With her young son strapped to her back, Phoenix Jackson was coaxed onto the dance floor by the swaying bodies and infectious drumbeat. She had no clue that it would be her first step towards launching an international fitness video.
Jackson was 21 when her interest in African dance and music led her to watch a local dance troupe.
Seven years later, she’s positioning one of her entrepreneurial endeavors for a global release while juggling other roles as a mother, fitness instructor, marketer and professor.
In November 2013, Jackson launched the Phitnus video line. The videos use African dances to get women healthy, but the program also focuses on women’s mental health, another of Jackson’s passions.
“I want to reform the way women look at themselves and how they perceive beauty,” Jackson said. “Women can not only get healthy on the outside, but on the inside as well.”
In addition to the dance and fitness aspects, the program offers yoga, pilates, mediation and a digital journal. Although the brand is still developing, Jackson said she believes it can be a viable product that fills a hole in the market.
“There aren’t many things on the market catering to women growing physically and emotionally,” she said.
Jackson isn’t the only person optimistic about the fitness program’s future. Representatives from the IDEA Health and Fitness Association — the group that helped launch the Zumba and P90X fitness crazes — want her to display her product at the group’s annual conference.
Because Phitnus is still developing, Jackson is unsure she’s ready to present it to the 12,000-person conference of such high caliber. However, she hopes Phitnus will reach all 50 states and Europe within the next year.
Fortunately, she has extensive experience in fitness programs and marketing.
Phitnus grew out of Jackson’s past fitness program, Dance to Live. Inspired by African dance, Jackson created a curriculum to teach women how to love and nurture themselves. She continues to teach two weekly dance classes in Denver.
Nine years ago, Jackson started her own marketing company, Nation Marketing Group. True to its name, the company represents diverse clientele — including small shops, professional athletes and celebrities — from California to New York.
Jackson helps companies revamp their websites and rebrand their products.
She largely taught herself how to design web pages, but in 2004 she was selected as a Daniels Fund Scholar, allowing her to attend the University of Denver.
In 2008, she was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from DU’s Daniels College of Business.
Her entrepreneurship and connections to DU didn’t end there. In 2011, Jackson began teaching a mental health and wellness course at the Colorado Women’s College at DU.
Her passion for mental health extends to suicide prevention as well. The Carson J Spencer Foundation, a client of Nation Marketing Group, asked Jackson to join their board. Jackson agreed knowing that Colorado has a significant hole in the mental health field, as the state ranks eighth in the nation in suicide rates.
Jackson’s marketing work has even gotten her in contact with celebrities. Her friends call her a celebrity magnet for the way she attracts them out of the blue.
“Marketing isn’t a glamorous profession, so I never really expect it, especially in Colorado” she said.
All of Jackson’s work hinges on bettering herself and others.
“I want to help my generation in the long run,” she said. “I’m fine-tuning myself to deliver something even greater in the future.”
Through Phitnus, Dance to Live and new organizations like Shop Talk Live, Jackson is working to change how women view themselves.
“I want to teach women to perceive themselves differently,” she said. “When they look in the mirror, I want them to see that as accurate instead of what they think they should look like, or what they want to look like.”
Location: Denver, CO
Industry: Fitness video
Education: University of Denver
Favorite celebrity encounter: Common – “His music is so conscious. How he advocates and how aware he is, I’m really proud of his work.”
View article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/print-edition/2014/07/18/making-their-mark-phoenix-jackson-finds-dance-a.html