I booked my head shot session with one of my bucket list photographers, Laretta Houston and she didn't disappoint. I arrived early and caught the end of a young lady's session. I looked on as the make-up artist began putting on my make-up for my session. By the time her session ended, I was sitting in the waiting area. She walked into the area with a beautiful smile on her face, said hi and introduced herself to me. We spoke for a minute or two before I headed into the changing room. I was left remembering only a few things about her...she was a dancer, she was excited to shoot with celebrity photographer Laretta Houston and her name was Noelle.
Later, at home while on facebook, I saw a post on my feed. The name and picture looked familiar so, I clicked on it and realized it was Noelle Jackson. She was the young lady I met earlier that day - how ironic. Since then, I have kept her in the back of my mind. Thinking one day, I might want to work with her in some capacity. Well, that time has come - almost 6 years later. I believe, we were both beginning our journey with a slight sense of purpose for ourselves. I reached out to her - excited about her personal and professional journey, as well as, the insight she would have now.
Checkout my interview with Noelle below.
1. Were you named after someone?
No, my parents chose my name after my birth. In fact, I spent a couple of days nameless in the military hospital at West Point. My birthday is in March, but somehow I ended up with the name Noelle. :)
2. How did you get involved with marketing and/or pr?
It was an organic progression, I suppose. I have a Bachelors of Arts in Communication, but I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to use it when I first began my studies. In order to pay for my tuition and living expenses, I worked in restaurants and bars throughout college, and the staff were always expected to help market special events and bring in business. If you wanted to make money, you did it (and I did). I then took on a couple of PR/Marketing internships and it just seemed to fit. I enjoyed finding the special or exciting elements of a brand and figuring out how to best get the word out. PR/Marketing requires a lot of different skills which has always kept me interested.
3. What or Who inspired you?
Many things, people, and stories. My intuition and faith––hopes and beliefs that the future could be better than the past, largely. Dance and movement (dance was my first love and therapy growing up and thankfully has come back into my life today), new experiences, art, movies, live shows (seeing my first Broadway show, The Lion King), traveling. Feeling lost and then un-lost––then lost again. I’m always finding or seeking out new inspiration to keep myself fueled and energized.
4. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a dancer on Broadway.
5. What were you doing before you started officially pursuing your passion with consulting/marketing/pr?
I was a marketing manager for a restaurant when I launched Elle PR.
6. What has been the hardest part and best part in developing your brand?
Making the time to put in the work for my brand, rather than just for our clients. Taking my own advice, in essence. Identifying and managing my fears about “not doing just one thing”––running a business and being a performer has been a challenge also. Not questioning my intuition on changes in direction… many challenges, but they always lead somewhere better.
7. What would you tell your younger self when it comes to where you are now in life?
Things get so much better. You are UNSTOPPABLE.
8. What do you want to be known for?
Bringing love and light everywhere with me. Connecting people.
9. Do you have goal(s) for 2018 with your company?
Take on an amazing client in the wellness space. The wellness industry is booming and is a personal passion of mine and most people who I collaborate with. We’d rock it.
10. What advice would you give to someone aspiring a career in pr and/or consulting?
Get hands-on experience as soon as possible. Figure out what parts of the job you most enjoy and are best at, and do more of that!
For students, get hands-on internships as soon as you can.
For consultants or business owners, try to place yourself in the shoes of your clients or potential clients. Make sure what you’re offering really aligns with their needs so you can build long-term, successful partnerships.
" Noelle has a level of professionalism and enthusiasm that is hard to come by. It is clear that her, expectations aren’t just something to be met or surpassed, they are to be blown out of the water. " — Becca Godwin, former editor, Urbandaddy
Now for some fun questions below . . .
11. How do you stay focused and positive while running your company?
Daily exercise (sometimes just stretching) and meditation keep me centered and clear headed––they’ve become mandatory parts of my life. SLEEP. Making sure that I have clear goals I’m actively working toward.
12. What is your must have item when you are working on a clients project?
Macbook Pro and my water bottle. Proper hydration is key.
13. What do you do for fun or to relax after a project?
If we’re doing our job well, we’re having some fun throughout the project. BUT, sometimes you do need to celebrate a great job or blow off some steam. Catching up with friends, shopping, or traveling are always fun ways to relax.
14. How would you describe your personal style?
I love clean lines, vintage looks, and mixing classic with a little contemporary element or quirk. Usually a bit on the minimal side, but I also die for a good print on occasion.
For more info visit @Ellepr