Starting a business takes courage and a vision. It also takes hard work and some serious bounce-back capabilities. Getting your business to thrive is a whole other ball game, but Wayward Kind has found a way to play the game well.
We got to talk with the person behind the vision for Wayward Kind, and one of the most courageous and hardworking people we know—Jules Taggart.
Join us as we get to know Jules a little better and see how Wayward Kind came to be.
Before Wayward Kind
We wanted to know more about the defining moments that led to Jules starting Wayward Kind.
A seed was planted long before she came to San Diego. Jules worked for the Chamber of Commerce in the Kansas City area and saw first hand how small businesses can become successful and thrive when given the proper support and resources. She enjoyed seeing these companies thrive and give back to the communities that invested in their potential and were committed to their success.
She moved to San Diego in 2009 and landed a marketing role at a company that sold nutritional products. It was there that Jules witnessed how some companies use marketing to manipulate people and decided to devote her career to elevating businesses using ethical marketing principles.
In 2012 Jules took the lessons she learned, good and bad, and turned a new year’s resolution into a solid plan to help worthy companies grow.
Jules had an idea rooted in helping small businesses grow ethically and sustainably through marketing strategies rooted in human connections. This was all while her husband Jeff Taggart was in law school, she had $350 in her bank account and was responsible for putting Ramen Noodles on the table. Nevertheless, she took the leap.
What was some helpful advice you received in the beginning?
A: In the beginning, the best advice I got was to keep going. The first few years in business are really challenging. I got it wrong a lot in the early days and I learned a ton from those mistakes and used those lessons to refine our approach.
What advice made the biggest difference?
A: I had breakfast with a mentor of mine when I was in the process of shifting from working with contractors to hiring employees. He encouraged me to hire in such a way that I was never the smartest person in the room. He was absolutely right. I have hired a lot of people since that breakfast meeting and all are incredibly good at what they do, while being humble enough to know that there’s plenty still to learn. I learn new things from our team every day.
A lot of the work that Wayward Kind does involves being more meaningful and human in digital marketing efforts. How do you think that other businesses can make that effort?
A: This is such a simple thing, but if you treat every customer or prospective customer as if they are real humans (because they are) creating meaningful conversations online becomes a lot easier. We do a lot with metrics and data as a part of the work we do for our clients, so it’s important to remember that each data point on a spreadsheet is a real person with a family, and a complex identity made up of fears, joy, needs, and expectations. You can never go wrong treating people like people.
Can you talk about your vision for Wayward Kind?
A: Companies that are making a significant impact on race, class, and gender equity deserve the same—or better––access to resources as those who are only committed to profit. Our work is rooted in creating positive social change and we partner with companies and organizations that are aligned with our purpose.
How do you develop talent and elevate people to grow to the next level?
A: We don’t live in an era where people stay with the same company for decades or their entire career anymore. I like to think that Wayward Kind is a great springboard for a career in marketing. I love working with people who are smart and capable and eager to learn, and I acknowledge from the day they begin working with our team that it’s a stepping stone on a much broader career. My job is to make sure that while they are with us, they make a lasting impact for our clients and then take ethical marketing practices along to the next company they work for—or the company they start!
Who or what has helped shape who you are?
A: This one feels really deep! I would say my partner, my family, and a handful of mentors.
On your toughest days, how do you push through and accomplish your goals?
A: Honestly, I don’t. On my toughest days, I walk away from the computer and get outside. Fresh air and sunshine usually help me think through obstacles and figure out what to do next.
Kudos to a Wayward Leader
This year Wayward Kind is celebrating 8 years in business. During that time our team has worked with hundreds of companies that do important work in the world. These companies are built by visionary leaders who care about their clients, are advancing social justice initiatives, and creating a better quality of life for the communities they serve.
The journey has not been easy, but Jules chose a path that creates an impact and aligns with her drive for social change.
Behind every great company is a great leader and Wayward Kind reaps the benefits of a fearless leader every day.
Connect with Jules and let’s create an impact together.
We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!