The Hustle for My Voice

Branding. I love it. I’m passionate about presentation. First and lasting impressions. Etiquette. Manners. Image. Protocol.

These things invigorate me, yet have also almost paralyzed me.

Until now.

I have been self-employed for many years now. My passion to do so started when I was working in Corporate America and newly married.

I assumed we’d expand our family 1 – 2 years after getting married, similar to all our friends. Little did I know then it wouldn’t be quite so easy.

I wanted to create a life working on my terms so I could be flexible in being home with our children when they were born and for our family.

In my mid-twenties I fell hook, line, and sinker for a direct marketing company. I loved what I did and wholeheartedly believed in it.

Once I set my eyes on leadership within the company, I worked my tail off to make it happen. Checked the box.

I empowered women by teaching and training them how to succeed and encourage others while building their own businesses. I wanted to make them feel beautiful on the inside, while the product I was selling made people feel beautiful on the outside.

It was never about the cosmetics. I didn’t actually like selling the product although I did enjoy using it.

What clicked with me? Believing in women and showing them they could succeed.

I never had to downplay my faith and that was a huge part of the appeal. I’m an encourager at heart. My cheerleading roots run deep.

I will forever be grateful for my time with that company. I learned so many valuable life lessons.

I became confident at teaching others and in public speaking. I ran meetings and conferences and my heart skipped a beat when infusing encouragement and belief into another person.

I also became strong in my convictions. When I knew my values and the ones I was seeing play out in the company were no longer cohesive, it was time to move on.

I’d created the set up I wanted for the family I didn’t yet have. Orchestrating my plan, not knowing His. That was over a decade ago.

I recently heard someone ask “What did you love to do as a kid? Around ages 8, 9, 10? Those are at the core of who you are.”.

I loved to play basketball.

The swish of a basketball catching all net is one of my favorite sounds to this day.

Annie Tribble Lady Tiger Clemson Basketball

Me with Annie Tribble

Around age 9, I started going to the well-known-in-the-South Annie Tribble’s Lady Tiger Basketball Camp at Clemson University. My older sister and I would go in the Summers.

There were back to back years I earned awards at the end of camp week. One year was the Sportsmanship award. I was honored to receive it as I knew it stood for good.

Want to know which one meant the most to me? The Hustle award. Out of the whole camp from 3rd graders through seniors in High School, this scrawny elementary school ten year old girl won the hustle.

To this day when I have a goal, I remind myself I’m a hustler.

I’ll scrap. I’ll go for it. I won’t give up.

What else did I like to do as a kid? Talk.

Whether it be on the phone, in person, or passing a note discreetly in class, I absolutely loved building connections with others. Call waiting coming on to the telephone scene was like a constant Christmas morning high for me.

80s teen room phone

Room changed to pink and lace once Dad realized that wasn’t Banarama on my wall…

An influencer in my life told me as I was growing up and even as an adult that I talked too much. That I was too emotional. 

There have been times in my life where I let that stifle me. I’d hold back. Stuff the un-stuffable deep down.

Interesting how our words so deeply impact those we care most about!

Thankfully, as an adult I have grown to know who I am and trust in Whose I am. I was created in His image and designed with these traits for a purpose.

I’m combining the mindset of hustle, the joy and desire for purposeful connection, and releasing myself from the paralyzation of stinging words directly related to my core, and using it to build community with and for others.

When the time came to officially name my services and market myself, I went with me. Why?

I can never go wrong with being me.

For years I’ve found pure joy in helping a company / brand / entrepreneur figure out their voice and how to package that online. Be themselves. Reach their key audience. Present their best yet authentic self.

Right now, that medium is largely through media marketing. Will be exciting to see what that looks like in 5 years. I do know that the connections and community made on a personal level in reaching customers are the pulse of a company. I get a charge out of bringing that to life for my clients.

After all, a human side to a business makes it relatable. Facilitating those conversations and teaching others how to do so brings me great joy.

I have a marketing background as well a degree in the major from Clemson. The design process for my brand has been fascinating in all the detail. I just love the creative side!

From the characteristics of my logo, to color scheme, right down to the word choice in my tagline, all have purpose and meaning.

When I was in middle school, my parents allowed me to paint my bedroom purple. In the mid 80’s, in my particular home, that was wild. Mom even bought me turquoise, purple, and black sheets.

I felt like such a rebel.

It was my own way of standing out, even thought it was more on the inside of our home, than in my outside world.

I’m still shocked I was allowed to have a Poison poster on that lavender wall as Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ album was banned in our house at the time.

Poison Look What the Cat Dragged In

Poison circa 1986

Guys with makeup? I’m convinced my Dad had them confused with Banarama and that’s why they stayed up as long as they did.

The colors in my company logo? The navy is strong. Bold. Dependable. I am those things.

The lavender? It makes me smile. Whimsical. It’s also my favorite color.

How liberating to tell my designer “I want to use purple purely because I love it”. WOW. So freeing!

Seeing the colors together? The combination is exactly what I wanted. They balance each other.

I feel that way about me and what I bring to the table in my work. My brand should reflect the same.

There are parts of me as a child, teenager, and even adult that were subdued. How freeing to find my voice.

And my gift? Helping others share theirs.

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