Room University featured on CBS News!
by Room University
by Room University
Exclusive Interview with Johnene McBeth
Today we’d like to introduce you to Johnene McBeth.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
My story made sense to me in 2010, as I watched my hair rinse down my dorm room drain due to a hair treatment gone wrong. That experience ignited the entrepreneur in me. Now, I am a Serial Entrepreneur, Speaker, Podcaster, Course Creator, Graduate student, Military Spouse and Mom. Currently, I serve as the CEO of Jewels by Marcel, Texture + Style Co. and Room University. In founding My Natural, a student organization to educate college women about how to take care of their natural hair, I uncovered a problem in the beauty industry, natural hair product distribution. In 2013, before graduating from Winston-Salem State University, I pitched a business that would connect small businesses and beauty product manufacturers to their target audience. Within four years, I received almost 10K in event sponsorships, highlighted 100 small businesses and created a space for ten beauty product manufacturers to pitch their products. However, as successful as the events were, there was still some major hurdles with planning and venue management. Then, in 2019, I was newly engaged, surprisingly pregnant and hesitant about planning our wedding because of the challenges with venue management in the past. Luckily, our venue of choice offered a seamless and professional digital planning experience, which confirmed the answer to my looming frustration with planning events. I called my dad, Johnnie Benson, who gives the best business advice and has over 30 years of Sales Experience. He loved the idea so much that together, we created Room University! Room University is a digital marketplace offering exclusive access for professionals to rent unique event venues.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
When you’re consistently out of luck with something, think of it as a sign from the Universe that you’re the one destined to change that problem. From losing all of my hair in college to our wedding being postponed due to Covid, these circumstances may have tested my faith, but as I look at where I have come from, my business ventures are a testament to the fact that fear simply will not win in my life anymore. The late Chadwick Boseman said it best, “Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember, the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” When I officially registered Room University in February 2020, the goal was to save professionals from the endless troubles I lived through with booking event venues. Then, the pandemic hit, and my partner and I felt like our new venture was toast. How in the world would we convince people to rent a space when restrictions made people stay home? What we realized is that our business offers a simple, digital experience, for you to book and plan your entire event though our platform online at roomuniversity.com. From accepting payments to signing contracts to messaging hosts prior to event day, these opportunities are endless.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
When you book a hotel, you have many online travel agencies to choose from like Booking.com and even Airbnb. Shouldn’t booking event spaces be as simple? If you are a professional photographer, creative or event professional, and you’re looking for a place to get in the zone, look no further than Room University ! Event professionals can book space by the hour without any hidden fees and messy contracts, discover unique spaces that align with the vision of your event, message hosts directly and book instantly. If you own a venue, generate income by listing your space at Room University. When your space is not being used by you during business hours, allow professionals to book your space by the hour. Many businesses are on the verge of shutting down due to Covid-19 and our platform gives those venues, the opportunity to still generate income. New hosts will find value in listing their spaces with us because we have uncovered several ways to make their listing stand out, which includes giving them access to the Self-Made Social Suite (www.iamjohnene.com/#selfmadesocialsuite ), a digital marketing agency and we will offer courses to hosts and potential hosts that want to learn more about how to scale their location rental business.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
When things work out, that is my signal that this is what God wanted and when things do not work out, this is my signal that He is protecting me from something that did not have my best interest, which allows me to prepare my mind for the next step. To keep my mind focused on being patient, I remember this: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God with transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success is defined by what you do in the moments when you are presented with a problem and even right after you fail. To experience it, you have to make a choice. You can use failure or unawareness as an excuse of why you can not reach your goals or see it as the currency to make a down payment for your new path to success.
What’s next for you?
Great Question! You know digital connection is more important than ever, and it’s become invaluable for business growth during this time.
Room University is growing and I am excited about connecting with more owners of stunning short term and location rentals, like our partner Chris Senegal , who just listed a beautiful modern space with amazing design elements near downtown Houston, TX.
I’ve recently partnered with SoCity Social (www.socitysocial.com ), a niche marketing agency specializing in branding and social media marketing. SoCity has helped clients across North America to make the digital shift, improving the way brands communicate and connect online. Our partnership brings together a team of experts who are able to assist you in navigating social media marketing while saving you time, energy and providing valuable resources to build a great digital presence, in the Self-Made Social Suite.
Jewels by Marcel, which a jewelry boutique dedicated to my son, Marcel, is headed to a major retailer, so I am amazed at how quickly a battle with postpartum depression has turned into a beautiful reminder of why women, especially moms can embrace their beauty with earrings! And there is so much more, but you’ll have to get connected so you can see what’s next!
Personally, on March 2, God willing, I will be celebrating my 30th birthday, my husband, Michael and I will be having our postponed wedding in May 2021 and next year, I’ll be graduating with my Master’s in Legal Studies from American University Washington College of Law. I’m so grateful for where I am and hope to inspire my son to reach his dreams too!
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more.
If you own a venue that can be booked for events or you’re interested in learning how to rent your space as a location rental, please go to www.roomuniversity.com and sign up today. We vet all of our partners, so we are careful to list exceptional venues.