This week’s woman in business interview is with Mikaela Shafer, the President of Camp Clout, a PNW based digital marketing studio focusing on lifestyle and creative brands and companies that give back to their communities.
Tell us about your business
We are a duo of two women, Stacey and Mikaela, with over 20 years of combined marketing experience, visual design, photography, copywriting, and community building. Our company helps brands to tell the story both through copywriting and visual design.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner means being in charge of my existence. As a creative, I struggled in the corporate world. I wore the blazer, came in early, stayed late, got the job done above and beyond expectation, but the entire time I felt like a kid forced into tights at a recital— fidgety, uncomfortable, and so ready to be home.
Quitting the corporate world and going out on my own was my way of taking back my power and finally living free. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard work and long days, but now it’s on my terms. I can rest when I need to, stop for tacos if I want, and dress and be as quirky and weird as I want to.
What or who has been your most significant influence in business and why?
Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of role models and for a long time as an adult as well. And honestly, it has been that lack of role models that has motivated me to push forward.
This year my most significant influence has been my daughters. I wanted to spend time with them, be there for them, and not miss any moments. I wanted to show them that you can be a boss, a great mother, friend, and partner. You could do it all if you did it for the right reasons.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
I have had many proud moments. But I didn’t even realize many of them were notable or exciting because my head was down, and I was pushing so hard to reach the next level. So, I had to sit recently and reflect on what I have accomplished and reveled in it.
At an early age, I left home and had to fight for my place in the business world. One of the things I am most proud of is my last business, Indie Ogden. It started as a blog, and by the time I handed it over to a new owner, it was a community.
You can read more about what it is and what I did at https://utahstories.com/2019/
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
The best advice anyone has ever given me is that no amount of money is worth it if you’re not having fun. And by that, I mean if you’re making millions, but you still sit home alone and sad, what’s even the point? Or if you love life but your job compromises your values and you dread it daily, that’s not living. You’ve got to have balance and you’ve got to enjoy it because it goes by pretty fast.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
For me, the best business promotion is authenticity. We are 100% ourselves, genuine, and honest and that carries over into our own marketing. So, when people contact us, the first thing they usually say is that they liked us because we were real. That means a lot to me.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I think the biggest thing I have learned is that there is always time. You’re not too old; it is not too late; there is time to pursue your dream.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners who have helped run your business?
Planable has been my favorite tool for scheduling and working with clients for social media, and HubSpot is an incredible tool for email marketing.
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)?
Right now, we are excited to be working with some fabulous clients, and every week is a new and exciting project. However, we are working on a workshop series for business owners to help them develop some marketing skills for our business.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Ahh, my favorite activity. I made a promise myself this year to start taking downtime seriously. I go to the gym in the morning to get my day started, make myself delicious coffee, go on walks when I need to clear my head and nourish my body with good meals and lots of water. Being nicer to myself and allowing myself to get up from my desk has been a tremendous weight lifted off my shoulders and so good for my mental health.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Our biggest goal is to be in a place where we can hire a team member and give another rad mom the freedom to create, make a living, and have time and energy for all the things that make them happy. We kind of hit the jackpot as far as our business goes. Our clients are incredible, and we have managed to manifest the most amazing people into our business lives.
You want to write a book on …
I want to write a book on everything I had to fight through to get to where I am today. Sometimes I have to sit down and reflect on everything because it still seems insanely impossible that I made it here. I went from growing up poor with an addict parent, then a runaway teen, being assaulted, getting pregnant young, losing a child, and then getting out of a toxic marriage to owning a home as a single parent, finding love, climbing my way up the corporate ladder and starting a successful business.t here’s so much I have gone through. Yet, somehow through it all, I am still optimistic and excited about life, and I know that it is possible for anyone if I can do it.
Anyway, yes, I have thought about this a lot, and I will write it one day, that’s a promise.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Only that you are more powerful and stronger than you’ll ever give yourself credit for, so don’t ever doubt for a second that you’re capable of incredible things.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?