In 2014, Jennyfer Crawford took a risk and set out to run her brand marketing firm - Ask Jennyfer - full-time. She had $1,500 in the bank and the drive to make it a success. At Ask Jennyfer, she manages and executes the popular small business showcase All Things Detroit, which features more than 250 small businesses and draws more than 12,000 guests. Crawford launched the web series Conversations to tell the stories of small business owners, and she developed an online community - All Things Marketplace - to keep them connected.
Soon she will unveil All Things Ticketing, an independent ticketing site for small business owners. Crawford also curates events in Chicago, New York and Detroit - including the Night Market at Beacon Park. She is a 2016 recipient of Crain's Detroit Business' 40 Under 40 Award and a Detroit resident. Crawford spends her free time volunteering, reading and traveling.
How Jennyfer Gives Back:
My company (Ask Jennyfer) and a select small businesses partner every year to provide summer internships to students 14-18. Teaching them business basics and tips on starting a business.
In her own words:
1. What’s your most important career accomplishment to-date?
My most important career accomplishment to date has been the growth and success of my small business showcase All Things Detroit. My vision that started in my one bedroom apartment has moved to a 50k sqft venue, drawing a crowd of 10k to 14k customers.
2. How have you redefined leadership through your professional success?
Through my journey of entrepreneurship, I’ve learned many lessons. Now, one of my visions is to encourage individuals who are just like me who have a drive and a passion for doing what they love.
3. Why is civic engagement (volunteerism) important to you?
Civic engagement is essential to me because I like to give back and be involved with the community that supports me and my business.
4. How have you disrupted the idea of traditional leadership? How do you express leadership?
It was tough for me when I started my business, and I believe that we create our own opportunity, and one of my goals has been to develop platforms for small businesses to lead by example that anything is possible, but you must do the work.
5. What is a blue sky goal that you would like to accomplish in your career?
One of my goals is to create profitable markets for small businesses nationally.
6. Why did you choose to pursue your passion/profession in Metro-Detroit? How do you intend to impact the region through your work?
Detroit is my hometown where I was born and raised. I wanted to contribute to the growth and all of the great things that are happening in the city.
7. What do you love most about owning your own business?
What I love most about owning my own business is being able to make a living by doing what I love.
Meet Jennyfer at the Vanguard Awards! Click HERE to join the celebration!