Founder Claire Angelle believes storytelling can usher in a new form of capitalism

Founder and CEO Claire Angelle believes storytelling is a crucial tool for ushering in a new form of capitalism that aligns profits with people and the planet

Claire Angelle is the Founder and CEO of Angelle Consulting, a mission-driven PR and consultancy firm committed to fueling positive change. Storytelling has always played a pivotal role in Claire’s career — after all, stories let us share information in a way that creates an emotional connection and is profoundly part of the human experience. This passion led her to found Angelle Consulting, where she strives to elevate the voices of business leaders and organizations that do well by doing good. She firmly believes that effective storytelling is a crucial tool for ushering in a new form of capitalism that aligns profits with people and the planet. As such, she helps her clients become sought-after change agents around the world.

What made you decide to go into business for yourself?

My journey into entrepreneurship was more a leap of faith than a calculated decision. I’m a French expat, having moved to Atlanta in 2007 to work in communications for the French Consulate General. No stranger to uprooting my life, when given the opportunity to move to New York in 2018 and work for a renowned media group, I jumped on it. But life, as it often does, threw an unexpected curveball. Just six weeks into my new role, the company encountered insurmountable financial challenges, and I was laid off, together with most of the staff. Until that moment, entrepreneurship wasn’t on my radar. It was pure necessity, not ambition, that led me to register an LLC overnight. Initially, my plan was to leverage my network to stay afloat until I could get back on my feet.

But as fate would have it, what was meant to be a temporary solution turned into something far greater. To my surprise, Angelle Consulting was profitable that very first month and, since then, I’ve never looked back. I returned to Atlanta’s warmer climate shortly after, where my client base continued to grow through word-of-mouth. Soon, a clear vision emerged: to elevate the voices of business leaders and organizations committed to doing well by doing good through public relations and strategic partnerships. This venture, born out of a moment of crisis, transformed into a conduit for change and a platform for storytelling. It became clear that my path as an entrepreneur was not just about surviving but about thriving by empowering others to do the same.

Every entrepreneur has a goal and a problem that they’re trying to solve. What was the inspiration that started your journey?

My journey of entrepreneurship quickly pivoted from a personal quest for stability to a larger mission: to champion a version of capitalism filled with integrity and purpose. As I dove deeper into the entrepreneurial world, I discovered the concept of conscious capitalism — a philosophy that aligns profits with people and the planet. I realized that, while traditional capitalism was responsible for many of the world’s problems ranging from income inequality to climate change, it could also be part of the solution to right these wrongs. At its core, PR is a tool — and like all tools, its impact hinges on how it’s used. 

As I learned more, I heard countless stories of businesses that were not only profitable but also profoundly positive forces in their communities and society at large. These stories were not the norm in the grand narrative of capitalism, and I wanted to be a part of that change. It became my goal to elevate these narratives, to show that the true measure of a company’s worth is its higher purpose and that profits should be perceived as the fuel for that mission, instead of an end in itself. In doing so, Angelle Consulting has become more than a PR firm; it’s a beacon for the growing movement of conscious capitalism. Each project we take on is an opportunity to further this cause, to tell the stories that inspire, influence, and invite change.

We all face challenges, but looking back, what have been some of the biggest challenges and pitfalls you’ve had to navigate?

Two years ago, my family faced a series of profound personal losses. We endured the heartbreak of losing my father-in-law to COVID-19 and a colleague in tragic circumstances. At the same time, we opened our home to a family member struggling with mental health challenges and said goodbye to our cherished family dog. Naturally, these events brought a shadow of anxiety over me, concern for the well-being of my family, and the potential impact on my business.

But, I’m a strong believer that there are lessons to be learned in moments of hardship. During this time, I recognized the value of efficiency born out of necessity. I refined the way I work by batching tasks and dedicating specific times for emails and calls, which sharpened my focus and enhanced productivity. We reimagined our team’s communication, shifting from daily check-ins to more sustainable, bi-weekly strategy sessions. This not only boosted our communication but also enriched our brainstorming sessions, allowing us to be fully present and more impactful in our roles.

Moreover, loss has a piercing way of highlighting the finite nature of life. This time served as an opportunity for me to recalibrate and to rethink my priorities in both the personal and professional senses. It’s honestly one of the hardest things we can do, especially when being busy is considered a good thing most of the time. But it’s a practice that I’ve come to realize is essential not just for personal growth but also for genuine leadership.

Does your company help the community where it is located?

We believe that when profit, people, and the planet are aligned, there is no need for ancillary ‘giving back’ programs, as purpose naturally takes center stage. At Angelle Consulting, our impact is interwoven with the impact of our clients. Take, for example, our work with Chantel Cohen, where we are promoting diversity in the mental health space by elevating her voice. Similarly, through our work with Jenny Nuccio of Imani Collective, we are actively engaged in breaking the generational cycle of poverty in Kenya by amplifying the collective’s mission. And our engagement with The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation allows us to support initiatives that foster opportunities for shared economic success throughout Georgia and beyond. In essence, each partnership we cultivate with our clients extends our commitment to a world where business success and community impact are one and the same.

What book do you think everyone on the team should read?

It’s “Unreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect” by Will Guidara. His approach to hospitality isn’t just about service; it’s about creating unforgettable experiences that go far beyond expectations. The proof is in the pudding — he took the helm of Eleven Madison Park, a struggling two-star brasserie, and turned it into a restaurant that was named one of the best in the world in just eleven years. And he did this through radical reinvention and over-the-top hospitality. This book is especially insightful for business owners because it reinforces the notion that our clients are the heart of our companies; when we nurture that core with creativity and generosity, the business flourishes in turn. It encourages us to see every business as a hospitality business, where ordinary transactions become opportunities for extraordinary connections. By embodying this philosophy, I’ve learned to be inventive in the ways we can go above and beyond expectations and that the solution to challenges is often not to retract but to give abundantly.

How do you set your business apart from others in your industry?

Angelle Consulting distinguishes itself by being in the impact space: we’re in the business of elevating and amplifying purpose-driven leaders and organizations.

While our why is what makes us truly unique, the way we executive our why is also part of our secret sauce: we don’t only place content but we also develop this content. We got in the content development space for two reasons: we realized our clients didn’t have the bandwidth to do so and we knew what reporters and content-sharing platforms were looking for – a true win-win. Whether it’s media placements, speaking engagements, award nominations, or other opportunities, we ensure that our clients’ messages resonate with their intended audiences and align with their core mission.

Furthermore, we truly believe in paying it forward. We actively share our network, seek out opportunities for clients, and make connections that not only serve their immediate goals but also contribute to their long-term growth. Our approach to business, prioritizing community and collective success, fosters a rich environment of mutual support. It’s not just about what we do, but how we do it—with a spirit of collaboration and a vision for a better world.

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