We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Abron and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Right before I started my business, I was working at a company that wasn’t working out. However, at the time, I wasn’t sure what my next move would be. A little voice in my head kept telling me to start my business, but it seemed super scary and overwhelming. Honestly, I didn’t feel confident that I was capable enough to start a business. I was battling imposter syndrome, I guess one would say. Yet, the voice was loud, clear, and repetitive. So, after leaving the company I was at, I started freelancing while also interviewing for jobs. Throughout my job hunting process, I landed several interviews, but none of the roles felt right. On the other end, I was working with clients on a project basis in the background, which I loved. After one last interview, it was clear that getting clients on my own made more sense than getting a job. I then committed to being a full-time entrepreneur. It was the scariest thing I had ever done at that point, but I thought it was worth a shot. I worked with business coaches to develop my business plan, and I can now say that I’ve had Agency Abron, my company, for seven years, and it was the best decision ever made.

Often, our intuition knows what’s best. I’m glad I paid attention to that little voice despite my trepidations.

What sets you apart from others?
Agency Abron is a creative direction company founded by Vanessa Abron, a professional with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Agency Abron specializes in creative brainstorms and consultations, artistic concept direction, media relations, events, experiential marketing, community engagement, and content development.

Agency Abron offers clients an effervescent approach and style of doing business where we work to uncover possibilities the client didn’t know existed. Our company delivers the most promising results to those who believe in chasing and manifesting dreams while also enjoying life. We work best with those who identify as unconventional, unorthodox, and avant-garde.

Unlike other companies and agencies, our focus is on the path less traveled combined with intuition, passion and trust. Others may follow the “industry standard” or provide a pre-made formula for success. Agency Abron recognizes that each client is unique and leverages your uniqueness to make you shine.

We are bilingual. We speak fluently in creative speech and corporate jargon. We are your bridge to both worlds. We understand that you come with a vision of your success, but manifesting that can often be difficult. We are here to help clients actualize their goals, provide assistance with the creative process, and aid our clients with connecting the dots to fulfill their vision by:

Offering unconventional approaches and unveiling unknown possibilities
Connecting clients with smart and strategic partners to maximize results
Expanding visibility utilizing various public relations and marketing practices

How did you get to where you are today business-wise?
Perseverance got me to where I am today. When you fall, you have to get back up. When you fail, you can’t just crumble and give up. You have to look at why you may have failed, come up with solutions, and try again. As an artist, my teachers always said “practice makes perfect.” That applies to all aspects of life. The more you do something, the better you are. We have to let go of this notion that if you don’t do it right the first time then it’s a bust. That’s far from true. Honestly, there is beauty in failure. That’s where the growth really happens. If you listen to the story of any business leader, major artist, major brand, or a person of influence, it was the failures in their journey that got them to where they are. Being able to see what works and doesn’t work beyond theory is what refines you. Beyonce has 25 Grammys, but she lost at least 46 times. Jennifer Hudson lost American Idol, but she now becomes just the 17th person to reach the rarified status of having an EGOT status, the entertainment industry’s version of the grand slam (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award winners) and she’s only the second African American woman to achieve this status after Whoopi Goldberg. When Steve Jobs was 30, he was fired from Apple, even though he was one of the founders. Now, he is known as the company’s most innovative and successful leaders, rest his soul.

Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
Was getting here easy? Absolutely not. There were many bumps and bruises, along the road, coupled with blood, sweat, tears, and several anxiety attacks to help us get to where we are now. I was able to overcome this through the help of my network which consistently encouraged me. That’s really important. Right when I started my company, I had two friends who had nine-to-five jobs who tried to tell me entrepreneurism wasn’t for me when they saw me struggle at the beginning. While they may (or may not) have been well-intentioned, they were wrong. I had to surround myself with other entrepreneurs who understood my new reality, and who could give me a more realistic perspective. I had to let go of being the people-pleaser I once was as well. You can’t please everyone when you are in business. You have to know that what you are offering is meant for a certain group, and a certain group of people just will not jive with you, and that’s okay. Trying to please everyone will burn you out, quick, fast, and in a hurry. And while it’s cliche, I have to follow my intuition at ALL TIMES. Oftentimes, our intuition tells us something that doesn’t make sense at the moment that we receive and then later we regret we didn’t listen to that nudge because it didn’t “make sense” the moment it came to us. I had to let that go. Following my intuition has been a major business strategy for me.

