The story of From JENSEN Drive 2 PENNSYLVANIA Avenue began in the back of a Goodwill store on Jensen Drive in Houston, Texas. For its founder, Joie Rasberry, half-price Sundays meant shopping for 10-cent books while her mother bought $1 shirts and $3 jeans for the family. In the back, near the musty dressing rooms and dusty glass candy dishes, run-over shoes and purses wreaking of disinfectant became Rasberry's audience. There more than 30 years ago among the discarded remnants, a gallery of second-hand merchandise shaped her company into the powerhouse that it is today, one that is built on the premise of hope, promise, and a desire to want more and do better. That pursuit of excellence is what prompted Rasberry to take her talents as a speaker, writer, actress, radio news personality, and educator to another level. It was to be a means to an end but has turned out to be her life’s calling.
Rasberry knew she wanted to go back to college, but faced with family obligations and financial limitations, she was forced to choose between the better life she sought or maintaining the one that had become so familiar, so comfortable. Leaving behind lucrative jobs in Corporate America, she went back to school at Texas Southern University and turned her 20 years of speaking engagements and keynote presentations into money for tuition and books. "It was the hardest decision I've ever made," said Rasberry. "But that is what separates the unwilling from the risk-takers. Whether I sank or swam, it was up to me.”