YesJulz On Why Miami Is Not The Side Chick, But The Main Squeeze Of Creativity
Who Is YesJulz? Check out what YesJulz had to say about her popping agency, YesJulz agency, self-discovery and why Miami is THE place to be right now.
Photography by Loamis Rodriguez
Interview by Carel Lajara
Tell us about what you do:
YesJulz Agency is a marketing, branding, and consulting firm. We curate, operate and produce events and parties. An artist will hire us if they have a mixtape or album coming out and we’ll help with the release campaign, and on the other end a juice spot will hire us if they want more traffic to their & buzz about them.
What is #hashtaglunchbag?
It was started by a group of friends in L.A. who wanted to come together to make some lunch bags and hand them out to homeless people; they documented it on Instagram and came up with the hash tag for it and it took off like wildfire. I saw what they were doing and knew we had to do this in Miami and they were totally cool about it, gave me all the information I needed and I basically was like okay, I see how you guys are doing it in your city but this is Miami, this is a fun, party city and to get people to care, to really get people’s attention I wanted to make it fun. I have really cool DJs, companies are coming in and donating sangria; I’m pretty sure they don’t have alcohol or hip hop playing at the other hashtag events in different cities, and they definitely don’t do it in an exotic car rental space. So it’s really cool because the recap and the post marketing for it looks great; there’s all this art in the background and amazing cars and models that people are used to seeing in music videos, now they get to see them in a different light- which is important to me. Last time we fed 500 people and our goal is always to do twice as better than we did the time before.
How much preparation goes into this?
We’ve been planning this for over a month; reaching out to companies like Red Bull, Publix, & Kind, but the volunteers are the biggest part because it’s the actual assembly of the lunch bags that takes the most work. We assemble for like two and a half hours and then we load the stuff into cars and go into downtown. Handing out these bags is incredible, I was overwhelmed emotionally, I was crying because it was so crazy to me when you actually go and give somebody a lunch bag and they’re like “Can I have another one?” because they’re that hungry. And I’ve traveled the world, I’ve seen Cairo, Egypt, where it’s the worst situation or even Morocco and northern Africa, but it’s even crazier to come home and see it in your own back yard. There’s thousands of people here who need help. We would joke around like “okay, now how are we actually going to find 500 homeless people to feed” and we literally ran out of bags, we didn’t have enough for everybody. That means that within the 5 blocks we traveled, there were over 500 people that were hungry. It’s sad & really eye opening.
Is there anything that’s really impacted you with all the traveling you’ve done?
Everything. I’ve learned more in the time that I’ve traveled than in all my years combined in life. I think the most important thing I learned abroad was who I truly am as a person. I learned what it’s like to be alone. I’ve always had a lot of friends and so I was always with tons of people all the time; I didn’t realize until my first trip that I’ve never actually spent three days alone…in my life! With traveling and finally gaining some ME time, I got really creative. I learned that I love to write, so I started writing a book; I learned that I love to take pictures, I learned that I love being outdoors, that I’m really interested in religion; I learned about all different kinds of religions and cultures. I learned that I can relate more to Buddhism than Christianity or Catholicism, so that was kind of weird for somebody who always thought she was Catholic, because you think that’s what you’re parents are so that’s what you are. When I have kids I’m totally doing the Angelina Jolie thing and taking them around the world with me, because to me there’s no better education than that.
What was it like growing up in foster care?
I’m really blessed. I got taken away from my parents when I was two, on and off. So they’d be on drugs and then they’d get sober and I’d go back to them, and in between I’d be with different families. Then at one point they found this children’s home for me, Little Rascals, and there was this really awesome woman that ran the place, her name’s Johanna, and she always made me feel very special. She was family to me you know, and she fell in love with me, too. She told the system that she wanted to adopt me, this was at 6 years old, but my birth parents weren’t ready to give up their rights and they hadn’t been taken from them at that point. So I would just move from home to home but, when I was 9, their rights were finally terminated and Johanna is now my mom. I think it’s hard for kids who go through what I went through, it was a tough situation, but I had an amazing person in my life. Most kids don’t have someone giving them hope and affection through all of that, but because of her I did. She’s the reason why I do everything I do. I think that our love for each other could be even greater than it would’ve been if we were blood related.
What compelled you to shave your head?
Basically, I’m an extremist, if I’m going do something I’m not going do it half way. I was in Thailand and traveling for like three months so I barely had anything with me and I don’t know, I just felt really free. I felt sexier than I’ve ever felt. It was weird because the last thing you think you are going to feel after shaving off all your hair, as a woman, is that you are sexier than ever, but that’s exactly how I felt. It was exhilarating. I felt like you can’t f***ing tell me anything, I have no hair, I’m out here bald, I’m f***ing wildin’ out.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself?
Oh wow, what a great question. If I could tell myself anything back then, it would be don’t sweat the small stuff. Pretty simple. If you just continue to keep positive vibes and you’re just happy and you illuminate that, great things will come to you.
Anything you’d like to add?
Wait, I want to say something about Miami. I’m going take a shot and then I’m going tell you something about this city. Miami is one of the best cities in the world, and we don’t get the credit that we deserve. People treat us like the side bitch, they want to come have a fun weekend with us and take everything that they can from us and just wild out and then leave and forget about us, but we’re always in the back of their minds. There’s a whole evolving, amazing culture and growth in this city and it’ll be coming to light within the next year or so. People are going to move here and treat us like the wife that we are. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the most beautiful women and the culture, everybody from all over the world comes here. There’s a lot of people right now doing great things and they’re going to get people to pay attention to us. And I just got really passionate about that, sorry, but it’s the first place that’s ever felt like home so I’m very excited to rep Miami, I love my city, so anyways that’s that.