Jawbreaker Entertainment is a music management and development company making a difference. By standing for empowerment, women in music, and continual support of the local music scene, they bring artists to the next level of excellence.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Product / Service Offering: Music Management/Representation/Advertising/Promotions/Booking/Independent Record Label
Founder Interviewed: Heather Hammons, Managing Partner
Other Key Management Team Members: Nicholas Picciocca, Managing Partner
This article is part of our Women Entrepreneurs Spotlight Series featuring female entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.
Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you.
“If it’s worth it, you want and desire it, it’s worth doing it right. Endure, never give in, never quit, pay your dues, and make them take you seriously.” These are the encouraging words of wisdom which Heather Hammons lives by. She received this advice from her father. He inspired 14 year old Heather to do whatever it took to be a success in a male dominated profession.
When did you establish your company and where did the idea originate?
Music was Heather’s heart and soul, her constant, from the time she was a little girl. She knew music and being a vocalist was a gift from God for her to pursue. Heather has performed since the age of 5 and stole the stage. She knew that she wanted to be a full-time music management and development professional the more she was exposed to the industry.
“I wanted to be the difference, to be the one to make the difference, and support the local music incentive and see it thrive. There is nothing that shows integrity more in this business than to be that one professional who stands out and is known as the one that works for the artists.”-Heather Hammons
Jawbreaker Entertainment, LLC, was officially established in 2016 and has been thriving with its artists ever since in the Atlanta music scene.
What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?
Jawbreaker Entertainment will be the music management and development company to make the difference. They stand for empowerment and acknowledgment of women in music and continual support of the local music scene. They will bring artists to the next level of excellence.
What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?
Heather Hammons is a triple-threat of talent, personality and integrity. Her passions and life lessons learned have carried over to the ever growing powerhouse partnership known as Jawbreaker Entertainment, LLC.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was knowing exactly where they wanted to go and how to get there. Making key personal contacts with attentiveness, courtesy, professionalism, and consistency was greatly beneficial to them. They learned to trust their instincts. Heather says, “If it smells, looks, or feels bad, do not try to rationalize otherwise. Never trust what you cannot see with your own two eyes. We learned a few of those lessons.”
Are there resources you have utilized that other founders might find compelling or useful?
Jawbreaker Entertainment, LLC, really had to learn some lessons the good old fashion hard way. They learned everything can be accomplished on a minimal budget. Research in both the major, local, and independent markets were incredibly beneficial to them. Jawbreaker’s advice is that you have to work with artists, venues, agents, and bookers that have the same business mind and hustle as you. They say to steer clear of big egos and big talk.
What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?
Heather and Nicholas both took their investment accounts and portions of their 401k retirement accounts and cashed them in to self-fund the startup of Jawbreaker Entertainment, LLC. They say, “It definitely would have been easier to have investors fund in the startup of our company, but you can’t convince investors to fund your vision alone without seeing the proven results of driven success.”
Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?
Everything in this industry is incredibly hard to find answers. It is a self-taught industry. Being more on a level of a musician and a music technician is going to prepare you for the best to work within this industry from the ground up. There is nothing about this industry that is based on being the most talented. Heather says, “I have seen some artists that lack in skill and talent given some of the greatest financial opportunities that I still shake my head and ask how or why.”
What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?
- Truly take this business seriously.
- Understand the business side and the startup cost that are involved.
- Are grounded.
- & know the hard work mentality that is required for an artist to succeed.
Also, the company is challenged by the expansion of taking Jawbreaker Entertainment to the next level. They are ready to move onto putting together their own tour packages with our artists. They need to be able to offer competitive bid packages to artists and venues that want to partner with us. Not just the major record labels and multi-platinum recording artists.
What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?
“You have to be present, be seen and build relationships on the ground in your community with local music producers, photographers and video photographers, new venues and promoters/bookers who can come to trust you through networking. There is as many talented artists in the respective areas that are trying to grow the same as Jawbreaker Entertainment. You have to gain their trust!” -Heather
Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?
There is no doubt that there is diversity in Athens, Atlanta, and surrounding areas, with a steady emergence of women making an impact in the entertainment and art industries. Both Jawbreaker Entertainment and OE85 have created and provided empowering movements by creating female fronted music platforms through their Women of Rock and Feminenergy series respectively.
With their collaborative charity-based Liberation of Sisterhood series, both companies have decided to take it one step further by creating a women-centric events and festival and expanding to include other avenues of the arts and businesses. Through featuring those avenues, the MOUSAI Movement will celebrate and nurture the music, art, and business community in Athens and surrounding areas. One of their goals with this movement is to create more opportunities for women to be showcased through their passions, ambitions, and craft for the public to enjoy and be inspired.
Another is to let the MOUSAI Festival set the foundation for the Women of Rock Foundation, which will provide scholarships for college bound high school students who are involved in Fine Arts. This is not meant to be a one-off event, but rather a recurring series and annual festival gathering and celebration of women in the arts in all its many avenues locally first and foremost, and down the line, nationally.
Advice to female entrepreneurs…
“If it’s worth it, you want and desire it, it’s worth doing it right. Endure, never give in, never quit, pay your dues, and make them take you seriously. Be prepared to hear no more than yes. Be persistent and fearless to stay the course.” -Heather
Are you familiar with other Women-led startups? If so, we would like to hear from you. Tell us about them in the comments below!