255: How Jerri Evans Is Evolving From Turning Natural Juice Bar Owner To Legacy Builder

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255: How Jerri Evans Is Evolving From Turning Natural Juice Bar Owner To Legacy Builder

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Today in the guest chair is Jerri Evans, the Owner of Turning Natural Juice Bars. Jerri was first on the show in 2017 and now she’s back with an update!

As the Owner of Turning Natural Juice Bars, Jerri Evans has revolutionized juicing in the “hood”.  By bringing better choices to communities that otherwise lack access to healthy options, Jerri dedicated her mission to serving the often under-served and overlooked.  

It was Evans’ late mother Annette Turner, who founded Turning Natural, after being diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer. Shortly after her mother’s transition, Evans quit her then excelling career as an Aeronautical Engineer to pursue helping those who were looking to take care of themselves.  

Eight years and six locations later, Jerri has committed to continuing her mom’s legacy and trailblazing her own. 

On this episode, hear how Jerri:

  • Thinks about how and when to expand to a new location
  • Addressed her shortcomings as a manager to make her team stronger
  • Navigates “graduating” from a business she founded and having an exit strategy!

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Guest Social Media Info

Side Hustle Pro – @sidehustlepro

Turning Natural – @turningnatural

Jerri Evans – @jerrichanel


Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:09

Hey guys, welcome welcome back to Side Hustle Pro. Today is another episode where we are interviewing as a Side Hustle Pro alum, one of the goats of Side Hustle Pro, who has taught me so much talk many of you so much. And we're gonna get, you know, a little bit of an update on what she has going on. So, today, the guest chair is Jerri Evans, the owner of turning natural. Now, Jerri, you know, I have to read your bio. For those who haven't listened to her very first episode, it was Episode 67. And it aired in October 2017. like crazy, I can't believe it's been that long. But we definitely have a lot to catch up on. So for those who don't know, Jerri is the owner of turning natural juice bars. And she has revolutionized juicing in the hood by bringing better choices to communities that otherwise like access to healthy options. It's funny because the first time I even really discovered turning natural, it was by chance. And you know, I was in the eighth street location in Washington, DC. And I was like, I really need to know more about the woman behind this because it was just such an awesome experience. And Jerri has dedicated her mission to serving the often underserved and overlooked she grew up in southeast washington dc herself. And she was adamant and relentless in reminding us that not only do we need but we deserve good things in our communities. And with over 15 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, focusing on nutrition education, holistic alternative health and food nutrition. Jerry has integrated her knowledge with action. It was Jerri's late mother and Nat Turner who found the attorney natural after being diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. Sadly, after almost 10 years living in remission, the disease returned. And that thought her final fight in 2010. Shortly after her mother's transition, Jerri quit her than excelling career as an aeronautical engineer to pursue helping those who are looking to take care of themselves. And she has been recognized since for her work in many publications and on platforms. And she is just so dynamic. So without further ado, I'm not even going to keep on reading this because I feel like we can cover even more just talking. So welcome back to the guest Chair Jerri. Thank you, Nicaila, thank you for being here. So like I said, we have not spoken since October 2017. Let me know. Since the last time we spoke, what has happened? How many locations that you have at that time? Right?

Jerri Evans 2:47

I believe so. 2017? I had three locations at the time. And now 2021 we're at we're gonna open our six location. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. So what? Four years three stores later? We're all in store seats. And

Nicaila Matthews Okome 3:12

in locations like are they all DC proper these days? Or like, Where are the different locations? Oh,

Jerri Evans 3:19

yes, there's five in DC. There's one in Maryland. And we are looking to expand out of the DC Maryland Virginia area. Very, I want to say so. But the way my life is set up right now.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 3:36

This past year has been set up right. Listen,

Jerri Evans 3:39

yeah, yeah. So six locations. Wow, that's crazy. I you know, is looking back on it. You're like, wow, 2017 what was happening, right? To move to three stores later, three more stores later, like, even busy, very busy. And

Nicaila Matthews Okome 3:56

I'm curious what goes into your process when you think about expansion? Because to me, it's like it's hard enough opening one location. It's hard enough getting that in a in a place where it's it's centered with staffing and you know, you you know, your foot traffic, you know what things are like, you know what to expect, you know how to plan out projections, then to also be building out another location, dealing with any kind of surprises that might happen with construction or anything like that. So when you are getting ready to expand, what does that process look like? What are your considerations?

