Jenny Taylor for most of you will know of her from being the founder of the World Famous Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography, which is the USA Premier Boudoir & Glam Photography Studio. Jenny personally owns all of the Private, Luxury and Safe Studio’s that are currently located in Chicago, IL + Nashville, TN + Laguna Beach, CA and is equally excited to announce the expansion into 10 cities over the next 5 years. We talk to Jenny about personal development, her journey of soul searching and her other business Sparkle Lifestyle.
Hey Jenny, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Jenny Taylor, the founder of Jenny Taylor Boudoir Photography, with private, luxury studios, for all women, of all ages, body shapes, and sizes, in Chicago, Nashville, and Laguna Beach. We’ve been in business in almost a decade and we are the only company like ours in the United States. I personally own all the studios across the country. We have a staff of 30 amazing women across the country that help transform the everyday woman into a bombshell at our studios. Not only do we offer boudoir photography, but we offer glam sessions, which are high end portrait sessions of women.
I also own Sparkle Lifestyle which is a company that helps women find the part of themselves that may be a little dusty, and we dust that off and help them sparkle again. This can be anything from why a woman feels stuck, or depressed, or anxious, or panicky, or if something’s not working in their life; if it’s relationships, their job, or they’re not fully satisfied, or haven’t found their purpose yet in life; this company is all about finding that part that’s holding them back. We do women’s luxury retreats in Laguna Beach, as well as one-on-one coaching and group sessions.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I came from a broken family of divorce when I was 7, and at 8 years old I got my first pink Kodak camera, and just loved seeing the smiles on the faces of so many people. Back then I didn’t realise I had anxiety which was caused from anger, sadness, and fear from when my parents split up. So at 8, when I got this camera, when I saw so many people smiling, it made me feel happy inside.
Throughout the years of my life, I had many rock bottom stories from divorce at the age of 21, living through a very serious party stage in college, not graduating college, to really feeling like a loser in my early 20’s; and turning all of that around, I got into sales, and did very well at a lot of other corporate companies, and about 10 years ago, I decided I was going to follow my dreams to become a professional photographer. All of my friends and family back then said “There are already so many photographers, why would you be doing that now?”
I literally did not listen to them, and it went over my head and I decided I was going to do it. And after 6 months of starting photography, I quit my corporate job, where I was making $150,000.00 a year, and set out on my own, with no business experience and no photography training at all. The company hit over a million dollars in revenue, and I thought life was perfect,
I found who I thought at the time was my Prince Charming, not knowing that was an abusive tactic, which lead me in to my fifth therapist about 5 years ago. I decide instead of looking at the outside world of why my life was the way it was (even though part of it was doing well, my personal life was not), I decided to start looking inside at myself, as to why I had been making all these choices throughout my life. This lead me into investing over a quarter of a million dollars and hundreds of hours learning the parts of myself that were holding me back, and that is where my Sparkle Lifestyle company was born from.
The amazing transformation that I have done on myself internally to find all of my trigger points, all of my emotions, and all of the sedation techniques I have used on myself over the years, I now finally understand where they’ve come from, why I chose them, and they no longer control me, I get to control them. I want to give this to all people in the world. I’m starting with women because we work with women in our boudoir photography studios and so now, these companies together transform not only the outside with our photography services, but offer a transformation on the inside. When you are ready as a woman to learn about yourself more, see yourself in the best light, that’s where I step in.
How much research did you do on the market prior what were you findings?
Prior to opening my boudoir photography business 10 year ago, I searched on Google, and realised there were a lot of men that were offering these types of services, with ugly leopard print backgrounds in basements with flash photography, and that definitely was not somewhere I would feel comfortable going. So I decided I was going to do something I liked, which was more of a Victoria’s Secret style. Pretty lighting, pretty hair and makeup, and once I started promoting that, it really to took off because it was so unique back then.
When I started my Sparkle Lifestyle, I did not do any research of what was out there, I decided to use all the skills and tools I learned from a specific type of therapy that I undertook, and decided to implement my own coaching program, which is a very challenging program I’ve created. This is not a manifesting or mindset adjusting program, this is actually getting to the root problem for women and men who are really looking to understand how to subconsciously change their thoughts, their emotions, and their overall behaviour.
How is your photography business funded, is it bootstrapped, self funded ect?
All of my five business are self funded by me.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of your business?
All of my businesses are fun, exciting, inspiring, and five-star. And when I say “five-star”, when I started the business, I decided 10 years ago I was only going to be producing the hight quality of service and products that I possibly could. I always put myself in the clients’ shoes, and if I like it, I feel they will like it. Five-star service means I am going to be over-delivering on their expectations, no matter what that is, no matter what company of mine they are coming to, I always over deliver. The other important things is that Ive create s culture of women that work with me who are all previous clients, so they understand in all of my companies, how the client feels.
