At the age of 19, Jaylen Horne has managed to become the CEO of his own photography company. He and his partner, Szanto Christian have built up a team of photographers that go out and shoot under their company, X-Clusive Shoots. As the business just started six months ago, it has grown exponentially with both photographers and bookings and is even launching a pop-up shop! Check out my interview with the CEO and find out more about X-Clusive Shoots and attending this amazing upcoming event:
How did you get started with the business and what made you interested in photography?
“ My friend, Szanto Christian got a Canon G7x camera for Christmas, he was into YouTube so I offered the idea of doing photography. I’ve been looking into for a minute but never really had a person that I felt was interested in starting the business with me. He was interested and we decided to launch X-Clusive Shoots Photography after many name changes.”
Jaylen’s a student at Oakland University and his resident advisor was actually one of the biggest influences on how he learned his photography skills and why he became so interested.
“He’s a seasoned photographer and taught us a lot, he even let us borrow his camera for events at times. I wanted to start the business with Szanto and then build as we expanded among our peers.”
And they definitely have. The business now has a team of four people and every photographer contributes something different to the operation.
“I usually focus on the networking, selling tees… and booking shoots as well as editing and taking pictures. Szanto edits videos and takes pictures. Tina Conway, one of our new members creates flyers for us as well as video editing. Our latest addition to the team, Alyssa Hall, helps with taking pictures and brainstorming new ideas for the brand.”
What does your business represent to you?
“My brand represents family, cooperation, trust and elevation. We are a family, we make sure that everyone is doing good on a daily basis no matter what. We work together on everything, We trust each other and will allow everyone to express their opinions about new ideas. We elevate each other, we bring each other up.”
Jaylen and his team believe that X-Clusive Shoots should be family oriented and that in order to be successful, everyone on the team should be supported and respected equally. But not only do they show that with each other, Jaylen feels that they portray the same energy with their clients.
“We make sure our work is out on time and back to our clients as soon as possible. Good customer service goes a long way and if the customer isn’t happy, then we aren’t either. We will work with them until a deal is done and they are comfortable with doing business with us here at X-Clusive Shoots. We truly do want your experience to be picture perfect.”
How do you feel about entrepreneurship in Detroit?
“It’s so many entrepreneurs in the city, it’s crazy to me. I feel that I’m so behind and there are a lot of entrepreneurs that are younger than me doing things I wish I could’ve done at their age. Whether it’s a clothing line, photography music, cooking, or any type of entrepreneurship you will find it around here with no problem–Breadwinner, RIPZNTEARZ, TXRY, Jetlag just to name a few that I’ve come across and they’ve helped me grow and I’ve learned from them.”
“Detroit is a networking showcase and it’s so many people that have great brands to show to the people of the city.”
Which bring us to the upcoming event, X-Clusive shoots will be hosting “Pop! & Shop!” tomorrow, June 22, 2018 in Royal Oak, MI. Jaylen and his collaborator, Amanda Rutledge, CEO of M2DesignsCo came up with the idea in order to create an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to network with other companies and also for consumers to come and explore their unique businesses.
“The pop up shop event is where entrepreneurs can showcase their brand to the city and expand in ways that will be beneficial to them. The pop up allows you to interact with people, families and others who may be interested in your work and could be your next potential client. People should expect to have fun of course, meet young, hard working entrepreneurs and enjoy themselves. There will be music, food, giveaways and more. It’s going to be a great networking showcase that you don’t wanna miss!”
Jaylen, his team and collaborators are all excited to launch this new venture on friday which was actually also inspired by other young business owners in Detroit.
“I attended my first pop up shop hosted by Taste of the East Eats and Breadwinner and I enjoyed it so much. So I hopped on board with Amanda and we started planning for it. We decided to host it and to tell entrepreneurs about being vendors which would help them build their brand. She really did a great job designing the flyers and I reached out to entrepreneurs and she did as well. It was a little hard planning the date just to make sure we weren’t busy but everything starting to come full circle and now it’s happening! We still can’t believe it.”
“Pop! & Shop!” currently has a full list of vendors so there will definitely be a full house. If you would like to explore some of Detroit’s entrepreneurial talent, enjoy music and network, Pop! And Shop! is where you need to be tomorrow! Check out the flyer here:
Also, Check out X-Clusive Shoots’ page to explore and book a photoshoot!