PHOTOS BY MICHAL LEPORE
Tell our audience a little bit about yourself. Who is La Shaun Jones and where are you from?
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY/Long Island, I go by “LS”, LS is an accomplished Event planner/producer who has built a name for herself and her company LS JONES & Co. -The Event & Talent Specialist. LS has over twenty years’ experience, and has worked in all aspect of the Fashion/Entertainment industry. LS is not only a business owner, she also the Chair/Festival Director of the Syracuse International Film Festival. She’s been on the board since 2015 bringing celebrities like Grace Jones, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Daniel Baldwin, Giancarlo Esposito and so many more. She is also the Public Relations spokesperson for the Golden World Group-Miss & Ms. Golden World Pageant.
What made you decide to start your own business and become a female entrepreneur?
My passion for events, people, coordinating lead me to start my own company. Prior to devoting myself to my business full-time, I’ve worked, volunteered, planned other people events whose budget couldn’t afford one, so I would donate my time and talent to help others grow! I’ve noticed as there are many talented monitories in the communities and I wanted to be that avenue to get their talent in front of others.
How did you get into promoting events and talent management?
I had some connection from my time as a teacher at Barbizon modeling school. When I retired from there, I was a solo woman coordinating Fashion shows for individuals store and churches fundraisers, State fairs. Whomever wants a fashion show, I would provide the models, location, designers or boutique got the show. I would go out and promote myself and get the word out this is what I do and my services. Once that happened it grew from there and I started get more clients and bigger gigs to coordinate!
Who have been some of your favorite people to work with?
I love working with any talented passionate about their craft type of people. Those are my favorite type of people to be around and work with. I love working with volunteers when I do my events without them some of the events I’ve done would of be harder to get through!
How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful, especially during a pandemic?
I’ve marketed my business by posting all over Social media. My logo and my services regularly. I would look out for people advertising looking for entrepreneur guest on their Podcast or Instagram LIVE. So, I’ve been on a few of those discussing my business. And word of mouth has fair well for me, people that I’ve work with have always referred me to other potential clients.
What was your key driving force to become a female entrepreneur and starting this type of business?
I went to college for Business Management. So, I always knew I wanted to have my own business just at that time I didn’t know what it would be. When I first moved to Syracuse, NY I knew pretty much anyone. So, I joined Barbizon modeling school as a student to meet people at first. But after a few weeks the instructor saw more in me and thought I would be good as a modeling instructor because I had the natural skills already in her eyes, I was very shocked. I grew up as a tomboy and all about sports. But that gave me the motivation to start my own business based on that because I absolutely loved it.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
If I had a chance to start my career over again, I wouldn’t do anything differently. Everything that happened to me along my business journey was meant to happen in order for me to learn and grow even more. I am more aware of this because of pass mistakes with things and people. But from those mistakes I’ve learned do more research before I take an event on or deal with a client. I want to know their background because I would like to be more aware of who I will be working with.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be successful in your business?
The top three things to be successful in my business are: 1. Communication, I need to get all details from my client what is their vision for the event and budget. Those type of things have to be up front and center. Talk about it first before you move on to start planning. What is their vision and budget? Then proceed on with coordinating.
2. Drive- You have to be a Go-Getter, no one is going to invest more in you than YOU! Step out and introduce yourself to people, go to networking events, pass out your business card and discuss your services. Don’t be afraid to talk about you to others and access if they may need your services.
3. Keep ten toes down- Stay grounded on your talent, strength and principles. You will hit many barriers as you try and grow your business, you will be tested and challenged on certain things. As long as you know what your goals, mission and vision is for yourself and your company. Your clients will see your passion.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. My greatest inspiration is seeing other black successful women in business. It shows me, it is something I can accomplish. I can build my empire brick by brick. Just stay focus! As I watch women that look like me reach their goals, that gives me the boost I need to KEEP GOING! Until my empire is complete.
If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it?
My book would be named: “LS is ME”- How I Built My Empire Brick by Brick
How do you define success?
I define success by the projects, I have to completed for a client. People go-to for success is to be rich and famous, which is what majority of us want! But my success is merely based on the outcome or turn out of an event that I’ve planned. My focus is always on the now, what am I doing now to be that successful person society has defined as having lots of money or property. My personal success, is making sure my clients and talents are happy at the end of the day. And want to do business with me again!
Your home base is in Central NY, but where do you tend to work the most?
I am home based in CNY, but I travel! I do a lot of work in NYC and L.A. are my two main cities. I’ve also done work in Fl. and ATL. I am looking to continue to work in those cities and many more! Anywhere client’s needs me, I am there!
Where do you see yourself in 2021?
2021 is the year to gain more clients, get my business name out there and my services! Help talent shine on a stage or a runway. I want the world to too know “I am the Plug that will Keep You Connected” to all the wonderful talents in the world, that perfect location for your event or cast that perfect model/actor for your project! I want to be that go to person, that people know “She’ll get the job done”
Tell our audience what makes you a hustler and an incredible lady boss…
What makes me a Hustler is my absolutely love for what I do! I will do anything that will help my business grow in a positive light. I started as a modeling student, to a modeling instructor, to starting my own business in the Modeling/Acting world! Now that is a hustler! I am an incredible lady boss because I have a big heart and passion for what I do! I’ve strived on showing others respect as I would want in return. I am a very kind, open arms type of person who will listen to your vision and it’s my job to make it come true. I am confident in myself that I know you will have a successful event or get the right talent you need for project!