Jacqui Hayes, Chief Marketing Strategist and Principal of Crayons & Marketers, owes her connection to Pathway WBC to being in the right place at the right time. Pathway WBC launched during her tenure as President of NAWBO Nashville. A participant in WBC’s early programs, she also teaches the Social Media School for Business four-part series and participates as a mentor in the Ignite 360 program.
What is your career and business?
I am the Chief Marketing Strategist and Principal of Crayons & Marketers, a WBE, DBE, MBE certified full-service marketing agency located in Nashville. We help emerging businesses engage and activate their audiences through data-driven marketing strategies and expert execution to support business development. Our curated team has over 20 years of experience and a strategic perspective on how to successfully execute all facets of an integrated marketing communications plan. We offer seamless support to our clients onsite and virtually. Crayons & Marketers’ core competency, Content Marketing, is supported by services in four key areas: Strategic Marketing, Marketing Technology, Public Relations, and Outsourced Marketing Support.
What motivates you?
I enjoy unearthing the story behind brands and sharing that narrative with their audiences. I am inspired by entrepreneurs who run businesses birthed out of trials and honored to share their stories of triumph. On the back end, I’m obsessed with watching how those messages are received by key audiences. I am a student of marketing metrics. They, too, tell a story, from how well the campaigns are performing to who engages the brands, when, where, and how. It is fascinating!
What drew you to Pathway WBC?
Fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time. Pathway WBC launched during my tenure as president of NAWBO Nashville. One of my goals during my term was to engage and forge partnerships with local organizations making a big impact for women business owners. Pathway WBC was a natural fit, but it was so much more than that. The whole team nurtured and supported me during that time, which was invaluable. Working so closely with Pathway, I was also exposed to the wonderful programming offered, such as The Women’s Advantage, a pre-cursor to the current Discover and Embark cohorts. That was pivotal to early-stage growth for Crayons & Marketers. That relationship went on to afford me opportunities to teach marketing basics to startups engaging with Pathway WBC, which has been an amazing experience.
Describe your involvement with the WBC.
In addition to my Advisory Board role, I currently teach the 4-part Social Media School for Business series and patriciate as a mentor in the Ignite 360 program.
Why do you like working with the WBC?
PWBC has been a tremendous asset to my business and me personally. Under the leadership of Courtenay Rogers, the staff is amazing and the programming is challenging enough to stretch but not intimidate you. I am often shocked at how many women locally have never heard of Pathway WBC. So, I’ve made it my mission to share my experience in hopes of encouraging more women to seek them out. Studies show that over 40% of women nationally report having no knowledge of small business support organizations, compared to 31% of men. The top three resources well known among women are the Small Business Administration (SBA), Women Business Centers, and SCORE. But, if you move from awareness to utilization, 78% of women use none of these services. We must change that.
What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?
Be willing to put in the work. If you are truly called to be an entrepreneur, then be relentless in your pursuit of it. But know, it is not a hobby, not something you can turn on and off. Work with Pathway WBC to create a sound business model, develop processes, determine your culture, then get to work.
Who inspires you?
My twelve-year-old daughter, Abigail, inspires me. She is a burst of energy. Confident and selfless, she sets and pursues goals while pulling others alongside her. Abby is my biggest cheerleader and pint-size accountability partner, workout buddy, and all-round cool girl. I strive to be my best for my family – not perfect, I let them see my failures so we can grow together. Abby will learn how to navigate life by watching me. It’s an awesome responsibility that I take very seriously.
When I grow Crayons & Marketers to a global marketing agency and have a little more time to kick back, I plan to write a series of historical western romance novels. They are my favorite!