Sharmina T. Ellis grew up in Germany as an Army Brat where she gained valuable experience dealing with a variety of Cultures, not just from being in a foreign country but from the people in my community with diverse and rich backgrounds. She speaks a little German now…enough to visit and get what she needs ((wink)). She attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and majored in Psychology…People are her Passion! Her mentor is one of her best friends in the world, J. Latina Richardson. Latina was her supervisor when she worked as the head Pharmacy Technician for Rutgers Health Services. Ms. Richardson is a phenomenal woman who had it all in Sharmina’s eyes. At the time, she was the Chief Pharmacist (a graduate of Temple University School of Pharmacy), highly spiritual, and extremely down to earth. When Sharmina looked at Latina she saw a reflection of herself on several levels. We interviewed Sharmina for this edition of women entrepreneurs and here are her responses on life and her business, S.T. Ellis & Co.
Please list a quote or motto you live by and state why.
My mantra is Grow…Gain…Give! I give God the Glory for our Heavenly Father is the Author, Creator and Narrator of it all. We all have Choices and I chose to BE BETTER! Learn..Love..Laugh EVERYDAY….I try to. The people in my life are Priceless
Describe your business. List location, phone number, website.
I am the founder and owner of S.T. Ellis & Co. -A Public Relations Organization. Our website is www.stellisandco.com. S. T. Ellis & Co. was created to deliver quality and customized services to individuals and organizations seeking to become part of the Public Eye. Our tenet is to Maximize Exposure while Minimizing Expenses. S. T. Ellis & Co. is one organization with several solutions. An S. T. Ellis Co. media agent will assess your needs and create a Pathway to Ultimate Exposure within your desired venue(s). Our Service Consultants also provide a plan to meet your overall objectives. S. T. Ellis & Co. demonstrate Value Added practices while controlling the intangibles via Creative Thinking and Analysis. S. T. Ellis & Co. are Publicity Campaigners who Spearhead the Advancement of Organizations as Expectations Exceed.
What motivated you to open your own business?
I became motivated to start S.T. Ellis & Co. as a result of supporting my fiance’. He is an author and I began representing him as his Publicist. I threw myself into the journey because I already had a Pharmacy Technician Training company-CPht 4 Hire(CPhT stands for Certified Pharmacy Technician). Needless to say,when I started representing my significant other; people took notice and approached me thus allowing for the birth of S.T. Ellis & Co.
Did you have any initial fears or concerns that you had to overcome when opening your business?
Absolutely! I initially began working for my mate and of course I was not sure how “seriously” people would take me as a result of that. I also quickly learned that it’s all about “Perception.”
How did you develop your concept?
The concept came about fairly quickly without too many challenges. I am a Marketer and Promoter of People by nature. It just made sense for me to utilize the Gifts that God gave me: Gift of Gab + Passion of People=S.T. Ellis & Co.
How much capital did you need to get started? Did you use any creative funding sources?
This was indeed a “Grass Roots” venture. I had a few dollars saved and I went in head first. I was working at the time for other organizations as a Trainer/Instructor so I would pull from my monthly income and so forth. The bottom line is that I am still investing into S.T. Ellis & Co. by recycling the revenue to expand.
How do you market your business? Do you use any creative marketing strategies?
I actually do not market S.T. Ellis & Co. I allow my current and previous clients to do that. Word of mouth is Priceless!
Are you or your business on Facebook? Twitter? Linked In? Please list.
Facebook is one of my Best Friends…I have Twitter on Reserve…I need a firmer understanding of Twitter…the idea of following me or following someone else is a little awkward…however I do understand the purpose and businesses are booming as a result of the amount of the captive audience(s).
How do you manage employees if any?
I currently have two fantastic women who assist me with S.T. Ellis & Co. -Anita Gillespie is my Director of Marketing & Promotions, Graphics Designer and Accounting…She’s Fantastic. I have also teamed up with Tracey Wilson who is my Virtual Assistant and Media Agent. Anita and Tracey both have separate businesses and are my Right and Left hands….they are Partners rather than Employees.
What are some of your day to day struggles as a business owner?
When it comes to Public Relations the biggest challenge is avoiding becoming a Personal Assistant. I will take responsibility for this perception…I have a tendency to go above and beyond for clients…I hold hands at times too. It’s just my makeup and of course when I get burnt out then it becomes evident.
What brings you the most joy from your work?
Excellent Question! I am overjoyed when a Client is…until then…I spend a majority of my time trying to assist a client in crossing the “threshold” and getting what they desire within their hearts. Prayer is another Powerful tool that I use.
How do you balance work life and family? Do your work demands affect your relationships?
I have a beautiful 8 year old son Bryce, and an awesome Fiance’ Markeise who both demand a lot of attention. (Smiling) I am very good at multitasking, and have made most Fridays and Saturdays Family Days and Sundays Sharmina’s Day. My son is very independent and loving so its easy to please him most of the time. Markeise is also a business owner so he totally understands where I am coming from for the most part. When it’s necessary have a family meeting to discuss the things that need to be priority etc.
Any advice you’d like to offer to anyone interested in your line of work?
RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! Do not be afraid to Reinvent Yourself…It helps to keep you Relevant.
Would you like to offer a promotion to the readers? If so, please list.
I would like to offer a Gift Basket of Books that my Author Clients have written. We can discuss detaiLs. Please feel free to set the bar.
© 2013, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Personal Branding| Content Marketing| Product Creation. All rights reserved.