We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Poynter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbara, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
My end goal is simple, it’s to retire comfortably with my husband while impacting so many lives that only God knows the final count of the impact. By the end of my career, I would love to have made it to the New York Times Best Sellers list. My writing style is inspirational, I aim to help inspire and uplift others who may find themselves stuck in a moment, time, or situation in their lives. I remind them that there is a higher power and calling on their lives that will not be defined by this unfortunate moment or time they may find themselves in. My goal is to also have a foundation that serves the underprivileged living in underserved and underdeveloped communities. My goal is that my foundation comes alongside those individuals to serve and help pull them up out of the rough times they may find themselves in. I aim to lift them up and provide them with the necessary tools they will need to stay afloat. My goal is that by the end of my career that I have lived out one of my favorite quotes by Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu “Give a man a fish you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I strive to do that by sharing all the knowledge and experience I have with anyone who may be seeking it. I pray that every tangible thing I create, businesses, books, foundations, etc. have the impact that Jesus made possible for Simon, Peter, James, and John in Matthew 4: 18-22 “Come follow me, “Jesus said,” and I will send you out to fish for people”.
What should our readers know about your business?
I currently own and operate two businesses when we last spoke I talked about my business BloodSweat Apparel an inspirational clothing and accessories line. By God’s grace, we have been able to stay afloat even after taking a huge hit during the pandemic. I’m excited to share my newest business with you today it is JB’S Merchandise. JB’S Merchandise is a general merchandise shop started by my husband Jacorey Jenkins and myself after recognizing an unexpected need we were faced with when the pandemic started. Prices for everyday items skyrocketed and were selling out everywhere. Underserved and underprivileged communities were getting hit the hardest. As the pandemic grew and cities and towns started to go on lockdown, businesses were closed down making it hard to get everyday essential and general items. My husband is an essential worker and was still able to travel to and from work, he would do most of the store runs to pick up items very often having little to no success getting the things that we needed. When schools got shut down finding simple items such as Ziploc bags, paper towels, tissue even headphones for e-learning was extremely complicated even visiting some of our affordable sites and stores such as Amazon and Walmart. Prices were extremely high at one point we paid $12 for a case of water a 12 pack. After being on the frontlines of this disaster my husband decided that something needed to be done to help people like ourselves, and the elderly in our community who couldn’t get out to the stores to get items due to fear of catching the virus or simply not being able to afford it. He wanted to find a way to get general merchandise safely available to people at an affordable price and that is how JB’S Merchandise was born. What set’s us apart from others is while many were stockpiling general merchandise to sell at extremely high prices we were figuring out how to get those items and get them to people at low cost. We realized the impact of cities being shut down and business closings took a toll on everyday people and their finances, and we wanted to help. Starting a business is never easy but starting a business during a pandemic proved extremely difficult. We did a lot of praying and researching. In April of 2020, I was furloughed from my regular 9-5 job leaving us with just one income, we still didn’t let that stop us. We continued to pray, research, tightened up our budget, and saved to start this business. It took us a long time and when we were ready we faced yet another situation, shipping, shipping had become a nightmare due to political reasons, but still, we continued to push forward. In November of 2020, we were able to purchase our first pallet of General Merchandise and we utilized resources such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and LetGo to get our items out to the world and available to anyone who needed them. Utilizing these available resources allowed us to cut some overhead costs such as website maintenance and hosting fees. Facebook Marketplace offers extremely affordable shipping costs and has been our number one source for showcasing and selling our products. The main lesson we learned is that when there is a need utilize your power and resources for good instead of profit. When people are in need, help them, don’t make it impossible for them. We also learned that when God gives you a vision despite the circumstances if you do your part to see the vision through he will do his part and bring it to fruition. I want the world to know that JB’S Merchandise is a business that was started to respond to a need. We are more than a business we are here to serve the people and the community. Prayerfully as there is starting to become a light at the end of the tunnel that is this pandemic with the vaccinations we can pivot to launching our website and eventually opening our very own Brick & Mortar store right here in our community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I currently reside in Illinois in a little small town called Waukegan. If my friend were visiting I would take them to a few of my favorite places. For fun, we would visit Gurnee Mills Mall one of the first largest malls in Illinois and Great America. For food, we would visit my favorite Jerk restaurants called Jerk-N-More located downtown Waukegan. Everything on the menu is delicious. To relax and get a piece of mind we would visit the Illinois State Beach just up the road in Zion, IL It’s one of my favorite places in the entire world. Just at the end of the beach, there is this bench sitting perfectly under one single tree the only tree that’s on the shore and the view, sound, and atmosphere are just out of this world. To get spiritually refilled I would bring them to my church Christian Neighbors Church. We are quite different than any other church that I have ever visited. We are a multi-ethnical church and our congregation is made up of many different nationalities. You really feel loved and welcomed when you walk into our church home the diversity can be a little overwhelming at first. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I give credit to God, without him nothing is possible. I give credit to my husband Jacorey Jenkins owner of JB’s Merchandise. www.facebook.com/jbs.merchandise.5 He supports me 100% in all of my ideas, my writing, my business adventures. He is my number one support system and he believes in me. He constantly reminds me that I can accomplish anything I strive for. I also want to give credit and a huge thank you to my church family Christian Neighbors Church. www.christianneighborschurch.org being part of this church community has shown me to love the way God loves and to serve others without prejudice or judgment.
Barbara Poynter Jacorey Jenkins Leonta Jenkins