ll archives: Birds of a Feather Creative's Christina & Jessi
Christina Edwards and Jessi Ford are Birds of a Feather Creative, an Atlanta-based PR, marketing, social media and event planning firm built on a simple idea – to help grow local businesses.
Current location: Atlanta, Georgia
Where are you from? Jessi Ford: I grew up in the suburbs and moved to Atlanta for college and have been here ever since! Christina Edwards: I am an Atlanta girl through and through!
Education: Jessi: Georgia State University, Public Relations and English Christina: FIT, Fashion Design and Georgia State University, Studio Art and Business
Business & Formal Title: Birds of a Feather Creative Jessi: Co-Owner and Director of Branding & PR Christina: Co-Owner and Director of Operations
What is Birds of a Feather Creative and how did it come to be? Jessi: Birds of a Feather Creative is a full service public relations, social media, marketing, and event planning agency. We love working with local clients - we like to think of ourselves as an extension of their team. In 2011 I was tired of trying to find a job that was the right fit for me and my goals and decided to take charge of what I wanted. I knew Christina was the right person to partner with, so one night I invited her out for a drink to give her my business plan pitch and voila! Birds of a Feather Creative was born.
Christina: Jessi and I have been friends for almost 10 years and have worked together in various different jobs before starting Birds of a Feather Creative together. I knew that we could succeed together and really do some amazing things as a team.
What did you all do before? Jessi: I have a background in retail and also at a variety of different PR agencies.
Christina: My background is in real estate and marketing. I always kept my foot in the door with the art and music world - Jessi and I actually met while working at the Tabernacle...I was her boss! :-)
What did you all think you’d be doing now whenever you were 10? Jessi: I wanted to be anything from a marine biologist, to a pop star, to a music journalist. The sky was the limit with me and it could change on any given day.
Christina: An artist, a fashion designer, or architect, director of coloring books. I always wanted to be something creative.
Is Birds of a Feather Creative your dream jobs? If not, what else is in the works? Jessi: Birds of a Feather Creative is absolutely my dream job. I am able to creatively think about helping to build the businesses of clients that I truly believe in, in a city that I truly love! Not only am I living my dream but I’m also doing it with one of my best friends.
Christina: An overarching theme of my career has been consulting and Birds of a Feather Creative helps to meld that aspect as well as working with clients creatively. This is definitely my dream job because I was able to create the position that I wanted for myself.
Are you involved in any side hustles, ladypreneur collabs or baby projects? Tell us about them. Jessi: Last year was our first time putting on an event of our very own called Backbone Fest. The event was a two day music and culture festival focused on highlighting talented women across the Southeast. Our company has a passion for helping other women to succeed. Backbone Fest was a way to give women a platform to perform and express themselves.
Christina: We’re in the process of planning Backbone Fest 2014 - keep up with us on Facebook for more information on our lineup.
What do your daily routines consist of? Jessi: We have an office at Christina’s loft in Cabbagetown. Our normal day is started off with coffee (lots and lots of coffee), emails, brainstorm sessions, social and PR strategies, and then usually a meeting.
Christina: We love a meeting. Seeing our clients on a regular basis keeps everyone communicating well and also keeps the ideas flowing. Once we get back to our office, we love a good jam session. We keep our Spotify busy - you can catch us listening to anything from Justin Timberlake, Phoenix, MIA, Nirvana, or Mariah Carey. We like it all!
How do you all balance work and life and is that actually even possible? Jessi: I think that we’re in a unique position because our work lives and personal lives have a lot of crossover. We often have events on the evenings and weekends, but we love executing them and find that they become a part of something we would do in our personal lives anyway. For anyone looking to start a business I would say be prepared for your work and personal life to bleed into one another. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, this seems to happen naturally anyway.
Christina: It’s important to set boundaries in your work life and make time for yourself in your personal life. Because we do so many events and are always running around, when I do have time to myself I like to chill out and hang out with my husband and cats. I like to totally unwind and true my sign as a Cancer, I like to completely disconnect.
You have to do it and you hate it – what is your least favorite task to do at Birds of a Feather Creative? Jessi: The Sunday night email check. I know I need to look at them to get a jump start on my week, but no one likes the end of the weekend!
Christina: I’m so glad it’s behind us now, but tax season! Being a small business owner isn’t all glamour.
What are your favorite business lady apps? Jessi and Christina: Afterlight - great for photo editing Snapchat - We can’t help it. We love to send silly photos and videos throughout the day. Dropbox Evernote
Top 5 favorite cities? Jessi: Atlanta, San Francisco, Charleston, New York, London Christina: Austin, Bilbao Spain, New York, Oceanside, CA, and Atlanta!
Red, White or Sparkling? Jessi: White Christina: White
Tell us the best place to eat in your city. If it’s your kitchen, share your favorite/best recipe. Jessi: Miso Izakaya. Hands down. The shoyu tamago is so delicious.
Words to live by: Jessi: Be your own cheerleader. Be able to be truly happy for yourself and your own accomplishments and don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. Christina: No guts, no glory.
In 5 years you’ll be: Jessi: Happy! As long as I keep that in mind, I know the rest of my career and personal life will continue to fall into place the way it should.
Christina: I see our business continuing to succeed and grow with an incredible team of lady entrepreneurs by our side. I’ll have visited Jackson Hole, Zihuatanejo, and back to visit the donkey sanctuary in Aruba which is pretty much the best place ever.
On being a woman entrepreneur: Jessi: Women entrepreneurs are a rare, beautiful, smart, and courageous breed. Being a female business owner means being a dreamer and being unapologetic about your passions. Know what your worth and ask for exactly what you want. You can do virtually anything as long as you know that failing isn’t just a scary risk - it can be a totally badass adventure, too.
Christina: Women supporting other women is key. That’s what I really love about our community of women entrepreneurs. We’ve met some incredible women in our industry that continue to amaze and inspire me. Get out there and do what inspires you. Quit daydreaming and make it happen! Having supportive women by your side helps (ahem, Jessi).