Jerri Evans 4:38

So, in the beginning, like the first three scores, it was kind of like, whatever. Now I want to say whatever fell in my lap, but it was like whatever fell in my lap, like you would have someone come and say, Hey, here's the location. I think this will be great. And then eighth Street, which was that third location, it was a dilapidated building. And my experience prior to that was kind of smooth sailing, right? Other than the financial hiccups and building out a location. So I'm like, Oh, it's gonna be really easy walk and say, Ah, there's a hole in the ceiling. Oh, even. And I was like, oh, wow, this is a full construction space, right? So you know, no more YouTube University at this point DCR A, which is DC consumer Regulatory Affairs, they're like, No girl, you need a full contractor. Okay,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:36

when we talk to you in 2017, you were like, YouTube and how to fix pipes.

Jerri Evans 5:43

I had YouTube and a Jamaican. Now it's like, okay, now it's it's real deal. So find new contractors. And you know, at this point, their location, you can kind of sorta afford, you know, a really good plumber and a really good electrician. And honestly, the plumber, the electrician that I found around store, too, they've been with me through all six doors. And so and they're black. So I'm making it, I'm extremely intentional about that. It's not to say it hasn't been a struggle. But it's been super intentional about that. And so after the third location, that's what we kind of got on people's radar. So like bigger construction companies, bigger landlord, so like JB G and eastbank, and Douglas development, now they're coming to you. And they're saying, Hey, I have this perfect location, because everybody loves a good story. You know, the girl from the flood, who mom passed away from cancer used to be an engineer, you know, put her here, like, here's the here's the location. And after h Street, I was like, no more big stores, meaning no more 2000 square foot because we didn't need it, you know, the model changed. And so I just needed roughly about 700 square feet. No more than that. And that's been the model going forward. So amazing.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:11

So is it more of like a carry out kind of vibe? Or can people still sit and you know, have their juice if they choose. So now the way that COVID is set up,

Jerri Evans 7:23

we want you to grab it and go. We want it to create this environment where people could sit and read and chill. But right now is proving to not be the best model. And then Honestly, it it reduced. I'm a numbers girl. So the maximum amount of profit that I could get out of the maximum amount of time that I can get without, you know, without having so many staff members, because that was a big, big issue is maintaining six to seven people at each location. Because you're trying to cover at least 2000 square feet, then you had to create products that paid for that DC, Renee cheap. It was like, Okay, how do I figure this out? So 700 square feet, there's still plenty of options that you can choose from very much grab and go. So yeah, very much grab a call at this point.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 8:22

Speaking of maximizing profit, and also figuring out how to do that with staffing. One of the things we've touched on, and I'd love to know, you know, what's been the update, and what have you learned since then, is just how tough hiring can be. How tough motivating and, you know, maintaining employees long term can be so in the last few years, I mean, is there anything you can share that you've learned in how to keep that team building? going?

Jerri Evans 8:51

Yeah, well, we've had plenty of lessons. One thing, one thing that you will learn in this industry, where you have to employ people is the difference between being like an entrepreneur and being a manager. I'm great at being an entrepreneur, I suck at managing people. It's just you're managing personalities, you're managing whatever issues they have going on when my mindset is, I know where I'm trying to go. And all of this is kind of like in my way in that makes what I decided the beginning of the pandemic, what was the beginning of the year, and then the pandemic happen? I was ready to get rid of everybody knew that this was like December, November 2019. So I'm just going to clear the slate just start all over. And I had to be honest with myself. One of my grandmother's favorite sayings is the fish rots from the head. And so a lot of the mistakes that they were making is because I didn't give them the proper tools to manage To lead to execute what I needed to execute. And so I spent majority of the pandemic training, we promoted every shift leader to store manager which gave them away more experience, and responsibilities. So in turn, took a lot of things off of my plate. And then I decided to outsource for things like HR, because it just employing people that you have, like they can reach out and touch you is a different environment. So I sat with my core team, and I asked them what their previous job was before coming here and becoming a store manager. And we don't hire managers, you have to grow up the ranks. So some one head Ticketmaster, and other ones to portray another word in a dental office. If I asked him, I said, what, what was the CEOs name? Couldn't tell me? What are they Dr. can tell me. So it's like the direct access that you have produces this level of familiarity that could be good, but also toxic. And so I decided to create some sort of distance where I only talked to a few people. Yeah, I really don't want to walk in a store, I know who staff is so. And that's just where I needed to be. So we're producing people who I knew were capable. And given them the tools to make them capable going through books and training, courses, things like that has proven to take a lot of that pressure off of off of me that I didn't have before.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:35

And I want to just dig a little bit deeper into that point about familiarity. Because I think that some people might think that comes off cold or whatever, whatever. But I know what you're trying to say in that, when you are trying to run a business. And people think they know you on a familiar level, you know, like, they can crack jokes, they can talk about, oh, let me catch you up on what so and so has going on, it might seem all good at first, but then when it's time to handle business, it really blurs the lines where either you know, they don't take things that seriously or they are more offended that you will try to discipline or talk, you know, like address business with them. So, you know, that's the point of view, I think you might be that's an experience, I think you might be touching on there.

