it's only been 2.5 weeks,
but NYC has already made me fully conscious of just how impressive everyone is.
Especially all the cool people who have stopped jumping through others' hoops and have set out to do something their own way.
Starting a business is, in my mind, the most #badass thing you can possibly do.
It's incredibly hard (so I've heard. from ambitious people.), the work never stops, and all in all- it's essentially equivalent to, as you'll see in a moment, having a baby.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
I thought it would be cool to interview a female NYC entrepreneur who's only 25 (KILLME) and get inside of her head a bit.
figure out how to be as cool
Could this be the beginning of a new series in which I delve deeper into the notion that everyone around me is more accomplished than I am??
Do you guys want an interview series w/ the Starbucks baristas next? Because I assure you that they're also genius med students who are simultaneously running their own websites and working two extra jobs while performing in a well-known [insert 80s rock group here] cover band on the side.
Interviewing JORDAN ELIZABETH GELBER
Founder & partner in Starbaby Enterprises-
A PR firm that was essentially built to help young,
talented people kick ass.
She talks about the backlash against her bold language, risky business decisions, her thoughts on bridge-burning, why she loves selfies, and why sometimes,
you gotta do what you hate to do what you love.
ME: The quintessential entrepreneur interview question: What is your background and how did that affect why you started your business?
JORDAN: From the time I can remember, my background has always been around performing or creating. I'm an only child so I was always drawing or painting, songwriting, or putting on silly shows for my parents. I never wanted to be alone, and I loved making people smile and laugh. This was where my acting career began, and I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be an actress and made an effort to learn about not only the technique behind the performance, but also learn the ins and outs of the entertainment industry. I knew that, if I understood the elements behind the business, it would make me a stronger candidate for jobs and help me stand out amongst other girls that may have looked like me.
It is after all "Show - Business" as one of my mentors, Frank Petrilli, taught me. I understood that there were many people like me who wanted to survive on their acting/musical/artistic careers, but truly did not understand how to market themselves or be seen by the right people.
When I finally moved to New York City in 2006 to start at Marymount Manhattan College, I felt that I needed to help the people like me and provide them with stepping stones to their next goal post of finding an acting job or representation. I made the decision that if I wanted to act, I should learn tools in the industry so I could turn my passions into a tangible career.
This is what led me to start Starbaby Enterprises, I wanted to help the underdogs like myself. I was excited about creative business and wanted to make projects that maintained artistic integrity. I never thought I would have added fashion to the mix, but it has been a welcomed surprise, and I now love producing fashion shows, it's a similar rush to performing a piece or making a film.
ME: What's been the most difficult part so far?
JORDAN: The most difficult part so far, is that starting a business is much like having a baby. You have to love it everyday, feed it, play with it, make sure it gets enough sleep. It's a hustle, but I love it because Starbaby Enterprises is now an extension of myself. This means that I am my brand. That means that my personal life and professional life become fused together and that can cause an uproar in my relationships, work and personal.
For example, our new Starbaby Enterprises Fashion Week promo for our Lingerie Show stars two models, I happen to be one of those models.
Why did I do that, one might ask? Well I took a page out of my favorite #GIRLBOSS Sophia Amoruso from Nasty Gal and thought it was cost effective to put myself in the advertisement. I also felt that it was a strong PR move, I am my own brand, I wanted to showcase that I'm a smart woman who has the brains to put this together and the balls to model for the cover. I received a lot of praise and a lot of backlash because of how I showcased myself and because I use un-lady-like terms like "balls," but hey-- people are talking about it and word of mouth is the cheapest and best form of advertising there is.
ME: The most rewarding?
JORDAN: The most rewarding part of having my own company is that everyday I get to do what I love and help others follow their dreams. I really do want to be a role model for young entrepreneurs especially young women entrepreneurs.
ME: What did you not expect?
JORDAN: I did not expect to have so many people who want to work with me. The best currency in business is relationships. Money is a medium of exchange and will come eventually, but you can't do anything in this industry without formulating strong relationships. Everyone you meet has a dream or a goal and you have the same, why squander or step on people to get to the next place? My last job before I started my company, was a big lesson in relationships. I would watch everyday as we would burn bridges with one time uses of people, when we could have easily formed a bond and partnership and worked together on future endeavors.
I've met so many amazing people on this journey who I hope to have influenced as much as they have influenced me. I keep my relationships close, because trust in business is more valuable than people think.
JORDAN: There are many primary goals to achieve with Starbaby! I think the first step is that in terms of projects. I want to be the one stop shop for independent designers who would like to showcase during Fashion Week, but may not have the funds to do so. I feel that one of our strongest departments is our Fashion Week production team. We want to make a designer's dreams come true with their Fashion Shows. Whether it's a room with a runway or a standalone vignette presentation- like the one we are doing for Janique (www.janiquebyk.com) this September.
The next goal is to produce more films. As of now, we have a few scheduled for Early 2015. I can't give away all the details but the concepts are very exciting.
JORDAN: Social Media and blogging is the way of the future. I can't even imagine what we are in for in the years to come. When I was a senior in college back in 2010, my thesis was about "young professionals in the entertainment industry who use social networking to brand market themselves." This was pre-Instagram and during Myspace's prime, when musicians were getting picked up based on their profiles.
Just 4 years later, look at the possibilities we have now! I thrive off of social networking and blogging. For Starbaby, I shot my own ad campaign in 4 hours and had it live in less than 24- all because of this instant gratification we get with technology. I'm also addicted to hashtags and selfies, which anyone that follows me on Instagram (@jordie_starbaby) will know. I do this, not because I love taking photos of myself, but because it's a great marketing tool. You can form communities and meet new friends and inspire new people through your progress. I think it's amazing. My drugs of choice are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
ME: What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who have ideas but are afraid to take the proverbial plunge?
JORDAN: Just do it. You live once. If you are passionate about something and can really see yourself living it everyday, then do it. But it IS a lifestyle- you have to eat, sleep, and breathe it. And when your client calls you at midnight because something happened with his train ticket or you need to set up an interview because of a media issue, you have to suck it up and do it because you love it.
If you can't imagine yourself doing anything else, then why suffer? Feed your imagination and show yourself results.
[Editor's note: I'm like-, really inspired right now.
Hold up while I go save the world]
moral of the story:
she's cool. I need to step up my game.