As founder and owner of Gumptown Magazine, Jamal Thomas has become a media marketing pro. But as he reflects on the publication’s 10 years in, he knows forming real relationships is the foundation of his success.
Are you from Montgomery? I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. I moved to Montgomery in 2002 to attend Alabama State University. I had a band scholarship and a full academic scholarship. I am a first-generation college student. After I graduated, I decided to stay and see what opportunities I could experience.
When and why did you start Gumptown Magazine? I started Gumptown in 2011. I used to work for another publication, Montgomery Spotlight, in 2009. I sold print ads. Then, I worked as an Account Executive for WAPZ 1250 in Wetumpka. We changed our format, and I lost all of my customers. The whole time I was also serving tables at Wintzell’s at night to pay my bills. Then one day, the idea hit me like a light bulb. I took a leap of faith, and 10 years later I am here.
What’s the main purpose of Gumptown? To inform the community about the area’s available products and resources that can help them have a better quality of life as well as provide the latest coverage in grassroots community news.
How does Gumptown benefit local businesses and organizations? Gumptown helps in so many ways, it’s amazing. We help businesses get the word out and help bring in new customers and clients. We also offer several services, including branding, marketing, public relations, social media and website management, distribution, printing and digital marketing.
When it comes to the stories Gumptown publishes and shares, what are a few of your favorites? I love all of them. There are so many individuals in our community with amazing stories!
What’s your favorite aspect of your job? I like that my job is very dynamic. Every day is different and spontaneous. One email can change my whole day or week.
Marketing that Matters
“I love marketing. It’s not about the money; it’s all about helping people. It’s all about building relationships. You never know who you may need or who you can help unless you have a strong, positive relationship with them.”