by Melissa Stewart
Allee Creative A different kind of marketing agency. We work with you to integrate traditional and digital marketing strategies to carry your business to the next level. Expect a lot. We have extraordinary ideas to give.
Content marketing. Marketing strategy. Graphic design. Branding. Social Media. Websites. We’re the marketing team you’re looking for!
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Describe your business in 3 sentences.
Allee Creative is a marketing strategy and branding firm. We work with clients of all sizes on content marketing strategy, visual elements and branding (think graphic design, websites, logo development) and overall marketing strategy. We like to think of ourselves as the marketing firm you may not have “in house” but a willing and phenomenal partner to help drive all your marketing and business goals.
What inspired you to start your business?
I thought about starting my company when I was in middle school. I always wanted to “be the boss” when I was younger. As I grew and became educated in all things marketing, my passion and need to start my company grew as well. But it was no longer about “being the boss,” it was about providing exceptional customer service and thinking outside the box. I had seen so many companies get frustrated and fail because they couldn’t do it all on their own. I knew that I could help them. I have also been an advocate for life balance; by starting my company, I was able to provide for my family, strike balance between work, friends and family (thought not always equally, I must admit) and provide this same type of flexibility and balance for my employees.
How many hours a week do you spend working your business? How much sleep do you get a night?
I’m constantly working on the business. Personally, I log about 40 hours “billable” to clients each week and I would say between 80 and 100 hours per month working on the business. I don’t sleep much. 🙂
What does a “normal” day look like (if there is such a thing)?
Controlled chaos. I wake up early to get my kids ready for school and while they are eating breakfast, I’m checking email. That starts at about 6:30 a.m. each day (sometimes earlier if I hit the gym for an early morning workout). Each work day is different; I tend to have anywhere between 2 and 5 meetings each day with clients. I regularly see about 100 emails cross my inbox each day…sprinkle in client projects and work and I have no problem filling an 8-hour workday (and then some!) In the evenings, I am usually teaching a class or two at my local gym and driving my kids to their various activities. The rule in our house? We must eat dinner as a family. It’s our time to re-connect and talk about our days.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I have removed email from my phone and my iPad. It’s been amazing. I felt like I was always “on” and it wasn’t good for my family or my health. And so, I removed emailed from my mobile devices. This allows me to focus on me, my family, my friends and other activities outside of work in the evening and especially on the weekends. When I first started the business, I worked a lot on the weekends. As we’ve grown, I feel it’s important to know when you’ve hit your max and to get comfortable saying “no”. Removing the ability to have anyone contact me at all hours of the day is one way that helps me with that balance. If there truly is an emergency, they’ll call.
Is your business profitable?
Yes, very much so. We have seen significant growth in the past two years, especially. I am proud of my team for always thinking about “what’s next” and for working hard to achieve our goals.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Success as a business owner takes a lot of hard work. It’s not joke; you must be willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in. Things will not always work out the first time and it can be stressful and scary at times. However, it is completely worth it. Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?