Jalia “Lia” Pettis is a renaissance woman who juggles many hats; Daughter, Sister, Mother, Model and Entrepreneur. She is the modern day “Superwoman”. She was introduced to the entertainment industry at a very young age. Modeling sparked her interest which prompted her to attend various agencies & schools to broaden her experience and exposure. She grew up as a “military brat” and had the opportunity to travel to exotic places that introduced her to vast cultures that make up our society. She is trained to facilitate various leadership programs which have assisted in the development of her business savvy. She has cultivated
this experience and knowledgeover the years and began to plan and execute all types of events and promotions. Becoming a strong businesswoman has always been her dream. And now she is the visionary of her own company, 3Jay Productions, which offers a multitude of services catering to the entertainment industry. Lia is doing big things and her company stands poised to make a huge break through. This is a company I believe artist can definitely get their careers on track with, but I’ll let you bethe judge.
Hello Ms. Lia and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with me. You really have a lot going on, but first, give me a little insight into your up bringing.
[ LIA ] - Not a problem, thank you for having me. Wow, my upbringing? Well, I am originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan however my family is from the South, Mississippi to be exact. I was raised by my mother who in all honestly was a single parent. She was the breadwinner in our home and ensured my sister and I never lacked anything. We were raised in the church so a spiritual foundation was vital. High School was my rebellious phase, lol, but it definitely prepared me for college.
Being a self-described “military brat”, was it difficult on you with all the moving around you went through?
[ LIA ] - You would think so, but no not really. Our family moved every two to three years. It was exciting. I would have never had the opportunity to live in exotic locations such as Japan & Hawaii. It opened my eyes to the vast number of cultures that make up the world. How many people can say they have had that type of opportunity? I am grateful.
You were introduced to the entertainment industry at the age of four. What triggered your passion to get involved in the industry?
[ LIA ] - My mother must have seen something in me. She kept me busy from the age of four throughout my teens. She had my sister and I involved in modeling, acting and dance. I took a long hiatus for many reasons but made a concrete decision to come back kicking and screaming three years ago.
What type of jobs did you have as a teen that helped you gain valuable experience in entertainment?
[ LIA ] - I’m gonna keep it funky, I worked in Fast Food and Retail as a teen! However, seeing my mother as a small business owner gave me quite a bit of drive. I can be a little OCD when it comes to organization, lol, so that part of me just grew over the years.
You went on to attain your degree in Communications & Management at Western Michigan University. How long there after did the birth of 3Jay Productions come about?
[ LIA ] - My concentration was Communications & Business Management but I actually did not earn my B.A. I left WMU after two years and relocated in Arizona. I did one year there and completely left school alone with only one year to spare. While in college, I had a little bit too much fun so business and school were the farthest thing from my mind. Yet once I made the decision to stop going to school, I had to make some tough choices and getting a “real” job was one of them. The idea of my own business was always there but the seed was not planted until several years later. We celebrated our 3rd Anniversary this past August ’09 so we are still fresh but making moves nonetheless.
Tell me about the name of your company and why you chose it.
[ LIA ] - 3Jay Productions (smile), the best way to describe it would be what I call the foundation. 3Jay is a representation of an equilateral triangle. We have three sides; those being myself and my two sons. We are equal yet rest on one another, just as in day to day life; we rely on each other. We have individual value and distance yet meet at all sides. I am the baseline and my two sons are adjacent; we are continuous. The number three in biblical terms reflects divine perfection. Each of our names begin with the letter “J” which represents ambition. People don’t think names mean a great deal but I beg to differ as it tells a lot about you. For us 3Jay Productions is a legacy in the making.
Very well put. What is your role in the company?
[ LIA ] - 3Jay is my baby and my title is Owner & Visionary.
Who is Chris “Cris Coke” Jackson and what role does he have in the company?
[ LIA ] - Cris Coke is an Artist, DJ, Nightlife Host and Model, while Chris Jackson is someone else totally different; not going to ruin it for the “haters” and reveal any juicy details. LOL! Chris and I started a company together a number of years back which has since been dissolved. Since that time we have separate career paths yet support one another’s endeavors 100%.
Let’s get into the services 3Jay provides. There are five areas and I would like for you to tell me a little about each, starting with Event Planning.
[ LIA ] - The goal of the Event Planning division is to plan, execute, host and/or sponsor events tailored to each clients specific needs with style & excellence. We want to generate “Wow Power” and creativity. We plan and coordinate events of all types that includes: Fashion/Musical Showcase, Parties (Nightlife, Teen/Adult, and Theme Specific), Bachelorette Parties, Weddings, and Corporate Events.
What has been the biggest event you have put together to date?
