Local ‘pop-up queen’ sees value in connecting people

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Josephine “JoJo” Wells inside The Meeting Place, the Maywood event space she owns and operates. | Michael Roman

Friday, May 6, 2022 || By Michel Romain || @maywoodnews

Josephine Wells, the 28-year-old Bellwood woman who owns The Meeting Place, 1123 Madison St. in Maywood, constantly juggles multiple roles.

She sells accessories, beauty items and clothes. She has a show that the tunes every Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Hit USA Radio, an Internet radio station. She bills herself as the “pop-up queen” for the many vendor-based networking events she hosts throughout the city and suburbs. And his Madison Street business is becoming a place of community building in Maywood.

Wells, who goes by the name JoJo, said all of her efforts are with her merchandising and entertainment company, New Jack Swag. But their most important commonality, she says, is people.

“My vision for myself is to have a great reputation with the community and with my people,” she said. “I’m a sociable person. That’s what I like. That’s what I do.”

Wells said she owned and operated her business with her mother, adding that before she was a full-time entrepreneur, she worked in marketing.

“When COVID hit, I just decided I could work for myself,” Wells said.

She said her businesses often go from strength to strength. On Saturday, May 7, for example, she’s hosting a pop-up shop at The Meeting Place, where she’ll interview vendors for her internet radio show. The shop will operate from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Wells said entrepreneurship runs in his blood. Wells said when she was growing up, her mother operated a day care center in virus locations across Maywood. Now Wells, who has two children of her own, is proud to carry on the family legacy of doing business in Maywood.

“Being in Maywood is a blessing, especially here,” Wells said. “I call it mini downtown Maywood. I’m just lucky to be able to offer the community a place where they can throw parties, [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings, aerobics classes – whatever they want. This neighborhood is great. »

Wells is also looking to the future. She said that in addition to hosting more pop-up shops this summer, she also plans to be part of the annual Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago.

Meanwhile, she is always finding ways to diversify her sources of income.

Wells recently said she’s taken on a bigger role on Hit USA Radio’s sales and marketing team. She also plans to sell her merchandise inside Urban Boutique, the former John’s Beauty Supply at 1300 Madison St. in Maywood.

“I also have side hustles,” Wells said. “Never let your side hustles go. Always have several incomes. This is the key to financial freedom.

For more information on New Jack Swag or The Meeting Place, visit Wells’ Facebook page here or his Instagram page here. You can also call (708) 490-3710 or email: [email protected].

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