. I love that. Okay. I'm the first person that pops in my mind is friend. Her name is Tara Donnelly. And yeah, so she owns a lock business, for dreadlocks. And she has always been able to ideate a new business. She also had baby products at one point in time. And so I know now she's shifting her model and shifting her life. And I can't wait to see what she does next. But I'm just I'm standing by for her rise. We don't talk frequently. But I texted her maybe like two weeks ago. But I would like to trade places with her because I've done one thing for a considerable amount of time. And she's come up with a few things and executed on them and owned multiple businesses, you know, okay, and so I'd like to switch places with her for day.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 52:01

Oh, okay. Yeah. Number three, what is a non negotiable part of your day these days?

Charis Jones 52:08

Oh, my focus time. So the first four hours of my work day, my calendar is blocked off. And so that I don't accept any appointments and know anything, right. And so the reason why is because that's the time for me to get my work done. And then I will accept meetings and things, but it is a non negotiable is Well, for now. Otherwise, yeah. Otherwise, I'll that they will get swept away. Okay.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 52:33

What is a personal trait or habit that has helped you significantly in business? Consistency? Yeah, that's the answer. You definitely display that. And finally, last question, what is your parting advice for fellow women entrepreneurs who wants to be their own boss, but are worried about not having a steady paycheck? I

Charis Jones 52:56

would say to prioritize your own knowing I say this all the time. Yeah. So I know, the steady paycheck seems not having it seems very, very scary. I get that, right. But if you figure it out good enough, it otherwise becomes irrelevant. No. So but by doing that, in order to get to that place, you really have to shut out all the noise. Stop asking people what they think for their opinion, and to run things by them. And really prioritize you for you. Right? And so and that looks like clearing out the noise getting stale. For me, this happens in the morning during my meditation, asking me what I really want for myself from myself. And giving that to myself. That's it, you know, some days, it's just a hug. You know, like, whatever it is, I make sure that it's me for me, and then everyone else gets to come to the party. So if you use that mantra, if it's scary for you to leave that predictable paycheck, it can become less scary because when it's you for you, you can't lose

Nicaila Matthews Okome 54:14

you for you. That's it right there. That's a perfect note to end on. So Cerise, where can people connect with you and sassy Jones after this episode,

Charis Jones 54:23

so you can find us online at shop Jesse jones.com We're everywhere on social at shop sassy Jones. Definitely subscribe to our second jobs TV on YouTube. And you can find me at Cerise Ian Jones on Instagram. I look forward to working with you. I

Nicaila Matthews Okome 54:40

look forward to everyone listening to this episode and definitely let us know we sent you alright, and there you have it. Talk to you next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the week. Again, that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up, talk to you soon. Bye

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

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