Jan 1, 2024
Cover Stories

U-Turns to Success

It’s important to prevailing influencer Annie Adams Malone that people know they can connect with her because she is a real person, a mother and wife who values family and others.

Once again, women are making trend headlines in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur and other top business publications.

A hot topic is how many women across the United States are boldly breaking free from expected career trajectories by taking U-turns for roads to self-fulfillment and discovery.

Some ammunition packed in their arsenal for change: bravery, talent and loads of tenacity.

Right in our own backyard, we have a profusion of tenacious women prioritizing their own passions, ambitions and dreams. Let’s meet two — Annie Adams Malone, 38, of Gulf Breeze and Jo Rich, 39, of Pensacola.

Malone exploration

“It’s been a true evolution!” Malone said. “It is just a matter of sticking with it.”

Now recognized as a top “influencer” and “digital creator,” her Home of Malones business success is skyrocketing on Instagram @homeofmalones — with about 23,000 followers. Her business and personal Facebook pages also garner thousands of faithful followers.

The mother of Brody, 10, Madelyn, 8, and Molly, 5, is married to Matt Malone, regional manager for Adams Homes.

As a matter of fact, Malone started her new Home of Malones path in 2012 by blogging/documenting the construction of their custom home, the same time she became a first-time mom.

“Caring for a newborn can be a lonely time,” she said. “I started to learn about blogging by scouring the Internet for motherhood tips, home and house content, reading everything I could.”

She started connecting to other moms and bloggers.

“I also started listening to what people wanted to hear about. They started asking questions and wanted to know more about Home of Malones.”

It’s now full speed ahead for her creative outlet. Her Instagram topics/tips, photos, reels and stories highlight her interests in kids’ and women’s fashion, entertainment/tablescapes, food/recipes, home and travel. She also started @malonemaison to share photos of their custom-built home, its interiors and her design style and selections.

“I want people to see I am real and that they can connect with me,” Malone said. “They get to see the everyday Annie on Instagram Story. I take their questions. That’s how I learn specifically about what they want.”

Malone shoots short video clips for her food posts with a tripod and then edits them herself, but she hires a professional photographer for everything else, particularly to present polished photos or reels of brands she promotes.

She is compensated, either monetarily or via products, by several companies including Rosanne Beck Collections, Lucy Grymes Designs, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bisby Kids.

For example, you can watch her daughters playfully dancing to a Taylor Swift song in an Instagram reels video wearing Bisby Kids fashions and see a beautiful holiday table setting she presented with Lucy Grymes products.

The former high school soccer star, real estate agent, loan officer and marketing director says she is a new version, the latest model of Annie Adams Malone. Pickleball, anyone?

“The people keep me going,” Malone said. “I have always treasured family and friends and helping others. If I didn’t feel like I was helping others, I would not do this.”

Keep watching Malone explore and connect on Instagram @homeofmalones. You can also sign up for her blogs, which she sends via email, and on her website homeofmalones.com.

Rich realization

It was fabulous fun over the holidays watching Jo Rich on social media. The esthetician, makeup artist and digital creator beamed with radiance in her Facebook and Instagram reels, celebrating and enjoying every second of her successful, creative career.

“The most amazing thing I can do is make someone smile and feel better about themselves,” Rich said. “It is such an empowering feeling knowing that I helped that woman hold her head up high.”

But this boundless joy didn’t come easily. Way before opening Jo Rich Beauty Palafox Glamour Bar on New Year’s Eve 2019, she had much to cope with — including her father’s suicide and postpartum depression after the birth of her second son.

Rich said she found her way by taking an unexpected artistic direction.

To help others understand how she beat her internal battles, she shares her red lipstick story. One evening, Rich went to dinner with a friend who was wearing beautiful red lipstick that didn’t come off while dining.

Loving how her friend looked, Rich bought a tube of red lipstick — a small but powerful catalyst that got her moving forward, Rich said.

“Every day I said, ‘If all I can do is put on this red lipstick, that is something,’” Rich recalled. “It’s how I ended up selling makeup and my evolution began.”

Soon, she started selling SeneGence makeup. In 2017, she opened a small kiosk in Cordova Mall to sell her makeup, learning “by trial and error” as she went along. Loving the new life path and eager to know more, she enrolled in and graduated from Cindy Cassidy School of Electrology, Health and Beauty.

“I learned your makeup will never be a 10, if your skincare is a two,” she said. “I also realized how important it is to take care of your body, so your skin is good as well.”

Rich said she eventually went to her husband, Chuck, a retired Navy pilot, and said, “I can do this better. This kiosk isn’t cutting it for me. I want to open a store.”

Entrepreneur Jo Rich, owner of Jo Rich Beauty Palafox Glamour Bar and Rich Events, says she’s an over-achiever, someone who always wants to be better than the previous year.

“ The most amazing thing I can do is make someone smile and feel better about themselves. It is such an empowering feeling knowing that I helped that woman hold her head up high.” — Jo Rich

After overcoming a few more hurdles, Rich landed the storefront at 126 Palafox Place, home to her now popular and growing Jo Rich Beauty Palafox Glamour Bar.

Her strong background in high-fashion retail, such as being store manager of Armani in Tampa where she had 85 employees, her mall kiosk, a business degree and esthetician education helped set the foundation of her current business, and she’s moving at full throttle.

The store expanded from 1,250 square feet to 2,600 square feet. Staff doubled. Services expanded from basic to a comprehensive array of facials/procedures, permanent makeup, special effects makeup, lashes/brows, fine line tattoos, piercings and much more. She and team members attend makeup shows in Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas and other metropolitan cities.

Her Jo Rich Beauty business Facebook page boasts over 4,000 followers, her personal Facebook page, 7,000 followers and Instagram site, about 4,000 followers.

In addition to the glamour bar, she opened Rich Events in April 2022 upstairs. The “boutique” venue is the site for many events — including wedding receptions, celebrations of life, corporate parties and holiday parties. You can also rent the space as a visitor.

“I am an over-achiever; I always want to be better than I was the year before,” Rich said. “But everything I do is done with love. I let my clients know I care and that I am grateful for them.”

When Rich isn’t busy at work, she has plenty to fill her days, especially her family, which includes sons Jackson, 11, and Nolan 7. And not to forget plenty of volunteering and community involvement.

Catch up with Rich on Instagram @jorichbeauy and Facebook. Learn more on her website jorichbeauty.com.