Today we’d like to introduce you to Shakkia DeJesus.
Hi Shakkia, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In April of 2020, when jobs started to cease due to Covid, I lost my dream job – HR. I was terminated because of their needs of the business, kids were being sent home from school and going virtual so there was no way I could just find another job.
Within a blink of an eye everything that I worked for faded. I had to come up with something quick, something that I knew would let benefit my kids and me. I launched my business on April 1 and my last day on the job was April 15.
With the money I had saved up, I bought 1 inflatable. I had a passion for kids and just being able to see kids smile. I knew the world was shutting down and many event places would be closing due to Covid. After losing my job and starting my business I began to book fairly quickly, the support was phenomenal and I haven’t turned back since.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It started off rough, I took a leap out on faith. I made myself believe that this business would take me far, this business would grow one day even with me starting off with just 1 inflatable.
This is a commercial inflatable we are speaking about so it is huge! I did not know how I would be transporting it, I didn’t have a business plan or anything I just knew I had to do what I loved and really set the tone for my business.
We’ve been impressed with S & J Inflatables, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am currently going into year 2 of my business. Alongside that, I am a content creator with a following of 78K. I absolutely love my supporters in both aspects.
These last 2 years have been challenging but I don’t take any of this for granted. One thing about me is that I am genuine, I’d give the shirt off my back if I could. I’ve learned to appreciate life a little more because in the blink of an eye any and everything could be taken away.
I am proud to say that it started off with one inflatable and I’ve now expanded to 4 commercial inflatables and 5 character costumes. I am looking to open a storefront within the next year or so (crosses fingers).
If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
The qualities that are important to my success are self-awareness, being customer-oriented, marketing, being a risk-taker and not afraid to fail, and being goal-oriented.
These qualities kept me afloat when I felt like giving up. The determination in me would not let me.
- Inflatable with Pool (all day)- $200 Use code: Voyage for 10% off
- Inflatable w/basketball hoop (all day)- $175 Use code: Voyage for 10% off
- All Mascots are $75 w/ travel fee (1 hr show)
- Inflatable club tent (all day) $125 Use code: Voyage for 10% off
- Face painting (1 hour) $80 flat fee
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