[ LIA ] - Our biggest event to date would be our Style Exhibition which takes place annually. We first embarked on this journey in spring ’07. To say that it was a major project would be an understatement. Each year we have this event in the spring to showcase various up and coming designers, similar to a fashion week of sorts. It takes about eight months of planning and has featured models, stylists, designers and artists from New York, Detroit, Philly, Charlotte, Atlanta, as well as locally within the state of South Carolina. In our first year, Vitamin Water® was a key sponsor and most recently Kenneth Schuler School of Cosmetology among others.
Secondly, there is Model Management & Development.
[ LIA ] - This division manages the careers of models as well as develops them in the areas of self-improvement, healthy living, & overall appearance. We cast models for various fashion shows, hair shows, print & photo shoots. We also train aspiring models on runway, stage presence & overall appearance.
How many models do you currently have on your roster and are you looking for more?
[ LIA ] - We currently have 30 models that span between SC, NC, GA & TN. We are always looking to add diverse looks and talents to our team.
You are a model yourself…right? How long have you been modeling and do you enjoy it?
[ LIA ] - Yes, I am. Modeling is actually how my overall involvement began. I love the runway although my height is just shy of industry standard but I am still able to rip it! My modeling career consists of more beauty & editorial style work. I can be versatile based on my complexion, eyes & hair color so I utilize it to get my foot in the door for my company as a whole.
Third, there is Talent Management. Please describe.
[ LIA ] - The goal of this division is to support those who aspire to enter the entertainment industry. This facet is all encompassing; to include artists, producers, trained dancers and actors/actresses. The support we provide deals with each on a personal level from brand/image, training, etc. We also collaborate to promote the divisions work along side DJ’s, Independent Record labels, Productions Teams & Marketing Firms.
Next, you have Writing (Contractual & Publication). Please describe.
[ LIA ] - This division initially spawned as an outlet similar to spoken word. Being expressive and detail oriented is extremely important as such this area writes business contracts, press kits, music bio’s, reviews and columns. We have written columns and articles for various newspapers and magazines, so be certain to holler at us if you need someone to cover a story – HINT HINT!
I get the hint and will definitely holla at you about that. Finally, there is Casting & Promotions.
[ LIA ] - Yes, this arena is more client specific. We have a promo team that can either go into the community or draw interest via the internet. We promote groups and/or individuals along with booking shows/gigs, style video concepts, as well as offer support in the area of casting.
I also understand that 3Jay is branching out into Film Production. Talk about this exciting endeavor.
[ LIA ] - Oh not quite yet, we are a registered member of the SC Film Commission but have not dived into this arena in entirety. However, we do have one member of our team whose concentration is solely photography & videography, his name is Zalontate yet goes by Swag Photography. I will say we now represent fashion designers; we have two on our team. One is in Detroit named Kre’A’Shans and the other is in Philly called Scripted Designs. Both are true talents and jacks of all trades which is a plus in this industry and for our team as a whole.
As if all of this isn’t enough, you have been a Human Resources Practitioner for the last ten years too?
[ LIA ] - I know right, yes being a HR Professional allows me to stay abreast of the many employment laws and practices out there. It is all great experience to have under my belt.
And Fellas, we are going to have to step our game up big time. This lovely young lady is also a proud mother of three as she previously mentioned. How do you manage all of this and please give your kids a shout out.
[ LIA ] - Oh yes, proud in deed, I love my babies! It’s a juggling act but I manage. I absolutely have to give love to the single mothers on their daily grind! I like to have my children with me so that they can see the interactions that I have with people. They are very observant and extremely protective which is going to aide in their growth as responsible people.
I think we have found the “REAL” Superwoman! What do you do just to kick back and chill?
[ LIA ] - HA HA, Yeah Karyn White wrote that song for me; she just did not know it. I am an everyday woman. I rock the business suit during the day, get sexy every now and again for a nice adult evening but I mostly like to chill and rock sweat suits and sneakers, lol! I take my kids to the movies and out to eat but the real relaxation doesn’t take place until they are asleep. Then I can be a couch potato and have some time to myself to simply gather my thoughts.
Do you have anything coming up that you would like to promote at this time?
[ LIA ] - Of course…we will be starting a new division next year that will target children & teens. We will introduce two new annual projects; one which will take place next year around Mother’s Day and the other happening in the Fall along with our annual Style Exhibition each Spring. A few of our models have shows lined up out of state as such our team will be traveling to support their efforts. Then finally, we have been approved to start a non-profit organization which will benefit women and their development in the workforce which will launch in the next two years.
That’s what’s up! I’m positive that many of the unsigned/indie talent that follow our publication will want to hit you up right away. How can they get down with 3Jay Productions?
Let me say that I love your entrepreneurial spirit and straight up hustle. You are definitely a great role model for young women (and men) everywhere. There’s a lot we all can learn from you. Please give me your closing thoughts for the young people out there who aspire to achieve the same level of success as you have.
[ LIA ] - Stay true to the vision that God places within you. Realize that everyone around you is not destined to be apart of that. Be able to sift through who is in your corner 100% versus who is just taking a free ride on your coat tail. Above all, love God, yourself and your family!