It all started with… a craving for slurpees.
Julz Goddard (aka @yesjulz) may host Miami’s best parties, but don’t sell her short. She’s worked since she was a kid — whether it was to buy slurpees down the street, or later, for the love of being productive. The true millennial knew that she’d never settle for a desk job. She ended up in Miami, working at a nightlife marketing firm until she realized she could capitalize on her infectious enthusiasm solo. So she leveraged her personality to start her own marketing agency, Yes Julz. From workout classes to charity events and parties, Julz helps companies build brand loyalty by showing people an epically good time. Julz’s strategic presence on social media is what makes her unique. With a focus on Snapchat, she documents her Energizer Bunny-like energy along with her branded hashtag, #NeverNotWorking, to motivate others to love the hustle as much as she does.
Skirt, BOUTIQUE MOSCHINO; Ring, Ca and Lou
How did you know it was time to go out on your own?
I had the opportunity to host my own party while working for the nightlife marketing company. After, people told me, “That was the most fun I’ve had in so long.” I realized I was onto something, and told my company that a few changes would improve sales and attendance. They weren’t really into it. I kept working there, but meanwhile, I branded my event. I started getting offers to create more experiences and realized that being happy and energetic is a currency. Companies were increasingly avoiding traditional advertisers and approaching people like me for my creativity and outreach. I finally felt in my heart that I was ready to leave my company, and I decided to turn my skills into a business.
What was it like marketing yourself?
My first client was Coca-Cola. My friend, Lebron James, blessed me with that connection and I did their launch party for his Sprite flavor. People that I looked up to were so impressed that I pulled it off. And I didn’t even realize that it was such a big deal. I thought — I should start an agency. I knew some folks at Red Bull and Beats by Dre and decided to pitch them some ideas. Next thing I knew they became my clients. I realized I did more than throw parties — I wanted to make myself a marketing machine.
People want to hire me because of my attitude and that’s something I can capitalize on. So I branded myself as a ‘Director of Vibes.’
Bag, Loeffler Randall; Skirt, Carven
When did you realize that social media was valuable?
I was always aware of its importance. I threw parties in high school using MySpace. I reached my cap of friends on Facebook. Instagram came and I got a ton of followers. It wasn’t until Snapchat that I found my niche. When Ryan Seacrest named me one of the top Snapchat accounts last year, I decided to make all my posts strategic. Social media gives people the platform they need to be anything. But a lot of people are profiting off of what people like me are doing on social media. We should get paid for our content. Instead, we’re getting 100,000 “likes” while living in an apartment we can barely afford. I capitalized on my content with Snapchat.
Is there a story behind your handle, @yesjulz?
I wanted “Just Julz” and it was taken. So I dug a little deeper and listed qualities about myself: I don’t take no for an answer. I’m not afraid of anything. And I thought, “YES.” “Yes” is a positive word. “Yes” is a word I want to be associated with.
Where does your mantra #nevernotworking come from?
I’ve been working since I was nine years old. I made money from lemonade stands to buy slurpees. I bagged groceries. I had a restaurant job. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to work. When I moved to Miami, that wasn’t the same mentality here. People, especially women, didn’t want to work. Girls bragged about getting free dinners and clothes and I didn’t think that was cool at all. I wanted to change that culture. At the time, hashtags and using double negatives were in style — like “never not...”. And I thought of “#NeverNotWorking.” So I use social media to document what time I wake up, what I do throughout the day and when I go to bed. Over time, people approached me differently. They came to me with a certain level of respect, asking how we can work together instead of just wanting to party. Those were the conversations and relationships I wanted to have with people. So I branded the hell out of my mantra. And it’s really taken off.
Dress, BOUTIQUE MOSCHINO; Sunglass,Elizabeth and James; Bag, ZAC Zac Posen
How does style factor into your personal brand?
When I first moved to Miami, I saw the girls here and thought, “I want a tight dress. I want six-inch heels. I want big boobs.” I tried really hard to look like everyone else. I was miserable! I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t dance. It wasn’t until I broke my toe and I couldn’t wear heels for months that things changed. I wore sneakers everywhere. I took care of the world’s biggest VIPs while wearing Nikes. People treated me more like a friend rather than a piece of meat. I was way happier. I don’t try to dress or act sexy anymore because that puts the limits on myself that we, as women, are trying to escape. So why would I do that?
Looking sexy isn’t always the best approach. I always want to look put-together and cute, but comfort is key. My personality is what I want people to remember, not me fidgeting or looking self-conscious.
What do you attribute your confidence to?
I was in foster care and was the new girl in the family, in school or the neighborhood all the time. That’s where the fearless side of me comes from. I also believe in “faking it ‘til you make it.” If I walk into a meeting and I have a nice bag, people aren’t going to pay me at a low level. You’re not going to try to lowball someone who looks like they have it together. When Coca-Cola hired me, I’d say, “Oh yeah, me and my team will get this done.” Me and my team? I didn’t have a team. I didn’t even know what I was doing some of the time. But I’m not afraid of anything. If there’s a problem in front of me, I’m going to figure it out.
Bag, Loeffler Randall
Being afraid holds you back. You have to think, ‘I’m me. I’m the best person I can be, and I can do what I do better than anybody else can. I might not be good at everything, but the one thing I’m good at, I’m really good at it.’ You need to own that.
Tell us about your experience as a woman in business.
We can be underestimated, which is exhausting and unfair. But it makes me more determined. I’ve noticed that women can walk into a room and speak because they are women. People may not take them seriously or listen to what they have to say. But if you are talented, serious and focused, you get that much more credit. If you’re a man, that’s expected. I’m so inspired by all the female leaders out there right now and I feel like I was born at just the right time to be a leader myself. And instead of competing like we used to, I see a sense of teamwork. It’s not a competition. There’s plenty of money to go around. When we work together, the things we can do are limitless.
What is all of your hard work worth to you?
When the doors open to an event, the music’s playing, the lights I’ve designed are going, all my friends are having the time of their lives and people tweet me the next day saying how much fun they had… that’s a huge payoff. But personally, I come from nothing. I’m taking my family on a trip and it’ll be their first time out of the country. I never thought in a million years I’d be able to afford that. Taking my mom places she’s never been — that’s an incredible payoff. When I finally get a house for her, that’s going to be my dream come true.
I can’t tell you what I did last weekend. I don’t remember what club I was at or who I was with. I’m sure it was super fun. But I can remember last month’s charity event, or the last time I made someone happy. Those moments fuel me.