Jaconna Jacobs or Jaconna J has been in the footwear industry (or creative industry) since 2015. After starting her blog in 2015, Everything Boisterous became her outlet to highlight her favorite creatives in the space. During her time there, she interviewed the likes of State of The Culture’s Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins, Sonny Digital, YungBBQ, Da Baby’s disc-jockey Dj Kid, Skateboarder, and Adidas footwear collaborator Na’Kel Smith, and many more. She even transitioned to other platforms like Respect Mag and Vashtie Kola’s blog platform as a senior staff writer who focused on music, wellness, and streetwear.
Jaconna J has been going hard for years. She knew that the odds were stacked against her growing up in the south. Therefore, when she was able to get a shot, she took it to the top. When she started in the fashion industry, she came into the company with a purpose and an unapologetic perspective. Thankfully, she was able to gather insight on the game from Astor Chambers. Moreover, she found out that Astor was responsible for kick-starting her career in the sneaker Industry within corporate and responsible for giving Vashtie Kola her first Jordan deal.
Jaconna J currently works for the Adidas brand supporting partners from Pharrell to Beyoncé within the product marketing space. She is also collaboratively creative and executing ideas cross-functionally while advocating and helping black individuals get a seat. Her passion and purpose continue to revolve around helping individuals, pushing, innovative ideas and embracing not fitting in to be accepted but to stand out to create impact.
During our conversation, I learned just how much passion it takes to be great. Her attention to detail and care for others is the next level. Check out our candid Q&A below to gain insight on how to grow in the creative/footwear industry.
Ahmad Davis: Can you let us know who you are for those who are not familiar with you?
Jaconna J: So my name is Jaconna (Juh-caw-nuh), I’m 24,the creator of the Everything Boisterous blog, a creative consultant, an assistant product marketing manager for Adidas, and just a good person who loves ideating.
AD: You’ve been in the creative industry since 2015, can you discuss your start and how you transitioned into your role as a Product Marketer for Adidas?
Jaconna J: Whew okay, brace yourself for some transparency. So back in 2015, I was a freshman at UNCG in Greensboro, North Carolina studying psychology and comms. During that era, I was just trying to find an outlet that had nothing to do with my school work. I was also just tired of eating ramen after class and taking naps. We needed a space to be creative which turned into me making a blog platform called Everything Boisterous on Blogspot. I wanted it to be a space where we embraced creativity being loud and showing up in different forms. Just to keep it hot, It wasn’t fancy at all.
I took pictures of people’s outfits and kicks on my iPhone at the time (Sometimes you just got to work with what you got) and also shined a light on rising artists to of all forms because I thought I had a good eye for anything music and art-related. From there I actually ended up scrapping the Blogspot platform because it felt limiting and I wanted to look like I was taking my platform seriously and started all over on WordPress. I then had my friend Phil from UNCG give me game on email signatures and my friend Gordon Holliday made me my first logo for the brand which was the TV.
From there, I started sending out emails to do interviews and tweaking my DM etiquette and ended up booking Jinx of State of The Culture (or, at the time, Complex). Darryl Brown, who was at Rocksmith NYC /styling Kanye, did my first on-camera interview with JK The Reaper. My friend David Wept, who an amazing director, actually filmed my first interview. Many of us at UNCG was super hungry and had different creative mediums, and just wanted to work together to achieve a bigger vision.
At that point, I had my own writing samples and used those writing samples to get a remote internship with Respect Mag. I wrote on music (I always plugged my friends in with a write up) and streetwear releases. After that, I actually had an interview for Pigeons and Planes and couldn’t go to it because I was in school and didn’t know a soul in New York. I was crushed at first, but then Vashtie posted that she needed interns (s/o to David for dming me her post), and I got brought on as an intern at the top of 2017 and then got promoted to a paid staff writer after 6 months.
