It is uncommon to find someone who straddles varying career paths simultaneously and with excellence. Jamie Smith, however, has pulled it off, weaving a tale of business, entertainment, and basketball.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jamie Smith is a serial entrepreneur, author, and CEO of Katalxst, LLC. In her younger years, she was highly sought after as a star recruit and considered as one of the very best in Women’s Basketball to come out of Pittsburgh – having over 20 Division 1 scholarship offers from top schools and being named in the Adidas top 20 nationally. However, a series of roadblocks and setbacks, including an injury to her ACL in her freshman year, caused her to adjust and begin her career at Morgan State University.
At Morgan State University, Jamie served as Captain and starting point guard on the basketball team for three years, leading the team to its first post-season play in history. Once more, offers came pouring in for Jamie, with prospects of playing professionally overseas, but she could not take up the offers due to injury. After graduation, she relocated to Atlanta and switched career tracks to the entertainment industry.
Jamie found Atlanta to be a natural fit. She quickly rose through the ranks, working with key contacts, managing several artists and talents – growing a reputation as one of the top managers and creative curators of the entertainment industry. She worked on the set of Love and HipHop Atlanta, including the most viewed episode with over 7 million viewers.
Jamie Smith moved to New York in 2016, where she earned her MBA while working as a graduate assistant in the women’s basketball program. It was not long before she caught a Division 1 university’s attention in the area and was offered a full-time position as the director of operations/assistant coach. Jamie went on to coach Division 1 basketball for three years, bringing in exceptional talent and increasing the team’s overall appeal. She became a well-respected name as one of the top upcoming Division 1 recruiters while still managing her artists and working as an executive producer for over four albums within the same period. Jamie has negotiated over ten-million-dollar contracts for athletes, artists, producers, stylists & businesses from record deals, TV deals, company & talent sponsorships, brand partnerships & more.
Jamie Smith established her company, Katalxst, LLC, in 2019, an umbrella company for her other businesses that span a wide range of services – showcasing her wealth of experience and versatility. From business consulting, Project Management, talent, and brand management to expanding into real estate, a barbershop, and clothing brand – Katalxst Lifestyle Brand– became her most successful business in terms of revenue.
Although she has had many successes, Jamie Smith has also suffered significant losses, losing her brother, a mentor, and best friend all within three years and struggling with depression. In the midst of it all, she still wanted to find a way to motivate others who were equally struggling with mental health issues, which led to her writing a book, “How to Lose it All,” where she opened up about the losses and adversity she endured and how she overcame them.
“We as a society are taught and trained through school and life on how to win and become successful, yet no one ever teaches us how to lose the right way and how to cope with losses …”
Her book is slated for release later this year.
Recently, Jamie Smith has become an advocate for mental health and an advocate for those from underrepresented groups and communities. She has given presentations on diversity and inclusion training to colleges, businesses, and high schools. Through Katalxst, LLC, Jamie is also working on a scholarship fund to give scholarships to high school students seeking college funding. In the coming years, she plans to build a creative studio and athletic & training facility.