Ebonnie Rowe, Founder/Producer Honey Jam and President, PhemPhat Entertainment Group 

PhemPhat Entertainment is an all-female not-for-profit company that supports up and coming female artists, providing them with promotional and educational opportunities. They also support and promote women’s charities. President Ebonnie Rowe has been listed in the Who’s Who of Canadian Women, and has received, among many others, the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award for Arts & Entertainment, and Ontario Volunteerism Award, and a Special Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada. She also founded Honey Jam, a female arts showcase where phenomenal Canadian talents like Nelly Furtado and Jully Black got their start. She is also the founder of the Each One, Teach One mentoring program for Black youth.

What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?

Wake up around 5:30 a.m., see what emails may have come in overnight, reconfirm any meetings I have that day, have a light breakfast, head to the gym, shower, change, check my to do list for the day, game face on, ready for a day of meetings, phone calls, emails, social media, coordinating plans for upcoming events, strategizing.  The“work” day doesn’t really end until I hit the pillow.  Even if there is a social event in the evening it will tend to be work related and I’ll be there with business cards and promo pieces for whatever my next event is.  You have to be on your hustle 24/7.  However, I do try every day to take some time for myself, whether it’s going for a walk, seeing a film, having a power nap, reading,watching my favourite TV show, lunch with a friend, having a bubble bath – there has to be some downtime – some days it might just be 5 minutes of being quiet and still which can still be valuable to settle your mind – breathe in, breathe out…then back to it!

What was your first job out of school?

Administrative Assistant at Decima Research – they specialized in political polling and market research.

What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?

My current job is President of PhemPhat Entertainment Group, producers of the Honey Jam Artist Showcase and workshops.  It requires every skill I have and many I have had to develop.  It’s difficult to pick just 3 but if I had to I guess I would say – Organization, Focus,Tenacity,  I’m basically chief cook and bottle washer, having to manage a myriad of tasks and responsibilities.  It’s imperative to be organized, to pay attention to detail, and have the ability to multitask and not be overwhelmed by it all, but to methodically prioritize and work your way through the various to do lists.  Focus is also crucial.  There are so many distractions – you have to be clear on what you want to achieve that particular hour, day, week and be able to shut out the noise, put your head down and get it done.  Tenacity is essential to get you through the inevitable challenges and is a byproduct of passion, commitment and purpose.  That is the fuel that keeps you going, barreling through, demolishing and leaving roadblocks in dust.

What do you love most about your career?

It is fulfilling and meaningful.  It has value and substance.  It satisfies what means most to me which is making a difference in this world by helping others, promoting education/mentoring, supporting charity. Through Honey Jam we provide these types of opportunities to young female artists and along the way we also promote and support the YWCA programmes for women and girls.

Do you have any warnings?

If you have a career that’s all consuming, that you can’t leave at the office at 5pm, that will require you to give all of yourself, then physical and mental burnout is a huge risk.  It is imperative to take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually.

If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?

Hmmm.. I’m not sure of the specific career but I would want to take that opportunity to have a bit of a break for a year and choose something a lot less taxing, something quiet and peaceful like being a meditation instructor – LOL!

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