Sylvia: Hi Angela. It is a pleasure to meet you! Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to interview with me. Please tell us about yourself and your business?
Sylvia: Great, thanks for the links. But please tell our readers a little about your company and magazine. We would also like to know a little about you personally.
Angela: Sure! I’m a 26-year-old music lover, with a weakness for ice cream, coffee, and passionate people. Nothing moves me quite like seeing people who aren’t afraid to be raw and vulnerable. It’s that passion and raw energy that both Muddy Paw and Infectious Magazine were founded. I actually started Infectious after I stumbled across a local unsigned Rhode Island band opening for one of my favorite bands. It was a complete accident, and a rather serendipitous one at that. I was so struck by their energy, talent, and stage presence that I felt compelled to interview them, and shout out their name to everyone I knew. I decided, why stop there? And thus Infectious was born. 5 years later, and with a wealth of blogging knowledge, I decided to try my hand at PR, and continue promoting the bands I loved. I figured I’d been on the other side so long that I’d developed a knack for understanding what did and didn’t work when promoting bands. When it came to picking a name for my PR company, that was easy. I just thought of my border collier mix, Sawyer and his messy muddy paws that always lined my kitchen. And so, Muddy Paw was born.
Sylvia: What does success mean to you?
Angela: What a great question! For me personally, success means helping artists grow their careers, and seeing them get excited about the placements we get them. It sounds cliché, but those moments are the reason I keep pushing forward, even through the toughest of times.
Sylvia: That’s a great attitude! How do you create work-life balance?
Angela: You know that old saying about “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life”? That’s honestly how I feel. I love what I do, and although there are tough days, it never feels like work. Because of that, I’m working on nights, weekends and holidays—in fact those are usually the times I enjoy working most, because everyone is off so it’s pretty quiet, and I can just fully concentrate on catching up and moving forward.
Sylvia: It’s always great to take advantage of quiet time. I savor quiet when I can think and really get creative. What steps are necessary for a woman entrepreneur who wants to move her business to the next level?
Angela: I think learning to be assertive, and not being afraid that we’ll look “mean” if we are. It took me a really long time to be comfortable with being more assertive, especially around men, and it’s something I’m still struggling with. But I know in my industry especially (the music industry) if I’m not assertive, I won’t get anywhere.
Sylvia: That’s so true! It is important to give back. In what way do you give back to your community?
Angela: I work with a lot of amazing interns, who are really instrumental to both Muddy Paw and Infectious’ growth. I’m incredibly grateful for their support, and love being able to help teach them, and help them grow their confidence and experiences. When I get an email from an intern telling me how much they’ve learned, or how appreciative they are, it’s an amazing feeling. In addition, we do work with charities to help them grow their presence, and give exposure to their artists. There’s a lot of amazing people out there doing a lot of fantastic things, and to be able to help even just a few of them is incredibly rewarding.
Sylvia: That’s awesome, sharing your gift with others. What challenges and opportunities do you see in the present economic environment?
Angela: I think this is a tough time for any business, but especially one that might be considered a “commodity” such as PR. It’s such an essential tool to have, but people tend to think of public relations as something they only do when they have money, versus something you should be budgeting in from the start. It’s a shame to spend so much time building your brand, but then not invest in something like PR, which helps bring awareness to it.
Sylvia: I agree! In my opinion, a business owner should make PR apart of their budget. If people don’ know who you are, then how will they can’t learn about your products or services. I think it’s a matter of educating people and changing their mindset. How do you promote/market your business?
Angela: I think things like Twitter, writing guest blogs, and Facebook Groups are an incredible way of promoting yourself and your business. Making friends and connections on Twitter is a fantastic tool that people really don’t take advantage of. I think guest blog opportunities on sites that your audience frequents are also really valuable. And Facebook Groups, well, they can be hit or miss. There are a lot out there that are just filled with spam, but there’s also a lot that are filled with passionate, excitable people to share your vision with.
Sylvia: What books and resources would you recommend to other women in business?
Angela: These have probably been mentioned a lot, but I really liked Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ and ‘The Tipping Point.’ Both of them were really inspiring to me, and though they didn’t directly talk about anything in my industry, sometimes just reading about different stories, ideas, and the history of things can really spark not just ideas, but a whole new mindset.
Sylvia: So true! What advice do you have for women who are just starting out?
Angela: Keep pushing forward, and network, network, network. When I was in college people would tell me all the time how important networking was, but I didn’t really get it until I started my own company. Networking is incredibly powerful, and we as woman need to really support one another and our dreams, and not work against each other. Some cities even have groups specifically for woman entrepreneurs, or women in certain industries. Seek these out when you can; they’ll be incredibly valuable.
Sylvia: Wow, eloquently spoken! I feel the same way. That is why I offer such platforms, to help other women get their message out there. How do you stay connected in mind body and spirit?
Angela: It’s definitely hard. I have a tendency to get inside my own head, and I can be a bit of a perfectionist. But I exercise and walk for about an hour a day, and that makes a huge difference in my mental well-being.
Sylvia: I love walking; it’s my thinking time. What is your favorite quote to live by?
Angela: Ah, this is a tough one! I guess I have two. The first is an Anberlin quote, “There’s more to living than being alive.” I always thought that was a really important message to remember. It’s easy to get stuck, and find yourself just drifting in and out of days, but is that really living?
The second one s actually from ‘Sex and the City,’ ha-ha! It’s “Maybe mistakes are what make our fate… without them what would shape our lives?” I always loved that one, because I think it’s important to remember that mistakes aren’t inherently bad. In fact, they can, and often do shape our lives, and our businesses. We have to learn to embrace mistakes, learn from them, and move on, instead of beating ourselves up about them.
Sylvia: Both are full of meaning! Share with us two industry or general business related tips that could help other women business owners.
Angela: So many good questions in this interview! The number one best tip I can offer, which I touched on before, is network. You have no idea how important that is. And don’t just network online, get out and network in person. Some of the best friends and connections I’ve made have been from in person interactions. It’s by and far the best way to network. Second, write out your goals. Don’t just think on them, actually write them out, and look at them regularly. It will help keep you on track, and keep you inspired. If you don’t have strong goals, how can you expect to reach your full potential?
Sylvia: You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your time and expertise with our members and subscribers. Please share your contact information.
Angela: Thank you so much! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to hear from anyone interested in saying hello! Even if it’s just questions on launching your business or getting into the music industry, I’m happy to help. Thanks for reading!
- Website: http://www.muddypawpr.com/
- Website: http://www.infectiousmagazine.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/muddypawpr
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InfectiousMag
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/muddypawpr
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/infectiousmag
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/angela_mastro