Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in marketing services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stacey Owen, Founder of Pepper - Your Badass Business BFF Inc., located in Kamloops, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Pepper is a creative marketing agency. We work primarily with photographers and creative entrepreneurs but have also started working with more local companies, whether they are trades, healthcare, realtors, the beauty industry, or any other entrepreneur. We love helping all businesses as best we can when it comes to their branding, strategy, marketing, blogging, SEO, and more!
Tell us about yourself
I left an abusive marriage after years of being told I would amount to nothing. I left and grew my successful photography company. But I knew that I needed help with so many aspects of my business, from blogging to social media management and more. I couldn't find a business that was geared specifically toward photographers or creative entrepreneurs, so I founded Pepper. It began as a virtual assistant company and then quickly evolved into a full-blown marketing agency. Seeing our badass team help other photographers and entrepreneurs turn their ideas into success has been incredible. Watching other businesses build their brand, learn about strategy, hone in on their SEO, start blogging, send out rad newsletters, book clients, and accomplish so much more has pushed Pepper to go to the ends of the earth for our creatives. The powerhouse team of women at Pepper also motivates me to make sure Pepper always stays a safe place to work, a place that supports mental health, inclusivity and has supported six maternity leaves in less than five years!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When the pandemic hit, the photography industry was hurting. So Pepper hosted Conference + Chill, the first-ever virtual photography conference at the time. With hundreds of attendees (virtually), we had photographers from every corner of the world come host panels and share presentations, along with a DJ-led dance party, cocktails, games, so much education, and genuine human connection in a time when we were kept apart.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Never turning off. Those 3:00 am ideas are real, and entrepreneurship doesn't sleep!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- To start a business, the key is to actually just do it. Stop talking about doing it, and do the damn thing!
- To grow a business, listen to your clients even when the feedback is hard and be willing to adapt. Listen to what they like, what they don't like, what is going well, and what is not. That's where you can expand and grow. Mistakes are opportunities to do better.
- To run a business, have systems and processes, clear expectations of your team, set goals, and work towards them in a methodical way. Always stay open to ideas and things that come along that you aren't expecting. That's often where the magic happens. Know your values and what is important, and then be flexible around the things that aren't your hardcore non-negotiables.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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