Photography by the awesome Julia Fay Photography
Meet Jaimie Small. That’s Jaimie with two i’s, thankyouverymuch. It’s a small detail. But one that anyone with a name where there may or may not be an ‘h’ or an ‘i’ or an ‘e’ knows means a world of difference.
If we’ve learned anything about Jaimie since she joined the Hygge family in September 2016, it’s that Jaimie is that powerhouse with an innate ability and eye to see unique opportunities – in this case, how to take that small detail and create a brand around it.
Jaimie is Founder and CEO of 2iPR.
You guessed it right, my friend – Jaimie’s brand focuses on public relations. But under that same professional umbrella, you’ll also find a solid portfolio of work in event planning and communications.
But what Jaimie does is really so much more than that: “My goal has always been not only to build brands, but also to build confidence; I want you to feel confident releasing your product or hosting your event.”
As we talked it through, she posed a great question, perhaps more so for herself, but she got us thinking, too: How do I build a business where I relieve pressure or stress from the people who are making beautiful things?
Photography by Julia Fay Photography
Those ‘people who are making beautiful things’ are, in fact, Small’s clients – they’re aspiring, driven, creatives working in fashion and design. They have a lot on their minds. They’re building brands and making art. And they turn to Small for communications and coordination. She knows this business well – both from personal passion and professional experience.
Originally from New Orleans, Jaimie moved to South Carolina at the age of 10; the daughter of two South Carolina gamecocks, she, too, went on to study at the University of South Carolina. She started out in studying business and hospitality. Then, switched courses of study – she wanted to study fashion merchandising.
“Fashion was always a part of me; I loved the magazines, the looks; the designers; I had dreams early on of working New York Fashion Week,” Small remembers.
With that as the goal, a NYC public relations firm steeped in the fashion industry seemed like the natural next step after graduation. Until she started researching The City (yeah, we said it) – and the rent. Charlotte felt more manageable.
“I moved to Charlotte, and I was still hungry to go into fashion,” Small recalls. “And then I thought to myself, ‘If I can build my own client base, why wouldn’t I be my own firm?’ I tried to ignore that thought,” she laughs.
The thoughts of owning her own firm and doing what she dreamed of doing in New York, but in Charlotte, never let go. And so, after ignoring them for a couple of years – she listened to them.
“There’s no good time to quit your job, but I got to a point where I had enough clients, and I thought, ‘I better do this now,’” she says.
Today, Small works with local, Charlotte clients and designers, stores, and brands; she designs exclusive events partnering with traveling shop Brandshop; she manages social media and communications for brands like Copper Penny in Southpark’s Phillips Place; she serves as Public Relations Chair for the Mint Museum’s Young Affiliate organization; she’s deeply committed to work with A.Bevy, an organization with programs and scholarships that provide for creative experiences for young adults.
And she worked New York Fashion Week last year. #boom
Which means she’s crushing goals and dreaming bigger now – she’s growing her firm in Charlotte with plans to work contract for clients all over the world, including some of fashion’s hottest spots including New York, Paris and Milan.
But, what’s truly beautiful about what Small is up to? (We’re selfish when we say this next part.) She does it all from her purple computer, camped out as a professional resident at Hygge’s west side location on Remount Road.
“I started working with a client at Hygge last year, and I loved the vibe,” Small says. “When the second location opened, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Everyone here is focused which forces me to be as productive as I need to be. Hygge has been a tremendous resource for me.”
Photography by Julia Fay Photography
Small’s energy, charisma, drive and smile are downright contagious. Which is probably why she does so well working with start-ups. “I am a start-up magnet,” she admits. “It’s fun to work with people who are growing, who are trying to build a brand, a line, or a product. It’s rewarding every day.”
Her next mission? Bringing cool, new experiences to Charlotte. And we think with Small’s network of people who make beautiful things – she’s the right person to do that for Charlotte. We’re confident of that.
What lessons from the fashion industry do you wish every entrepreneur knew?
You have to be able to work with EVERYONE. “Stay open-minded and see the opportunity for what it is,” Small recommends. “I can talk to anyone, and I can be comfortable with anyone I come across. You have to be able to work with literally everyone who crosses your path.”
Learn how to network. Networking is the name-of-the-game in so many businesses fashion, for sure. “The more you network, the better you’ll build your reputation in the industry,” she suggests. Good advice for anyone, doing anything, ever.
Be on time for everything. The urban legend is true – nothing in fashion starts on time which means that fashionably late is a real thing. But seriously – not a real excuse. As cool as it might be in that business to be late, that doesn’t make it okay. “You have to be on time. Everything else is an excuse. Your punctuality means something,” Small notes.
Keep up with Jaimie on IG via @jaimie_small; she’s also the Program Director for @abevyinc, and we recommend their IG, as well. #enjoy #explore
Meet the Author: Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, an agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University and Founding Partner of the children’s book series, “Bea is for Business”.
She’s an English major with an MBA, so she can talk Homer’s “The Odyssey” just as well as she can talk sunk costs – though she’d much prefer the former.