We had the good fortune of connecting with Jizelle Staana and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jizelle, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I have ever had to make was to leave an industry I was familiar with and had been in for years for a totally different career path. I was in the banking industry for 8 years when I lost my job and instead of taking another position within the industry, I decided that I wanted to explore a career in a creative field. I was 26 at the time and was going through a major crossroad in life. Long before I even made the decision to do something else, there was a feeling inside me that knew the career I was in at the time wasn’t something I could see myself doing for the rest of my life; despite how successful I was or how much money I made.

I remember being offered a position at a wealth management firm shortly after I lost my job and thought, “if not now, then when”? And after much thought and prayer I came to the revelation that this opportunity was what I was waiting for — and the job offer was just a test to see if I really wanted to continue living my comfortable life or take a leap of faith. After declining the offer, I cried at the thought of leaving something so familiar for the unknown. And while I didn’t want to work for the banking industry any more, I was going to miss the experiences, the people and all the things I have learned. There was a part of me that knew that that part of my life would never be the same. Fast forward to almost a decade later after making my decision I have never felt more joy doing what I do. I am VP of Marketing for Liberty Fashion and Lifestyle Fairs, one of the most recognized fashion trade event producers in the US. It has been a completely humbling, challenging and also rewarding journey and I wouldn’t change have changed my decision if I had to do it all over again.

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 am the VP of Marketing for Liberty Fashion and Lifestyle fairs, the leading producer of fashion trade events in the US. While I love working on all of the shows because they are all uniquely amazing in their own way; I am closest to ENVSN. ENVSN is a multi-dimensional community, committed to the professional and self-development of Gen Z and millennial women of color. ENVSN inspires me because it is both gift to my younger self and the next generation. Our purpose is to expose women of color to opportunities and conversations they would not otherwise have had through mentorship, networking, partnering with brands to create future career relationships.

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.
One of my favorite things to do is find different viewpoints-I love being able to see a 360 view of the mountains and the downtown LA skyline. Some of my favorite viewpoints are at Elysian Park, Mullholland Drive, and the parking lot at Mt Saint Mary’s college.

My week long itinerary would consist of driving along the coast on the 2 to Malibu, grab a beer or cocktail on the beach at Paradise Cove in Malibu or have a picnic at Malibu Cafe in Calimigos Ranch, take a hike at Runyon or Hollywood Lake, have a fun brunch at Catch in Hollywood and dinner with live music at Delilahs. There’s also some really great murals to check out around the arts district in downtown as well as Melrose.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout ENVSN, one of the event properties I work on for LF&LF. ENVSN is a multi-dimensional community & conference committed to the professional and self-development of Gen Z and millennial women of color. The ENVSN mission, the ENVSN team, ambassadors and audience inspire me to do what I do every single day. They are my driving force and encourage me to continue to create better pathways for the next generation. That said, there would be no ENVSN without my mentors Sharifa Murdock and Laura Stylez. Lastly, I also want to shout out my mom, since without her, there is no me and my amazing friends who support me at every event and endeavor.

Instagram: @msjizelle

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jizellestaana

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