Jerri Evans 12:20

Yeah. And because at that point, accountability comes off as creative criticism. Yeah. You know, at that point, I'm

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:28

like, first of all criticism, which is personal.

Jerri Evans 12:33

And I'm like, you know, I also have a job to do. And my team will tell you, when their birthdays come around, you know, we make sure that we send a caterer store, we make sure there's a car that the entire team has created, you know, signed and created. So there's, I still want to be connected to my team. But in a way that makes sense. Yep. And that's sustainable, because it's not sustainable for me to for every staff member to have my telephone number. Yeah, I can never get anything done. No.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:03

And when you say outsourcing HR, is that like a platform that you use? Or is it something where you had to kind of research and find like, somewhere local?

Jerri Evans 13:15

I definitely had to outsource and research because it was very specific. Like, I want it out.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:24

I don't see your stories. I'm like, okay, okay. She's, she's at that point where she's too tied to the business, like you want to wake up some mornings and not worry, right about what's going on is social upon time, like, is that sort of

Jerri Evans 13:37

today, seven o'clock, I don't want to wake up at four o'clock. So there were a lot of companies who just wanted to take over HR, but I wanted a management group, I wanted someone that was going to come in and continuously train continuously hold people accountable. So HR was just a small part of it, that ended up passing me into a management group. Because Yeah, it is a lot, so many different moving parts. You have vendors, you have staff, you have landlords, you have developing relationships, it was too much. And so in order for me to stay sane and friendly.

Unknown Speaker 14:18

But I'll leave

Unknown Speaker 14:20

this out

Nicaila Matthews Okome 14:21

to happen. Okay. I respect that. I respect that. And I it's so great hearing you know, that growth and how you've done it, what has worked for you. Speaking of growth, I've seen that you've invested a lot of time into personal development over the last few years. I've seen you go away to Dartmouth's MBA program for entrepreneurship. I think it was a two week or some four week four months. You let me know.

Tell me more money.

Jerri Evans 14:56

So they initially reached out and they had This accelerated program where you go in and you are talking to some of the best of the best when it comes to business management and just how to grow your business. And one thing that I took away from that that was so important is that I didn't empower my team enough. Because I have, I have issues with control, I want to do it my way, I know I'm going to do it the best, I'm going to do it the fastest, but I was running people and not a process, or system. So it helped me create a system that was sustainable. It really dive deep into numbers, which I love, like, I love to see that were profitable, I love to see, you know, as making money. And I really appreciate it because it was specific to a diverse group of people, minorities. So you had black, you had Brown, you had the LGBTQ community there. Like I mean, it just it was so many different dynamics of business. And not everyone was a CEO, either they were, you know, they may have been C suite of a company. But it just gave you that that accelerated time intimate time with a lot of professors who were able to kind of catapult you to the place that you needed to be, or want to be

Nicaila Matthews Okome 16:19

an example of empowering your team, something that you weren't doing before that you now do, and that we can think about doing as well. Because I think that is so important to let go for control and figure out how to really empower others.

Jerri Evans 16:35

I will say giving them autonomy to make choices, and not being fearful of because even though I'm gentle is still on my face. on my face. And so they they explained to me that they were afraid to make decisions out of fear of disappointing me or making me upset. And I'm saying well, this is the only way that you can learn is if you make this mistake, because what makes me upset is when you don't make a decision. And you come to me for very minor things that you could have figured out. And then if it was wrong, we could have fixed it. But to do nothing in action is like that's the best way to make it you're giving them room to to make choices without having to run things past me. And surprisingly, it wasn't that many mistakes, they really didn't make that many mistakes because they have been practicing these decisions anyway.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 17:34

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Jerri Evans 20:23

Yeah. And it proved to me that the system works, right, like this system that we've created. But thanks to be streamlined, it actually worked. So yeah, that made me feel good.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 20:33

Yeah. And then again, I hope that's helpful for other entrepreneurs, because I think it is helpful for me just to realize that that's the step that needs to happen. We, we think we're too much in our business, especially a side hustlers, right and as solopreneurs. And when we're building the business from the ground up ourselves, we can't ever get to that level that we want to get to where we can disconnect when we need to win. We have to and think more creatively or think higher level, if we're in the nitty gritty every day because we're scared to relinquish control. Yeah. What other ways? Do you think you've been working on personal development? Because the Jerry, I see, I just feel like you're always sharing books, you can tell that you're really tapping into a more enlightened space. Is that because that is you thinking about the next level of Jerry, like, where are you going next?

