Name: Amy Black
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Business: Jimmy & Joe’s Pizzera / AmysVintageCloset.com
In 2006 Amy Black and her family opened Jimmy and Joe’s; an award-winning pizzeria in Chandler, Arizona. In 2012 they opened their second store in Mesa. Jimmy and Joe’s has been voted Readers’ Choice “Best Pizzeria” and “Best Slice” by several Arizona publications. I’ve had their pie. It’s the good stuff.
The Black family employs a kick-ass staff, including Amy, who began managing the Mesa location full-time after returning home to the Phoenix area. Amy had spent the last few years managing restaurants and doing it big in San Diego.
On top of helping to run the coolest pizzeria in the Phoenix area, Amy started a fashion, style and beauty blog this year called Amy’s Vintage Closet. Her content has been picked up by more established online outlets such as: NYTimes Street Style, Coco Kouture Blog Spotter, and Lucky Magazine.
On a daily basis Amy is rocking outfits that pair vintage pieces, inexpensive buys and thrift finds with modern high-fashion accessories. Lots of color, lots of texture and lots of style.
She shows you how to do it without spending all the money you don’t have, too. Although, logic would follow that she spends a bit of money on staying fly–this girls’ closet is out of control. You’ve gotta pay the cost to be the boss, though, right?
Bottom line here, folks, is that Amy is a woman with a business mind, style to spare and passion for life. She’s also my cousin. Growing up we spent a good amount of time together but as we live on opposite sides of the country we don’t get to hang out as much these days.
Without further introduction, here are Amy’s responses to my questioning:
Q: What are your top 3 favorite places you have visited? (feel free to explain why)
Amy: Mexico-I LOVE Mexico. I love the culture, the food, the people. Vancouver, BC-This gorgeous city is so diverse. Chicago-I love this city! It’s architecture, history, people, eclectic neighborhoods and high energy is right up my alley!!
Q: What are 3 places you haven’t been that you want to visit in your lifetime?
Amy: Spain, Holland and Italy
Q: What keeps you motivated and inspires you?
Amy: Knowing that I have something to offer that I love and that people love. Being a part of something that you had a hand in creating and seeing it’s growth and potential. Being able to give people something that they can’t get anywhere else.
Q: What is success?
Amy: Having a job where you are doing what you love everyday. Being your own boss. Constantly searching for the next move to grow.
Q: What resources or tools do you utilize to learn and expand your skills?
Amy: I stay current with marketing and PR trends via social media. I read Pizza Today, INC & Entrepreneur Magazine. I also learn and take advice from my father who has 30 plus years of experience in the industry.
Q: What’s the best (or at least a very good) piece of advice you’ve gotten or can give to young creatives and aspiring small business owners?
Amy: Don’t think it’s going to be easy or you’re going to be special or you have an idea that no one else has. How you package your product or service will create the success and the following. Be able to show people what makes you different than the other places. You have to be willing to sellout for it. Commit to work day in and day out for it. Create a business plan, seek guidance from mentors and experienced business owners. Lastly, don’t back down if people don’t like your business idea. Keep tweaking it and making it better. Never give up.
Q: What measures do you take to stay healthy, mentally and/or physically?
Amy: I write a fashion and beauty blog for a healthy and mental break. It allows the other side of me to come out and be creative. It is a relaxing break from my usual high paced restaurant life. I eat healthy and never skip breakfast.
Q: What personality traits do you admire in people or look for in collaborators or friends?
Amy: I love people that are outgoing, confident, imaginative, witty, smart, open minded, loyal, determined and responsible.