Meet Courtney Ismain, E-Commerce Manager at Jamii

Courtney Ismain, E-Commerce Manager at Jamii accepted to be interviewed by UK Black Business Week. She shared her insights as a Black Woman entrepreneur and career professional and why she endorses UK Black Business Week events.

How did you get started in your career/industry?

I have always had an interest in content writing. When Jamii co-founder Khalia launched the business in 2016, I volunteered to create weekly newsletters, regular blog posts and social media content alongside my university studies to help grow awareness. I went on to have another full-time content marketing job, but as Jamii grew, there was scope for me to take on a more operational role on the side. By the time I joined full-time in 2019, it was a natural transition because being the designated copy and content writer since the start of the business meant that I knew the brand more than anyone else did.

What were your aspirations at a young age?

I was always interested in the idea of writing for a magazine. At university, I was skilled in writing essays and often wrote for the student newspaper on issues of social justice. At Jamii, I’m responsible for all content and copy, including for our seasonal mini-magazine the Little Black Book, and so I’m proud to be able to use my creativity almost daily in my role.

Looking back on those early days, what advice would you give an 18 year old…..?

It is important for young people to have the confidence and ambition to see themselves in any role. When it comes to looking for a job or career, I would advise an 18 year old to think creatively about their transferable skills and what career paths these might open up to them. Hard skills are valuable but so are pragmatism and versatility, which may not be measurable but are indispensable in countless industries.

Why did you join Jamii?

I joined Jamii because I believe in the mission. Jamii wants to incentivise customers to shop small and shop Black which, if we all get into the habit of it, can make waves across society, culture, and the economy. We always say that buying Black is not a radical or revolutionary act - it’s common sense. And I like to think that with Jamii we even make it feel fun, rewarding and enriching.

Jamii is a proud media partner of Black Women Business Talks (Tuesday 18th October | 6pm – 9.30pm) and Black Men Business Talks (Tuesday 18th October | 6pm – 9.30pm) during UK Black Business Week. 🎟️ Info and tickets available here.