I have been involved with a decent amount of organizations to understand that collaboration and group efforts are a great way to make an impact on major issues. The bigger the voice, the farther it reaches! We enjoy teaming up with other organizations to support their cause and many of our ladies have affiliations outside of ours. Every week we will be featuring a charity organization and help spread the word on their mission. This week, I reached out to Julie Risser-Miller aka Chicago Jewels of Blonde Bomber Productions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about this company and the things they have already accomplished in such little time!
Q1: Tell me about your company:
A1: Blonde Bomber Productions is a photography and event planning company located in Illinois. With every project we do, we “give back” either a portion of the proceeds or in some instances, time and services to various non-profit organizations and projects throughout the country. Many of the organization which we have worked with are smaller ones that do amazing work but don’t get a whole lot of attention.
Currently there are 2 additional team members who work with BBP and they both bring unique and amazing talents to the table. Marie and Ken are both family to us. They completely “get” me. There is no idea too “out-of-the-box” that I can share with them would send them running. And believe me, I am as out of the box as they come.
Marie is one of my oldest friends. She knows my thought process inside and out and has the patience to sit back and let me run through an idea from start to finish (usually with several variations in the process) and helps me see the final product to fruition.
Glenn is an Air Force veteran so he also has a strong connection to what we do. He has a way about him that puts everyone we work with, young or old at ease. Luckily for him, he too is un-phased when it comes to my ideas and planning process.
I am truly lucky that both Marie and Glenn are part of Blonde Bomber. They both believe in what we do and are incredibly talented individuals.
Q2: When did you start?
A2: Blonde Bomber Productions “officially” started in early 2014. Prior to that, I was situated more in front of the camera and volunteered with various organizations individually.
Q3: What inspired you to start Blonde Bomber Productions?
A3: I simply reached a point in my life where I wanted to do something I love and make an impact while doing it. The corporate life is wonderful and I have spent the majority of my life immersed in it but in doing so, I had to suppress my creative side and there came a point where I just couldn’t do that anymore. Being a mom opened up that side of me more than I thought possible and embracing it was the only option for me.
I was raised in a patriotic household. I am a military wife, daughter and granddaughter. This isn’t a phase for me but something near and dear to my heart. I was 8 months pregnant when my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. We received the news on the way home for the airport where I had just picked him up from another mission. He was then transferred to a new unit so I knew none of the wives, etc. All that being said, both my husband and I found ourselves surrounded with support by organizations we never knew existed. Letters arrived to cheer me up, someone “adopted” our family and sent a card and book to my daughter who was going to be a big sister, my husband received words of encouragement. It was truly amazing and we vowed to pay it forward in some way.
We created Echelon Entertainment Enterprises (Blonde Bomber Productions and Lucid Grooves Studio’s parent company) and decided to use each of our talents to do so make a positive impact.
Q4: What are your goals for this company?
A4: To continue to grow, branch out and make a bigger difference in someone’s life. To date we have:
- Ran a ‘Cards for the Troops’ drive and was able to deliver over 200 holiday cards from kids to our soldiers overseas. We plan to do this in 2015 as well.
- Sent over 50 care packages overseas
- Conducted 3 virtual baby showers for expectant moms who found themselves away from friends, family (and husbands) when pregnant
- Participated in a ‘BBQ for the Troops’
- And have donated various funds and services from each of our shoots and events to both military related and non-military related organizations here in the Midwest.
Given that this was done by 2 people in less than a year, it’s a great start but it is just a small fraction of what we want to do in the future.
While we are heavily involved in supporting veteran organizations, we do not limit ourselves. We are continually speaking to and building relationships with other local groups that we could help in some way.
Q5: What made you decide to team up with Pinups for Patriots at Viva Las Vegas 2015?
A5: As I am the state co-leader with Pinups for Patriots here in Illinois, I wanted to meet all of the Pinups for Patriots gals I could when I was at Viva. Truth be told, I also thought it would be a great venue for recruiting new ladies with similar interests.
When I found that they did not have a booth this year, I felt that it would be a good networking and fundraising opportunity for the organization. What Blonde Bomber does coincides directly with the Pinups for Patriots mission. They don’t just talk the talk. Kalen and her team walk the walk as well. I respect the organization and am proud to be a part of it.
Q6: What did you do at Viva?
A6: Viva was somewhat of our “Coming Out” party for Blonde Bomber Productions. The entire community is very welcoming and we thought it would be a great way to connect with those in person whom we have only “talked” to online. We interviewed with several local publications, connected with some very talented individuals, and made some wonderful new friends!
In addition, both Blonde Bomber Productions and Pinups for Patriots are very family orientated. The goal of our booth was to have fun and be family friendly and I definitely think we succeeded in that.
We had face painting and tattoos for the kiddos as well as the opportunity to take pictures with the pinups of PFP – not to mention the promotional swag and limited edition PFP and BBP tanks!
Best of all, we were able to communicate with individuals personally which I feel is so important when trying to communicate missions such as ours.
Q7: Do you have any additional information you’d like to share?
A7: We plan to be at Viva in 2016 and may even be booking some unique shoots while we are there!
Blonde Bomber Productions
Contact Info: Jewels@BlondeBomberProductions.com