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Beyond the Pencil (Skirt): Meet Jaclyn Johnson, Founder of (No Subject)

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Meet Jaclyn Johnson, founder of (No Subject), a creatively-driven digital marketing and events agency. The petite Johnson is shaking up industry standards and is also the blogger behind Some Notes on Napkins, creator of Create+Cultivate, and co-founder at Beautycon. She draws inspiration for her creativity from her everyday life, with her trusty 6 month-old yorkiepoo, Noah Wiley, by her side.


Current location:

Los Angeles, CA (by way of NYC, Boston, and London)

Where are you from originally?

West Palm Beach, FL

Education (College / Major):

NYU, Journalism and Public Policy


Founder of (No Subject), blogger at Some Notes on Napkins, creator of Create+Cultivate, and co-founder at Beautycon.

Brief description of your companies:

(No Subject): A creatively-driven digital marketing and events agency.

Beautycon: The first ever summit for digital influencers in the beauty and fashion space.

Create+Cultivate: A traveling workshop series for creatives.

Where were you before (No Subject)?

I began my career at Attention USA at age 20 (I graduated school early) working on social media campaigns for the likes of MAC Cosmetics, Bluefly, etc. I left Attention USA to build out iCrossing’s social media service lines, since at the time most agencies weren’t even offering social media as a service. Following, I worked at IAC in New York consulting on social media strategy for Pronto and Citysearch. The gig at Citysearch is what led to me uproot my life and head to LA—where I was promptly laid off three months after moving. At the time I was absolutely devastated, but in retrospect that patch led me pursue something on my own. Everything happens for a reason kids!

Where do you find inspiration for your blog Some Notes on Napkins?

My everyday life. Posts can stem from a song on the radio, a pin on Pinterest, a story I heard, a product that’s been lingering in my cart. It’s very much dependent on the everyday. I don’t have an editorial calendar.

What was your dream job/career growing up?

I definitely wanted to be a magazine editor and I was (for a second!). I interned at Condé Nast all throughout college (Self, Allure, CondéNast Traveler) and ended up working at Time inc. right after graduation. However, it turned out editorial wasn’t for me, which I determined after my experience interning. I am a huge fan of internships for this exact reason. You get to see behind the curtain of what the day-to-day is actually like.

Office Style

Your personal style in a few words:

Evolving. I like to change it up every few years.

Style icon:

Jenna Lyons, she combines tomboy and glam effortlessly.

Go-to work outfit:

Dress, belt, booties, leather motorcycle jacket, and Céline sunnies.

Go-to outfit for meetings:

I love a strong shoulder in a meeting. You can literally wear anything as long as you throw a nicely tailored black blazer over it.

Article of clothing (or accessory) you can’t live without:

Belts! I am 5′ 3″ and curvy so belts are my best friend. Cinch!

Next item you plan to splurge on:

I just moved into a house (yay!) so I have been splurging on furniture which feels very grown up—no more Ikea! Okay, maybe a little Ikea. I did just order this amazing bed from Design Within Reach, which unfortunately takes six to eight weeks to deliver so for now I am sleeping on a mattress on the ground.

Office Lifestyle

A day running (No Subject) looks like:

It totally depends on the week. However, we always keep a ritual Monday morning team meeting. No matter where our team is (we travel quite a bit) we all patch in and go over our to-dos. But a typical day is running to meetings, having clients to the office, fighting over which Pandora station to listen to, being glued to our iPhones, brainstorm sessions, voting on what to get for lunch, and lots of conference calls. Oh and puppy play time (we have two puppies in the office).

Office culture in a few words:

Family oriented. We spend a lot of time together and the only reason it works is because we really respect one another. We hang out outside the office, we know what irks each other and what motivates us much like brothers and sisters. That’s what creates a family like work environment.

Where do you find inspiration for new client events and strategies?

I am lucky to be surrounded by a great group of inspiring female entrepreneurs. Simply spending time with my close friends—whether in my industry or not—brings about great ideas and inspirations. Embracing conversation and collaboration over competition is key in this industry and can produce great work. Women who help women are what makes the world go round.

What is your favorite location to hold events?

This is a hard one. We’ve done events in museums, offices, rooftops, you name it, but I have to say my favorite location has been at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs for C+C. It’s such an amazing venue.

How many people are on your team?

Five full time, a handful of amazing freelancers, and one #noahwiley (my 6 month-old yorkiepoo).

Favorite part of your job:

Signing new business. I am such a sucker for winning new business, pitching can be extremely stressful so when all the hard work pays off, it’s the best feeling ever.

Work Life Integration

Morning routine:

6 a.m.: emails in bed, hike with the pup, coffee, smoothie, and go.

Where do you go for a ten minute break?

I typically don’t (which probably defeats the whole balance part).

City that describes your personality:

LA has everything I need on a personal level, the hustle of Hollywood, the chill factor of the west side, the mountains, and ocean. I am so in love with LA.

On Saturday you can be found:

In my front yard with some tunes, friends, and likely a glass of rosé.

Favorite lifestyle and fashion blogs (other than your own):

I love Rip + Tan, Sous Style, Matchbook Magazine, A Cozy Kitchen, Emma Dime, This Is Glamorous, Stop It Right Now… this list could go on forever. Typically anything where I can escape into pretty places, faces, food, clothes, and things.

If you were to travel somewhere just for the street style, where would you go?

London… hands down.

Coffee drink of choice:

Installation cold brew and coconut milk.


Best piece of advice ever received:

Get it in writing. A lesson oft learned the hard way.

My mentor:

Moj Mahdara, CEO of Made With Elastic. She has been such a guiding light for me both personally and professionally.

In 10 years:

More friends, more family, and more projects.

Career wisdom for young professional women:

Know your value. Ask for what you deserve—no matter what. Once you overcome this fear, your professional life will be so much better.

Want to start your own business? Ask Jaclyn Johnson for her advice!

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Photo editing and visual content by Pinsi Lei


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