Family Owned Businesses: The Jonas Family
By Jessica Brovold
There’s a famous quote by Confucious, a Chinese thinker and social philosopher and you’ve likely heard it before.
“Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
For Jason Jonas, owner of Jason Jonas Videography, this is his reality. Jason spends many weekends capturing memories on video at weddings. He then spends days, weeks and many hours marking those moments come to life again. With two young children and a wife with a busy schedule of her own, Jason and his family are finding a way to find balance a busy life and careers.
“Through all the experiences of this business, without a doubt my favorite part is spending time with my wife on wedding days,” said Jason. “She is the love of my life, and being with her and capturing other couple's love together is what gives me the passion to do what we do.”
Ask his wife Nicole and she’ll tell you this is a perfect fit for Jason as he’s the emotional, sappy one in the relationship.
“I’m kinda a sappy guy,” said Jason. “Of the two of us, Jason is sappy,” said Nicole as they looked at each other and laughed during our recent interview.
Jason and Nicole are transplants to Sioux Falls. Jason is originally from Bismarck, ND and
Nicole is originally from northern Minnesota. They met in college and jobs brought them to Sioux Falls. Jason, a landscape architect by trade and Nicole a nurse. They have two boys, Finley is three and Emmett is one. When Jason mentioned he was a landscape architect, I wondered how he landed behind a camera capturing weddings on the weekends.
“I was in a friend’s wedding and a videographer did their wedding and I thought that was one of the coolest things I have ever seen,” said Jason. “I thought to myself ‘I could do that!’ and my friend said, ‘then do it!’”
And that’s exactly what he did.
“That following week, I went out and bought all the equipment and started shooting,” said Jason.
Videography was always a passion of Jason’s. He used to shoot videos as a hobby growing up and throughout college. For Nicole, she’s learned to embrace her husband’s hobby and even spends her weekends helping him at weddings when she’s able. For the couple, the time they spend working together is time spent bonding in ways they never imagined.
“The talks on the car ride in the morning, the scarfing of lunches that she packs, the synchronous system we've created, standing by her as we watch the mother/son first dance knowing she'll be there someday, and the relaxing car ride home when she puts her feet up,” said Jason. “That…is my favorite part.”
While Jason is known to wear his emotions on his sleeve, Nicole keeps everything else in check.
“He’s the sappy one,” Nicole said again. “I keep us organized!”
The organizational skills are a must for this busy family. Nicole is a mental health nurse, she’s a clinical instructor at Augustana, and she’s working on her master’s degree in nurse education. Not to mention those weekends when she’s helping behind the camera.
“If I’m not at the hospital, or helping shoot a wedding, I do a lot of the behind the scenes business work and email for Jason,” said Nicole. “And I’m a mom of course.”
With so many roles to play, how do they manage to stay on task?
“We keep a shared calendar,” said Nicole. “It syncs between our phones and email and we live by the calendar. We have everything on there. That is our life.”
The calendar includes daily activities, weekend weddings and daycare for kids. For example if a wedding lands on a week day, Nicole will help if she’s not at another job, but she’ll have to head to pick up kids once daycare closes at the end of the day. Jason finishes out the job and catches up with his family later. While their lives on the calendar are busy and hectic at times, they know they’re making a difference in the lives of others and that helps keep them motivated.
“The biggest thing for me is the end product,” said Jason. “Knowing the difference it will make for that couple and family and how they can remember their wedding day forever.”
Knowing how important family is, he keeps up with his busy schedule knowing he’s following his passion. He also knows the reality of being a parent. While rewarding, it can also be tiring.
“Even if I had a half-day of being a dad, I was more tired when I got to work,” said Jason, “Now it’s nice to focus on our careers.”
Busy careers that come with a busy schedule and a lot of juggling, but the Jonas family has found a way to stay balanced, focused and dedicated to their careers, their business and their two little boys.