Tell us about your business (what product or service you provide and who your target audience is)
CastMedic Designs – we design and manufacture fashion-forward accessories for walking medical boots that allow the injured an opportunity to heal in style. Target audience: kids/tweens/women of all ages
PR for Anyone™ – a resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs to easily and effectively generate their own publicity.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
For most of my adult, working life I have been a business owner but it was not by initial design. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a double major in Political Science and German and had big aspirations for a career in International Business.
In 1990, my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer. I had just accepted a job in Germany and was getting ready to move overseas and pursue an international career. We knew he had little time so I abandoned those plans and moved to Florida to care for him. After he passed in early 1991, I had to stay in Virginia to be a support system for my younger sister and make sure she stayed in college. That re-shaped my future. I started my first business with friends shortly thereafter. We started an event planning business. Since then, I have successfully started and run three other businesses and have just launched another.
In retrospect with regards to career aspirations, I wouldn’t change a thing. I can’t even imagine not following my dreams and there is no way I could ever work for someone. I love being responsible for my own success.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Provide great customer service! I owned a retail store in the early 2000’s and we survived the economic crisis because we provided our customers with amazing service. Happy customers are your best PR and you just can’t go wrong blowing their minds with great service. I do that now with CastMedic and people are astounded. Great customer service will make you stand out from the crowd.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Being awarded Steve’s Top Inventor on the nationally syndicated program, the Steve Harvey Show, and winning $20,000 to further my business was pretty amazing. I was up against 5 other contestants but the panel of judges who were branding experts picked me and my product. That absolutely validated everything I had done to get my concept off the ground and to market.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
My husband gave me a quote when I launched CastMedic Designs that said, “Remember That Overnight Success Takes 15 Years.” That to me is so profound and so true. It takes a lot of hard work to start and run a business. Don’t get frustrated and never give up but know that it’s going to take awhile to achieve success.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Teaching myself DIY-PR. In learning how to do this effectively, I have appeared in over 75 media outlets in less than two years, including national and local television, magazines, newspapers, radio, and blogs.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Stay passionate! Your passion can sell anything. Don’t forget why you started your business and keep the passion alive.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? .
www.helpareporterout.com, free media query service.
www.fiverr.com , anything done for $5
www.hubspot.com , amazing free marketing content
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
PR for Anyone™ launches in the next month or so and will be a resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs with tips and programs to help them generate their own publicity.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I have two teens who both play sports so I love going to their sporting events. My favorite vacation spot is the beach. I am a big sports fan and enjoy our having season tickets to both the Washington Capitals Hockey and Virginia Tech Football. I exercise almost every day to keep my head both clear and creative.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
CastMedic Designs – I hope to work out some type of national distribution deal so that patients are offered the products right in the doctor’s office when they are placed in the boot.
PR for Anyone™ – Begin speaking to small business and entrepreneurial groups and teaching workshops to help people understand how to handle their own PR.
You want to write a book on…?
I AM writing a book on PR for ANYone.™ A partial manuscript was just sent to a publisher at their request and if that doesn’t pan out, I will self-publish.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Surround yourself with people smarter than you who can help you grow. Find people who know what you don’t know and learn from them.
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)?