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Name: Antonia Phillips

Location: College Station, TX 

Type of Business:
Strategic business, brand development and social media management consultant

What does your business do?
- Brand analysis and strategy - New market opportunities for growth - Research, copyrighting, copy-editing, design - SEO analysis and marketing (organic and paid) - Social media account management

When and why did you start the biz?
I have 21 years of digital media, technology, and design experience with an ever expanding contact list to go along with my timeline. I also have an autoimmune disease progressing at an increased rate and three lovely cats who prefer to have me home. I was looking for a way to bring my expertise and knowledge to others who needed it while being able to stay closer to home more often. In the summer of 2018 I met my first client by happenstance at a trade show. They needed exactly my skill set and it was the perfect test run to see if this could be a viable business opportunity. It was and now I am looking to move forward with a full time business. In order for me to take the next step, I need to have a solid foundation and maintain my own personal health.

How Many People are in your Company?

Where's your office?
I work from home, generally on my laptop and my couch. I have a conference area setup whenever I need to make, or take, video calls.

What's the toughest part of running your biz?
Getting the business off of the ground and making ends meet. There is added stress and pressure of attempting to get a service based business up and running, you have belief in your skills and once you can show work it proves your worth. However, getting to that point can be stressful for both you and your clients. Additionally, having an auto-immune disease means that I must be careful with my personal health. If I push myself too hard then I will end up in the hospital with no way to make income and draining money from limited savings.

What's the most fun part?
Having your own hours and being home. I work in comfy clothes or pajamas on most days. Additionally, I have three kitty cats who are lounged on or around me all day long who make a huge difference in the overall quality of my life in general. Being home with them is fantastic.

Anything you would have done differently?
I would have looked for grants and done my strategic planning sooner. I had a full time job when I first started with this "side" business. Therefore I didn't take some of the early research steps sooner, when I had more "breathing" room. Even if this would have remained a side business forever, it still would have set me up better and taking that extra time early would have saved so much more time later. It's a great reminder to myself that it is always better to take a little time earlier in the process then to be blindsided at the end when all of those "little things" add up to a huge time sink that could kill your project or deadlines.

What's next on the horizon for your biz?
Finalizing branding and fining grants or securing a small business loan. Business cards and branded sites.

What advice do you have for others?
Write down your business and product goals and then review them often, especially if you have multiple partners. Once you start building a business, or product, the reality may change significantly from your original goals. Reviewing your original goals at each step and asking "is this ok" is critical. My own business has expanded beyond what it was originally intended to be, and I had to ask myself if I was ok with that. The answer was both yes and no. I was ok with my role expanding in one area, where I had knowledge. In another area, I pulled back and found experts I could recommend or use as contractors.

How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I am hoping that Idea Cafe can help me find grants specific to my situation such as women in business, women with disabilities, women over 40 so that I can focus on building and growing my business. It would also be great to find resources for tools and software that I haven't yet heard of or looked into specific to my business. I am always on the look out for new ways to be efficient and effective in the way that I do business.

School (where, still in school, degree)?
Maryville University of Saint Louis (incomplete)

Prior jobs or business?
Director and Senior Producer at Triseum Founder of TwitchTexas Producer at EA, Bioware on Star Wars: The Old Republic Technical Communicator at MasterCard WorldWide Technical Communicator at MonsterCommerce Online Producer at Electronic Arts (EA) Web Producer at Eidos Interactive Narrative Designer at The 3DO Company

Favorite Food?

What are your pets' names?
Hirame, Temple of Doom, Dreu

Do any of these pets help with your biz?
Yes, they are my Instagram Models and my business name is their social media account name. My reputation in social media has been built off of their social media account recognition.

Is there any one person or event in your life that led you to go into business for yourself?
I've had prompting from most of my close friends that my experience and talents are under utilized working for other companies and that I should be in business for myself. It wasn't until I found the right opportunity to mix design, technical, and media management together that it felt like the right time to do this.

Anyone you publicly want to thank?
My father who has always followed his dreams from building a 45' by 15' house boat by hand to sail around the world to winning the Princeton award for poetry. He's always taught me to never settle and believe in myself.

Contact Info:
Antonia Phillips
4340 Decatur Drive, Apt 1306
College Station, TX 77845


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