EJ Jamele is the CEO and founder of crowdMGMT, a brand & talent management firm representing an exclusive curated roster of multi-faceted artists in the beauty and lifestyle industries. His contracts and clients include the likes of leading publications, global brands, TV networks, fashion houses and celebrities including VOGUE, Vanity Fair, Essence, L’Officiel, #LEGEND, ABC, VH1, FX, The Kardashians, Ciara, Diddy, Balmain, Versace, L’Oreal, PUMA, Jennifer Hudson, V Magazine and so many more. EJ also passionately serves as a board member and annual state scholarship pageant producer to the Miss America Connecticut chapter.
As a seasoned TV & New Media producer EJ’s work has been showcased on platforms including Good Morning America, VH1, MTV, Billboard Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Complex Media and many more. EJ manages some of the most sought after niche artists in the lifestyle & beauty industries. He has a keen eye for talent development and new media development projects. He demonstrates his vow to a high-level collaboration culture among his clients at crowdMGMT and network of colleagues by encouraging and facilitating projects inclusive of his entire roster and network. EJ says, “I believe that by elevating one another, my clients will maintain both longevity and creative advantage in their respective industries and it’s my job to curate a roster of like-minded complimentary talent to afford that advantage to us all.”
You may also recognise him from television appearances including VH1’s Lala Anthony’s Full Court Life and The Real Housewives of New Jersey highlighting his clients and career. As he continues to forge forward, as he would say, “AVANTI!”
Hey EJ, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hey! My name’s EJ and I am the CEO & Founder of crowdMGMT, a brand & talent management company specialising in the beauty & lifestyle industries.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
Honestly, I didn’t start out with a plan to be where I am now, but along the way, I realised where I was going and created a strategic plan to fit my passions. I knew I wanted to work in the business of entertainment but when I moved to NYC in 2005 I had no idea what I was getting into. I literally knew two people and neither of them had a connection to the industry I wanted to become part of. I actually moved to NYC when I accepted a marketing position, but the department I was hired to relocate for was eliminated two weeks after I arrived!
I was in full panic at first, to be honest, but after some thought, I realised I needed a network and I needed it fast. So I worked in nightlife promotions so I could meet as many people from diverse backgrounds and fields as possible. I was partying with celebrities and successful young business people by night and hustling by day to get my foot in the door. I made a lot of mistakes, but I think what really worked for me is that none of them stopped me from trying again.
I then found myself with a growing client list of venues I promoted and produced events for. Shortly after that, I was managing a DJ, whom I still manage to this day almost ten years later, Zeke Thomas. He was my first client and at that time it was the glory days of DJ talent and he was so good that booking him became easy for me. From there, people saw this kid from a little town in Connecticut taking a $200 per night DJ to rates with comas in them and billboards in Time Square. It was really exhilarating actually and other people noticed.
From there, one client at a time came to me organically and one day I looked at my schedule for the day and truly realised I started a company! It took me about a year from there to realise what my niche actually was and after some serious brainstorming and encouraging conversations with my mentors, I realised that crowdMGMT was a collaborative family of complimentary lifestyle & beauty brands and talent. Then I found the best team of support I could ever hope for. I call them my ninjas, because of no matter what or how – they always get it done and I live for them. I am quite proud and humbled to work with each and every one of the artists I manage, so definitely check them out at crowdMGMT.com/artists. You can find a list of clients there as well.
How much research did you do on the market prior to launching crowdMGMT?
I honestly didn’t do much at all initially. I knew with each new client I was serious and strategic about them and their goals, but I was really young when I first started and I was most concerned about letting my passions lead me to the thing I would get most serious about. Once that clicked – I got down to it and started getting strategic for my own company with projections and planning. It’s like the old saying goes, I was a shoemaker with no shoes for a while so to say. I really had to concentrate on making sure my clients were focused on and serviced to the best of my abilities.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of crowdMGMT?
Absolutely. The culture at crowdMGMT is collaborative and encouraging. Quite simply, I only work with people that I develop a strong and organic professional relationship with. I take my time to really get to know my clients and teammates so I can use my taste and passion for their success to drive us. I trust my clients and they trust me and because of that, we win. The best days I have are when I get to be with multiple clients working together on the same project. It naturally allows all of us to shine in their own respective lanes and crafts while simultaneously elevating us all. It’s my favourite thing to see by far with my line of work.
Can you give us 3 tips on building a reputable successful management consultancy?
Sure! The three most important things, in my opinion, are transparency (honesty), consistency and trusting the process. If you apply those things to all you do, you will surely succeed.
Where can you see yourself within the next 5 years?
A great question for us all and a great self-check-in. In five years you will see me living a bi-coastal schedule working hands-on with my clients producing original content and product developing with them. My favourite projects aim to create original work and products that promote positivity and lifestyle improvement for everyone. We actually have a few things coming out soon so be sure to follow our IG @crowdMGMT.
What outlets do use to promote crowdMGMT?
Due to the nature of my industry, we are blessed to see our work all over major networks, magazines, and media of all kinds. The internet is a beautiful monster in that way, and although we don’t share everything, we primarily use Instagram to tell the story of our projects and promote our clients (brands).
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
It’s corny, but when I see the results of my team’s work making lives better it is the most rewarding feeling. I won’t name any names here, but I have clients that didn’t know how they would pay their phone bill or keep their apartments when we started working together that now have multiple homes and solid job security. Nothing is better to me than seeing that happen. In turn, they are giving the same to me – we depend on each other and it’s what gets me going every morning.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth crowdMGMT?
Oh man – every entrepreneur could probably give you the longest list of specific examples on the pains of their journey. For me, it was challenging to get the chance to show up at the table with the executives who have the power to open the doors that changed my life. Little by little those doors have and continue to open for me, my team and my clients and I am so grateful for that. I knocked on a lot of doors before that started to happen though and there are many more to go. There is no elevator to the top – we have to climb.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I admire so many, but two top dogs for me are Kris Jenner and Scooter Braun. Their ability to look and plan forward and put together amazing brand stories that captivate and move the masses is amazing to me. I truly admire their work and their relationships with their clients – you can tell they love each other.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
‘Like A Butterfly’ by Angelica Ross is the only podcast I listen to.
How do you define your own success?
Maintaining a balance that affords me health, happiness at home and professional goal achievement. There’s nothing like writing down your goals and coming back to that list later to cross them out as you achieve them. Just don’t forget to add new ones!
What does #BEYOUROWNMAN mean to you?
It means to truly know when you need to sleep on a decision in order to be sure you are authentically moving forward in any aspect of your life. It means never justifying an action based on someone else’s actions and confidently being your own unique self.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
I am working on television content, a skincare line, two lifestyle products to improve daily life and a series of productions that will be 100% produced by crowdMGMT‘s roster and team. We have some of them coming out soon so I hope you like them!
Image by Laura DeCarlo