Jerri Evans 21:28

So going into turn unnatural. I say this often, I've never thought it was going to be as successful as it has turned out to be. Yet no, like, I just I really just wanted to sell choose to do I did not want to have multiple locations I did not want. It didn't want to turn it into this enterprise. It caught it organically did it right? Because again, logic, my background is engineering. So logic is up there for me. I just knew that I needed to cut cost. So you know, farming important relationships with farmers. I just I did not see it. I did not foresee this. So when people say oh, what you did was genius. I stopped them. It really wasn't. I just took them, I took an untapped market and put it in a place that it means you don't need it. So when people say like you're selling, you're doing these numbers in in these communities, I'm like, Yeah, because who said underserved, meant polished? Who said understand, they didn't have money, they just don't have underserviced, lack of access. So changing that mindset of, you know, people who live in certain places don't have access to money, they have access to money, they just don't have access to the things that that you think that money could buy. So yeah, I did not foresee it, becoming what it became or is continuously becoming. But I do once we started to grow, that I did not want to do this forever. I'm the type of person who believes in quitting. And quitting often, right? Because quitting doesn't mean you lost or quitting doesn't mean defeat. It's like, Okay, I'm ready to go to the next thing. And so it was after that third location, I was like, how do I create my exit, because stress was at an all time high. And it wasn't just that stress. It was, you know, we were opening a seven o'clock, which means someone had to be there at six o'clock. We have in the last nine years of business, we have probably been broken into it, we six or seven times. There's just a lot of things that you don't see that are you know, that are happening. You have vendors who are doing business or discontinuing a product. You're trying to grow into a co Packer to produce some things. And they're like, oh, you're too small. And then when you get big enough, they changed the dynamic again. So there's so much that was happening, and have to rely on communicating with 1520 people. And then as you continuously grow, you get more established, it was just a lot, a lot of stress. And then I had to create my exit plan. And so I did not, and still do not want to juice for the rest of my life. And when I tell people that I'm ready to move on to the next day, like why, like it's definitely you go, you don't just leave when it's like dead. Yeah. Right. So yeah, that's when I decided that, hey, it's time to think about next steps. And for me, it was spending time with me. Like I was getting up at four o'clock in the morning, literally feet hitting the ground. I'm checking the motion detectors, and making sure everybody's in the place that they're supposed to be in. I'm coming Permanent Cisco was still in route for deliveries at eight and like I was just doing so much that I didn't have time to breathe. And they you started looking into Mary like, Huh, I don't look like myself. And you don't feel like yourself. And they you really start to think like, Who am I now? Like what I do has become who I am. And that's not that's not me. And so in this space, time is a true luxury. Like having time I get up at 6am I don't put my feet on the ground to seven. I don't answer anything related to business until 9am. done by 3pm. Like after 3pm you call me text me email me. Because I had to create those boundaries. I was 4am to 10 o'clock, and we get so caught up in that. I'm grinded. I'm out here putting it down. graphite girl boho cares about any of this. If you're not here. You can just even go if you're not here. Right? Well, you know, making time to do yoga. I really enjoy yoga. I love it. I had tennis today. I've been skating really random things. Because I just don't want to wait to live a life that I'm not promised.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 26:25

I am so happy to hear you say that? Because that's I think one of the things that concerns me sometimes when I speak to different women on this show. And also I think about for myself, right? Like what, what does the next phase of tequila look like? And and so I'm sure a lot of entrepreneurs also consider that because the thing about starting a business versus having a job is like, like you said, like people graduate from jobs. You know, you spend X amount of years at a company, and then you're like, I'm ready for something new, ready for a challenge, or I'm just tired of these people. So you get your resume together, you interview and you move on. Now what happens when you start a business and you're ready to move on? Right? Like it's a phase process. So it sounds like first you you know, you train and you empowered people and you started to slowly shift your responsibilities to trusted leaders within your team. And then also start to think about what you want in your life. So you started incorporating things like tennis, and self care practices, you know, what do I want my days to look like? I think it's so important for us to hear this to hear that as possible. Yeah. So what is what does it look like for you when you completely graduate from being in the business of turning natural day in and day out? Do you know? So? Well? Yeah. Because I'm not in the business. We're already there. Yeah.