I stayed in the role until I graduated in May of 2018. Went back home to Fayetteville, North Carolina that July not feeling confident about what was next because no one was really hitting me back up for jobs. After probably going through a huge post-grad reality check/depression, looking for advice in the right and wrong places, volunteering at any creative event I could, being on LinkedIn every day, and tweaking my resume endless times over 8 months, I got blessed with an opportunity to come aboard the Statement North America business that focused on music affiliated partners as an assistant product manager. Astor Chambers who was my director saw me when no one else did and truly took a chance on me. I was 22 and literally had no corporate experience but I held/still hold a perspective that didn’t exist at the table just yet.
AD: You did not grow up in NY or LA like many people in the creative apparel industry. How did you find yourself in that sphere?
JJ: I think within most black families in the south … you grow up with an expectation to pick an area of focus that’s secure. I always had a creative side that I could never ignore and I would put my ideas into my outfits in high school. I always loved fashion and thought I was going to be an editor at like a Vogue or Essence when I was like 8. My mom was also always super creative when it came to anything. I was born into this sphere naturally but didn’t know what to do with my eye until college.
AD: You’ve now worked with Pharrell & Beyonce and countless others now. What have you learned from working on these experiences?
JJ: Always have composure when expressing your opinions, always ask questions, double-check what you’re doing, stay grounded, and that your career and purpose are two different things. I think even outside of product marketing at the brand, I’ve learned that I love collaborating. It’s okay to challenge perspective. I need more faces of the community to be apart of the conversations that influence product in sportswear and influence culture from behind the scenes. Oh yeah, I’ve also learned how that the word urban makes me cringe. Also, that the places we are now don’t necessarily have to be our omega, you know? Our generation isn’t on that kind of time.
AD: To many, you are living the dream. Can you talk about what goals you have now that you have accomplished what you’ve done?
Jaconna J: I’m the last person to talk about my accomplishments, but boom, you asked, so I guess I can deliver. This will sound corny, but my goals have honestly been a mix of mental wellness and creativity. I met my goal this year of making time to do independent things outside the brand. I’ve been fortunate to interview Yung BBQ and bring black creatives together. From directors and photographers to casting directors for Pyer Moss to content creators for Hypebeast and Spotify in one space for dialogue, representation, and potentially some mentorship for our community through Social status collaboration.
It’s been a struggle to work in corporate and make time for passion projects. Given the climate of 2020, I wanted to do things that could impact and be a silver lining. On a mental wellness goal tip, I found a therapist, and it feels great. I don’t think we talk about internal goals enough, but I’d say finding a therapist who’s a black woman. Finding one that fits me is an accomplishment of mine this year. All of the other goals that I’m trying to accomplish right now are currently tucked and pending.
AD: Do you ever take the time to really think about how much you have been able to accomplish?
Jaconna J: Hmmm…yes and no. One day, I can be like damn I am helping to bring dope shit and perspectives in a space I never thought I was going to end up in. The next day, I’m back to pushing because there’s so much I want to do. It’s like a fight between being present and still being hungry like you haven’t accomplished anything. As long as I’m showing up as myself or giving hope to someone who’s watching, I feel like I’m accomplishing what I need to.
AD: If you had dinner and could only invite 5 creatives whose work you enjoy(DOA) who would those people be?
Jaconna J: Oooooo great question! Damnnn choosing just 5 is tough. I would say, Kerby of Pyer Moss, Hype Williams, Missy Elliot, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Misa Hylton.
AD: Who are your inspirations?
Jaconna J: Honestly, black women that I see in this creative space. I enjoy the ones that are just trying to make shit happen and create an impact. I love that for us and I am never not amazed or impressed. They just give …. magic. Then If I had to pick specific women that are my current inspirations, I’d say Michelle Obama and Rihanna. No explanation is even necessary.
AD: Many people probably think you get endless free gear, can you let us know what it is like realistically?
Jaconna J: Number one, that’s hilarious! The simplest way I can put it is sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.
AD: What is next for you?
Jaconna J: Hopefully some creative direction opportunities, new interviews with some special people. Some things I can’t talk about just yet. Lastly, and hopefully, a vacation to Tulum so I can see what the hype is.
Jaconna Jacobs is one of the most interesting people I have ever interviewed. I am excited to see what she does in the upcoming years. This interview will serve as a timestamp in her rising career. Please follow her on social media to stay tuned to her inspirational path.