Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Bettes Angell.
Hi Morgan, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
After college, I began working at a small organization that was only a few years old in downtown Bradenton called Realize Bradenton. The organization’s mission is to brand the downtown area as a destination for everyone to live, work, and play especially millennials, the upcoming major workforce. Realize Bradenton was led by a fierce community leader, Johnette Isham. Under her mentorship, I learned all about community relationships and was introduced to the most influential movers and shakers involved in community development from all sectors — public, private, and municipalities.
The organization’s goal was to bring people together through arts, culture, sports, and heritage. That’s it. Bring all people together to have fun, so their quality of life is better, and all through creative means. I loved that. That resonated with me.
Fast forward after meeting an individual by the name of Wade Hamilton whose passion was in the community and the local music scene, I quit my full-time job and co-founded Independent Jones in 2015. The whole story is actually quite interesting but the short is, I took what I learned at that Realize Bradenton and through Independent Jones have been bringing that to other communities throughout multiple counties by working with cities, major developers, and incredible small businesses and nonprofit partners.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oh man, smooth? For sure no. Entrepreneurship at times feels like one giant struggle. I’m sure I’m not alone in that thinking. One of the biggest struggles I’ve overcome is learning and nurturing true grit. To keep pushing through every adverse challenge that comes my way. Some of those challenges have been financial, bad burnouts, failed ventures, making time for those I love, and as for many, the global pandemic.
But through each of those challenges, you somehow overcome and as the cliche goes, you can learn and grow from each one. I’m blessed to have had many important people come into my life that have helped me along the way and supported me.
As you know, we’re big fans of Independent Jones. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Everyone always wants to know, where did the name come from. Wade should be credited for the name. It represents two concepts; independence and unity, independent artists and the Jones being everyone.
We specialize in large-scale community events activating both places and spaces and creating community identities.
We produce some of the largest weekly event series in our counties. These events range from food truck rallies, concerts, farmers markets, night markets, park openings, health & wellness events, community campouts, and more.
Through two farmers markets that we produce, we provide access for small businesses to meet the community, and the community to support local small businesses. Additionally, our passion for live music is front and center. We book entertainment for all of our partners, and at every event, we produce there is an element of live music by local artists.
What sets us apart? Hands down it’s the quality of our work that sets us apart and our care. We are in this for the long haul building a brand and serving people, so when guests come to our events they see the passion and love we put into everything we do. It’s a vibe. It’s energy. We set the bar high. We have a standard of excellence that we don’t waiver from. Through mentorship by two powerful women, everything had to be perfect and not a corner was cut. We consider our vendors at every event our partners and just like us, they are small entrepreneurs and we respect them.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
My parents describe me growing up as tenacious. I’ve always been driven for what I want since first gripping my father telling him very directly, “I want my bob” at two years old. Younger Morgan would have been described as fun, adventurous, daring, and always up for a road trip for delicious food finds, which is all still true today.
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