Jerri Evans 27:55

I've not in any way. I had to make that hard decision. Because like, and I'm gonna be completely transparent. Right before 2019 was a what looked like a very successful year business did well, right. We opened Yeah, we open East the market. No, we opened the market in 2020. We opened shop in 2019. And you know, from the outside looking in Jerry's doing phenomenal turning natural is doing phenomenal. But there were nights that I would wake up in full blown panic attacks. To the point that I had to go to the emergency room, like something's not right. Why am I waking up with this amount of anxiety, or waking up in the middle of night, checking the cameras knows like, this isn't healthy. This isn't healthy. And I don't want people to feel like you just have to always be in this grind hustle mode. And self care is more so giving yourself the time and discipline to really take care of yourself. So it's not just getting my nails done. It's not just getting my feet done and facials it's like, really doing the work of getting to know who I am outside of what I do. And, and that I make I 2019 I made that decision. I'm coming out of this because this is not healthy for me. 2,020k and I'm like, you know you get little breaks with snow days because I get to close the store. But when March hit and they were like Maryland Governor Hogan was like, Okay, what you're talking about close everything. You close it all. I mean, that I was that not with you. I was over it. I was Oh great. And honestly, I was like, and if we never reopen? Oh, right. So we have to close our Maryland location, our DC locations, and my biggest concern was my team. Right, because majority of them are hourly, if they don't work, they don't get paid. So I transferred my Marilee group to disperse them throughout DC, I changed the store hours, we were doing like two staff per shift, just so that they can keep social distancing. And I got some of the best rest of my life in the last in that in 2020. While you know, of course, it wasn't that I wasn't stressed about what does this look like going forward? And I was like, let me take the time that was given to me to relax. And I sat on the couch watching versus I watched movies, I went down rabbit holes, like, I needed that I needed those months of just really, really relaxing. And it, it caused me to think creatively. That more ideas about how to transition out how to, you know, elevate my team to give them more ownership. That's why we developed a profit sharing. So that store managers are not just store managers, they have some ownership in what they do every day. So if it wasn't for that time of a break, I wouldn't have been able to come up with that. So yeah, I wasn't. I was like, if it if we never sell another juice.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 31:26

What does that look like? I mean, fiscally, like, where are you? Are you set like, you know, like, I don't ever have to work again. Or

Jerri Evans 31:35

let me say this, because I'm going in, like I said, around store three, I knew that I could not do this forever. So I said, What is the number that I can live for the next 50 plus years, right? Let's say 50. Let's say God gives me 50 more years that I can live 50 years comfortably, like maintain all of my bills, I can still go buy a bag or something if I want. I can have lessons I can do yoga, what does that look like? And so again, be financially set is a financial freedom is it looks different these days? In the beginning, it was like, What can I what things can I acquire now? It's like how do I live? comfortably and conveniently, right. Like, I don't like to do certain things. I don't like to clean my house. I'm a neat freak, but I don't like my house. So I need to add that into my financial freedom. I don't want to go to a garage. Can somebody come to me? And then it's my financial freedom. But yeah, so I'm not in it. No more is I'm working on it. And you know, for years people Linux about franchising. I feel like that's still more work. Yeah. I was opposed to it. I'm not anymore. an acquisition would be very nice.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 33:01

What is walking away and walking away, wealthy man see you.

Jerri Evans 33:11

Again, walking away and I can live a comfortable life, meaning a life of luxury, a convenience. And we don't talk about that enough. I think that people think that once you create a business, you're just supposed to be there forever.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 33:33

Like, when you think of brick and mortar businesses, I think sometimes they get a bad rap of just dreaming a lot. And not earning the kind of profit margins that would be able to set you up for a life of luxury. Right? You see you I guess you think more of the restaurant model where like, as sexy and glamorous as it looks like, Oh, I own a restaurant. Actually. It can be really hard to make money. Right?

Jerri Evans 33:54

So very skin in the restaurant. fridge.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 34:00

Yeah, so so I guess that's the part where I want to help people see if they have this type of business, what can they do you know, to to ensure that they can have the path that you're taking.

