We had the good fortune of connecting with Duane Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Duane, how do you think about risk?
I fear the thought of living a life unfulfilled more than I fear failure. At the same time, I’m fairly risk averse. I haven’t sunk all of my attention and resources into my business because I want to make sure that I can support my family before I get to that point. Right now there are too many unknowns to make me feel comfortable enough to quit my day job. That said, I’ve structured my business so that I can pivot to earn revenue in multiple ways in the event of a downturn. The idea of putting all of my eggs in one basket is not appealing to me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started my business Glitterati Communications in 2006 as a graphic design and branding consultancy. In 2011 I branched into product when I started streetwear brand Be Glitterati. In 2016 I shut down Be Glitterati and founded lifestyle brand Art Pays Me under the Glitterati Communications umbrella. Art Pays Me is a clothing product line first and foremost but it has become a platform for creative empowerment and social justice through the messages in the clothing and the Art Pays Me Podcast. I’m most proud of the community of creatives this business has connected me with who believe in the power of art. It was not easy. I built this slowly over many years and didn’t have much support outside of my immediate family. I used social media and my brand development skills to connect directly with my customer base and in turn established credibility organically. The industry relationships I’ve recently acquired have helped make Glitterati Communications profitable through product sales, design consulting, podcast partnerships and public speaking. One thing I learned is the importance of relationships. Talent is important but without people who can help you get in front of the right people you will have a harder time. One thing I would like the world to know about Art Pays Me is that the founder is one of them and I feel their pain and triumphs.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not based in LA so I’m not sure if this applies.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The list of creatives I’d like to shoutout is too long for this piece but I highlight people on the Art Pays Me Podcast who I think are rad all the time. However, I would shoutout to my parents, extended family and martial arts instructors for holding me to a high standard and supporting me in every way possible to help me achieve my goals. Thanks to the teachers and profs who encouraged me along the way. Shout out to my wife, kids, friends and family who advise me and encourage me to keep going.
Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/artpaysme/_shop/
Briell Fraser, Sinead Dubeau, Sean McMullen, Alex Pearson, Tonya Porter, Michael Ryan