When Brittany Harvey was growing up she knew she just had to be a part of the music industry. The daughter of a concert pianist, she was bitten by the bug early. But it was one rock concert that changed her life forever, because it wast there that she met her husband, Jerry Harvey. The two married and a few years later started JH Audio, a company that designs and sells custom ear pieces for artists, audiophiles and music lovers. Brittany is CEO of the company, and Jerry serves as the creative designer and audio pioneer. And since launching the company the couple have racked up quite the client list — from Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys to Van Halen and T-Pain. Brittany says her children, family and friends get her through the daily grind, and the support she has in her life amazes her. Read on to find out about a job in the music industry you might not have heard of (or thought of) before!
You need to be able to eat with kings and thieves.
How did you discover your current job?
I have worked in the music business in some fashion since I was 18 years old. My husband and I met at a David Lee Roth show that I was working at in New York. Long story short, at the time he owned a company called Ultimate Ears. We were married in 2003, and in 2006, he left Ultimate Ears. Two years later we started JH Audio. I always worked on the business side of music, so it was a great fit for me to run the business and for him to take the lead on artist relations and design.
What has been your path so far to get you where you are today?
I started working in music venues when I was 18 in Upstate New York (where I am from). My mother is a concert pianist and a very talented music teacher and vocal coach, so I was raised in this business. Since I was little I knew that I always wanted to be a part of the music business.
Was there any one situation that helped you along your way?
Meeting my husband definitely changed everything. We knew that if we worked together we would make an awesome team, not just at home, but at JH Audio as well.
What is your typical day like? Does it ever change?
I don't know if there is such thing as a typical day for me! I am not only owner of JH Audio, but I am a full-time mother as well. I have two children ages two and five. I spend most of my day juggling the business and the kids and making sure that all of our clients are happy -- from the rock star to the guy who just wants good audio. I am at work by 9, and usually stop working around 11 p.m. every night. My phone is always on, so if clients need to get in touch with me I am available 24 hours a day. Some days I am in the office, and some days I am out at various music venues seeing clients and selling our product.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The best part of my job is being with the people that I love and having the freedom to take care of my kids. This business is not always a 9 to 5 gig, and I have the ability to make my own schedule most days.
What is the most challenging part?
Honestly, the most challenging part is working with my spouse. You really have to separate work and home. Sometimes that's hard. It seems to blend a lot, and we really try not to have that happen.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
My kids. When we were starting JH Audio I wasn’t with them as much as I would have liked. My daughter is extremely handicapped, and so it was hard to juggle everything.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
The single most important thing in business is customer service. It will make or break a company. We pride ourselves on having the best!
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
Women in my industry are few and far between. I think a lot of clients don’t think that a “girl” can talk tech when it comes to sound. It also was a personal challenge as well to learn everything I could about the industry before I jumped in head first.
Who are your role models?
My role model is my daughter Katie. She is the strongest person I know. At 5 years old she has had to endure more than anyone I know, or probably will know, and she keeps fighting. How could I ever give up after seeing that?
Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
“You need to be able to eat with kings and thieves.” No one person is better or more important than the next.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Just go for it! There are tons of schools dedicated to sound and music business degrees. If music is your passion, then check them out.
Is there anything else you would like to add?