As more workers contemplate how to transition from full-time employee to full-time CEO, Charis Jones is here to tell you how it’s done.
The CEO and designer of lifestyle and fashion brand Sassy Jones has firsthand experience on how risks and challenges can prolong the journey to starting and scaling your own business. Fresh off the heels of launching her ready-to-wear collection, Jones is living the dream through the success of her e-commerce-run fashion company.
Jones decided to quit her job as a top-ranking sales professional after making more money selling accessories at an expo than she did working her job for two weeks. But she doesn’t advise all aspiring entrepreneurs to do the same.
“My advice to these employees would be to keep your day job until you know that your dream has validity,” she told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“I think in the social media age, we see all of this glory, but no one knows the story about how you get here. There’s no such thing as an entrepreneur who can just snap their fingers because they’re an influencer or they’re popular, they have a million followers, to actually generate revenue with that, because popularity is not profitable, and likes don’t equal liquidity.”
While most would think Jones was able to scale her business after landing her own show on HSN The Big Find – Sassy Jones Accessories, Jones credits the brand’s “ingenuity and marketing” for its success.
“Sassy Jones is the reason that Sassy Jones scaled,” she declared. “I can’t say that HSN gave us any additional revenue, but what it did do is it increased our legitimacy, if you will, because it was an additional distribution channel.”
“When I went to pitch to HSN, we were already doing $2 million a year. So I walked in that room offering them more of an invitation, rather than a pitch,” she added.
Amid the current wave of workers quitting their jobs to seek out positions that provide a healthier work-life balance, more aspiring entrepreneurs emerge every day. The journey from job to CEO is no easy feat. But Jones encourages dreamers to go confidently in the direction of their passions.
“Even when everyone else is saying you are crazy, but you believe in yourself well enough to know that the seed that God put on the inside of you can be manifested with the right work, not necessarily hard work, but the right work,” Jones said.
She also takes pride in every job she worked in the past because each position prepared her for encounters she experienced as a business owner. Now with Sassy Jones thriving as a multimillion-dollar brand, Jones says it’s only the beginning.
“After clothing, it’s home decor. After home decor, it’s shoes. In the meantime, I want to start another business, because I’ve gotten this down to a science now.”
Jones faced challenges in serving customers outside the US. We asked how is she working with UPS to address the challenges that were so critical to her customers’ experience?
“We worked with UPS to be able to expand our brand to international heights and increase our exposure,” Jones said. “UPS ensured that our rates were fair for both us and our customers. They made the transition seamless, whereas before we could never figure out to affordably offer international shipping.”
Jones also opened up about her Sassy Jones Foundation launch and how she supports women’s health issues, which aligns very well with UPS’s mission.
“The Sassy Jones Foundation hopes to inspire confidence in women who are facing the hardest health challenge of their lives, cancer. The treatment of this disease tends to remove what we deem beautiful as women, our hair and lashes and it wages war on our bodies. The foundation will donate scarves, turbans, lashes and vegan beauty products to help her feel beautiful during her fight,” she explained.
Well, go ahead with your bad self Sassy Jones!