Pack Post: Alpha Intro
Well, hello there. Welcome to the "PackPost," a clever way to say "our blog." I'm Jordan Lacenski and I am going to tell you a little bit about me and how I became a SheWolf. Apart from Co-Owning SheWolf Collaborative, I own BrandBoss Creative, a boutique creative agency offering personalized marketing strategy, branding, consulting, and innovative solutions.
BrandBoss is a brand house, a boutique firm offering every piece to the big brand puzzle to tell you story, communicate why you do what you do through your logo, artwork, social platforms, website, and communications.
If you're saying: "What does that even mean?" Read On. If you're nodding your head like "Yeah, Yeah I get it..skip this next paragraph.
Your saying to yourself, what is a brand and why is it important. I've got news for you sista, your personal brand is super important, in life and in business. It's what people say about you when you're not in the room, it's what people think about you, it's how much people trust you to work with them or just grab a glass of vino and chit chat about life. If your friends described you in three words, what would they be? YOUR brand is your identity: It's who you are, what you do, and how you do it - or more importantly WHY you do it. So now translate that to business - when you see a new product made by apple, do you trust it will be a high-quality, reliable product? Are you intrigued? Do you have to be one of the first to have it? Well - that's all part of their plan. You see, apple is known for innovation and quality.... and that is why you buy their products. Your business brand is communicated through everything you do. Your logo and your website, that's your first impression, my friends. So make it count. Don't skimp on either of these. Do it well, do it right, and invest your money in both of these items. What comes next? Your voice. What are you saying and how are you saying it? Chik-fil-a is known for their amazing customer service. It's part of who they are and their whole team displays it. When you blog, tweet, post, respond to messages, email, sponsor events, distribute press releases, share photography and design, etc, think about taking it back to square one. Does this fit with who you are?
[ Hey You - Creative - Pick back up here. ]
I'm off of my soapbox now. Before I decided to be a lady boss, I mastered every libation there is. No really... I was the Craft Brand Manager for a Beer Distribution company in North Carolina, and I loved it. I was the only female in a sales role outside of our promotions manager, and I had to grow some balls to succeed. An awesome learning experience and a true opportunity to find my power. I wanted the be the smartest person in the room, and had to work that much harder to be heard because...well...I am a woman. I was loud in plenty of ways, first by shaving my head for an event we sponsored, St. Baldrick's. Talk about street cred. And liberation. I am not my hair. And although management was a bit concerned about the "effect" of their new and only saleslady now being bald, it worked out in our favor, because people listened when I spoke (I call this that badass B approach). So what was I saying? Well, I studied, I educated myself. I was one of the first to take and pass the Cicerone (Similar to Sommelier certification, but for beer) Level 1 exam at our company. And they sent me to trainings and breweries all over the U.S. I soaked it all in like a sponge. My hubs still asks me to stop being such a snob about the beer he's drinking when I lecture him about freshness and the right glassware.
GirlBoss lesson: Fearless.
[ Side Note + Shameless plug: Because of my LOVE for beer and marketing - we are always down to brand your brewery. Touch base if you want to chat about it, over a beer of course, virtually or in person. ]
While conquering the beer world, I made many friends. I still keep in touch with some of the most amazing people I know at New Belgium Brewing, Great Lakes Brewing, and Foothills Brewing. I also made a few friends in the spirits industry, which led me to my next adventure. Beam Global owns almost half of the drinks on any back bar, many of which are still my all-time favorites. They were expanding their team to have a Beam specific sales team in North Carolina and when they reached out, I said: "Stir me an old-fashioned and let's do this." While my time with Beam was short-lived (thanks to the U.S. Army taking my man and stationing him 12 hours away), I learned so much about what makes my favorite spirits great. I went on adventures to Kentucky distilleries and tasted some of the finest whiskeys. It was here that being a lady boss really rang true. Competition was tough, and I was committed to the same approach, no short skirts and twirling my hair - I wanted to be the smartest person in the room. I studied and studied and learned about tequila, rum, bourbon, whisk(e)y, vodka...and I took a new territory by storm. I learned about climbing the latter from our boss, a woman, who made no apologies and pressed on.
GirlBoss Lesson: Boldness.
Well, what's left? Oh yes, wine. After I followed my hubs down to the Gulf Coast of Florida, I found a charity wine auction. My last auction with them ranked us as the third largest charity wine auction in the Nation according to Wine Spectator. I had to learn about wine, and not the $8 bottle I typically picked up at the store, but fine wine. Italian wine, French Wine, Australian Wine, and of course wine from Napa, Washington, Oregon and more. I became the Director of Marketing + Communications for Destin Charity Wine Auction. I pursued my MBA while working there full-time and I immersed myself in marketing, on little to no budget. Ah, the non-profit life. This was the best possible way to jump right in. What a challenge, right? I had to tell this story, a $3 million per year story about wine, food, and luxurious trips around the world, all for children in need on the Emerald Coast. This made me fall more and more in love with the storytelling process. What do people need to know about DCWAF? How can we show them the direct impact they are making on the next generation by bidding on that trip to Italy? With a small staff of four, and a very generous community, we were able to raise funds for 14 local charities meeting the needs of kids in our own back yard.
GirlBoss Lesson: Purpose.
And now, here we are, a true GirlBoss. BrandBoss launched in May 2016, and shortly after, my dearest friend, Laura and I decided that ladies in the creative field needed a place to come together. A circle of trust, a resource and safe place to ask questions, a place to contribute the skills they love MOST, and most of all - an agency bigger than themselves. It was after we both folded at a girls poker night that we started chatting about what our female community needed, what we were lacking...so we made it ourselves.
Let me first say this to all of you who are saying "Damn, girl... you are running two businesses simultaneously? Impressive."
We are crazy.
Entrepreneurship is NOT for the faint of heart. There are tons of pros of course, but it's a lot of work. You are the HR department, Accountant, Marketing Department, Logistics, Operations, and more. There have been many Facetime business calls between the Alphas that include a stiff drink and a 30 minute vent session before we start talking business. There have been days where we lose sleep, weeks where we work 90 hours, and nights where we don't see or talk to our husbands except for the dinner they bring to our desks. Being a SheWolf means gathering your pack when you need them, asking for help, and taking care of yourself (personally, turning my phone off on a Saturday or a bubble bath and wine seems to help). It also means the work never ends. It means turning on Beyoncé and shaking it out to get your creative juices flowing. It means looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel, working towards a goal, but adapting along the way. It means believing in yourself, and also believing in something bigger than yourself. It means being the change, speaking up for what you believe in, and sticking to your guns. And it means applying those GirlBoss lessons to your personal hunt. This lesson: Collaboration.