Jenny Rodriguez’s Ivoreez puts a unique spin on how students learn to play music.
This has undoubtedly been a breakout year for female entrepreneurs, and Jenny Rodriguez is taking a leading role in the new epicenter of the startup world, Southern California. Putting a unique spin on how students learn to play music, Rodriguez is launching a revolutionary new venture, Ivoreez. Unlike the commonplace sheet music used to teach music, Ivoreez is what Rodriguez, a musician and teacher, calls “alternative sheet music.” Rising to the top of a sector that is often considered a “man’s world,” Living Out Loud Los Angeles recently sat down with Rodriguez to learn more about her secrets to becoming a “one to watch” female powerhouse.
LOL-LA: Growing up did you always see yourself as a future businesswoman?
Jenny Rodriguez: I did. I grew up playing music. I’m a musician and a teacher, but I didn’t see myself as an artist. I knew there was something in the business world for me, I just had to find a way to make that work with music. I wanted to find a way to bridge those two loves together.
LOL-LA: How has your previous employment experience aided in the launch of Ivoreez?
Rodriguez: You go through a process in business: You get your feet wet, and you make lots of mistakes. Basically, you see what you like and what you don’t like. Then you really take notice of what you don’t like. One of my first businesses was a home care agency; my husband and I did that from scratch. That experience among others led me to believe that this new innovation in music and in tech was where I really wanted to be. I wanted to bring this educational tool to the market, I was the person for it, and all of my previous experiences helped me define the where we are going and how we are going to get there.
LOL-LA: What were some of the highlights and challenges you faced during the development of Ivoreez?
Rodriguez: Oddly enough, the highlights for me where when I had failures. They allowed me to see where the problem areas were; it got me one step closer to my goal. A lot of people are afraid to launch or present an idea because they don’t want anyone to tell them that their baby is ugly, afraid of being told, ‘Your idea doesn’t bring a solution to a big enough problem.’ We all don’t want to hear that. I’m quite the opposite – I would rather take it right between the eyes.
LOL-LA: What advice would you give to women who would like to start their own business?
Rodriguez: I advise that they make sure that it is something that they really believe in and then go for it. Women love to reach out and make connections, so networking is really important. I think we naturally do that, find supporters and that fan base who will help promote and believe in us. It’s so important to have a group of people that can give you honest feedback. That’s what you want.
LOL-LA: Which female leaders do you admire, and why?
Rodriguez: Speaking as a first generation American and half Latina, the prominent figure in my culture was always a prominent grandmother or mother. All mothers to me are revered in my book because they take on so much. Randi Zuckerberg or Arianna Huffington are also important figures in the industry that can manage to run a business and still keep family and friends, personal connections as their focusing goal in their lives. To me, they represent ideal, well-rounded, balanced women.
LOL-LA: What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Rodriguez: The biggest issue for women in the workplace is having a voice. Women need to speak up and let their voices be heard. We are a force out there and we are making our way, but we need to have that confidence in ourselves and speak without hesitation.
For more information, visit ivoreez.com.