What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Honestly, we are only getting started. This is but the tip of the iceberg. Agency Abron started primarily as a public relations agency, and now we have expanded as a Creative Consultancy firm. We still run the challenge of only being seen for public relations and we are working hard to break beyond that. To help with that, we are currently offering a promotion of free consultations for a limited time and to a limited number of people.

These free consultations are for those looking for feedback on a creative project that they are working on (such as a video, music project, etc.) or for those who would like to infuse a level of creativity in another aspect of their work (such as a sales campaign, website direction, event, etc.). Consultations are one-hour, valued at $175/hour, and will take place virtually. What’s the catch? The consultee agrees to allow Agency Abron to leverage the free consultation for promotional purposes and only the first 25 who submit and agree to the terms will be selected. Anyone interested can register here – https://forms.gle/S47yDzA5jUjchhpW9.

When I first started Agency Abron, I intentionally never called it “Agency Abron Public Relations,” because I always knew that I wanted it to be more than that, but I had to start somewhere. What many people don’t know is that I’m an artist first. All my life I’ve been involved in music, dance, art, and such. While on the journey to pursue my artistry, I lost my confidence and was deterred by others’ thoughts and opinions of what they thought I should be, so I focused more on business and being behind the scenes. I love my career in public relations, and I value what I’ve done in the industry. I’ve done some amazing things. But I also sing, rap, play the piano, draw, paint, write songs, act and dance. As an artist myself, I eventually had to infuse this part of me into my business. My intuition wouldn’t have had it any other way.

What you are most proud of or excited about?
I’ve hosted red carpet celebrity events to my own branded panel discussions and workshops. I’ve worked with brands such as McDonald’s, FX Networks, National Geographic, Walgreens, Def Jam, Hilton, AARP, and a list of many others. I’ve helped major brands increase their social media presence by more than 90% through my creative recommendations. I have a proven track record of increasing a brand’s media impressions by up to 75%. I’m proud to have helped my clients develop new and profitable new partnerships through strategic alliances. I’ve yet to host an event that went sour. Even if only five people show up, those five people walk away saying that they had an amazing time.

However, I get most excited when I can create an experience for an audience. Recently, I hosted my annual Music Monday in May event. In the past, it was a music-infused networking event that later included a panel discussion. This year, I was on the show. I performed, did a Q&A session with another artist friend of mine, and I showcased a mini-documentary about my journey. Doing this was scary because I normally don’t put myself out there in that way. But, when it was over and I got amazing feedback from my guest commenting on how they had an amazing experience, that was gold for me. I’ve hosted events in the past where guests have told me that they had an amazing experience, but this was different because, in the past, I was uplifting others on a platform and not me.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are several people I’d love to shout out. Honestly, I don’t think there is enough space to do so, so if anyone sees this and feels left out, please know I haven’t forgotten you. I just simply could not list everyone.

1. Laura Knights – Founder & CEO at Knights Consulting Leadership Development https://knightsconsultinggroup.com/
Laura was extremely instrumental in helping me get my initial business plan developed.

2. Florence Hardy – Chief Development & Innovation Officer at Far South Community Development Corporation – https://farsouthcdc.org/
Florence was instrumental in continued business consulting after I met with Laura to develop my plan. Originally I worked with Florence through the Small Business Development Center through the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce before she went to Far South.

3. Amanda Neely – Founder & CEO of Grandma’s Health Wisdom – https://grandmaswealthwisdom.com/
Amanda was an additional business consultant that was very instrumental. I originally met her when she was the owner of the Overflow Cafe in Chicago, where they also offered affordable conference rooms for rent for small business owners such as myself. From there, our relationship grew and she served as a great business advisor.

4. Karyn Pettigrew – Founder & CEO of beyond Blind Spots – https://beyondblindspots.com/
Recently, Karyn had a mastermind group that I participated in that helped me realize that Agency Abron is more than JUST a PR agency, but a creative consultancy agency that offers more than public relations services.

I also have to shout out to my mom. My mom passed on November 16, 2020, but she was my biggest cheerleader whom I miss dearly. Her not being here really helps me to realize how much of an impact she had. I remember when I wrote my first book, Prelude to Pitch, she bought the first copy. Like, she literally gave me cash money in hand. When I told her that I’d give her a copy for free, she insisted on paying me for it. That was pivotal because as a small business owner, people will try to get as much free stuff out of you as possible. By her buying my book, she gave me the leverage to say, “If my mother didn’t get it for free, neither should you.”

Website: https://www.agencyabron.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/agencyabron/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/agency-abron/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgencyAbron/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AgencyAbron/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6fOvHfB0RaHzNXRCgu1zig

Image Credits
Photos by Jansen Bridge

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.