Leia Avery is the Founder of Just Play Entertainment Inc., a game and event production company. She is the inventor of the Hip Hop Charades card game, as well as, other interactive styles of gameplay. Leia, has always had a passion for fun experiences since her childhood. At the age of six, Leia, configured a carnival setup in her backyard and charged the kids in the neighborhood “$0.25” to play games like, “throw the ball in the bucket,” similar to “The Bozo Show.” Entrepreneurship didn’t fall far from the tree since Leia grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Leia, obtained her first experience in entrepreneurship when she set up a kiosk in a local mall, selling R&B and Rap CD’s from local artist during her sophomore year at The Tennessee State University. Leia knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur as a child, she graduated from Tennessee State University with Bachelors of Arts in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
Growing up, Leia’s dad operated a popcorn shop with a delicious recipe of Chicago styled cheese and caramel popcorn. With her dad’s help, she introduced Popcorn Lovers Plus to Nashville, by opening up a popcorn shop in a local mall. While operating a popcorn shop of her own she maintained honors in her academic success as well.
After graduating from Tennessee State University, Leia moved back home to Chicago, she worked sales jobs and later became a property investor. Leia’s need for fun resurfaced while working an Admission Advisor position, that wasn’t fulfilling her entrepreneurial needs for growth. She then set up trivia questions for her co-workers at the time to compete for bragging rights on the job. This sparked an idea in Leia’s mind and her big break came when watching a television show called, “The Big Idea,” the creator of the, “Apples to Apples,” card game was featured and inspired her to create a card game of her own. Her boyfriend at the time suggested that she create a game, “using slang words,” thus the card game, “Catch My Drift,” was created and was on the market in 2008. Leia had her games manufactured then set up a kiosk in two local malls in the Chicago area selling the games and also became a vendor in Walgreens local buying program. She was an exhibitor at the Chicago Toy and Game Expo where, “Catch My Drift,” was awarded as one of the “Top 10 Boredom Busters” by Mom’s Choice Awards in 2009. Leia has always had ideas for other games and decided to create a company called “Slanguage Games” and presented a new card game prototype called, “Net LOL Lingo,” which was featured and received recognition from the New York Toy Fair in 2010.
Leia’s, “Catch My Drift,” card game was featured by Rolling Out Magazine, HBCU Lifestyle, “The Michael Baisden,” syndicated radio talk show twice and at the Kids Choice Awards Gifting Suite in Los Angeles, CA. Leia’s been hosting monthly game nights since 2013 where teams would compete in, “Catch My Drift,” as well as, a variety of other games many of us grew up playing as kids. She then rebranded from Slanguage Games to Just Play Entertainment Inc. in 2015. Today, she provides entertainment by way of hosting game nights via Just Play Ministries for churches, Just Play Academy for schools, Just Play Corporate for companies and Just Play Occasions for special occasions. Youth outreach programs and businesses can also sell games produced by Just Play Entertainment for fundraiser initiatives.
In 2016, after rebranding, the product name changed from, “Catch My Drift,” to “Hip Hop Charades,” to better identify with and expand the target audience and make the product more marketable. She’s also added additional lingo expansion card decks.
Leia expanded her reach from Chicago to Nashville by locating distribution points and booking Just Play Events, Hip Hop Charades Game Shows, and employing brand ambassadors. Hip Hop Charades was recently featured on social media platforms known as Baller Alert and Stay On the Go Magazine. Leia is a recipient of Nashville’s Black 40 Under 40 Awards. Leia currently host Hip Hop Charades Lunch Break Rounds on Facebook Tuesday-Friday at 1pm cst., where you can play Hip Hop Charades to win a sponsored product or service, free entry to game nights and discounts off Just Play products..

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Nashville BLack 40 under 40 2017: Leia Avery

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