Successful Entrepreneur Jermaine Hill Makes New Headquarters Washington, DC!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jermaine Hill.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Not sure when my passion for being an entrepreneur started, but as long as I can remember I have been an independent minded person. Telling me that I couldn’t do something made me want to do it even more. So in middle school, I was introduced to an organization called Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). The name spoke for itself and so I was drawn to it. Learned the basics of business, went to FBLA conferences and even became the school FBLA President. Went on to attend the University of Richmond after high school. While there, one of my business class projects was build a website from scratch. Actually liked it and taught myself HTML and ASP. After I graduated, I continued to build sites as a hobby and I got noticed and asked to do them for other people. In January 2011, EJH Consulting LLC was born. Since then it has grown into a successful small business with hundreds of clients across web and graphic design services. We were recently certified by byblack.us as an official Black Owned Business. Having built online stores for several clients, I decided to start EJH Apparel LLC in 2020 and design my own apparel. I also own EJH Music LLC, an artist management and development company having branded multiple Grammy Nominated and Winning artists and learning the ins and outs of artist management.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
All startups start with little to no money. My story was the same. I used bootleg versions of design software so I wouldn’t have to pay for the license. I also charged way less than I should so that I could build my portfolio, sometimes even offering free work. I made almost no profit my first year. Also, we don’t have a lot of entrepreneurs in my family so I didn’t really have mentors to show me the ins and outs of running a small business. I operated without being an LLC for a while. Didn’t understand how to file business taxes or understand what was tax deductible or not. I pretty much taught myself all of it. Also, black business owners are stereotyped. So I had to put in the work to show my clients that not all black business owners are late on projects, unprofessional, and disorganized. Eventually my work caught up with my competitors and I showed that I could compete with other similar small businesses. The crazy thing is that I actually was getting so good it was hard to keep up with all of the projects. I started being late delivering graphics and websites to clients and so I realized I needed to restructure and manage my time better with the growth.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
So I own 3 companies, EJH Consulting LLC, EJH Apparel LLC and EJH Music LLC. Most of my time is spent with EJH Consulting because it was founded first and is my cash cow so to speak. EJH Consulting is where my web and graphic design services are done. I have a great reputation for building creative websites that are user friendly and also designing high quality flyers, logos, banners, book covers, etc. I work for Grammy Winners like Karen Clark Sheard and Le’Andria Johnson and Grammy Nominated Arists like The Walls Group. I also have professional athlete clients like NFL Wide Receiver Marcus Green. EJH Apparel is the home to modern home decor, accessories and apparel featuring custom quotes and phrases. We are a print-on-demand vendor and so house no inventory. My products are shipped directly to the customer. I don’t have to pay designers because I am the designer so I save a lot of money in that way. Sales are pretty good but planning to grow online sales and eventually open physical locations. EJH Music is the youngest of my companies. We currently manage independent artists who are serious about their music careers and wanting to go to the next level. As a member of SAGMA (Stellar Awards Gospel Music Academy) and also working with Grammy artists, we offer artists a pathway to build strong connections in the industry and hopefully reach Billboard status.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
You must start with what you love to do and are passionate about. Then figure out how to make money doing it. You must do what the 1% do in order to achieve the 1% results. Late nights, early mornings, staying in when friends are out, learning and perfecting your craft will get you where you are going. The money will come, just put in the work, others will notice.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
To me, success is not a moment in time, it’s a way of life, a habit. It’s completing what you started. It’s doing something with excellence even if it doesn’t turn out the way you want. It’s not giving up when you fail. It’s having a winning mindset at all times. It’s doing what the 99% won’t do.
What’s next for you?
I am currently leasing private office space via Industrious Office co-working space and plan to expand into an office suite to run all 3 companies at our headquarters in Washington, DC. I have 3 part time employees already but would like to hire more. I am also working on a mobile app that will be out the summer or fall of 2022.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
Visit my website at www.ejh-consulting.com and my Instagram @i.am.j.hill.