Jerri Evans 34:15

So one of the first things that I realized when we started to make money was that I had to put the money back into the business because it's easy to you see that money, right? And first people need to pay their taxes because they're collecting sales and use tax and ain't paying off the SAM he will come back for his money. Um, so yeah, putting the money back into the business and putting it back into the business in a way that makes sense. In the beginning. I don't care about marketing. I want it to perfect my product. I wanted you to have the best movie the best Jews, so that any other place that you went to, you had to compare it to turn it natural Right, like, oh, what's your natural, they don't use ice you, right, we don't use ice quality fruit, we don't freeze it and blend it up for you. We don't add water to our juices. So making sure that I have the best product that I could possibly have. And then I started to focus more on like branding things. So I noticed a lot of people were taking pictures of their juice in their hand, and I just hated that you didn't know it was turning natural. Or we were writing with Sharpie markers like what it was, it was like, Oh, I hate seeing this. So then it was like, Okay, now I have to invest in bottles. So making sure that I reinvested into my company, and that we talked a lot about having a personal savings account. Your business needs to have one too. Yeah. Your business needs to have one too. And I'm so glad that people that I friends, mentors who are also in business, yeah. Talk about saving, like really saving money. So that I didn't feel that struggle of can we pay our rent this month? You know, I paid over $38,000 in rent throughout DC. So when the pandemic hit and your your sales are exactly that total month, wow, unity thing he complain about a $7 juices. We have deals. Now one of those landlords care, right. So having a good saving, so that, you know, I can maintain all of those monthly bills, because I mean, you got some relief, but it wasn't forgiveness. It was saying, Hey, we can we can figure out three months. And then after three months, I think, because they were piecemealing it no one knew how long this will last we didn't know we were going to go to almost a year basically. Shut down. So yeah, but I had a savings for the business for each location to say, hey, this money is designated to this. Because things happen blenders great. The air conditioning goes out. break ins, you have to replace the glass same day. So making sure that you have money set aside so that your business can operate the same way to operate personally.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 37:26

I love that having a business savings that we write we don't talk about that enough. We're talking about personal savings, of course investing back into the business. But I think having a business savings is clutch. All right. And then finally, I know you wanted to touch on like the human side of entrepreneurship, the human side of entrepreneurship, like the behind the hashtag behind the hour even know what right like we miss out of entrepreneurship that we don't talk about it enough. You know.

Jerri Evans 38:06

We're still people pray, like we're still very much people. And I don't I take at this point, this will be year nine, the criticism doesn't bother me as much. In the beginning, I took an extremely personal note, like, I get emails directly addressing me. So I don't get the emails, but I see the emails, yeah, direct, they believe that they're talking to me. And like telling me what I need to do because they had an experience, right? That That wasn't pleasurable, at whatever location. And I do take on the responsibility that the people that they meet in my stores are first impressions of me, right? They think of it as me. And sometimes I read those things. And I'm like, you couldn't possibly think that there's a human on the other side of this the things that people say, or if I walk into a store and I go straight up into my office, I've had people email me like she didn't even speak to the customers is like you have no clue what my day looks like on a day to day you have no clue if I'm running late to a meeting. Like there's, you forget that there is a human side of all of this that you see. And I also think that people think that success takes away from just day to day troubles. Like I still have things that happen. Money doesn't solve every problem. I can count how many people actually say Hey, how are you? Right like just how are you doing? Yeah, it's like you know, what stores this house you know, what's what's business life like? And I'm like, Girl, I

Nicaila Matthews Okome 39:54

don't want to talk about that.

Jerri Evans 39:57

exists. Yeah. When when I meet people, and people ask, you know, what do you do I say I work in a juice bar. Because anything else turns the conversation ships. But I just want to be able to exist in a space that what I do doesn't matter. Yeah. Like it just it absolute. I'm still super regular, I still do regular stuff. But yeah, we forget that there's, there's a human side, like we are still human beings, we're still going to make mistakes. And we don't know everything. Sometimes we're first generation business owners. So we're figuring things out. Yeah. And you got to allow us the grace to figure it out. You got to allow the people that work with us the grace to figure it out, because they are also first generation working for a first generation black company, you know, I'm saying a lot of it, that it was a lot of pressure from that, as well as like, Oh, I want to talk to these people. I am a true introvert. I just have social skills. So people don't feel like I'm an introvert, but I will disappear in a second. You know,

Unknown Speaker 41:05

I feel you on that one. Like I am. Like, if I said like,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 41:13

I gave a verbalize just how much I relate to that I will disappear in a heartbeat. Like

weirdly enough, I like Miss conferences now. Right? Because COVID took away those opportunities to, you know, see and talk to other women, especially black woman, I missed that. But usually when I'm at a conference like I am, you know, at targeted few sessions, and then I will be in my hotel room, you're not gonna see me, I'm not coming to the social people who come to a little bit and then I'm back in the room, you know, decompressing? How do you cultivate the awesome business relationships that you have with fellow black woman entrepreneurs, though, that's something that I admire and respect about you a great deal. I think that it's so important that you could really tell that iron sharpens iron and you know that you're able to support and learn from each other.

