Say hello to CJ—the most empowered, passionate, and glamorous business gal you'll meet.
When you talk to CJ Devries, her passion for business and marketing is ever-present and infectious. Originally from sunny Florida, she wound up in West Michigan through Grand Valley State University and fell in love with the city of Grand Rapids. Today, she is the owner of GRNow (a website sharing local events, restaurants, things to do, etc.) and Innovative Social Exchange—a creative Grand Rapids marketing firm.
"Marketing is an obsession, so I think of creating events all the time."
GRNow is about eleven years old, but CJ only just recently took control of the site—having utilized the site in the past through various clients, she saw potential in expanding GRNow's resources, and she wanted to create more original content. She felt that Grand Rapids was lacking a place to showcase all of the awesome events and off-the-grid places that locals frequent, and GRNow seemed like the perfect place to build an event-based social atmosphere.
If you're looking to advertise or have an idea for an event contact CJ at email@example.com
"It’s okay to not be perfect all the time."
Devries is excited about working with more women in her industry, and she wants to see more badass Girl Bosses around her. She looks up to women like Dawn Baker—women who despite how much they have on their plates, handle everything with poise. CJ strives to always be calm, cool, and collected.
What sorts of services does Innovative Social Exchange offer?
- Promotional Staffing, including hiring, training, scheduling, and payment.
- Event Marketing with emphasis on planning, marketing materials and implementation, and event staffing,
- Social Media Management: "From blogging to re-tweeting, Innovative Social Exchange has the content posted during the right times of day that gets noticed by your customers"
- Social Media content creation, post scheduling, finding trending stories, video/photo content, and graphic design.
"From homegrown events to elitist night-outs, Innovative Social Exchange can create an experience that will be talked about for years to come."
"This is a really male dominated industry—we need to realize that we’re worth it. "
CJ Devries & Mod Bettie = Perfection
When it comes to running your own business, online presence is crucial, and effective personal branding is a top priority. Not only can you use your photos for social media, websites, print, business cards, magazines, and for personal use, but the right photographer can help you foster confidence and self-esteem that will radiate from your photos and draw in the clientele you're searching for.
CJ found Mod Bettie through a mutual friend, and could quickly see that Elise was a phenomenal badass. Always a bit self-conscious, CJ is naturally picky, but throughout her photoshoot with Mod Bettie, she wouldn't have changed a thing.
"Elise is an amazing person, and you have so much fun with her. The team she puts together is so good at what they do, and when you're liking the photos before they're even edited, you know the photographer is talented."
CJ's advice to the woman trying to make it in a male dominated industry:
- Always be looking at what's happening in your field—read something everyday related to the industry.
- If you listened to what everyone else says, the world would not have half of the things we have today, and remember that failing often is how we learn.
- Find someone who is younger than you to be your mentor—understand that we can learn things from all age groups, not just those who are older than us.