We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqueline Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacqueline, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I actually started in corporate. In that environment I personally we were all seen as replaceable, and that did not sit well with me. I did not want to sacrifice my life and happiness for just a paycheck. SO I looked at what my skillset was and what the market was lacking, and started my first business from there. I think the key is to figure out your strengths and how you can apply them to the current market. For me, my first business was a Pole Fitness Studio in Ohio because I could tell women wanted to try something new in the world of exercise. My current business is a Pinup Photography Studio in Denver, when I moved here there was nothing like it. I actually had been offering pinup in Ohio, so when I saw there was a hole for pinup in the Denver market, I filled it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have owned Femme Fatale Denver for 8 years and we have always been pretty busy because we are able to offer so many fun pinup themes. It was great having all our pinups together in hair and makeup and seeing their confidence grow getting all ‘beautified’ together! When the pandemic hit we shut down like everyone else, and honestly I thought that might be the end of us. No one was going to want to take fun, fantasy driven photos in such a serious time, but I was wrong. After the city began to open up, people did want a distraction BUT in a safe, distanced environment…so we pivoted. We began to shoot in areas with a lot of social distancing room and hair and makeup would be in a separate sterile environment, but we made it work and honestly business is starting to boom again and I think it will actually be busier than before. The number one thing I have learned from 12 years and 2 businesses, environments will always change. What is ‘hot’ now will not be hot tomorrow, the best thing you can do is be agile and learn to pivot your business to meet the current demand. Entrepreneurship is a hard path, especially in times like this. But it is 100% worth it to take hold of your life and pursue something you love and feel destined to do.
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?
The beauty of Denver is that each pocket has it’s own identity! We live in the Lower Highlands so I would want to take him/her to Platt Park, have an unforgettable dinner at El Five and Little Man for icecream after! We moved from Uptown, so I would want to hit up City O City, the Botanical Gardens & City Park. Finally head to River North to admire all the murals and grab a beer at the Rino Beer Garden and finish the night at my favorite, Il Posto! One of the best part about visiting Denver is that you are SO close to the mountains! If possible I would love to do a day trip hiking at Red Rocks and hit up Besos in Morrison for Happy Hour OR head up Mount Evans (if open) and then get the best BBQ around at Switchback Smokehouse in Kittredge. Finally, if we had a weekend I would LOVE to take them to Winter Park, it is our favorite mountain town and a great place to ski, hike or restaurant hop!
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 found the best way to succeed it to always be a ‘student.’ I realized I had the opportunity and what it took to be an entrepreneur through a very influential professor while getting my MBA, he opened my eyes that we are not all meant to be in a corporate environment. My husband, who not only has fully supported every one of my crazy ideas and businesses, but actually believes in my ideas and does whatever it takes to help me take them from dreams to successful endeavors. And finally to all the creative women I have had the pleasure of working with these past 12 years. From my pinup hair and makeup team to my pole instructors, they have all been such confident women who all have something that makes them stand out within a crowd. It might sound corny, but it is true, surround yourself with positive and successful people, and chances are you will become one yourself.
Images: Femme Fatale Denver