We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacki James and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacki, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Kindness Matters came about very organically. After my son died, I wanted to do something to help other kids like him who were bullied in school. We started as a simple Facebook page, which took off. I was then asked to tell Peyton’s story at a local high school and things took off from there. After about 6 months, I filed to become a 501c3 non profit and appointed a Board of Directors to help with the big picture things. I am still the only “employee” though I don’t take a paycheck.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a high school teacher by profession. This has helped me with Kindness Matters because I see, first hand, the effects bullying has on a child. I often see my son, Peyton, in my students and that motivates me to help them even more. As the single “employee” of Kindness Matters, the bulk of the workload falls on me. It can be challenging at times to keep up with everything, but it also helps me to remember why I do what I do. If I can help one person overcome being bullied or if I can help one parent help their child, then I feel like I have done a good job. I would want the world to know that through kindness, we can change the world for the better. The Kindness Matters motto is “changing the world one act of kindness at a time” and I truly believe it. Every small act of kindness creates ripples and encourages others to show kindness too. While those ripples may be small, they create a mighty wave.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I was born and raised in the Houston area. Although I now live in Austin, Houston will always be home. I am a lover of the quirky and love places that are off the beaten track. If I were to bring a friend to visit, we would start with a fabulous dinner in the EaDo area, like King’s Court or Truck Yard. From there, we would stop in for a drink at one of the many ale houses or breweries in the area. We would have brunch at Hamburger Mary’s for the amazing and hilarious drag show and enjoy some fantastic mimosas too! And no trip would be complete without a day trip to the beach in Surfside.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shout out to all the people who have supported me over the years and helped me to make Kindness Matters what it is today. There are lots of these people, but the ones who always rise to the top are: Beth Milinsky, Cindy Reynolds, Tracy Atkinson, Janet Newton, Trish Ansley, Kyleen Dobbs, Jennifer Woods, Taryn Newton, and Tara Sims. The Kindness Evolution has also provided a wealth of information and resources. Charles Hickman Designs has been integral in creating our online presence.
Linkedin: Jacki James
all photos property of Jacki James