We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacob Brandt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacob, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
During this last winter, a few of my friends and I were set on starting a business together. With the amount of free time we had, I figured our venture would be best if operations were automated that way, as we progress in school, we can balance our attention between the business and class work. However, as you can expect, things never turn out as planned. The window of time we had during our break was significantly shorter than other semesters, so we pushed the starting date further away. One thing to know about me is that I am someone who cannot bear to do nothing all day, so in the absence of that venture, I decided to start illustrating and writing a children’s book, It’s a Great Day for a Donut. The idea to start this originated from my work at the bakery in AJ’s Fine Food. A few very close customers knew about my artistic abilities, and one–after seeing my watercolor pieces–told me she could imagine these being in a children’s book. Watercolors are one of the fastest mediums I use, so I figured I could get a complete book painted and written in a month. I drew a lot of inspiration from my work at the bakery, and after publication, I got a lot of good reception from those who bought copies. Now, I am working on the third book and will be publishing a 3-in-1 collection on Amazon. I found out about KDP publishing while working as the Content Executive at a local medical start up, American Medical Compliance. You’ll find this is interesting because, in addition to my creative initiatives, I am pursuing a B.S. Business Administration degree with a major in Finance at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. I hope to one day move to New York City, work in financial services to support these passions, and represent my Arizona home in the best light.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
To get to where I am right now was no easy feat. I do not come from wealth, neither do I have the connections some my peers at the Eller College have. I recognized this disparity early on in high school and knew that through my performance in school, I can improve my family’s standing in the socio-economic latter. Now, I am attending college debt-free, and as I approach senior year, I am considering graduate school to take things to the next level. My greatest advice to someone like me is just focus on school, work hard, play hard. Make work your play. I think one of the greatest challenges I face today is finding a group of people who are advantageous in making their dreams a reality. I do not want to be a politician in the sense that I’ll say something and not do that which I said. Having that community to keep me focused on the end goal is what I need–and anyone needs it if they want to do best in life. Maybe I can be that motivating force, but regardless, there is strength in togetherness.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think you can see a lot of Tucson within a week. I think the first few placed we would go are Sabino Canyon and Chivo Falls. The latter, you need an off-road vehicle of some sort to get there because it is a long trail. My family and I have a razor and road it around the state of Arizona to see some of the most beautiful outdoor scenery Arizona has to offer, as well as the history. A lot of times, the best known off-road trails are former routes taken by stage coaches, miners, and the postal service from hundred of years ago. We admire and respect seeing that side of Arizona because it is living history. After these two places, I would take them to the University of Arizona’s campus to enjoy the college scene. Lastly, St. Philip’s Plaza or St. Augustine’s Plaza are a must go. My parent’s are friends with the singer and drummer of a local bank called Gigi and The Glow, they play a lot of 80s-90s music, and these when they play at these places, everyone and everything livens up.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Nnena Eleanya, The University of Arizona Eller College, as well as the customers and my coworkers at Tucson’s AJ’s Fine Foods.