Hot Mama Chronicles Recap: RE:STUDIO Founder, Tech Visionary and Leader Joi Rogers
Brass-knuckled, creative and code guru Joi Rogers is the Brooklyn-bred love child of a visual merchandiser and a fashion designer. Her brief detour as a songwriter took her to a meeting with Chucky Thompson of Bad Boy Records. He would mentor her in the grass-root art of marketing and artist development in the music industry.
Later, she crossed paths with DJ and Future Def Jam and Interscope A&R Sickamore. Blown away by her self-made demo, Sickamore invited her to join the Famous Firm, a development firm for unsigned artists. After a successful run of events and mixtape releases, it lead to a joint venture with Atlantic Records.
Joi established her own firm in 2007. Re:innovating was born from a varied, but viable skillset as a marketer, digital designer and bonafide boss. Her firm was on the ground in the up and-coming Bloomfield-Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh for the founding of Boom Concepts—a nationally acclaimed artist incubator and proud community safe space for marginalized voices, powered by Heinz Endowments.
On Independence Day in 2015, she launched a nine part series dubbed #BoomAfterBrunch with a day-party format and a commitment to directing local and national working artists towards success. #BoomAfterBrunch made headlines and headstarts in equal measure, with support from Zipcar, Home Depot, Walter + Ray, The Sprout Fund, Penn Ave. Eyewear, Zeke’s Coffee, Dapper Cat Bakery, Roots & Wings Furniture, Revival Print Co., Jmy Jam Photography and Christo on the Turntables. The summer series succeeded in activating careers and collaborations among Pittsburgh’s emerging artistic and tech demographics. As a result of the buzz on and offline boom was invited to join forces with the Carnegie Museum of Art to host the city’s first ever silent disco alongside classic works in the Museum’s Hall of Sculpture.
She did not stop there. She then built Re:studio, which labors for the little guy in grandma’s basement, “open air office” garages, and remote studios. As a non profit, Re:studio teaches founders hands-on while raising funds digital literacy and mentorship for founders, youth and underserved communities. Joi has satiated a craving for ingenuity co creating with brands like Shedoes Swimwear, Okay Africa, More Life Juice Bar, Skaterobics, Evolve EA, Forde Fitness and Treasuring Tresses. With coding from the future and timeless design, Joi’s ethos of Re:Innovating brands continues to power founders remotely on Google Meet and Twitter Spaces.
From realtors® to vegan bakers, Joi has co-created with thousands of artists and bosses—snagging a few accolades along the way. Using the principles of minimalism, color theory, storytelling, user experience design, and branding, Joi seeks to level up at risk founders, small teams, and start ups to lift-off.
Joi is strategic, intentional, pensive and creative. In having the conversation with her, here are the 10 gems of wisdom she shared during the conversation:
Everyone should pick up meditation. Joi spoke to how meditation has helped her in her life.
Mentorship is key. She talks about mentoring at Alpha Labs, which grants $50,000 to early stage tech companies with office space and support. She talks about the gift of seeing these founders grow and the reward she receives from that.
She learned empathy from her parents, who were also entrepreneurs.
She would like to build community with other black female coders and developers. She spoke about Google Meet and Twitter Spaces and how great they are just to be in community with like minded individuals.
Organic growth is where it is at in terms of enjoying the journey. Many of the opportunities she talked about came as part of someone knowing her work and recommending her because she was good at solving a problem or navigating the waters around a pressing issue.
Pick someone who challenges you. She cited her fiancée for being the one who pushes her to do the right thing.
She's ready to do another silent disco party. If anyone wants to plan one, she will be there.
It's important to encourage young people who have a gift for tech and creative. Her parents enrolled her in a Fashion Institute of Technology program, putting together computers, and encouraging her creativity. She feels like she is built for this work like a thoroughbred.
She has sites dropping on Valentine's Day.
She inspired me to want to get into gardening. Her hopes for the year was for her plants to grow and world peace. Hearing about how her plants and their growth really inspired me to buy a succulent.
You can find and connect with Joi through Restudio.org or @restudion101. You can listen to the podcast here.