Unknown Speaker 42:16


Jerri Evans 42:18

those relationships just, I don't want to say just those relationships happened organically, right? Like either we've crossed paths, or we knew we had a mutual friend or a mutual associate. And we just kicked it off. I am surrounded by some, like out of this world, black women outside of entrepreneurship, like just some really, really amazing black women. And it's cliche, but black women really are magic. We really match the way that we show up for each other. That makes us feel seen. One of my friends Angel always despised sweet, black, like when she shot like she sent me a picture of a paddy and I know she goes to turn it natural often. And she knows that she tells me this point, I don't need no more spices. And I'm like, making it I want it. So let's just see that like to know that they are showing up for me. If something's happening in a store, she'll text me and say, Hey, I was in a store. This is what I saw. And it's not like, Girl, get your team. It's like, Hey, I see you. I know what this I know what it feels like. And not so many people will do that. So it's just it's amazing to have that tribe of people who will put you on and say up one of the main reasons I went and got a co Packer is because our ship like ours is. I love our show so much here.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 43:48

Jones, Mambo city, capital.

Jerri Evans 43:52

Yes, I'm just phenomenal people. So those relationships, again came from just either our past crossing some way. And it wasn't, too because I haven't done business with any of them. Yeah, right. But we need an accountant. Hey, I need to switch lawyers, I need a financial advisor, you can literally pick up the phone and call them and somebody is going to make it happen for you. Yes,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:21

love it. And, you know, before we jump into the lightning round, I just want to say on that note, I'm just so proud and happy for you. I have followed your journey. And of course you were in the guest chair in 2017. And so you know, to see the evolution and, and I'm really looking forward to what's coming next. You know, I really can't even imagine it like I know that life is going to lead you somewhere that you might not even know right now. And it's gonna be it's gonna be amazing and dynamic to see and it's also gonna be like, of course, of course she's doing that because like she's amazing. And she's like So much so

Jerri Evans 45:03

I appreciate and I, I feel like I'm a reflection of the people that I'm surrounded by thank you for even inviting me to be in the chair. Oh, you don't think that your story is that important? So somebody says, Oh, yeah, you got some things to talk about. So I appreciate you highlighting so many phenomenal women and stories that we would probably have not seen if you had not traded.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 45:29

Because I can't like I still can't get over and I I just can't, you know, overstate like, I think it's just so incredible to walk pass attorney natural juice bar and to know a black woman owns this, at multiple physical locations are owned by a black woman like that is incredible. And you know, it's not, it's not something we could take lightly. So I just have to highlight you, I just can't remember, I did my live show. And I was like, Oh, this international over here, I gotta get it. I put it on Instagram. Like, I got to and it's so tasty. So it was like a no brainer.

Jerri Evans 46:08

weird to me to see. Even after all this time, it's like to see people with materna natural cup. And to the point where I know our straws. Yeah, like that's it. Like, oh my god, that is so

Nicaila Matthews Okome 46:21

that is awesome. I know, there has to be a little bit like. So Alright, that we have a quick lightning round. It's funny, I was just listening back to your first lightning round. So I know you're not gonna remember the answers, but I can't wait to see what you say. So, number one, what is a resource that is helping you these days in your business that you can share with other side hustlers entrepreneurs, especially those who might have a brick and mortar right now in the time of COVID? That is helping you out?

Jerri Evans 47:00

Oh, you know what? Okay, so this is new. The company is called margin Ah, okay. And what they do is like every vendor receipt, every invoice, my production team scans it in. So it tells me because produce changes, right, like ginger could be $20. Today for a 40 pound case, it could be as high as 90 some odd dollars tomorrow, because it's literally like the stock market for produce. So what I wanted to know is I wanted to skim down on the numbers even more like I wanted to get as close to perfect as possible. So what it allows you to do, especially if you're working in volumes, you don't have to have a food and beverage, you honestly don't have to have a brick and mortar. If you want to properly scale, you need to know your numbers. So knowing how much it costs to produce a 12 ounce smoothie, a 16 ounce smoothie, a 20 ounce smoothie, a 32 ounce Moody, and little to no loss. On top of that, and my production team know how to order. It scales everything. And it lets me know if I'm paying too much for something, if I've consistently bought it over time. So margin edge is phenomenal. They'll walk you through the process. Like I said, you do not have to have food or beverage, it could be any product.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 48:18

Yeah, that is an awesome resource that I have not heard of. So thank you for that. Because I think knowing how to financially model and really understanding what it costs you to do something is a skill and not even a skill. It's something we all need as a resource. We all need to make sure that we are as profitable as we can be. Number two, I love listening back to your answer on this last time. I know you guys know this is a fake lightning round. It's not lightning about it, but anywho who inspires you these days? And why? Oh,

Jerri Evans 48:51

so my answer the same because she continues to inspire me. Why we love her. You're like, even like I just can't say enough she what I love the most is that she continuously challenges you, right like challenges you to think bigger, to go bigger, do bigger, be bigger, and she has this unique way of making people feel seen and not just as a group but like individually like I see you I'm going to give you every piece of information that I have, I genuinely want you to win. So it remains my league.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 49:34

Number three, what is a personal habits that has helped you in your business and in your life?

