7 June 2021|Female Founder Spotlight, Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Meet Jo Jo Smith, 46, from Birmingham, who believes there’s no such thing as ‘an average Jo,’ particularly when it comes to female entrepreneurs. Jo Jo believes that no woman should be stereotyped and she’s fiercely championing women in business to break out, brand up and celebrate what makes them individual in the marketplace.
Following a hugely successful career in sales and working with everyone from; TV production companies to premier league football clubs and huge national retailers, Jo Jo learned that her own strong personality opened doors for her.
”The penny finally dropped” says Jo Jo, “when I relaxed into being me and I’m on a mission to help others realise this too.”
Now at the helm of her own business, CreativSAS, Jo Jo is helping other female business owners find their magic through their own Self Awareness Strategy (SAS). Passionate about being a positive force for other female entrepreneurs, leading from the front, Jo Jo has created her own personal brand that boldly represents her colourful personality and passion for helping others. Built on her unapologetically positive attitude and desire to pay it forward, via CreativSAS, Jo Jo helps her clients to discover their SASSY USP – Unique Super Power.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
There’s a whole ‘Once Upon a Time’ story that includes being a sassy survivor of a child in the care system BUT my positivity is giving me my happy ever after.
I was born in Birmingham and I’m a proud Midlands girl, but I ended up being taken into care at the age of 18 months. My mum had MS and I’ve never known my dad. I’ve lived with my foster family and in a childrens’ home and over the course of my young life, I certainly developed resilience and initiative.
I’ve enjoyed fabulous careers in catering and retail but the dream I always had was to do something for me, to run my own business and that’s when CreativSAS was born and I became known as a branding Fairy Godmother helping others to find their own magic whether that be via; power-hour sessions and business development creativity strategies to helping inject some fresh ideas to your business, full branding consultancy and a whole brand overall.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
I always wanted to run my own company and do something that was ‘very me.’ Following my successful career working with big brands, TV production companies, premier league football clubs and huge national retailers, I learned that my own strong personality opened doors. For me, the penny finally dropped when I relaxed into being me and I’m on a mission to help others realise this too. No one has to be “Jeff-the-Businessman” and we’re not going to get very far if we try. I’m all about instilling women with the confidence to celebrate the skills they already have, by creating a brand which truly reflects who they are. I see branding as a ‘business ballgown!’ It has to fit perfectly so we can FLAUNT it confidently, not fidget uncomfortably.
How did you achieve awareness?
Networking has been key to my own growth and brand awareness – but, the most important thing that has helped me shine, is being uniquely me and stepping into my own USP – Unique Super Power. When someone turns up to a business event or speaking opportunity or virtual online event in a ballgown, crown or bright pink tutu… that’s something people remember!
What are the key successes?
My Key successes are creating wishes into reality with strategy for my clients and for myself, where there is a wish there is a way – creating a sassy happy rich life is the success that lights me up, I ask my clients what is their wish and then we get to work to create it – I always had a wish to leave a legacy of positivity and next month I can proudly say I will be a published author as part of an inspirational collaboration book –success for me is about leaving a feeling that people remember.
Being given creative license to create a staff recognition badge for a global corporate company is another one of my highlights too – to know I designed and supplied a gratitude token is just so special.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
My life began with challenges, being taken into care at the age of 18 months and living as a foster child and then in a childrens’ home and over the course of my young life, however, this certainly developed my resilience and initiative.
When I set up my own company in 2019, following some challenging circumstances, I didn’t know where my next £30 was coming from… I connected with some fabulous and inspiring women entrepreneurs who kept me true to myself and this is what enabled me to grow and grown and continue to succeed.
When the world changed with the pandemic and we hit a new normal I was in no doubt that I was going to see this as an opportunity, I believe there is always a positive path – it’s personal choice if we decide to explore it or not , however im not sure people are aware that it is a personal choice.
What are your plans now/for the future?
I want to expand my workshop offering, including creating one specifically tailored to school girls. We need to start encouraging them to build strong career goals from a young age, to invest in them and give them the liberty to be the creative, intelligent, independent women they are!
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
You have to be true to yourself! Be honest about what you want and what you’re prepared to do and then, go get it! Surround yourself with people who believe in you and challenge your ideas, knowing that you’re on your way to achieving your goals. Never let your start in life, or the times you feel you’ve failed stand in your way, because your past hurdles are your power source of what you are truly capable of
Can you share you top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Be You – It’s ok to stand out, it’s ok to be lively, bold, full of spirit and a little bit cheeky!
“Sassy Not Sorry” – remind yourself of your motto daily it keeps us going – I have my motto everywhere– I am inspired daily by my motto and it reminds me to live by it – you can have my motto if you don’t have your own as it is all about reminding you that nobody does you, like you and we don’t have to apologise for being us… embrace that sass and step out confidently YOU!
Branding is MORE THAN A LOGO – To build a successful business without a BRAND is like going to the Business Ball in just your undies – In order to stand out and project your Businesses personality and passion – you need to dress for the occasion and this outfit needs to reflect your Mission Vision and Values. You need to be proud and confident to announce your arrival and show that your business means business.
Take time to reflect and to dream and have a space to write this down – then turn these into actionable steps and to do jobs – remember it’s one sassy step at a time – that’s how we achieve our dream and goals!
Sassy Celebrations – It’s so important to celebrate your achievements – have your moment! Know what you’re trying to achieve and set yourself a personal goal – when I get to this stage I will buy that bag… you deserve it!
Cr-OWN your courage ,confidence and self belief by doing one thing every day that scares you.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have” Maya Angelou and my own motto – #sassynotsorry!
What are your social handles and website links so our readers can connect with you?
Website – www.creativsas.co.uk/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/CreativSAS/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/creativsas/