Radio Reimaginedby Bryan Carter
Just Jams, CEO of WJMS
Jaymie Bowles (better known as Jams) was born in Boston and raised in Brockton, MA. She graduated from Arcadia University in Glenside, PA with her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications in 2008. She went on to get certified in broadcasting from The Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 2012. Her love of radio and music began at a young age making mixtapes off her boom-box of her favorite songs. When she joined the Arcadia Radio Club in college, it sparked a passion in her that would change her career trajectory forever. From there, she secured an internship with Wired 96.5 and it was then that she realized she wanted to be in the radio industry permanently. After getting certified in broadcasting in 2012, she started an internship with 900am WURD in Philadelphia and in 2 months was hosting her own weekend talk show with the station. During that time an opportunity in New York came knocking, and she had to say goodbye to WURD to pursue it. Upon settling into New York, she caught up with an old colleague from Philly and was offered the chance to broadcast remotely from NY on to PhillyHottRadio.com. SoundOff currently airs weekly on Saturdays from 12pm-2pm, a chance given through PhillyHott to create her own station.
What’s going on with WJMS? WJMS Radio is officially a registered for-profit business. We spotlight individuals, organizations, and businesses in the community who are making positive changes around them. We also like to highlight young entrepreneurs, local artists with a unique sound and a positive message and other heroes and (s)heroes. It was a whirlwind of meetings, calls, research, developing, and networking but 6 months after the initial conversation, WJMS Radio launched on December 12th. Since launch WJMS Radio has reached over 33,000 unique listeners in over 150 different countries!
How successful have you been since starting out? It’s definitely a process, but I think overall we have managed to hit some high numbers of listeners and we have crossed international lines in over 150 different countries! We recently won a shark-tank style competition where we pitched our brand to a panel of our peers. We were also recently named Small Business of the Year by the Influencing Action Movement. So while everything has been gradual, I would say we are making huge strides!
Have your recent experiences been influenced by what you’re learning on your road to success? Very much so. Running your own business definitely changes your outlook on a lot of situations. I have learned on my journey many different business practices which have since filtered into my normal life. Accountability, Professionalism, Follow Through, Integrity and Resourcefulness are just a few.
Overall, how has your journey affected your personal and professional life? I have learned to appreciate the struggle, both in business and my personal life. Whenever I think about how bad I have failed at something or how far I still need to go, I remember that there is a divine process in place and that I need to be patient. You can’t rush through the experience, going through it and feeling the bumps and bruises of it are what make the finish line that much sweeter. One day when you are telling others of your journey, it’ll make for a good story!
What keeps you going? Do you have a personal mission you’re pursuing within WJMS Radio? What keeps me going? Caffeine? Over and above caffeine though, there is this desire inside of me to make it big with this station. I want WJMS to be a contender with other online stations and even other frequency stations. We are putting out good quality music, content, and information and we want as many people as possible to hear it. I want to change our media narrative. We are so focused on negative press in this world. It's time for a media over-haul. It is time for us to bring positive news back. I want people to see our logo and recognize our brand and our quality, just like you do with Pepsi, Coke, etc. And I won't stop until WJMS is a fully functioning, popular platform for our entire demographic!
Who’s been the most interesting caller? Any memorable experiences yet? Most interesting caller for WJMS is a good question. On my show I try to make sure all the guest hosts are interesting because that is what keeps people tuned in. But I will say I have a Top 5 favorite shows so far, but I won't give you who they are to spare feelings!! My most memorable experience, aside from winning the Executive Decision contest would be when I sat in the room with Lil Mo and her entourage and she mentioned how she loved what I was doing and couldn't wait to work together again! That blew me away. Having people recognize what I am doing and appreciate it, makes it all feel surreal.
What do have cooked up for the rest of 2016? Our official launch party is October 1st in Philly!! That is our major milestone this year. But we also have a few smaller events to attend and to headline. There are some awesome partnerships in the works, stay tuned!
What can we expect at your launch party October 1? Any surprises? I have a few secret artists coming to perform that should blow the audience away. If we are lucky we might get a cameo from another Simmons family member, and I am expecting a great performance from Sweet Tee! You can expect a night of good networking, awesome music and talent and an overall fun and exciting night ushering in WJMS to our broadcasting landscape!
What are you looking forward to at your launch party? Is there a dress code? I am looking forward to seeing a big crowd of people there to support WJMS Radio, our vision and our mission and our purpose! I'm truly just looking forward to packing the house and seeing everyone enjoy themselves. The dress code is business casual, it's like a networking event so dress as you would for that. No need for club attire etc.
What’s the process been for putting together your launch party? Trial and error!!! I look at my launch like a jigsaw puzzle. I want people to get the big picture of WJMS Radio. But in order for that to happen there is a process in place. You have to lay out the edges of the puzzle first. Those would be the venue and the date, without them to start you have nothing to attach the other pieces to. You can always start to put together little chunks of the center of the puzzle but without the edges to attach it to, you have no foundation. When the venue and the date was picked and secured (and everything that goes along with that process from finding the place, funding the place etc.) I needed a headliner. For this, I had to be real with myself. Budget wise, I obviously can't afford a J Cole or Wale to headline this event. I was able to find someone who I think can draw a crowd and entertain them. From there, the other chunks of the puzzle fall into place one by one. I secured the DJ, the other talent, the photographer, working on sponsors and advertisers and then just the other small day to day things that need to happen; like printing tickets and cutting flyers, organizing guests etc. I have learned to ask for and accept help. This is a major event and there is no way to do it alone. Without my team, my interns, my family and my friends I would be in over my head, drowning, and more importantly, not enjoying the ride. I want to look back on this event and process fondly, and so far I will! Stay tuned, and thank you for the love and support. You guys make this all possible!
To learn more about WJMS Radio, visit www.wjmsradio.com