With her pink hues badass words over on Instagram and body campaign with Curvy Kate, it is hard to ignore She Aspires founder Jennifer Okolo. She Aspires is an online media platform that provides both visual and written content to educate and inspire young women and on top of that they organise fabulous events for creatives to showcase their work. As a qualified therapist too, there is no stopping Jenny and here she breaks down exactly how she got to be a female empowerment event organiser.
Smart Girl Tribe: Did you always want to run your own business?
J: 100%. From a young age I have always liked taking the lead in developing ideas not just for myself but for other people. Starting a business was always the plan for me whether it be full-time or alongside a 9-5, it was just a matter of what and when.
S: What is your best advice as a creative entrepreneur?
J: My advice would be to always remember your WHY. It is easy to get carried away with an idea and lose the essence of why you actually started it in the first place. I think with any venture there should always be a purpose and a goal. Without those two you’re running on empty fuel really. Each time you feel defeated, low or fall into the trap of comparison your WHY should be able to snap you out of it and get you back on track.
S: What would be your top three tips to run a successful event?
J: Following my first event #shecreates which was a blast, my first tip would be to make sure you plan way ahead of time. I thought I had enough time when preparing for my event but I realised 4 months in advance was simply not enough. My second tip would be to try and collaborate with other people who share a similar ethos to you. Two heads is always better than one and you’ll find that you can actually learn so much from working with others. My final tip would be to always find the fun side of the process. Planning an event is super stressful and it can be easy to forget the positive parts, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
“Two heads is always better than one and you’ll find that you can actually learn so much from working with others.”
S: How can someone go from nothing to a business owner?
J: By planning, being consistent, and building a supportive network because you can always learn something new from others.
S: Who are the key people you need to build a successful brand?
J: Have a mentor or just anyone who is in your desired field who can guide you throughout your journey. I have several mentors for different areas of my career and I believe it’s the key to my progression.
S: What is the best and worst thing about your job and how do you overcome the latter?
J: I guess the downside for me right now is trying to juggle everything at the same time. I would like to get to a point where I am able to have more time on my hands to achieve all the goals I have set out for myself.
S: What in your opinion is the key to your company’s success?
J: We are amazing at using all the resources around us, especially apps to help with scheduling and analytics. This has been a great help as we are a fairly small team which means we pretty much have multiple roles.
S: Best career advice you would tell others for this industry?
J: Be patient and keep exploring. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparison and self-doubt so don’t rush your journey. Being open-minded in this field is pivotal too. You’d be surprised by what hidden talents you have within yourself.
S: What is a myth or something few people actually know about running your own website and being an event organiser?
J: Running a website can be super cheap. If you’re looking to start up a basic website, there are several host sites that will offer an incredible deal such as Wix.
S: One entrepreneurial book you would recommend?
J: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki for sure. I know, cliché, but I swear this book leaves you thinking you can do just about anything if you just change your mindset and erase some bad habits. It’s great if you want to read how other entrepreneurs work through a different lens.
S: What are three traits every self-starter needs?
J: Creativity, determination and discipline.
S: You are doing so much right now, what is next?
J: Definitely more events in the near future following an amazing response from our most recent one. We’re also working on some other projects that we cannot wait to share with you all.
Be on the lookout for more updates on our socials.
S: You have come such a long way in such a short period of time. What would you tell your younger self?
J: Don’t overthink too much (even though I find myself doing this from time to time) and just relax.
Fashion- As a freelancer what does your everyday outfit look like? Being a therapist has meant smart clothes so now I prefer causal wear. It really depends on how I’m feeling. As you can tell I can be quite indecisive.
Books- One entrepreneurial book you would recommend? Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki.
Event Etiquette- one rule you wish people would follow when organising
an event? Try to make it as comfortable as possible for everyone, especially those who come by themselves. Having interactive games helps.
Travelling- When working is there a particular beauty product that you swear by? I normally use the lavender ‘sleepy’ body lotion by Lush- it helps put me straight to sleep when I’m feeling stressed.
The best business event or networking session you have attended? The Dream Nation Gala by far. Most of the connections I have now came from that event- I do hope they bring it back.
Author: Scarlett Victoria Clark
Scarlett Victoria Clark is Founder and Editor of SMART GIRL TRIBE and a multi-lingual journalist. She has also written for Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Health. When not writing she enjoys travelling and shopping for (more) heels.