Last week, I participated in a networking event called Babes In Business. I have been to other networking events before […]
Last week, I participated in a networking event called Babes In Business. I have been to other networking events before and, truthfully, they were boring and unproductive. Babes in Business was quite the opposite. There were 3 speakers – each of whom spoke for 15 minutes, each in a completely different area of the business world. All had something valuable to share. The evening was inspirational, effective and completely worthwhile. I met the founder of the event, Jennifer Chavez, and it’s an understatement to say I was impressed. I knew an interview with her would benefit my readers, and her Babes would enjoy reading the interview, as well. Interview below.
ID: Please tell us a little about yourself: where you grew up, where you went to school, what you do, etc.
JC: When I was younger I lived in Long Branch, Asbury Park, and then Oceanport
School: Maple Place, Shore Regional, Catholic University of America, School of Visual Arts, Brookdale
What I do: I am the owner/founder of The Helpful Rabbit and Babes In Business. I run both of these companies full time.
ID: What was your first job in high school?
JC: My first job in high school is hard to remember because I have always been a worker, always had a job. I remember getting my working papers to work at a restaurant as a counter girl. I would then go on to work at Fanagel the Bagel which anyone who lives in the area knows well.
ID: Please tell us about the genesis of Babes in Business.
JC: Babes In Business was created out of necessity. After a year of going to meetups alone and not finding a group that really spoke to me, I created Babes. I wanted to combine the networking group with a strong online presence. By growing our social media and allowing the Babes to take over, they are tapping into our followers and growing their accounts as well!
Becoming a Member of Babes is also tapping into another platform – SLACK. We have used the platform for creating all sorts of rooms for the women to network on. They can use it to gain access to free educational resources, hire help for their businesses, barter services, introduce themselves and even as a book club. The Slack team is just getting started and there are already 300+ women on there networking.
The meetups attract over 100 Babes In Business and have become such an inspiring, exciting place to network and meet other like-minded women. I have met women that drive as far as an 1 1/2 hours to come to the Asbury Hotel.
One thing I want people to know about Babes is that you don’t have to have a business to come. You can be just starting out, just forming your ideas. You can be just out of college, retired, working at a restaurant – it doesn’t matter. Babes In Business is for everyone! We come together to inspire each other and help each other work out our ideas. Together we are unstoppable.
ID: Tell us about a career high and a career low.
JC: Career High – starting both of my companies and being able to run them successfully. My career low was working 3 jobs at once to try and get my dreams off the ground. I don’t really consider this a low point, just a hard time in my career. I was still figuring out what I wanted to do and I was working in a restaurant, taking classes, freelancing and working in a retail store. It was a lot, but it’s what put me on the path to who I am today and made me really good at multitasking!
ID: Best business advice anyone has ever given you –
JC: KNOW YOUR WORTH. When I first started out I was not charging enough or was too scared to ask for what I really deserved. I do not have that problem anymore! Ladies, research what you should be getting paid and then ASK FOR IT!! You will get it, I promise.
ID: Biggest lesson you’ve learned in running your own business –
JC: Using social media to help grow your companies works wonders, if you’re not using it, start!
ID: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
JC: Love hanging out with my boys, my husband David and our two dogs Monster and Boombox. Also beach time with my Mom and Aunt Liz!
ID: Tell us a random fact about Jennifer Chavez –
JC: I feel like there are many random facts about me so here’s three: I can ride a skateboard, all of my tattoos are animals on food and I started my career as a fine artist/painter
ID: Name one thing, besides your phone and computer, that you can’t live without.
JC: My best friend and husband, David.
ID: Your guilty pleasure?
JC: Oh this is a good one, and I am going to tell the total truth here….Bravo TV. Real Housewives of NYC, Real Housewives of Beveryhills and Southern Charm. (Judge away lol)
Jennifer, so much fun to learn about your career and getting to know a little bit about you. I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more about Babes in Business and The Helpful Rabbit. Thank you for sharing your time with us.
Images courtesy of Jennifer Chavez