Huckleberry Creative’s Jess Coleman on Developing Strategic Insights You Need to Deliver High Quality Work


Before we get started, here is some background information on our fabulous entreprenista Jess:

Jess Coleman is the founder of Huckleberry Creative, a full-service website design and development studio with a mission to make it easy and fun for entrepreneurs to share their genius with the world. She’s an experienced marketer, copywriter, and designer who helps busy business owners grow their brands by attracting the right customers with an authentic voice and messaging paired with a polished online presence. In case you’re curious, she’s got bachelor’s degrees in English literature and journalism plus a master’s in strategic communication. But the majority of her marketing muscle was developed in the field, learning on the job over a decade spent in corporate marketing, writing about and promoting services across a wide variety of industries. That’s how she developed the know-how to bring you the strategic insights you need and the hands-on experience it takes to deliver high-quality work that doesn’t require a million edits.

Hello Jess! What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

I’m an experienced writer, marketer, and designer, but my business is new. My goal for the next several months is building my network — with other like-minded entrepreneurs, referral partners, and potential clients. My BIG goal is to quit my 9-5 next year and go full time in my business.

What made you take the leap to start Huckleberry Creative?

I’d been successfully climbing the corporate ladder for years. I had two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree (still do, I guess). But I had reached a plateau. I couldn’t get a promotion or a pay raise. And I was bored. I was doing more work than anyone else on my team and getting paid the least. I started interviewing for other, similar jobs. And after a handful of fairly successful opportunities, I just realized I was burnt out and unexcited about this kind of work.

Jess, prior to being an entrepreneur, what were you up to?

My first job out of college was as a newspaper reporter. Then I went into education as a high school English teacher. More recently, I worked as a healthcare consulting analyst, a social media manager, and a marketing content strategist.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

My parents have always said I needed to be my own boss. I just have too many ideas percolating at all times. So, rather than continue to interview, I decided to shift my focus to building my business on the side. I’ve since “quiet quit” my corporate job and the vast majority of my energy is going toward building Huckleberry Creative.

When you first launched Huckleberry Creative, what was your initial marketing strategy?

The vast majority of my marketing outreach at the start revolved around word of mouth and referrals. It took me a while to figure out there were other things I could do to get the word out.

Jess, entreprenistas face challenges every day! What is the biggest challenge you have overcome so far?

I’m on my third iteration of my business. I started my business in September 2021 trying to recreate my 9-5, doing long-form content writing/ghostwriting. I soon after decided I wanted to shift to copywriting and branding. But I didn’t have the graphic design skills. So I partnered with a talented graphic designer friend of mine. We worked together for a few months and made $0. We were both working 9-5s at the same time and were just having a hard time aligning and moving the needle. After four months, she decided she could no longer invest time in building our business and departed. It took me a couple of weeks of grieving and regrouping to get over the disappointment. But since then, I’ve rallied and built a business that feels so well suited to where I am in life and what I want to achieve. I’ve taught myself the graphic design side of things (a long-time interest/dabbling pursuit of mine), and my business has taken off.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Finding the strength to move forward after my business partnership disintegrated.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Of course! Who doesn’t???? I use my calendar religiously. I’m a major time-blocking fan. I color code and move things around so that it becomes a living breathing to-do list. I have reminders set on my calendar for months from now. I always say “If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.” Morning and evening routines. I always start my days by going through my email. It’s a nice easy way to start the day. I also often find things that need to be added to my to-do list. At the end of the day, I do another email review and spend some time looking at my calendar for the next day and the rest of the week. It really helps me to stay on top of things and be mindful of time if I can get a clear idea of what the immediate future holds. That way, I don’t have to spend precious time figuring out what to do next.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

You don’t have to know or do everything all at once. It’s a journey and there’s a real learning curve to this. As an A+ student, I really struggled with not having all the answers. I spent so much time researching and sitting on courses rather than doing and trying and experimenting. I think I’d be further along than I am right now if I’d focused less on doing the right things and more on doing what makes sense and course correcting as I went.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Revamping my offering to pull out the strategy setting portion as both a separate revenue generator and an effective way of upselling clients to larger projects.

What’s next for Huckleberry Creative? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

I’d like to make my website upgrade offer a premium service for premium clients who are ready and excited to work with an expert and pay top dollar for a concierge experience and high-quality deliverable. From there, I plan to expand by introducing digital products and templates that can supplement my income and free up some of my time. I’d also like to adjust my processes to become intensives so that I can get the same amazing results for my clients in less time.

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Grants You Need to Apply to For Your Business!

