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Jese Gary: “Follow your heart”

Follow your heart, never stop learning, and asking for help are the foundation to my journey. Never would’ve I thought growth would truly be more mentally dropping old perspective and constraints. I thought growth was only knowledge-based.Following your heart keeps me attached to my purpose and passion. There’s a lot of ways to make money […]

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Follow your heart, never stop learning, and asking for help are the foundation to my journey. Never would’ve I thought growth would truly be more mentally dropping old perspective and constraints. I thought growth was only knowledge-based.

Following your heart keeps me attached to my purpose and passion. There’s a lot of ways to make money out there. Yet, I had to get centered on my core values and operate in them daily. In the beginning years, I would gain opportunities or offers for personal and private events. I was super excited to “add” a new offering to our services. After a few, I did realize it wasn’t my purpose or passion. I would find myself hating the opportunity. I learned to keep in my niche and master it.


As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jese Gary.

Jese Gary is the Founder & CEO of LuxeGiving and a Speaker with a passion to share the importance for property managers to connect with their residents to help create a feeling of home. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she has been able to support all sizes of management companies with unique ideas to help ease the stress around resident engagement. Jese created LuxeGiving out of a passion to make a difference. The everyday bustle reduces our opportunity to connect with others and create meaningful bonds. Jese recognizes how human connection relates to effectively host resident events and ultimately retention.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

LuxeGiving started in the eat, pray, love time in my life. Honestly, I wanted to just be happy. I found myself on a career track that was challenging morally. I saw managers sacrificing family and personal life. If I had to sacrifice and work hard, I wanted it to be on my terms. Philanthropic work and volunteering was important to me.

I was affiliated with a company that supported the Dress for Success organization. It was exciting to know that the company was doing something, yet I wanted to help too. I had a great idea to do a “Diva Date Night” to help collect clothes, talk fashion and support local boutiques. An associate mentioned hosting an event at apartment complexes to feature the fundraiser for the residents. It was a completely new concept to me. The goal was hosting only 5 events.

Prior to this moment, I was a plus-size model at QVC and worked full time for other modeling clients. My fashion relationships with designers made a ton of sense to host the lady’s night events. We were able to host those events and collect over 1000 items. What I didn’t expect was referrals from other communities! Fast forward nine months, what started as a way to help women re-enter the workforce had turned into a business.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you are doing that’s disruptive?

COVID19 has been extremely disruptive to the event industry. That is a little of an understatement. It’s helped to face a heavy reality that it was solely dependent on face to face bookings. Ironically, I thought that I did have product diversity. We did have product diversity only one type of business structure. Our business broke a cardinal rule for businesses. We placed all of our eggs in one basket.

We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

The last few months have been humbling and filled with growth. I’ve had to look to business mentors inside and outside our industry. The great thing about this specific season is that everyone is having to adjust. It’s been easier to lock arms with people in and out of the event industry.

My business coach has been one of my largest mentors. He has been challenging my thoughts on how to pivot with COVID19. When everything started to shut down, he keeps in touch with every few days to check on my mindset. We had to let go of things going back to normal and find a solution for now. By April, he charged me with the task to find out what are the problems existing in the market, price structure, and creating a competitive advantage. He’s always open and willing, to be honest regardless of my feelings on a matter.

I think that is key for a mentor. I had tried a new virtual structure for 30 days. We did the math after running the promotion. Immediately afterward, he blatantly recommended not offering that specific option. A true mentor says what needs to be done and heard.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Follow your heart, never stop learning, and asking for help are the foundation to my journey. Never would’ve I thought growth would truly be more mentally dropping old perspective and constraints. I thought growth was only knowledge-based.

Following your heart keeps me attached to my purpose and passion. There’s a lot of ways to make money out there. Yet, I had to get centered on my core values and operate in them daily. In the beginning years, I would gain opportunities or offers for personal and private events. I was super excited to “add” a new offering to our services. After a few, I did realize it wasn’t my purpose or passion. I would find myself hating the opportunity. I learned to keep in my niche and master it.

Education and learning are core values established from my childhood. I knew it was key to progressing in life and in a career. Never stop learning keeps me always searching for ways to stay ahead. During April 2020, I was able to sign up for as many free courses as possible. It wasn’t to kill time. It was help pivot and embrace the changes needed to make to post COVID19 world.

The final advice is to ask for help. If you look on social media, it’s a ton of memes and posts about doing trust or share with others. It’s creating a culture around only figuring out alone. Advice and mentoring are important in business development. I had some of the biggest challenges when I decided to not ask for help. It can be in big moments and small. For example, I was recently creating a to-do for myself. The list was growing and growing. Midway through the list it hit me. Why not ask for help from your team to complete a few tasks? I could do the tasks. The better question was “should you be doing the tasks?”. Asking questions will help the journey become smoother.

How are you going to shake things up next?

Wow! Such a wonderful question. I’ve been focusing on developing more of a personal brand. For the last 8 years, I have stayed in the shadows of the business to highlight the team. I thought it was best to keep it about our services and solutions for our customers. In COVID19, I’ve learned the importance in personal relationships and identity to create brand loyalty. I’m truly excited about what the future brings.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

My favorite book was The Last Lecture. Time does not have a price tag. It’s something we all wished we had more of for work, family, and friends. I remember reading the book and shifting how I reached to things that took my precious time. Reading about time from the eyes of someone with terminal cancer is unexplainable. Ironically, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2018 with only 5 months to live. I was able to live out that book. Arguing about stupid stuff, not taking action, resentment and grudges all take away our precious time. Daily I aim to go to sleep feeling that I did my best and lived out my best moments.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It may sound a little out there. I would start a movement to get back into growing our own produce or gardening. It would be a sustainability movement. There’s a lot to learn from it. Patience is a key part to growing something from the ground. You can’t plant a seed today and expect to have a harvest tomorrow. It’s something that can be applied to relationships, careers, life goals, communication and etc. We are in a culture where fast results are the gain or focus. The best things in life take cultivation and preparation.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place — that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have the perseverance to realize the great life.” A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

This season has been shifting to perseverance. Roadblocks and obstacles are destined to appear. It’s not about how, when, or why. It’s about how we show up for our goals when they do.

How can our readers follow you on social media? https://www.facebook.com/LuxeGivinghttp://www.instagram.com/luxegivingllc

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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