Jessica Marie | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jessica Marie

Photo courtesy Jessica Marie Trigg

Photo courtesy Jessica Marie Trigg

Jackson-based business owners will gather to mingle and network at the "Mind Ya Business III" event, hosted by Jessica Marie on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Marie, whose real name is Jessica Trigg, believes that face-to-face communication is fundamental to smoothly running a business. She began hosting these MYB sessions to encourage entrepreneurs to practice this skill while establishing larger networks. The first event was on Aug. 18, 2018, and Saturday's event is the third installment of the series.

Marie says these business mixers are "like a social experiment where people are thrown into the business world and made to mingle."

Since graduating from Walden University's online business school two years ago with a master's degree in business administration, she has learned that there are a number of skills and tips that schools do not always impart on to their students. With these networking events, people can "build a web of connections to help them maintain and grow their businesses," she says.

"Starting a business is easy; maintaining one is what's hard," she says.

Each "Mind Ya Business" event features products from small businesses in pop-up-shop-style vendor showcases.

For small businesses, Marie also emphasizes the importance of social media.

"Social media is here to stay, and it is crucial for businesses to adapt," she says. "While I have grown up, the Metrocenter (Mall) has gone from successful mom-and-pop stores to what it is today. What works is pop-up shops where word-of-mouth and social media spread the word, and then the face-to-face customer service comes in handy as you build a loyal customer base."

This outlook comes in part from her numerous years working in the customer service industry. Small businesses thrive when they go from small online stores to ones with a storefront and retain their personal touch, Marie says, while still allowing the customer to experience the warmth of a mom-and-pop type store but with the reputation that businesses can gain from a social-media presence.

In the Jackson area, Marie believes that customers and fellow business people alike will flock to someone who wants to establish a good relationship with whatever "close knit" community they are trying to serve.

"Jackson is a very friendly place for small businesses," Marie says. "Not only is it the cheapest place to start and own an LLC, the community here is ready and willing to talk to you."

Like many entrepreneurs, Marie envisions bigger things in the networking business for herself and her company; however, she recognizes another form of success her events can produce.

"At the end of the day, success to me is the knowledge that I am making a difference in people's everyday lives," she says. "When I can have a direct impact on the success of someone's dream, that is what success feels like, and I want that feeling to follow me throughout my career."

Mind Ya Business III is Saturday, Aug. 17, at The Hideaway (5100 Interstate 55 N.) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local business owners can register to simply attend or to also sell a product in the pop-up shop. Find tickets online at websites like Eventbrite.com or find the event on Facebook.

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