Wildcats@Work with Jennifer Abernathy

By:
By Kethia Kong,
Axcess Athletics founder, Jennifer Abernathy
After graduating from the UA, Jennifer Abernathy '07 played professional volleyball. Today, she is the proud business owner of Axcess Athletics, a startup company that is passionate about creating solutions for active people.

 

Tell us about your journey from UA student to proud business owner.

I attended the University of Arizona on a volleyball scholarship and after I graduated, I continued to play volleyball professionally. Then all of a sudden, it was time to retire and I had a tough time figuring out who I was because I had been an athlete my whole life. Shortly after, I got my first sales job. During this time, I felt I still had a creative passion that I wasn’t tapping into. As a result, I opened up a clothing boutique and started my first business.

Tell us about your current business.

The current business that I run now, Axcess Athletics, is a year and a half in the making. The inspiration for the company sprang from my quest to find yoga attire that matched my active lifestyle. I’m excited to share that our Kickstarter campaign will launch on November 1 and the first 500 pair of leggings will be sold for 50 percent off.

What does your day-to-day look like?

I usually start my day with social media — planning out posts for the day and interacting with followers. Then the sales side kicks in and I make a lot of phone calls to get more press for the business. Today, I went around to local yoga studios to talk about my product and drop off flyers.

What’s the best part of your job and what are some of the challenges?

The most rewarding part is just knowing that I’m doing what I’m passionate about. Nothing beats that. Waking up in the morning and working hard for yourself and a life that you dream of is the greatest thing in the world. Every dollar that you make counts so much more.

The most challenging part is doing everything by myself. As a startup, I don’t have the money to have an entire team around me. Even though I can do it all, it can be a little stressful and time consuming to wear every single hat.

 

What advice can you give to someone looking to launch their own company?

Just do it. It’s never going to be the right time, you’re never going to have the right amount of money and you’re never going to have everything perfectly lined up. But once you start, get the ball rolling, make some mistakes and learn from it, everything just comes together.

I always tell people — you can have great ideas, but if you don’t step out there and jump in the water, you’ll never know if you’re going to be successful.

What’s the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned?

Never stop. There’s been many times where I’ve had doors closed in my face. But I truly believe that being persistent and consistent is the key to success.