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How I Fell Into Event Planning

Have you ever had one of those college nights where you're staring at your account as if the negative balance will magically turn into a deposit of $500? No? Just Me?

College was my first taste of adulthood and where my hustle mentality kicked in. How can I stretch this month's allowance for my meals, books, supplies, etc. What skills do I have that I can monetize to make some extra cash on the side? Of course my family and my mom supported me financially throughout college but I did not like asking for money and I felt like I had to figure things out on my own. College was the test of transformation. Will it make you into a better version of yourself or will it break you and your pockets?

One night I began sketching clothes and building out an entire clothing line for me to make another stream of income in college. But that was too much and wasn't the answer. That same night I received a text from a high school classmate asking if I was interested in going into business together because she remembered I used to make waist-beads. She had the perfect plan in which she would build the website and handle the IT operations. I would create the product and develop the product photography. We had a solid system and the business was actually profitable enough to support me through most college days. However, the biggest lesson I learned in my e-commerce business is that exposure is life or death. Marketing your business and getting maximum brand exposure are just a few keys to success in your business.

Months later into our new business, another high school classmate of mine reached out to me and asked if I was interested in co-curating an art showcase to expose local artists in the community. I was immediately onboard because I love bringing people together and I love celebrating raw talent. Unfortunately, my classmate was unable to follow through but I still had the desire and passion to execute the vision. I brought along other colleagues, told them the vision and we all came together to curate Art Undiscovered.

After getting some success but still not enough exposure, I decided to let Crux Apparel go. It was hard to make waist beads and still have time for life, without anybody to help. Instead, I focused on getting my degree and I graduated a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration and minor in Accounting. Years later, I decided to get a certification in event planning. My business is now called "DJS EP", which is my name 'Deshawna Jones's Event Planning'. The first Art Undiscovered event did extremely well. I created a platform for artist to shine and I completely sold out the event. Close to 100 people in ticket sales and 3 vendors-- the performers were very appreciative to be exposed to such a large crowd. I have thrown two more events since then. Both were aesthetically-pleasing venues, rewarding experiences, new relationships built with local businesses, and more happy creatives who get the chance to Shine. The last event, "ArtUndiscovered3", had over 100 people, 19 vendors, 8 performances, HOT99 radio station, videographers and staff. Event planning and finances are my magic combo.

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