Published on September 18th, 2015 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
Exec from FHI Brands talks about her struggle with suicide and her rise to the top
I am always intrigued by people who do extradordinary things with their lives. Especially those who are candid, honest and open about what it took to get them there. So many celebs and high profile brands keep their lips tight when it comes to all that it actually takes to succeed in todays fast paced world of entertainment and over night celebrity.
I was pleasently surprised when I became aqquainted with Jessica Marie of FHI Brands. You would not think by how humble her deamoner is that she is connected to and responsible for one the top hair product brands in the world. So I got curious like I often do and I wanted to know what made Jessica the woman she is today and can I get some of that mogul juice to rub off on me. (Seriously)
FHI has fast become the go to brand for just about everything hair products from TV to runways and everything in between. When you first embarked on your journey what was your vision?
PR is one of the fastest changing markets along with technology. You need to know what’s happening around you to be able to act immediately to keep your client and/or brand ahead of the game. The first rule of PR is always under-promise and over-deliver. Social Media is a lot of work, but it’s the environment we live in. The speed of news, both good and bad, has changed the relationship between PR and the media, along with business and customers. Therefore, my vision is always to Focus! Focus on getting out brand out there and engaging with our customers who are our priority.
Did you dream that your brand would become this massively successful?
I never work on anything I’m not passionate about. Once I believe in it, my passion ignites, and I do everything in my power to yield the best results. I knew FHI would blow up because we have an amazing President & CEO, Shauky Gulamani, who is as passionate as they come. He is always inventing, innovating and reinventing the wheel. This also makes my job more exciting because I get to promote it all.
What are the key ingredients to running and empire such as FHI?
Our President & CEO began as a hairdresser, so he understands what the hairdressers need to be successful. He invents and innovates new products. We have a Marketing team that works on the branding and a Shows & Education team that makes it their priority to support the hairdressers. We have an awesome Customer Service team that is attentive & I promote the heck out of it 😀
What is the craziest thing that has happened on set during a product placement?
Ha. I was on a set that shall remain nameless where we were promoting our irons and a hairdresser was on there emphasizing how damaging hair dryers and hair irons are. I guess he only used the bad ones and who knows perhaps he wanted people to go to work with their hair wet and leave it frizzy. I told the producers to cut my brand out of it, but they wouldn’t. Luckily, I was able to get the host’s attention and we both agreed to cut my product and use it in a different segment.
When was the moment you realized that your brand was one of the top brands in the industry?
Since Day One, everyone on our team worked as if it was a top brand and in 2-3 years the vision was realized.
You work with Broners brothers another top brand in the hair arena what was that union first like and how did the partnership come to be?
Shows and Education are a major focus for FHI Brands, so we partner up with all of the top hair shows. We also do a lot of the small ones in order to support our fellow hairdressers’ needs.
What advice can you give people reading about following their dreams, you spoke on Facebook about how one’s beginning in life won’t determine where they end up can you elaborate?
That’s correct! We are not products of where we come from or what we’ve been through. Rather within each of us is immeasurable power. We live in a world where we allow others to tell us who we are and we accept it, believe it and become it. Yet these are people who don’t even know who they are. Then, some of us have abusers. Abusers are people who were also abused and misery needs company, so they abuse others. Some of us are even raped, and we allow a messed up person to strip us away of our life. Every person is fighting a battle, so we can’t allow them to get into our heads. We must realize none of it is real! What must let the past go and realize today we are reborn. We are all spiritual beings powerful beyond measure. When we die our spirit goes and our body stays. Thus, the only one who has the power to dictate who you are is you!
Each of us writes our story. For many years, I played a victim. I had every right to, I had been through so much, but people feeling sorry for me did nothing to improve my life. In fact, talking about it made me more depressed because I kept reliving it. That’s how word becomes flesh because by reliving it we tell ourselves and others the stories other people created for us and we begin to believe we are who they said we are.
After a major suicide attempt didn’t kill me, I began going to church because I knew there had to be purpose to my pain. Deep down I had desires of success in my heart, and one day I came across the teachings of Pastor Paula White. She taught me that we write our own stories, so I began reading biographies about many successful people. The common denominator was the mind. The mind is powerful. The spirit within us does what the mind directs it to do, so when we are constantly complaining, the Law of Attraction brings us more negativity. Focus on thoughts that are solution based, thoughts of courage and of power and soon you begin writing a new story for yourself. That’s why “I Am” are two of the most powerful words because they state what you believe about yourself and they shape your reality.
Where can people keep up with all the happenings via social media?
Jessica’s openess has really inspired me to live in my true light. I have a feeling she will continue to inspire the world and be sure to Check out FHI Brands during Fashion week LA!Tweet