“As I continued to work in PR and Marketing, I realized that people saw me, the way I approach my work, my conversations, and my fashion, as one thing,” Ellis said. “And I realized that we had the potential to have a business like Man Repeller, Complex, or Hypebeast. And once those links clicked in my head, I couldn’t get them out. And here we are.”
Today, JAWBREAKING is a millennial-focused media company run by millennials and Gen-Zers and led by Ellis, a queer Black 27-year-old with a clear vision.
Read the rest of our interview with Owner Jefferson Ellis below…
Tell us about your business and the role you play in it.
JAWBREAKING is a business concept centered around the idea of a 21st century “Youthquake”. In 1965, Diana Vreeland said the “new generations” impact on pop culture, art, music, and more would have one of the most consequential parts of the 20th century and she was right – and I think that idea is just as relevant now as it was then. We offer our unique perspective through our clothing store, our online destination, and our creative agency.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
The idea of a 3-part business is very common in the fashion industry – which is where I started. JAWBREAKING started as a clothing brand in 2008 and I purchased it as an investment, essentially out of bankruptcy. As I continued to work in PR and Marketing, I realized that people saw me, the way I approach my work, my conversations, and my fashion, as one thing. And I realized that we had the potential to have a business-like Man Repeller, Complex, or Hypebeast. And once those links clicked in my head, I couldn’t get them out. And here we are.
What makes your business unique in its field?
We are a business run solely by millennials and Gen-Zers and led by a queer Black 27-year-old. The perspective we bring to our work is strong, forward, and intersectional. Moreover, it’s data-driven and backed by the quality of the work. We’ve worked with everyone from fashion labels and non-profits, to CBD companies and politicians. Each time, we come to the table with the same respect for the conversation and the belief that accurate data, good branding, and strong narrative equals good business.
How many employees do you have? And what qualities do you look for when hiring?
Including me, our motley crew is a team of 6. I don’t enjoy the hiring process or interviewing, so I like to dwell on it. I just want to work with people who love what we do, have something to say, and are willing to do the work. My goal is to build a business that is indicative of the world we live in but reflects only the best parts about it. My little squad makes that dream a reality.