How one woman’s depression inspired her multi-million dollar fitness line

Jaz Jackson, founder and CEO of fitness apparel brand JSculpt Fitness discusses how depression inspired her multi-million dollar fitness line.

Video Transcript

JAZ JACKSON: Everything that I learned about JSculpt and running a business was done on the ground floor. I do not have a background in entrepreneurship. I do not have a background in business.

The cool thing about learning as you go, you know, you make these huge mistakes, but it prepares you for what's to come. I always have to make sure that I'm OK with being a student even though I'm the CEO.

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JAZ JACKSON: Hey, Yahoo family. My name is Jaz Jackson. I am the founder and creator of JSculpt fitness. JSculpt fitness is a fitness apparel line. We were introduced back in 2017. What we launched was called the JSculpt fitness belt, and it looks similar to that of what the industry calls a waist trainer. As a Black woman, we love to keep our curves and keep our figures, same thing for Latina women. I wanted to provide something that spoke to that but was still safe to wear. The outline of JSculpt was to give you the silhouette of a waist trainer but to provide you the flexibility of just a regular sweat fitness belt.

Prior to launching my company, I was diagnosed in 2012 with depression. I went through many different ups and downs with the type of medications that I would take. My doctor did tell me that a way for me to combat my depression was to go through a holistic approach. And so what I decided to do was to work out. I completely changed my diet, and while I was at the gym, I was wearing many different belts. I wanted to introduce something new to the market that worked for women like me who were more curvy. That's how JSculpt was launched.

When I first started with JSculpt and just my own fitness journey in general, I was a gym rat. I did not wake up and lose 50 pounds, you know, by doing some fad diet. It took me well over a year. I started off as an influencer, and so I would review many products. And so just based upon my own experiences and then the experiences of my audience in saying what they wanted and needed within a new belt, I just implemented what they were asking for.

Since then, we have amassed close to 300,000 followers on Instagram, and we really have, like, a tight-knit community of like-minded women who want to learn and grow within the health world or health industry. And we are a true community of what we love to call our JSculpt babes.

I am very fortunate to say that we do not have any financial backing. We are a Black-owned business. I am a Black woman, my entire staff an African-American team. And so we just use the resources that we have.

We were very fortunate during the pandemic. People wanted to work out, and I'm very proud to say that in the month of April, for the very first time, we had over a million dollars in sales. But we were not prepared for the influx of orders. I decided to make sure that we were always fully in stock. I'd rather have a ton of inventory on hand than not and not give my customers the experience that they deserve.

I am really excited. 2021, we will be launching apparel. We have a size range from extra small to 4X. And we are just speaking to, you know, the everyday woman, the woman that loves to wear athleisure. I'm really looking forward to launching and showing what we've been working on.

When I decided to battle my depression, that wasn't for me. That was for other women to make change within themselves. I could not have asked for a better role.