We're back with our very own teammate Q&A! Mesha recently joined our team as Community and Sales Manager and now we can't imagine life without her. Mesha is working closely with our Curaotrs so that we can learn how to best serve our growing team and support everyone with the tools they need to be successful.
A Memphian (with New Yorker tendencies), Mesha sat down to share a bit about how she is navigating working with Rebecca Allen, growing her PR agency, MOMMING and finding time to kick back. Read on for more from Mesha!
A little bit about me. I’m a southern girl, raised in Memphis, TN. Shortly after college graduation I ventured to the NE to explore New York City, by way of Brooklyn. I fell in LOVE and found my place working for a variety of nonprofit organizations, starting with AmeriCorps. I would eventually find my tribe through volunteer service with the New York Urban League Young Professionals. I have the tightest girlfriend bonds from that experience.
A few years ago I brought my talents “back to South Beach” as the saying goes, returning home where I would launch my PR agency (BXM Agency). And interestingly enough it is seeing its largest growth during a crisis. Bizarre, right? But my experience is a bit hybrid as I recently joined RA as Community & Sales Manager in September of this year! You read that right. Sis has many jobs. I read an article once that was titled “this is why I have two jobs…” and that resonated with me because that is me :). Always moving, always hustlin’.
Prior to joining the team, I was introduced to RA through announcements about the company’s mission upon entering the marketplace. There are exciting things happening as RA launched its Curators network earlier this year and is now gearing up for some massive changes in benefits and rewards. And I’m here to facilitate engagement and build community around this new direct sales network that has the potential to change the way we think about selling to our underserved customer - black and brown women.
And now for the Q&A...!
Where do you reside and how have you been managing COVID-19?
I’m currently in my hometown Memphis, TN with my soon-to-be three year old daughter. The pandemic has been quite the experience. My strategy for navigating was to self-govern and handle all things one step at a time, in the early days. Fast forward to now, life is leveling out to a reasonable pace. But I’m still in New York time so that’s a bit different lol. I am taking more time to plan what work and home look like and how to keep a healthy balance of R&R and career, responsibly.
What has been your go-to meal during this time?
Transparent moment! I spend little to no time preparing meals but I do have some faves I like to grab from local restaurants. This is not a go-to meal but brunch is my absolute favorite meal time and I love a good shrimp and grits dish. Here in Memphis, there’s this cute restaurant - Beauty Shop - that is one to beat that serves some delicious S&G.
What has been one indulgence or luxury (small or large) that has helped you cope?
We have some great nature scenes for stealing some time alone. I like to drive down to Mud Island, park and watch the freight travel down the Mississippi River. Maybe it’s the water bearer in me but I love the water element ( hey, Aquarians :) )
How would you characterize your COVID style?
I haven’t adopted a COVID style BUT I appreciate all that athleisure has to offer. But the one item that quickly became a necessity - my face mask…’cause safety first. And not to plug but the RA mask is always in rotation.
How has COVID impacted your work?
The first few months, COVID had an extreme impact on work. My agency saw a screeching halt of client work until recently. I onboarded several new clients within a six week window and had to find office space fast because working from home was not an option with the amount of calls I needed to join daily. For my toddler, fortunately, preschool reopened and keeps her fully engaged during the day. We’re now starting to venture back out to explore the great outdoors and leisure activities.
Let’s dream a little - what do you think the future will look like for your industry?
I love this question. Owning a PR agency means you have to adapt early and often, especially with how rapid new media evolves. What’s happening in the public relations industry is lots of integration of functions. It’s no longer exclusively about media relations, now add event activations, strategic partnerships, social media content/engagement strategy, and so much more. I’m a chronic optimist and see all change as opportunity for growth and the silver lining in PR is that monotony from a single function is a thing of the distant past. Diversifying the communications strategy is the future of work for PR practitioners.
What constitutes a good day these days?
A good work day means I’ve executed meaningful actions for all work responsibility. Being in a hybrid space of working for a thriving startup like Rebecca Allen and also running a business, there’s tons of strategy work and tactical needs which keeps me sharp, nimble and adapting on a dime. And I love it. After work is a bit different, I’m working OT to plug back into my self-care practice which was the first thing that I sacrificed when the pandemic arrived.
Do you have a mantra that is seeing you through these days?
“Present are the days that I own being a badass, leading with faith and not fear.” Oh and therapy. That’s a major key.