My Biography and Experience
Jessica was born in Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri but she can't remember much about it- she spent most of her life moving around the continental United States. As the child of military parents, Jessica had the priviledge of meeting people from a variety of races, classes and cultures. If you ask her where she is from, she will most likely tell you she is from everywhere or where she spends the most time: with her mother in North Carolina, her father in Birmingham, Alabama or wherever she is currently living.
As a military brat and an only child, Jessica always cherished opportunities to connect and remember her surroundings. This compulsion drew her to photography, giving her momentos of all the places she had been and the people she met. Jessica began taking photography seriously in college, forming Jessica Latten Photography, LLC in 2006. The desire to remain close to friends and family as she traveled made her an early fan of social networking.
While working as a photographer, Jessica noticed the financial hardships that many of her comrades were going through as artists. These issues inpired her to found We Are Rtists (WAR) , n Alabama nonprofit dedicated to fostering cohesion between local artists and there communities, as well as creating opportunites to realize financial security.
Jessica's love for social networking led her to create a Facebook page, Natural Hair, to provide support and encouragement to people learning how to care for hair devoid of chemical treatments meant to alter its texture. Natural Hair is now the largest Facebook group dedicated to Natural Hair on Facebook. During her own natural hair journey, Jessica created a skin and hair product called All Ova Butta, and at the encouragement of her friends, started Indigo Tree, LLC- a natural skin and hair care line which sold online and in several retail outlets in Birmingham, AL.
During this journey, Jessica developed a passion for business, thus beginning her current journey as a student at Simon Business School. At Simon, Jessica is concentrating in Computer Information Systems, Marketing Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Jessica keeps herself busy at school with her involment at
- Marketing Management
- Digital Marketing
- Pricing Policies
- Comuputer Information Systems
- Technical Entrepreneurship
Extra Curricular Activities
- Co-President of Simon Vision (consulting club)
- VP of Career Developmen Net Impact
- VP of Marketing in Simon Women in Business
- VP of Business Relations Simon Toastmaster
- Forte Fellow and Representative
- Part of the founding team for the UR Impact Fund
Natural Hair Group
The Natural Hair group was founded with the intent to provide a support group for people interested in learning more about Natural Hair care. The term "Natural hair" is usually refers to kinky/ tightly coiled hair that hasn't been chemically altered. Historically, natural hair has been viewed an "bad" and unkempt. As a result, the people who have this type hair, usually chemically straighten their hair to strenghthen their chances of being socially accepted. As a result, these people usually don't have much knowledge of how to care for their hair in its natural state. Additionally, the consistent use of chemicals and weaves for the appearance of having straight hair has been proven to increase the occurence of uterine fibroids, alopecia and scalp burns. The Natural Hair Group is now the largest and most engaged natural hair group on Facebook.
Jessica is a professional photographer with over 10 years of experience. She got her start working at Amani Raha, in Birmingham, AL. Afterwards, she began doing head shots and album covers for artists that performed there, eventually networking to become the personal photographer former County Commissioner Shelia Smoot (while she ran for congress) and Mayor Bell.
- Birmingham Weekly
- Taste of Fourth Ave. Jazz Festival
- Magic City Classic (Alabama Power)
- Alabama Power
- Former County Commisioner Shelia Smoot
- Birmingham, Al's Mayor Bell
- WE Community Gardens
- Not Just Catering, LLC
- Prostart Academy
Indigo Tree, LLCIndigo Tree, LLC is a line of natural skin and hair care products. It's flagship product, All Ova Butta, has been sold online and in several retail outlets in Birmingham, AL. Indigo Tree, LLC's goal is to make high quality, natural skin and hair care affordable and easily accessible to everyone. All of the ingredients are non toxic, even if ingested.
We Are Rtists (WAR)
Enriching lives with the power of art through education, entertainment, and community involvement.
We Are Rtists is a collective of artists, artists groups, art enthusiasts and people that support/fund the arts. The goal of WAR is to create a more cohesive community of artists in order increase publicity to the artistic events, educate artists to run businesses and to help supplement artists with donations in the form of capital and supplies.
The following are the problems that WAR addresses:
- 1. Communication
- a. Lack of communication with each other. Artists don’t know about the different events featuring or created by other artists,
so support is minimal.
What’s worse, they have the same types of events on the same day in different locations.
- b. Lack of communication with the public. In other words artists lack publicity, another reason for poor attendance. What point is there to put your heart and soul into an event if you don’t have anyone there to experience it?
- 2. Lack of education
- Most artists want to be able to do their art all day, every day, or at least whenever they want. In order to do that, artists need to be self sustaining, meaning they have to make money from doing their art. Artists need to live. In order to do this, the best bet is to have an education that gives the business training needed to become responsible business owners.
- 3. Lack of Funding
- a. Artists need to be able to secure the physical resources that are needed to produce their respective art. What is a brilliant writer without a pen? What good is a pianist without a piano? How can you be an artist without a medium?
- b. Artists need to obtain office, studio and event space create and highlight to our creations. How can an artist show your art without a gallery? How can they secure a gallery without funding?
- WAR helps offset these obstacles.
- 1. Communication
- a. Bi-monthly meetings to help the artists better connect and coordinate with each other, utilizing the WAR website as an extension of that communication.
- b. WAR have a publicity committee that will help publicize events for artists and teach them ways they may not have thought of to publicize their own events.
- 2. Education
- WAR hosts forums and classes to help educate artists in the art of running businesses, paying taxes, keeping books and other business needs.
- 3. Funding
- a. WAR's goal is tohave a program for entities to donate equipment that artists may need in order for these artists to borrow the equipment until they can raise the funding they need on their own.
- b. WAR also uses donated funds to help supplement individual artists for materials and their events.