Community, Scaling Your Business

Cultivating Diversity and Creating Community for the Geek Chic with Jordan Ellis of Jordandené

Episode 197: Show Notes

Today on the podcast we welcome our good friend, Jordan Ellis of Jordandené. She is an amazing woman who has a geeky lifestyle brand based in Brooklyn. She sells things that are subtly nerdy, from tee’s, to tanks, to mugs, to phone cases and more. Jordan also recently started the Sartorial Geek, a quarterly magazine and now a podcast all about girl power and promoting that nerd culture. Jordan is so amazing that it’s no wonder this is our third time having her on the show!

Today on the podcast we welcome our good friend, Jordan Ellis of Jordandené. She is an amazing woman who has a geeky lifestyle brand based in Brooklyn. She sells things that are subtly nerdy, from tee’s, to tanks, to mugs, to phone cases and more. Jordan also recently started the Sartorial Geek, a quarterly magazine and now a podcast all about girl power and promoting that nerd culture. Jordan is so amazing that it’s no wonder this is our third time having her on the show!  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

We’ll give you an overview of the other episodes Jordan has done with us, in order to give you a bird’s eye view of her business and some of the strategic moves she’s made. In this episode however, we discuss adding extra aspects to a physical product-based business as a way to contribute to bigger goals that might not be present today. We also discuss the challenges around diversity, representation and inclusivity in the online space and look to Jordan as a business owner who is really leading the way. We also get her insights on how to stand out in a super tiny product-based niche. There is so much to be learned from Jordan and we hope you enjoy her company as much as we do!

The New Jordandené Magazine & Podcast

Jordan launched a magazine and a podcast just in the last two weeks! This was done to create more of a community building aspect of the business for her customers. After many years of running her business, Jordan realized that it was difficult to interact with customers, aside from selling them stuff! The magazine and the podcast were the perfect culmination of the people she wanted to work with, as well as other cool companies that she wanted to shout out. This was a way for Jordan to take everything that she loves about her business and do something really cool with it. The podcast and magazine community both fall under the umbrella of Jordandené.

To Go Corporate Or Go Community?

What we really love about Jordan is that she has done a really great job at not adding on all of these shiny objects all at the same time. She has slowly evolved her brand to shift and to serve her and her audience in new ways. It’s really exciting to see how her business has grown, as well as this new aspect of community she has implemented, not necessarily to bring in tons of dollar bills but instead to provide more value to existing customers and the geek community at large. Jordan needed to grow the business in some shape or form. She saw two ways it could go. The first, was to go big, go corporate, go factory production! Or two, build the community. And she clearly chose the latter!

Getting The Magazine & Podcast Off The Ground

Getting the magazine off the ground was an expense. Although there are ads in the magazine, they are mostly Jordan’s own ads, that will hopefully bring money back in. The way that they paid for the first magazine was essentially by taking out a loan from themselves. So instead of Jordan taking her own salary cut, that went into the magazine. She is hoping to do the magazine quarterly, and they will see after this next quarter if it brings in more revenue. Now that she has a first magazine to show, she is hoping to sell actual ad space in the next magazine. In terms of the podcast, they are still figuring that all out because they have never had sponsors for anything before!

What Does The Magazine & Podcast Look And Sound Like?

So the plan is to use the magazine and podcast as a way to build up their own audience and hopefully get sponsorship from other companies too. It is also a way to get people on their list, because everyone who signs up gets a free digital copy of the mag. They made 2000 copies of the first mag which have been distributed to influencers and press mainly, but also are for sale on the website and are being sold at shows. The mags are not in book stores yet; that’s another learning curve still to tackle.

The podcast is essentially the theme of the magazine, just in audio version. Interviews, conversations with people in the industry, talking about behind the scenes of the magazine etc. Launching the magazine and podcast would not have worked for Jordan’s business earlier on, in her startup phase. It works now because she has already established a loyal audience and has a built a big enough community and connections to launch off of.

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If everyone is talking about something from the same point of view, that’s not interesting.
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Authenticity, Diversity, Representation and Inclusivity

We believe that Jordan is truly starting to leave a legacy with her business. There are a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon, especially in Jordan’s industry, but what we love about her is her authenticity. A major feature of Jordan’s brand is her inclusivity and diverse representation – from the models she uses, to the guests she has on her podcast. Maintaining that is not easy. It requires someone actively going out of their way to make those types of decisions as to what they are choosing to represent in their brand. If you take a look at the Jordandené feed, it is a great example of how other businesses in the industry should be acting. In terms of diversity and inclusivity, it is phenomenal – from ethnicity, to gender, weight, height, disability etc. What is unique about it is that sense of realness. If everyone is talking about something from the same point of view, that’s just not interesting!

The Big Decision You Have To Make As A Blogger & Business Owner

Although you may have the best intentions, inclusivity is sometimes just not possible. It is hard work and a lot of the time it comes down to you as the business owner making the decision of A.) Do I care more about the number of likes for this photo? Or B.) Do I care more about diversity in my business? Culture has gotten to a point where we buy things because we want to look the way a person looks in the photo, not because it will look good on us necessarily! We have been trained to think a certain way and so undoing that thinking is going to take a while. It takes perseverance and it might not even make you all that popular. So choosing to be a part of that wave, is really up to you as a business owner. And Jordan is one woman leading the way!

Highlights

  • The Jordandené Magazine & Podcast And How It Fits Into The Business. [0:04:50.1]
  • Go Corporate Or Go Community And How Jordan Decided On The Latter. [0:08:10.1]
  • What It’s Been Like Getting The Magazine & Podcast Off The Ground. [0:09:45.1]
  • What Does The Magazine & Podcast Look And Sound Like? [0:10:33.1]
  • Authenticity, Diversity, Representation and Inclusivity. [0:27:10.1]
  • The Big Decision You Have To Make As A Blogger & Business Owner. [0:30:40.1]

Today’sGuest

197-headshot.jpg

Jordan Ellis

Jordandené

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Jordan Ellis is the incredible force behind Jordandené, a geeky lifestyle brand based in Brooklyn. Jordandené sells all kind of subtly-nerdy products, from tees and tanks to mugs and phone cases. Their geek chic apparel and home goods are lettered by hand to create unique designs suited for everyday use. Jordandené also runs The Sartorial Geek, a quarterly magazine promoting nerd culture, girl power, and general good vibes.

KeyTopics

  • Sartorial Geek.

  • Diversity.

  • Inclusivity.

  • Representation.

  • Magazine.

  • Podcast.

  • Community.

  • Product-based business.

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