A lot of times clients are very nervous to come in and do a boudoir shoot, or to come in and learn about themselves in a coaching program, so the only women who work with me are women who can understand that, and can put themselves in their shoes. I run an amazing company with women who want to live a positive life, or want to live their best life. That being said, I eliminate any type of cancerous person on the team immediately, because theres no place for that. We are more cheerleaders and friends at our company than we are colleagues.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Over this past year, I’ve done a lot of soul searching, I’ve already closed one company, I might be closing another one soon, I realised my vision of opening 10 boudoir studios across the country has sort of dwindled, and the reason being is, I have come to a place in my life where I want to enjoy every single day. Ive scent a lot more time recently in Laguna Beach, instead of Chicago, and I want to do things that set my soul on fire.
Currently, I’m staring at a beautiful Pacific Ocean with sun and sand, and I would like more of that in my life, so I will be hosting more retreats here in Laguna Beach, and more one-on-one coaching. I will continue to have my boudoir businesses in the three cities thrive, and possibly open another location in Arizona or New Orleans, or both, in the next 3-5 years. At this point, I want to enjoy every single moment I am on this planet, and help others do the same.
Can you give us highlight 3 common misconceptions about the photography industry and how are you using your platform to educate us?
The first misconception is that photography is cheap or free. Photography is like anything else in life. If you are getting a Groupon for photography, you probably should start thinking about what that person is trying to accomplish. Is it a man in his basement luring you into his house for his own sexual needs, as far as boudoir photography goes? There is no license you need to be a photographer, so you have to be very cautious of the places you are visiting; I’ve heard horror stories over 10 years of being in business. Photography can go from “free” to $150,000.00, which I was offered once in Beverly Hill, so there’s a very large range. I would be very cautious of where you are going to do your shoots.
The second misconception is that you need to look a certain way to come in to do a boudoir photography shoot. Not only do we offer boudoir photography with lingerie, we also offer glam sessions in our studios, which is any other type of outfit besides lingerie.
That could be a dress, jeans and a turtleneck, fur coats. You name it, we’ve seen everything. We absolutely do not offer any type of nude photography. So I’ve taken the word “boudoir” and switched it into a confidence-boosting photography experience. Also, you don’t need to be a certain age. We’ve had clients between 21 and 85 years old come in over the years. You don’t need to look a certain way. We offer our service to all women of all body shapes and sizes, ethnicity, sexual orientation; we always just say “come as you are with a positive attitude” and we will help you take care of everything else.
As far as being “sexy”, that’s our third misconception. You do not need to be sexy to come in. In fact, we will teach you a “sexy face.” We will make it super fun and easy. This is not about sex at all; it is about a confidence boosting empowerment experience. It has nothing to do with the wardrobe you’re bringing in.
The other misconceptions about my other business, Sparkle Lifestyle, which is the personal development/ coaching business. The biggest one I would say, is about the person who is reading this and says “I have nothing to work on,” that person is what’s called a “perfectionist”, because they are blocking out the reasons that coaching staff could be an amazing opportunity for them to learn about them self. That’s just one misconception. Usually, that goes along with the person being very fearful about what they are going to find inside.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
In our photography business, we only use the absolute highest quality products that come from the highest quality developers, laser printing, albums, everything we do is absolutely top notch. As far as our equipment goes, we use the absolutely highest quality Canon cameras, MacBook Pros, and the only way to get five-star professional quality images, is by using all five-star, professional quality equipment. That goes for our couches, which cost up to $4,000.00, we’ve had bedroom sets cost $12,000.00, chandeliers costing $4,000.00. So everything we have for backgrounds is the highest quality possible.
And for the Sparkle Lifestyle, I have invested over a quarter of a million dollars in my own training, plus hundreds of hours. With all of that, we are only producing the highest quality of products and service.
What outlets do use to market your boudoir photography packages?
For all of our businesses, I use all the social platforms, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram. We do a lot of women’s events to get our name out there, and meet women in person. We’ve been published in multiple magazines, I’ve been on multiple news stations across the country, The Steve Harvey Show, we’ve had Scheana from Vanderpump Rules, a lot of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette girls over the years. So we’ve had a lot of publicity for all of our companies.
What or who inspires and motives you?
I do a lot of personal development myself, and I find a lot of people in the celebrity entrepreneur space that are constantly looking to grow and improve. I feel like working with the best of the best is always a great way. So I find the people who are doing digital marketing amazing, and I take their programs and I go to amazing, inspiring events for women, entrepreneurs, or just living your best life or your best self. So being around those individuals each month, each quarter, really inspires me to continue my own process of learning, growing, bringing the best things to market.
