Vanessa James is truly a lifestyle brand in motion. After years of work in broadcast radio, programming and marketing, Vanessa took the tools that she learned along her journey and applied them to create her own brand, Vanessa James Media (VJMedia). VJMedia launched in 2010 and within five years, the brand has grown into a full service multi-media company allowing James to curate opportunities for brands and organizations.
This September 26th, James will be hosting the VJMedia Mixology. This year marks the fourth anniversary of an event that has come to be known as a signature place for both brands and media influencers to connect. The event will take place in the heart of the Miami’s trendy Wynwood art district at the exclusive Hype Studio 255, (255 NW 25th Street, Miami FL 33127) and is set for Saturday, September 26th, 2015 from 7:30p.m. to 11:30p.m. Media is advised to RSVP by September 20th as this event will reach capacity.
1. How have you been able to connect your work with brands?
As the world of media continues to evolve, brands have become increasingly aware that connection is more important than ever when resonating with targeted audiences. I saw an opportunity early on to make that connection on behalf of brands like JetBlue, General Motors, Palace Resorts, Monster Products and more and curated an event to do just that; connect them with the people they need to talk to! That’s when VJMedia Mixology was born.
2. What exactly is VJMedia Mixology?
Simply, this is the signature event for connection in Miami amongst brands to multicultural media and those who are truly moving the social media needle both in South Florida and beyond. What started out as an annual celebration of my brand has quickly become a place where guests from all walks of media come to engage, connect and interact with each other . It’s also a breeding ground for ideas and synergy and now serves as a launchpad for artists, content creators, producers and musicians to showcase their work. Bearing that in mind, we thought it would be the most appropriate place and time to unveil my latest project in the VJMedia arsenal…the launch of the web platform series “Carnival to the World”.
3. Tell us more about this new project “Carnival to the World”
Documentaries and story telling have always been a huge passion point for me. Finding the time to create and produce has always been the challenge. Carnival to the World simply couldn’t wait any longer to be showcased to the masses. It is a 360° look inside the world of carnival, its various locations, cultural attributes, food, music, costumery and people. For many people travel has become more accessible than ever, and people are traveling for adventure and discovery as well. This show is a gateway to the unknown stories of Carnivals across the world. I’m really looking forward to sharing it with everyone this September .
4. In addition to hosting Media Mixology and connecting brands with media influencers, can you tell us about your voiceover work, your blog, as well as your role with Hispanicize and how has it evolved throughout the years.
After hosting Hispanicize back in 2012 and seeing the force that it is within the US Hispanic landscape, I knew that I could contribute to its growth. Latinos and music go hand and hand and I saw a need for that platform to be present within the conference. After pitching the concept to Katherine Johnson, co-founder of Hispanicize, together we created a music track that has quickly grown into a nationally recognized platform for Latin music. It has now become one of the biggest highlights within the 5-day annual event for both patrons and brands alike.
5. If a brand wants to become involved with Media Mixology, what would they need to do and what is an important takeaway they would come away with that you can’t find at another event?
Our arms are wide open for brands that want to engage with a truly multicultural audience. Unlike any other platform of its kind, Media Mixology truly serves as a diverse connector. Brands can find a unique opportunity to connect with Mainstream, US Hispanic, African American influencers in one interactive experience. Unlike other events where the audiences are segmented, this a truly a place of intimate connection with tastemakers from all walks of media.
6. What type of people will be attending Media Mixology? Is it media and brands only? Are there any special speakers/awards or special appearances?
In addition to the collective of brands and influencers who will be in attendance at Media Mixology, we recently added a new platform within the event. The Spirit of Excellence awards honors and celebrates true pioneers in media here in South Florida and beyond. This year we’ve selected five influencers who will be honored. The full list will be revealed in the coming weeks.
7. Who is the presenting sponsor of this year’s Media Mixology?
Cadillac is back for another year as the presenting sponsor. Together with the brand, we will bring their current campaign mantra “Dare Greatly” to life as we honor and celebrate Doers, Innovators and Visionaries in media. Cadillac along with other prestigious brands such as JetBlue, Yelp, Perrier, Monster Products, EJGallo Wines and TigerDirect, will also be on hand to socially engage with guests and South Florida’s Social Media Superstars
And now for the fun part…
What is your cultural background?
Trinidadian and Venezuelan.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”. – Maya Angelou
Favorite song at the momment:
Sara Bareillies “Brave”
Arianna Huffington “Thrive”
Media RSVP: Media is advised to RSVP by September 20, 2015 at: