- Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
Five years ago, I started Bow Tie Strategies out of my house. Bow Tie is a public relations firm that assists businesses in utilizing the proper mediums to effectively tell their stories for the best return on investment. I worked a full-time job and Bow Tie for two years before taking the plunge and quitting the secure paycheck, benefits, and paid vacation. It was the best decision I ever made, besides joining the Loudoun Chamber, of course. We have doubled our revenue year over year since 2012 and if projections are accurate, then we’ll grow our revenue in 2017 by 200%. Bow Tie expanded in 2017, which led to the drastic increase in revenue. We started a new division called Events by Bow Tie, which produces and manages corporate events, concerts, festivals, etc. I am a firm believer that giving back to community is key to success, which is why Bow Tie gives back 15-20% of its net profits to nonprofits in Loudoun County. Loudoun is only as strong as its nonprofits and small business community, which is why Loudoun continues to do well and remains strong.
- What would it mean to you and your company to win Entrepreneur of the Year?
When a you start a business from scratch, you never know how things are going to turnout. Granted, you want the best results, but being an entrepreneur is not easy and the entrepreneur lifestyle is not for everyone. There are plenty of ups and downs, and rights and lefts. Long days and nights become the norm and coffee is a necessity to keep running. However, winning Entrepreneur of the Year, would be great, but being named a finalist with the other finalists in my category, is already a true honor.
- If you weren’t running your own business/working at this business, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t running my own business, I would definitely start my own business. After having run my own business for five years, I don’t think I could go back to working for someone else. I love what I do. I love the people I work with. And, I love giving back to Loudoun, so I would create a platform that would allow me to give back.
- What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
Currently, I’m reading “Unbelievable” by Katy Tur. My favorite book is “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom.
- If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
What is a day off? Those are two words that have escaped my vocabulary. However, I would enjoy just relaxing on the couch, channel surfing. It’s been about seven years since I had a vacation, so maybe I should plan one?
- What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
Dixie May Foster – my eight year old Pug – is the smallest thing that has had the biggest impact on my business. She senses when I need a break, or better put, when she needs a treat she lets me know.
- What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
I have always loved helping people, so I thought I wanted to be a doctor. Healing people seemed like the logical path to take, but being in public relations, I am still helping people, just not in the traditional sense of healing.
- Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
I have been influenced by many great minds in my life, but my mother has had the biggest influence in my life and career. She is the main reason I started Bow Tie Strategies because when I was a kid she planted the seed of “Never wonder what if and to always be willing to fail.” She is the reason I am going bald. 🙂
- What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?
I love where I live, work and play. The best thing about Loudoun County is that I can meet with a Fortune 500 company in the morning, have lunch at a restaurant supplied with locally grown food, and meet with a winery in the afternoon. We have a great mix of businesses in Loudoun – we’re very fortunate.
- If you’re not in the office where can we find you?
If I’m not in the office, then you may find me across the parking lot at Loudoun Brewing Company.