Jessica (Fagherazzi) Oberwortmann ’14 has been driven to succeed her entire life, and now she is doing just that. Oberwortmann began doing marketing and branding work for friends on the side but the requests got so large that eventually, she turned it into her very own business — JF Marketing + Branding.
Oberwortmann grew up in Brazil and worked toward an international business degree there. During her time in that program, she was urged to study abroad for a year and chose to attend Illinois State University. The experience was life-changing.
She decided she wanted to receive a full degree from an American university to improve her English and become more independent. After speaking with a friend who had attended Newman, she applied and was awarded an international student scholarship, an academic scholarship and a cheerleading scholarship. She accepted.
During her time at Newman, she was ecstatic that the university helped her to receive her first off-campus, degree-related job in advertising sales. That job led to many opportunities in the marketing field, including an internship the next year at Intrust Bank Arena in marketing and sales.
Oberwortmann has always had an inclination for marketing. When she was only 15, she was already taking part in public relations and marketing events in Brazil while promoting herself as best she could. That only continued when she moved to the United States. She said she feels networking has been the ultimate source of her success.
“Pretty much all the opportunities I was given in life came from people that knew me, my work ethic, my hunger for success and how much I love doing what I do. I just put my all into everything I do,” she said.
Oberwortmann graduated from Newman University in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and immediately got a job at the integrated marketing agency Jajo where she managed client accounts and worked as a brand coordinator.
After a year at Jajo, Jaco General Contractor Inc. made Oberwortmann an offer to take over their marketing and she accepted. While working at Jaco as the director of marketing communication, she began doing freelance work on the side.
“The plan was to try and balance out my own business and work at Jaco, but that has become very overwhelming since launching JF Marketing + Branding. I then decided to resign my position at Jaco, take them along with me as a client, and focus entirely on my business,” she said.
Her business began thanks to sharing ideas, laughs and future plans with friends, especially her husband. The honest feedback friends gave her helped her and the business grow.
Oberwortmann’s ambitious personality also played a large role. When the business first began, she would take any project request she received, even if it required her to work with software she hadn’t used before.
She said, “Let’s just say I learned Photoshop through YouTube because a client needed me to design something and I said, ‘sure!’ But my thing was strategy and I had never used Adobe (Creative) Suite before,” she said.
She felt her past experience had given her the tools she needed to accomplish her clients’ needs and to launch the business and do successful work, and as it turns out, it had.
JF Marketing + Branding keeps Oberwortmann very busy. She said, “You name it, we do it! Branding, social media management, content creation, copywriting, website development, logo development, marketing strategy, public relations and event coordination are some of the main things we do every day.”
Her team consists of her and some contracted freelancers that are given varying amounts of work per project.
“When you work from home with something you’re so passionate about, there’s the challenge of knowing when to stop working. Sometimes I get so excited about a project that I’ll work on it 12 hours a day.”
The best part of owning a business for Oberwortmann is developing relationships with clients and watching her hard work pay off for them.
She said, “Being able to do work for different clients from completely different industries is never the same, and especially fun for someone like me, who doesn’t like routine and is moved by challenges.
“Making sure I can deliver high-quality work to every single one of my clients is my main priority, so keeping track of every detail is pivotal and time-consuming. I love it, though. I love going to bed exhausted but satisfied with the work I delivered during the day.”
Oberwortmann is thankful for all of the relationships she has created through her past positions and this new venture.
She said, “It’s been a beautiful process to see how many clients have come into my life from just seeing my work and by word of mouth. I never really had to advertise any of my work.”
She is currently looking for web developers to assist in some larger projects for JF Marketing + Branding. For more information, contact Oberwortmann at [email protected] or visit www.jessicafagherazzi.com.