jade

Photo credit: Nora Canfield

At 23 years old, entrepreneur Jade Renee has been in business for three years as a graphic designer and CEO of a branding and marketing company known as Luxx Media. Renee has worked with over 500 brands, including the University of Detroit Mercy, I Wear Glam, Miink Brazilian by Kendra and many more.

Renee is working hard to make a name for herself in her field and plans on helping other creatives too.

Explain what your company does.

I own a company, Luxx Media Group which has marketing, graphic design and mobile services. I’m the owner and creative director. We create logos, flyers, business cards, anything digital for your company. Also, websites for your business or blog; I’m still testing mobile applications and will have that by the summertime but I want to perfect my craft before I launch it. I’ve been in business for three years and plan on expanding to Atlanta soon, I currently have an office in Nashville, [Tennessee].

How did you get your start in branding? How did your skills take you to where you are now? 

I went to Tennessee State University and obtained my degree in mass communications. I went to school to be a radio personality and I had internships with big stations down here. Once I did it, I realized I only liked the industry because of the people I saw on television. I started doing little designs for fun and people started taking notice. I used to work at Nordstrom and got fired before the season was up. I made so much money I was making more than older people in the department and this pissed a lot of people off. I knew I loved designing and decided then to make my hobby my career.

My mom and I created my brand’s original name, Infinite Graphix. At first, it really took off for me but I didn’t understand how serious it was. I read once that Kanye West said he sat in the house for two summers working on his craft so that’s what I did. Next I learned how to do websites. I started offering printing and started finding ways to expand my services. Last year I decided to make it a full digital agency, so that’s how Luxx Media Group was created.

Are you a one woman show or do you have a team of creatives working for you? 

I started as a one-woman show but business got so hectic for me so I had to hire people and stop being afraid of trusting someone else with my business. That was very hard for me because I built my brand from the ground up but for my company to grow I can’t do it alone. I still do all the websites, but I have three interns, an assistant and a graphic designer who I work with daily.

Your company’s known for working with over 500 brands, how did you do so? 

I think the biggest problems with entrepreneurs is that they aren’t consistent and that’s exactly what I did to expand my clientele. Life happens and things get in the way but I reached out to people and I did a lot of stuff for free. I’m still humble enough to still do stuff for free for celebrities because I still want that exposure. I email their publicist and direct message them as well if I don’t get a response the traditional way. Working for the popular hair company IWearGlam helped me as well, and from that, hair became my target audience and my main clientele to date.

I always stay consistent and progress with my company as well, that is very important if you want to be successful. I can’t even count exactly how many brands I’ve worked with anymore, currently I have about 5,000 clients a year. The best form of marketing is word of mouth, and with social media being free it helps me a lot. When these celebrities do promotional advertising on their social media I invest with that to get their followers instead of buying them to look like I’m doing well.

Give us three ways graphic designers can take their craft to the next level. 

  • Stay consistent: It is so hard for young adults starting a business to solely focus on their brand but you must stay focused. You should remain consistent even when the money isn’t rolling in and things aren’t taking off like you expected them to. This is a hump every business goes through especially when you don’t have access to all the resources you initially need.
  • Be creative: With graphic design you should always be on your toes while keeping up with trends. Learn as much as possible and never stop perfecting your craft, don’t copy others style and find what makes your company different.
  • Know your goals: Writing down my dreams and goals helped me manifest them and when you visually see what you want to accomplish it helps make it become more of a reality than just an idea.  Many times, we’re often going nowhere fast due to poor planning. By writing my goals down (short and long term) I’m able to see and understand the vision and direction I want to go in with my company. If you don’t plan to win, then you’re planning to fail.

From your experience, what are some common branding and marketing mistakes you’ve seen new businesses make? 

New business owners look at everyone else for inspiration. Remember to dig into your own creative senses and get that together. Glitter, it’s not long term. Chanel, Target and Best Buy don’t have glitter in their logo. If it’s on a flyer or ad that’s different but it takes away from your overall brand if you have it in a logo. Your brand should speak for itself and the logo should add to the overall business, not be better than the product. You should think [about whether] you are targeting Black people or all people and if you want to expand your audience you must stop following trends.

What can we look forward to next from Jade Renee and Luxx Media? 

This year I will be releasing a step by step guide to becoming a successful entrepreneur, launching an online university for aspiring designers to learn simple concepts and marketing tactics using Photoshop and WordPress called Luxx Academy and opening my first storefront for Luxx Media Group in Atlanta.