I am in the media industry. I am the founder and publisher of SMJ Magazine, an image lifestyle business publication. We feature arts and entertainment, beauty and fashion, health and wellness, faith and community. But our main focus is on giving business owners a solid platform to tell their business stories. We just published our 30th issue and celebrated the magazine’s seventh anniversary. I am also a partner in Shelland House of Films, a film production company that focuses on social justice documentaries and short films. I also have my own consulting company- SJP consulting Corp.
As I reflect on these past few months of lockdown, the day I remember most vividly is March 13th (which was also Friday the 13th). We came home after screening the final version of our documentary W’AT ABOWT US in Ottawa, Ontario. In less than 48 hours after that, the country was moving into lockdown which brought up many challenges.
We cancelled our spring edition of SMJ Magazine. We thought about publishing an anniversary issue, but as the days passed, the news kept getting darker; death tolls were the center of attention as numbers continued to mount worldwide. We were still in shutdown at the start of June, so we cancelled that issue of SMJ Magazine too.
The lockdown pushed me to find new ways to provide support to my community. Throughout my career, my goal has been to assist women in finding their true self, and to gain the self-confidence they need in being a force in whatever they choose to do. So, I joined a domestic violence women’s support group that provided services to women who were trapped at home with their abusers. The group has been having virtual meetings on weekly basis doing their best to support and provide resources for survivors to help them get through these trying times.
I also had a spiritual inspiration to return to an entrepreneurial course I had finished in 2012. I could not go back eight years to the way I was transformed, so I transformed it into an e-course for today’s women, called “SHIFTNOW”.
There has never been such a shift in the world with a whole new vocabulary that is part of our everyday speech: self-isolation, social distancing, washing hands, deep cleaning, PPE to name a few. I can’t wait to hear “Congratulations” added to the list when the world is finally COVID-19 free!!
Shelley Jarrett is a multiple award winning entrepreneur, a Magazine Publisher, a Speaking mentor, and a Documentary Producer