But really the number one “genre” of people that inspire me are our clients that come in and feel like they can’t do our services because of whatever reason they’ve come up with, and at the end of the day, they come out loving, and feeling sparkly, and just beautiful. And that inspires me every single day to know that I am the best I can on the planet to see people succeed.
What is the number 1 critical business lesson you have learned so far?
To cut a cancerous person out of your company as soon as you get the feeling, intuition, or instinct that something is happening, and something is wrong. That has saved numerous hours, people on my team, as well as future clients getting involved with these types of people.
After 10 years of being in business, I also understand that there are ups and down in a business, just like there are in life. So when the chips are down, it’s important to be an innovator, and understand what you could be doing different. Also, taking feedback on all products and services from all team members and clients. As life goes on and time changes, things come out, people stop liking things, there are new things to add, and it’s very important as a business owner to be critically listening to all the feedback that comes in from all the important people.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
At this point, after 10 years of owning my own companies, my career satisfaction comes from knowing how many women are genuinely loving all of the experiences that I’ve created for them to have.
I also measure my career satisfaction from the team that works with me, and that has worked with me in the past. Seeing them shine and sparkle, if they’ve moved across the country, in their new positions, in their new life. Knowing that I’ve done my best and I’ve tried my hardest, and at the end of the day, that is more than being satisfied in my book.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
A few that come to my mind: Number one would be Tony Robbins. He was probably the first guru that I studied with and from, about 20 years ago, who I feel is the pioneer of the personal development game. Others that come to mind are Dean Graziosi, he is a marketing genius. Garrett White runs one of the most well put together coaching programs for men, even though /I’m not a man, I have a lot of friends that were involved in the or gram; Wake Up Warrior. Lori Harder, who runs an amazing tribe formation of women, who is along the journey of personal development. Her events are amazing and very uplifting and inspiring.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I read every single day, articles, books; last year I read almost 40 books, and I’m on my 15th book and its March. One of my favourites recently was ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ which is about past life regression, and I picked it up when I was studying my therapeutic approaches for coaching. And it is taking someone back through timeline therapy.
The girl ends up in a different life that she had been living, and she found out why her choking she was having in this life actually came from when she had passed away from drowning when she was younger. I’d never really thought about reincarnation prior to reading this book, and I really started studying past life regression, so it really opened my eyes to another realm, which is really exciting. Another favourite book is ‘The Untethered Soul.’
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- The first podcast, I would say, is my podcast, ‘The Feel The Positive Podcast’ which is all about real people that have triumphed over tragedy or changed their life from negative to positive.
- My second top podcast would be ‘Style Your Mind’ with Cara Alwill Leyba.
- My third favourite would be ‘For The Love of Money’ with Chris Harder.
How do you define your own success?
I believe I’ve answered this is the questions above. When I wrote down, years and years ago, the income I wanted to make in one year and the net worth I wanted to accomplish, and when I hit those goals, I couldn’t believe it. I wrote down on that paper 20 years ago something I never ever thought I could achieve, and once I achieved that, I realised success not only comes from monetary resources, but it also comes from the success you see from the output that you deliver.
So, the smiles you see on people’s faces, the transformations I see my clients go through, the weights that are lifted off of them, or the sun shining brighter because they’ve done my coaching program, or the confidence-boosting empowerment experience that the clients feel after doing a boudoir or glam sessions at my studios, and feel like they look or feel more sparkly; THAT is success to me.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN to me means, “you do you”, live your best life, everything is possible; be authentic, be real, be genuine, be you instead of trying to be someone else.
Everyone is scrolling through Instagram these days, and is wishing and hoping they looked a certain way, traveled to certain places, had the certain relationship; so much of that is garbage and fake, and I wish people would understand that we all have this one life that we get to live, and we get to choose every morning how we wake up, how we feel, the people that surround us, the businesses we create; all the situations in our life the universe has brought to us for a reason, and if we can look at the lessons and the hard times in a way that we can grow from them, I feel like that is being true to you, being true to your best self.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
2019 is going to be our 10th year of business in 2020, for our boudoir photography business, so I’m looking to attend multiple events in 2019 to gain another level of experience that I’m going to be able to apply to my own personal events that we’re going to be hosting in 2020, including our Sparkle Conference, which is held in Chicago, where hundreds of women come who want to live their best life.
Next year, we’re going to behaving our decade party for the boudoir photography business, where people from all over the country will be flying in to celebrate with dinner, dancing, and an amazing charity we’ll be hosting with as well. This year, I’m also going to be focusing on myself, and living my best life, at the beach, by being inspired by other soul entrepreneurs, and surrounding my self with people who genuinely want to be authentic, and who are able to communicate that on a day to day basis.