The FLUENT founder on opportunity, Dallas hustle and where the magic is

FLUENT founder Jackson on Dallas hustle and where the magic is

Jackson of Fluent
Jackson is the founder of lifestyle management company FLUENT. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon

There are people who are known as connectors: Their Rolodexes can launch a thousand ships, relationships and businesses with a single flick of the wrist. Jackson (one name only, please) is undoubtedly one of those individuals.

The president of FLUENT, a premier lifestyle management company based in Dallas, Jackson harnessed his years of experience working in the hotel industry, as an interior designer and artist rep, and as the corporate concierge for Barneys New York to create what he calls a “lifestyle concierge company on steroids.”

“It’s like hiring a personal assistant for your life; you’ll experience the city on a totally different level,” he says. “We’re really big advocates of the city.

“We want our clients to experience the very, very high and the underground as well.”

This involves everything from connecting luxury brands with the right kind of local audience to arranging a helicopter jaunt to a personal chef-cooked dinner in a field for an imaginative client. When he isn’t out on the town, creating and fulfilling those connections at every social event in Dallas, Jackson co-hosts the Weekend Insider segment of The Broadcast on KTXD-TV and serves on the board of Texas’ Next Top Designer.

But it is his time spent fulfilling Dallasites’ every whim that engages him the most. Below is what he loves — and would love to change — about Dallas.

What is your chief characteristic?

I’m a pamperer; I take care of people. That’s been my life as a human being, and I segued it into a business. At the end of the day, it’s what moves you. If I see people smiling, I’m happy.

Your idea of happiness?

One friend, a bottle of wine and multiple interesting conversations. My life is extremely full, with people around me at all times, but I really very rarely have a quiet moment to myself. So, if I can eke out a time where I’m with one person in some corner somewhere in some obscure location, that to me is unbelievable.

Your idea of misery?

Being around people who complain. I understand things can go wrong; I understand things may not go right. But I’m the type of person where if you’re going to complain about something, bring me some solutions as well.

Your favorite food and drink?

I would kill for a wonderful steak — grass-fed beef! I really, really love Pappas Bros., but Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bar in Uptown is my new go-to. My favorite drink is Champagne; I love Veuve Clicquot. You’ll always see me with a glass of bubbly in my hand.

Your favorite motto?

It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you. If the person you’re talking about doesn’t know who you are, it doesn’t really matter. I make sure I get to know people on a person-to-person level. That’s where the magic is.

Your favorite heroes in real life?

My mom. She raised three kids pretty much by herself, raised a man in a household full of women. She’s the pillar of my life and has always been the one who makes me treat a woman as a woman should be treated.

If not yourself, who would you be?

Michael Martensen. He’s the co-owner of Smyth, and he makes a mean, mean drink. He put Dallas on the map for handcrafted cocktails, and I’m trying to do put Dallas on the map for service and the great things we have in the city.

Your favorite pastime?

I really don’t have one! Those taking care of yourself questions, I’m bad at that. My friends don’t know what to do with me because I don’t have any pastimes. I’ve got to work on that.

What do you love most about Dallas?

The opportunity. If you’ve got an ounce of hustle, you can own this city. There are so many things Dallas needs and wants and loves. If you want to make something of yourself in this city, the opportunities are there.

What would you change about the city?

The underground tunnels downtown — I’d shut those things down. There are thousands of people in this city, but it’s dead because people are walking those tunnels; they’re not on the streets. What people don’t realize is you get your energy from the people around you. If there are no people around you, you get no energy.

What makes a true Dallasite?

Someone who wants to change the city for the better, who looks at what’s going on from Oak Cliff to Highland Park and wants to make it better. It doesn’t have to be a money thing; it’s someone who wants to see the good in the city. I’m happy to come across people from elsewhere because they’re going to bring something to Dallas that’s different.