JES Jackson, a Hobart birth photographer and founder of Young Mums Unleashed, has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 AusMumpreneur Awards.
Ms Jackson has been nominated for the people’s choice ‘Making a Difference’ business award and the judged ‘Tasmanian Business Excellence’ award.
At only 16-years, Ms Jackson fell pregnant with her first child and suffered a traumatic birth experience.
Following the birth, she overcame post-natal depression and these two experiences empowered Ms Jackson to advocate for other young mums.
She founded Young Mums Unleashed, a one-on-one and group mentoring service for young mothers and pregnant women who need extra support.
Ms Jackson said being selected as a finalist for two AusMumpreneur business awards meant a lot to her, given how far she has come since her days as a teenage mother.
“I was not born strong, I had to make myself strong,” she said.
“I was a teenager having to navigate motherhood in a difficult time.
“I was knocked down and had minimal support, I had no other choice but to get back up and be my own hero.”
Ms Jackson, alongside her Young Mums Unleashed initiative, has been working as a birth photographer for the past eight years.
She uses her photography work to provide mothers with a record of their strength during their most vulnerable time.
Ms Jackson has worked with Sarah Purvey, psychologist and child birth educator to put together the ‘Parenting Collective’ events in Hobart last year, funded by the City of Hobart.
The series of events featured speakers from across Australia who shared educational stories about pregnancy and child birth.
“It was a wonderful way to initiate connections between local services and parents, as well as give me a chance to establish myself as a leader within my industry,” Ms Jackson said.
Despite recently hanging up her camera and closing her birthing photography business, Ms Jackson will continue to work within the industry on different projects to break down the stereotypes regarding young mothers.
The AusMumpreneur Awards have provided Ms Jackson with the opportunity to make more connections within the industry.
She said the award not only represented how far she had come in her journey as a mother and a business woman, but how her story could be an inspiration for other young mothers around the world.
“I hope I can provide the inspiration for the millions of teenage mothers worldwide who are wanting to smash the stereotype and achieve their dreams,” she said.
“Many of my family and friends see my teenage pregnancy as my greatest failure, but I see it as my greatest success.”
For more information about the AusMumpreneur Awards, visit www.ausmumpreneur.com
Caption: AusMumpreneur Awards 2018 finalist Jes Jackson with her eldest daughter, Adelle Jackson.