By Tammy Reese
Meet NYWIFT member Jean Criss, an accomplished woman in media and tech, who has founded four successful e-commerce companies, showcasing brand innovation and ability to create. With certifications in digital media, fashion, and business, Jean is a notable figure in the industry, regularly appearing on TV, podcasts, and live radio shows. She is also a philanthropist and passionate advocate for women in business, actively supporting growth and female empowerment. Jean’s commitment to emerging technologies and trends allows her to navigate these ever-changing territories with resilience and fortitude.
Beyond her professional achievements, Jean is a successful author with five self-published books, and as a contributing writer, she has hundreds of articles and blogs published in well-known fashion and business magazines. She is relatable and vulnerable, sharing inspiring stories through an influential social media presence. Jean’s unwavering belief in self and women’s empowerment drives her to make change happen, utilizing AI as a changemaker, upskilling to help women embrace new technologies. Jean’s passion for creativity and innovation fuels her pursuit of experiential solutions and opportunities, making her a true advocate for women in media and tech around the world.
Please enjoy our interview!
Congratulations on publishing your fifth book, Hear Me Now! Empowering Women to Find Their Voice. How did it come about and what would you like readers to take away from this literary experience?
I initially drafted a 10,000-word chapter for IGI Global Publishing, a leading international academic publisher of reference books, journals, and related data focusing on information science and technology. Since the book changed direction, I pivoted and turned this content into a series of short stories, self-published on Amazon Kindle as my fifth book titled Hear Me Now! available in e-book and paperback.
What impact do you aspire to make on the world as an author?
Initially, I started writing to document my journey through life changes as a young widow, then with breast cancer, followed by divorce (titles: BLISS! and Legal Injustice). Next, I outlined my fascinating new world of entrepreneurship from ideation to innovation in LIVE Your Dreams. All three books were set forth in a trilogy entitled “My Pain Woke Me Up!” as it did literally, figuratively, and emotionally for years. I describe how I turned painful pivotal points in life into positivity and persevered in pursuit of happiness.
Then, after the passing of my emotional support dog, Jasmine, I wanted to write a book dedicated to my children, and FLUFFY was published as my first children’s book. Most recently, I wrote about life as a female entrepreneur, showing women how to stand tall, utilizing their active voice in many ways throughout their personal and professional lives. Demonstrating that nothing is impossible. The phrase ‘I am possible’ is derived from that one word alone.
I aspire to have a New York Times best-seller and hope that each book touches someone. Knowing that I have made a difference by educating inspiring and empowering others to strive with resilience no matter what life swings your way is the message throughout all my stories. I write from the heart, sharing vulnerabilities, and very personal experiences with a twist of humor and inspiration to help others cope and heal.
I was once asked to have the trilogy turned into a Lifetime TV movie, but a paid sponsorship didn’t fit the budget. I’d be thrilled to welcome new creative opportunities like that with proper funding.
What else are you currently working on? Any exclusive news you can share with us first?
Besides my involvement with the NYWIFT Communications Committee as a contributing writer since 2011, I am collaborating on a beta team with women in tech at a global AI school (Mission Impact Academy), dedicated to empowering non-technical women through education in AI and emerging technologies. Our goal is to upskill 1 million women worldwide, accelerating the advancement of AI skills, fostering digital inclusion, and enhancing career mobility in the new era of media, tech, and entertainment.
I have drafted a fun and humorous TEDx Talk and hope to get on a stage in 2024.
I am also innovating a new way to promote intimate apparel as an immersive cause for good in the digital fashion marketplace with the CRISSCROSS Intimates collection. This is my utility-patented fashion brand of post-surgical, adaptive, and active wear designs innovated from my hospital bed, for any stage or phase of breast surgery. I hope to change the landscape and user’s shopping experience utilizing digital media and AI — no matter what body type or breast size. Rather than users viewing trending styles from the showroom, they would view them from the comfort of their home room and receive drop ship garments direct. This product is under development, along with other initiatives.
What inspired you to join NYWIFT?
I led a successful multi-million-dollar team in cable television for seven consecutive years in the NY DMA market and enjoyed everything about television. Once I became an entrepreneur, I wanted to stay close to this marketplace, and by joining NYWIFT, it has allowed me to do that and more. I enjoy all aspects of television, film, and digital media, from behind-the-scenes to in front of the camera to the executive suite. As a member of the Communications Committee, I have been able to spread my wings and share knowledge across media platforms with partners and patrons.
What advice would you have for aspiring authors as they embark on becoming published writers?
Like becoming an entrepreneur, you must be ‘in it, to win it’ — so to speak! Take writing seriously. Learn the craft of content and technical writing, utilizing strong listening and communication skills, and the ability to apply creative strategies to your words. This is what I enjoy most, and it has been a cathartic experience in all my published work from blogs, social media, hundreds of published articles, to storytelling, script writing, speech writing, book publishing, and so on. I have also shared stories on radio blog talk shows, Podcasts, webinars, and in-person.
The art of self-publishing is a whole, other world and I grew up in this field learning the craft of publishing in media leading magazines and businesses. We published magazines, newsletters, custom content, the first “Dummy” book series, DVDs, CDs, tradeshow guides, CXO and product marketing collateral, and like creative content. I also learned how to manage my first P&L managing for a leading tech publisher when I started in this field. So, if you are really interested in a career in publishing, get involved. With audible books and new-age technologies, the ‘word’ is endless.
About the book Hear Me Now:
In a world where women’s voices are often muted, author Jean Criss shows readers how to rise above adversity and reclaim their power. Through her poignant narrative, she confronts the pervasive issues of gender-based harassment and assault that too many women face, offering a rallying cry for change and an unwavering call to action.
Hear Me Now is a beacon of hope and transformation, urging every woman to stand tall, speak up, and embrace her unique voice. Criss’s experiences illuminate the path to self-discovery, resilience, and success, proving that no obstacle is insurmountable and no dream too audacious. This book is more than a fictionalized memoir — it’s a manifesto for empowerment, a testament to the enduring strength of the human spirit, and a heartfelt plea for a world where every woman’s voice is valued, respected, and heard.
Discover the courage to rewrite your story, the determination to overcome any challenge, and the conviction to demand the treatment you deserve. Your journey to self-discovery and empowerment begins with Hear Me Now.
To learn more about Jean Criss’ ventures, visit:
SHOP ALL Books: https://www.amazon.com/stores/JeanCriss/author/B0BR2RQTH9
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