When she was a little girl, adults often told Jennifer Korfiatis that she was “bossy” and talked too much. Now the founder of JK Marketing, a successful strategic marketing and communications firm, Jennifer credits her innate communications and leadership skills for some of the reasons she thrives as a business owner. Her clients range from the State of Washington to a large Seattle-based medical conglomerate and everything in between. “I realized that I had some skills some people were willing to pay for,” Jennifer shared during a recent entrepreneur lecture series.
After graduating in 1995 from Washington State University, Jennifer’s approach to entrepreneurship was to land a job in a business like the kind she had intentions of owning for herself. Before long, she formed a partnership with a fellow marketing and communications professional, and the two, while continuing to work full-time jobs, approached businesses they wanted to work with and offered to provide services pro-bono. The sacrifice paid off, and eventually, her firm became a top employer in the Wenatchee Valley. With more than 20 years of experience under her belt, her love for the field still runs deep. “The art of persuasion and consumer behavior is a magical process,” she shared.
While Jennifer has enjoyed having her hands in various industries, she’s also experienced her fair share of challenges as a business owner. In 2006, she sold her business after suffering burnout from managing employees, a side of the job she realized she did not enjoy. When she re-opened her company, she decided to work solo and subcontract out services she could not provide.
“Surround yourself with people smarter than you,” Jennifer advised. “Get really good at a couple of things and outsource the rest.”
She also encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to build their businesses on a foundation of their values. “Your business is an extension of you,” she said. “Be clear about where you stand and what you hold dear. I pick and choose who I want to work for based on that.”
In addition to running her business, Jennifer also serves as faculty at both Central Washington University and Wenatchee Valley College where she teaches entrepreneurship courses. Her passion for helping others extends to her students. “There’s room for all of us,” she concluded.
Last Updated on November 2, 2021.