Surrounded by an assortment of poppy, well-designed office supplies and speaking in a quick cadence, Jaclyn Johnson pinpoints something—the thing that has been hard to articulate about the entrepreneurial millennial it-women that fill up our Instagram feeds and email inboxes.
“Everyone has 500 jobs now. I think of us as the multi-tab generation. We’re working on a million things at once. As women, we are great at that by nature.”
Johnson is the brains behind the innovative event series, Create & Cultivate and the founder of creatively-driven marketing, influencer and events agency , (No Subject). The young powerhouse had a big 2015, including a successful national tour of Create and Cultivate featuring the likes of Emily Weiss of Glossier and Garance Dore of her eponymous blog. Sold out events in Los Angeles and Chicago aside, Johnson made the list of young business leaders to watch by Forbes in their “30 under 30” round-up, seated next to tech innovators and social engineers.
“You think you get a call about it, but I had friends texting me freaking out when it published, and then I freaked out. Business press is hard to come by and it changed the way people saw our business.”
As it turns out, Johnson’s starting line was disguised as a quarter-life career crisis. Three months after relocated to LA from NYC for a post-collage dot com gig, she was laid off due to the company’s financial struggles.
“At that point, I had no relationships in LA and my life was built around my career. I thought ‘I’m going to be a yoga instructor!’ I had a full meltdown. I stayed in my apartment for three months ordering pizza and crying. And then I stumbled across one of my friends who had office space available in downtown. I needed a place to go and work and get out of my head. I started freelancing, and got clients off the bat.”
Moving forward, she curated the share space to produce events and welcome independent consultants that needed the desk room. Her creative agency, (No Subject) took off, and now lists clients like Levi’s and Microsoft. Jaclyn’s hustle and grind saw her through the pitfalls of building a successful business, a struggle that’s inspired her to create an educational space for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
“The reason I made Create & Cultivate is because when I was 24, there were so many questions I had, and things I didn’t know how to deal with. We strive to tackle really intense subjects like being a mom and entrepreneur, dealing with clients that won’t pay, or how to hire or fire someone. I made mistakes, and looking back I wish I had this. We want to create that community that allows for that kind of support group.”
Lucky for you, our female readers, 2016 promises a Create & Cultivate event in Downtown Los Angeles that Johnson promises will be hosting their biggest line-up yet. Tickets will be available soon, and in the meantime we hope you take some sound advice and read their blog, dedicated to answering your business queries. Also consider finally updating your Linkedin account? Just a thought.
Photography by Albert Kondagolian