Jerri Evans 49:43

So I think on the first one I say reading, which still still helps me to this day, but the newest one would be yoga. It has forced me to be present in A way different way, right? Like being present isn't just about, like, oh, everything that I need to do is say like, if my team is talking to me, I am engaged, my phone is away. I'm not focusing on anything else. It's just you and I talking. So being present, and breathing, like you just don't realize how much you don't hear them now. So reading a yoga,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 50:25

Okay, number four, what is a non negotiable part of your day? schedule?

Jerri Evans 50:34

My schedule is non negotiable. If it's not on my schedule is not happening. Specifically business, right? Like I can I'm fluid when it comes to, you know what time I'm going to eat and all that other stuff. But if it's not on my schedule, is not happening. My team knows when people like, Oh, can I talk to you for a second? I have to be prepared, right? Like, you can literally drop a bomb on me. And I don't have the time to recover from it to go to my next thing. Even now with like interviews, as you're still my favorite interview? Oh, you seriously, you can understand it because I'm right here.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 51:19

That means a lot.

Jerri Evans 51:20

The questions are intentional, is not redundancy. And so I even in that I'm like, What are you asking? Because at this point, there's so there's information out there. And I don't want to just keep giving that information over and over again, because we talk a lot about what we do. But we don't give enough of how, like, how do we get this stuff done. And sometimes the hour just isn't enough. But I like to be an open resource to people

Unknown Speaker 51:49

don't ask questions,

Jerri Evans 51:49

I don't have like, Oh, you got to pay me a fee. I'm not a business consultant, I'm gonna tell you my experience, and you do with it, what you can.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 51:58

So final, final final thing we're going to ask of you is to share with us some party advice for fellow black woman entrepreneurs who wants to be their own boss, but maybe scared of just stepping out and doing it.

Jerri Evans 52:14

I feel like at this point, if you're going to be scared, you probably shouldn't write because you know, there's always going to be some sort of fear factor in it, there's always going to be something that you might not know. I'm an advocate of doing it. Just do it. Right. There was a lot of mistakes that I made in the beginning, but I would not have grown to where I am now if I didn't hit those brick walls. So if you're going to allow the fear to paralyze you, then just stay right there. But if you're really, really yeah, if you're really willing to go that extra mile, despite the criticism, despite people I mean, really, I was going into the hood of the hood to sell green juice. Yeah. And people like what

Unknown Speaker 53:07


Jerri Evans 53:07

I could have allowed that to to stop me. And it was an interview that MC Hammer did and I've been trying to fight I saw one time because sway talked about it sway.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 53:20

Those were in the morning.

Jerri Evans 53:21

Yeah, the radio hosts. MC Hammer, he asked MC Hammer, what was the most expensive thing you ever bought? He said other people's opinions and problems. Oh, it it stuck to me, like a really, really stuck. I need to allow people to paralyze you with their criticism. And what you think people are going to say like, I didn't know anybody was going to come to buy juice. Yeah, I didn't know that people are going to come to multiple locations to buy juice. It's like really step out there. And when makes it a little bit easier than when you have a plan. But don't get so caught up in the plan. And I see a lot of people getting caught up in like, oh, how do I make my business visible? Have an amazing product have an amazing service. That's how it's visible? Yeah. People talk about it. That's how it looks like you don't need to meet the right person,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 54:21

your customer is the right person. And that that is the note we needed to end this on that I mean, that spoke to my heart. I think that especially coming back from maternity leave it is something that I struggle with, you know, I'll be transparent about that is just these fake narratives we make up in our head of what other people are going to say what they're doing, what you're not doing, if you're not keeping up with and all this other stuff that you just need to shut up and, and just keep it moving. So that's why I'm here with you today doing this video interview and I used to do video interviews. So I thank you so much for being here and where can people connect with you and Natural after this interview.

Jerri Evans 55:02

Sure, if you want all things @turningnatural on Facebook, Instagram, our website, www.Turningnatural.com, on Instagram is @turningnatural. If you want to follow me, I go down rabbit holes. And I'll give a book recommendation here and there. I'm @JerriChanel on, I guess all platforms. All right.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 55:28

And there you have it, you guys. So we will link to all of that in the show notes. And if you want to hear more from Jerry, make sure that you head over to those platforms. And with that I will talk to you next week. Thank you. 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 sidehustlePro.co/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 sidehustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon.

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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