The FedEx® Entrepreneur Fund Who can apply? Entrepreneurs who have a connection to the military and/or entrepreneurs with disabilities. What you could receive: $10,000 Deadline: October 6, 2023 15th Anniversary Entrepreneurship Who can apply? Any entrepreneur who submits an engaging pitch of up to 1,000 words highlighting your business and how it would benefit from…

How to Plan for the Unpredictable with Emily Cisek

“You want to do everything you want to be everything to everyone. You want to be the perfect founder, but the perfect founder doesn’t exist you need to be authentic and true to yourself and the type of leader you are.” – Emily Cisek Named the 2021 Women Who Mean Business Honoree by the Houston Business…

Courtney Boyer on Starting a Biz of Her Own to Elevate the Dialogue Around Women’s Health and Sexuality

Hi Courtney! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello! I am a relationship and sexuality expert. I was trained as a mental health and sex therapist, life coach, and Reiki Practitioner. Recently, I published the book, “Not Tonight, Honey: Why Women Actually Don’t Want Sex and What We Can Do About…

The Scoop on Building a Business from Scratch with Kim Malek

“Money is always available, you will find it believe it or not, it really is, but finding the right money. It could not be more important.” – Kim Malek Kim Malek is the Co-Founder and CEO of Salt & Straw, an ice cream company that produces and serves boldly unique flavors made by hand, where customers…

Taking An Integrative Approach To Medicine and Business with Dr. Cindy Tsai

“Life is a serie“I really realized that we need to take this very integrative holistic approach to wellbeing. So often we are focused on productivity and being busy. And we forget about listening to what we’re actually going through.”  – Dr. Cindy Tsai Dr. Cindy Tsai is an award-winning board-certified physician, TEDx speaker, best-selling author,…

Creative Kelsey Kloss on Launching a PR and Social Media Company to Empower Industry Thought Leaders

Hi Kelsey! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Absolutely! I am the CEO of Kloss Creatives, a PR and social media company that scales CEOs and companies as industry thought leaders. Kloss Creatives clients have been featured by The New York Times, HuffPost, Bustle, and beyond. Previously, I was a journalist and in-house…

Mamaprenista Cinder Trout on Opening a Natural Beauty Brand, Abature, with Her Daughter

Hi Cinder! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello, my name is Cinder. My daughter and I co-founded a natural beauty brand dedicated to lip care called Abature. We make lip scrubs, lip serums, and lip balms all proudly packaged plastic free. Our wholesale distribution channel is currently only available to…

Finding Your Purpose and Fulfilling Your Mission with Dr. Nadine Collins

“When you understand who you are, and why you’re here, you will recognize that you have no competition. Because there’s nobody in the world like you but you. And whatever you’ve been divinely called to do. There is nobody in the world who can do it like you but you because it’s your assignment.” –…

Nicole Pearl Kaplan on How She Created a Business that Provides Her Clients Insights, Strategies and Personalized guidance

Hi Nicole Pearl! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi! I’m a PR & Media consultant who helps small business founders get noticed, grow their brand awareness and become a household name. When the pandemic hit, I heard a lot of people asking how to get featured, and I heard a…

Learning How to Start Over with Olivia Howell

“Life is a series of fresh starts, and everybody is worthy of the support. We are about meeting people where they are and celebrating them.”  – Olivia Dreizen Howell After her own divorce and watching her sister call off her engagement the following year, Olivia was left with two significant questions: Why do we only…

Entreprenistas, Go for These Amazing Grants!

As founders we know how hard it can be to secure funding for your business, so we want to make it a bit easier! Below are our top picks of grants and resources this week!

Creating A New Business Category with Jen Batchelor

“ The more I tell my story, the more I’m like, damn, I would never have wanted to follow in the footsteps of anyone, I really have to blaze the path. Even though it’s painful as sin, I have to put something out there that’s brand new, and let people react to it.” – Jen…

Artisan Joy’s Stephanie Blanchard on Smashing the Myth of the “Starving Artist”

Hello Stephanie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I am the publisher of Artisan Joy, a website and magazine that celebrates creative entrepreneurs. Artisan Joy’s mission is to smash the myth of the starving artist by publishing success stories of artists, designers, artisans and makers who have turned their passions into…

“Life Coach in a Bottle”, Laura McCann, on Establishing Adoratherapy

Hello Laura! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Laura McCann and I am the Founder and CEO of Adoratherapy. At Adoratherapy, we invite you on a journey of healing through breath and intention using all natural essential oil based fragrances. After many years as a successful entrepreneur in…

Mamaprenista Ami Bhansali of Chai Diaries on her mission to Make Fresh Premium Teas Accessible to All

Welcome Ami! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Chai Diaries is a lifestyle brand retailing specialty teas. Inspired by my tea-enriched household (three generations of history in growing and manufacturing tea in the beautiful Nilgiris, India), the brand is all about REAL TEA, REAL HERBS, REAL SPICES! Embracing a tea culture…