Today we’d like to introduce you to Anika Jackson.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Anika. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Originally from Kansas, but I’ve lived in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Houston is my favorite place to live of all. I presently serve as board chair for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (and member of several national committees) and co-founder/ chairman of both Houston Children Give Back and Learn Grow Lead. Additionally, serve as a founding family for the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Center for Family Philanthropy and on the advisory council.
I started Philanthropic Fetes with a partner in 2016. After chairing multiple events, we thought there was a need in the market and that we would be consulting with non-profits on their events, but quickly found that while we did some of that, we also ended up as fashion and lifestyle brand ambassadors and strategic and digital marketers, whose role was instead to create collaborations between non-profits and brands who were forming or wanted to form a socially conscious identity. Behind our brand, we always try to work with kindness and integrity, and we donate at least 10% of revenues to local, national and international charities.
In fall 2016, we started researching women’s social and entrepreneur membership clubs around the U.S. for a potential client. We quickly realized that there was a gap in the Houston marketplace. When I moved to Houston, I found it easy to get involved in the community both socially and as a volunteer due to my work and volunteer experience in Los Angeles and other cities. This is not always the case. It’s easy to say hi to people at an event but rare to take time to get to know them. Even in the age of social media, people still want to form real relationships. Actual friendships, that leads to organic networking and sometimes, to working together. Thus, Social Graces Social Club was formed in 2017 as one of our brands.
Social Graces is currently a Houston based club open to men and women; we hold various monthly events, and attend functions together ranging from art openings to charity galas, to fashion shows and more. We have big plans for 2018 to create impact on a larger scale, while still maintaining a hometown club.
Additionally, in 2017, I also became the VP of Strategic Partnerships for Real Beauty Real Women. In that role, I work with RBRW’s larger platform on community issues and impact through community impact partnerships with non-profits and other partners. We also host a weekly radio show highlighting those in the community who are working to make the world better whether through empowerment, engagement, or direct service.
In 2018 we have added two new brands to the Philanthropic Fetes family. The first is The Conscious Collection – a quarterly subscription box highlighting brands we love and that make a community impact as entrepreneurs, champions of empowerment, and through their community programs and brand ethos. $5 of every box goes directly to the Real Beauty Real Women Foundation.
The second brand is Niki clothing, which we purchased as another means of raising awareness of community issues while looking fashionable. Every month we will highlight one or more charities and raise funds for those charities and causes via apparel sales.
We are always looking for ways to add to our impact and highlight others at the same time.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been both wins and fails.
When we started Philanthropic Fetes, we quickly found ourselves very busy and realized that, while the smaller non-profits were the ones that needed us the most, they also were sometimes difficult to work with due to budget restraints, communication, and staff availability and bandwidth. I’m a big believer in learning on the go and growing organically, and we were able to switch directions quickly while still helping small non-profits where we could.
As a full time, entrepreneur, it’s also important to have the right people on your team. Having multiple staff changes, or members who aren’t involved for the “right” reasons, can create a lot of chaos in a startup. I’ve been fortunate to have some great people who have been advisors and supporters but have also experienced having to almost push the reset button when others didn’t work out.
As with many small businesses, Hurricane Harvey also impacted business, although it is starting to “normalize” a bit more.
Please tell us about Philanthropic Fetes/ Social Graces Social Club.
Philanthropic Fetes serves as an integrative marketing, media and digital innovation agency, creating culturally connected brands that truly impact the world. At our core, everything revolves around creating community impact through everything we do. Beyond marketing and promotions, we have several ancillary companies and products.
Our family of brands includes Social Graces Social Club, a club for socially conscious, connected individuals and those who seek to connect with them; The Conscious Collection, a quarterly, curated subscription box celebrating entrepreneurs and empowerment and highlighting businesses that give back to the community; and Niki clothing, for women who want to look beautiful on a budget.
Overall, we make sure that we donate to and highlight different charitable causes with everything we do.
Additionally, I serve as VP of Strategic Partnerships for Real Beauty Real Women – where beauty, glamour, entertainment, and technology meet social responsibility. We have a weekly radio show that is simulcast on Facebook Live, and run conscious campaigns such as Pucker Up for Change (lipstick campaign) and the upcoming Bracelets Not Chains (art and jewelry campaign).
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I’m very organic and intuitive and always have been in business, which is both good and bad. I don’t know that there is much I would have done differently, other than some business operations – the devil can be in the details and if you don’t have all of that locked in it is easy to make silly mistakes.
- Social Graces Social Club Membership – $350 – $450 annually depending on location (Houston and national available)
- The Conscious Collection – $60/box or $220/annually – $5/box goes to Real Beauty Real Women Foundation
- Address: Anika Jackson, CEO
- Website: www.philanthropicfetes.com, www.socialgracessocial.club, www.rbrw.org
- Phone: 281-849-7564
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @officialanikajackson, @socialgracessocialclub
- Facebook: @officialanikaj, @socialgracessocialclub
- Twitter: @socialgracessc
Photo Credits for individual photo – BethieLife
Photo Credit for the other pics – Charlie Horse Photos
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