How Eddie Vedder Gave Me My Start in Business

Sometimes, in business, passions lead to opportunity and often it’s a good idea to follow those passions. I did, and it led to a great entrepreneurial run. 

In 1995, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was inducting Neil Young into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I was a high school girl with every intention of getting to New York City to meet Eddie. But how?

I asked the Waldorf if one of the writers for my magazine could get in to interview attendees and review the event and they suggested faxing in a request for a press pass. Only problem: I didn’t have a magazine.

So I launched one in less than a day. My cousin was the publicist for a major metal band in the '80s and agreed to help with content.  In a matter of hours, after massively struggling through the software on our Apple IIC, we had come up with Zip Magazine -- it sounded snappy -- and picked really cool font for the header that was underlined with … wait for it … a zipper. 

Lo-and-behold, Zip Magazine's editor landed a press pass to the event. I still haven't come down.

It was because of my zeal for Pearl Jam that I accidentally started a fake magazine, but eventually that fake magazine turned into a real fanzine, CosmicPeas, which sold in local stores for one year at a dollar a pop. (One of our staff writers is the now-famous Karen O of the New York Indie Rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeah's.) 

It was because of the real fanzine that I continued to fax press pass requests to publicity departments of record labels, talent buyers and venues to review their concerts, take photos and grab autographs for the rest of my high school and college career.

It was because of those shows that I ended up working at a record label for a few years before I opened my own music management company.  And I parlayed those small business lessons learned into a baby jewelry start-up. And with all that experience combined, I launched my latest gig: The Founding Moms, a collective of meet-ups for mom entrepreneurs.

Did I get to meet Eddie Vedder? Yes.Did that make my day?  Not nearly as much as the journey it took to get to him. 

Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs. Having built two successful companies, she launched The Founding Moms to connect mom entrepreneurs around the globe with one another.In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, traveling to small towns, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.

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