Interview With Award-Winning Publicist, Kells
Cherisse Jamison, professionally known as ‘Aye Yo Kells’, is an Award-Winning Publicist, Former media personality, and a successful entrepreneur with several businesses to her name. She is best known for founding The Jamison Agency (a boutique PR firm), Keeping Up with Kells Media, and the recently established network ‘Creatives Who Hustle’. Famous for her brand ‘Keeping Up with Kells’, Kells is no stranger to the glitz and glamor of entertainment. Still, her come-up in the industry is one of great inspiration, indomitable passion, and sheer determination.
Kells comes from humble beginnings. She was born and raised in Norway, SC, and is a graduate of both Clafin University and Voorhees College. In 2017, shortly after graduating college, she made the decision to relocate to Charlotte, NC after experiencing an estranged relationship with her mother. She moved in with her then-boyfriend who, shockingly, turned out to be an abuser. In that time, Kells experienced her lowest moments, battling depression and developing an eating disorder that took her further away from the thing she loved the most: entertainment. Determined to shine, Kells broke free of her abusive ex and looked forward to a better future. Homeless for a while, she resided in hotels before sharing a one-bedroom apartment with a now-estranged friend. For several months, she slept bareback on a cold floor until she could afford a Futon couch. After working a corporate call center job and taking on small PR projects, Kells finally encountered a tipping point in her career.
In 2019, Kells received her big break amidst her long break from entertainment while working with TV Personality ‘Masika Kalysha’ during All-Star Weekend, Charlotte. Her work made headlines the entire weekend and this propelled her to make smarter decisions. In time, she rented an apartment which turned out to be a safe haven and a magical workspace. By now, nothing could stop Kells as she quit her call center gig and focused on her entertainment business.
She started The Jamison Agency after working on high profile projects such as Boosie Juice Campaign; A Small Problem (movie production); All-Star 2019 Charlotte, NC; Vibin’ With Jazzy B Reality TV Based Show; 21 Savage Back To School Bash; The Miami LIVexperience; FOX Network ‘Shots Fired’; The rollout for Day And Night Cereal Bar — just recently launched in Charlotte, NC — ; and many more. She also founded ‘Creators Who Hustle’, a network with a mission to inspire, uplift, and empower; to share knowledge and expertise; and to provide tools, resources, and experiences to people aspiring to enter the entertainment business. Known for her big personality, Kells uses her gift of the gab to execute media coverage for numerous shows and events nationally, such as Black Girls Rock, MTV Music Awards, Amber Rose Slut Walk, BET ’S Hip Hop Awards/Soul Train Awards, and many more.
In addition to journalism and numerous production credits, Kells has also handled various events in the LA, Charlotte, NC, Miami, Fl, and ATL areas. She also provides PR to Organizations, Expos, Conferences, Authors, Influencers, Entertainment individuals, Brands, and Entrepreneurs; always assisting in the development of small businesses within the community. Kells has worked with many top personalities and brands including Vivica Foxx, Hilary Clinton campaign, Kiyomi Leslie, Armani Caesar, Montana of 300, 21 Savage, Pretty Ricky, Lil Mo, NFL Player Brashaud Breland, Lil Boosie, Trina; Darren Band from MTV’s Wild N Out; Watch Jazzy, Tyrese, Sincerely Ward, Kris Summers, Rolling Ray, painter Whitney Austin and many more.
Her agency continues to propel clients to new heights, with many appearing on major platforms like Forbes, Business Insider, Good Morning America, XXL, BET Network, FOX, ABC, VH1, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, Medium, Rolling Out, The Source, Hello Beautiful, Revolt, Sheen Magazine, Rolling Stone, Yahoo Finance and others.
We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Kells.
Please describe yourself in 3 words?
Kells: Caring, passionate, and career-driven.
We adore your brand ‘Keeping Up with Kells’. What have you been up to as of late?
Kells: Honestly, Keeping Up With Kells hasn’t been my focus this year, all my focus and time was
dedicated to The Jamison Agency, However, I do plan to relaunch KUWK in 2022 but more so to
give upcoming media professional opportunities within the industry. I also will be sharing more
insight on my new business venture Creatives Who Hustle.
What went into your decision to transition from a media personality to a publicist?
Kells: I was already doing some sort of PR behind the scenes, but I had no idea what I was doing was PR lol. Working within the media personality space was very draining for me because I’m an empath. I need mental breaks and social breaks consistency, so working behind the scenes was always a passion of mine. Being great with speaking, making genuine connections with people, and making things happen were always great skills of mine.
Once I realized all the moves, I was making were things that consisted of PR I started taking the skill more seriously. I interned under several notable PR professionals, researched, and educated myself consistently, and I gave myself strict guidelines and goals to meet.
What are some of the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Kells: Hitting 100k in sales within 9 months under just two years of operating a full-time PR firm.
What would you like to see more of in the media and public relations industries?
Kells: When it comes to the media and public relations spaces, I would like to see more mentorship, more collaborations happening, and more spaces created for and by our people. It would be great to see more professionalism happening too. I feel like PR is becoming so water down now, so I would love to see a change with that. Lastly, when it comes to the media space I just want to see more of my people on the red carpets and in these dominated white spaces.
What is a quote that you live by?
Kells: Continue to bless others so that GOD will continue to serve blessings upon you.
What is a super fun fact about yourself that many may not be aware of?
Kells: That would be that I actually grew up on a farm but I’m one of the most bougee, country, goofy, ratchet girls that you would ever meet lol.
As we approach Thanksgiving, What and Who are you thankful for?
Kells: I’m thankful for all my life experiences thus far because those are the fundamentals to whom I’ve become as a woman. I’m thankful for my family, supportive friends, the solid relationships I’ve built
within my entire career, my clients, and for everyone who’s ever taken a chance on me, supported me, or
even recommended me.
What else can we be on the lookout for from you?
Kells: For 2022, you can be on the lookout for the first book of my book series I plan to release, a headquarters office for The Jamison Agency, more client moments, the relaunch of KUWK, and there’s so much more I have in store.
What do you want your legacy to look like?
Kells: This is such a loaded question. I just want to create generational wealth for my entire family. I want to have numerous businesses and investments in my name that I can pass on. It’s very important to me that I inspire the young ladies looking to come into the business after me. Every day, I seek out to
become an inspiration to someone and just be a direct testimony for those who need some sort of encouragement.
More about Kells:
For her talents, hard work and humanitarian dedication to the local communities, Kells has received multiple awards, such as 2020’s Grind Guru award in her home state of South Carolina, Philanthropy award, Women In Media Award, The People’s Choice Award, and Personality of the Year Award, to mention a few. That’s not all; Kells won Rising Publicist of the year at the 2021 Black Media Honor Awards. Her glittering career is a testament that hard work pays off, with her gross sales reach over 150K with an estimation of 200k by January 2022.
Associations / Influence
In the space of two years, Kells is already one of entertainment’s most-sought-after publicists. She is a remarkably gifted motivational speaker, sometimes making appearances at UNC events, Charlotte, visiting the DJJ program in South Carolina, and hosting numerous school bashes for children in the region. Being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a member of Forbes 30 for the Culture, and a proud member of the Media Girls Network; Kells relentlessly empowers young women in her community, teaching them how to create successful careers in the media industry.
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