Founded by Paula Henriques and Shannon Mastaler, two long-time writers, editors and creative directors, P.S. MediaHouse is a collaborative design, marketing and media relations company.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Working in the publishing and advertising industries for many years, we saw how they were run, and we wanted to offer something different. We are two young, talented women with a lot to offer and we felt it was time to show the world what we could do. We have a personalized approach and care about every client’s business. We also saw our business as an opportunity to fuel some of our passions like giving back to the communities we work in and empowering women through an event like The Well.
Tell us about your business.
Not your typical agency, P.S. MediaHouse prides itself on one-on-one customer care for each and every project and personally gets to know the client’s business and its needs. We are a full service agency, but specialize in New Home Marketing, Magazine Development and Content Creation, Branding and Design, Event Planning and Digital Marketing.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We are in the midst of hosting a major event, a passion for P.S. MediaHouse – The Well. We created the event to connect women from different stages of life, giving them a day to feel inspired and replenished, listen to inspiring speakers and indulge in some sweets and shopping. It is an opportunity for women to get that much-needed ‘me’ time back into their lives.
As business owners and mothers, we realize how difficult it is to find that balance in work and life and finding that crucial ‘me’ time that is so important to women’s health and happiness. The Well was a way for us to help women regain that time and not feel guilty about it!
The Well is a full day event that took place yesterday on November 12, 2017 at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. we had speakers including, CTV The Social’s Cynthia Loyst, The Marilyn Denis Show fashion expert Natalie Sexton, body image advocate Jill Andrew, Real Housewives of Toronto star and founder of #MySizeRox Roxy Earle (who will also be our MC!), and entrepreneur and inspirational speaker Katie McClelland! With intermittent breaks for meditation, delicious dining, shopping with local vendors, Zumba and much more!
We have been honored with multiple magazine and newspaper awards as well as numerous design awards for advertising campaigns including being named the National Silver Award Winner for Best Design Centre 2014 by the National Association of Home Builders with our client Mountainview Homes.
Where is your business based?
P.S. MediaHouse is located in downtown Waterdown. It’s an open concept space nestled in a historical building, which actually used to be a jam factory. Built in the 1860s the office still has some of the original stone and wood. Paired with our company’s new branding – black and white stripes with accents of gold – it is actually quite symbolic of us as owners.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Nurturing relationships was and always will be the most important part of our success. We had already established some wonderful relationships with clients from our years in the industry, so taking the steps to continue these relationships on our own was very important. We also had to bring others on board who matched our mission and who had incredible talent as well. Today, we have a business made up of incredible team members and wonderful clients whom we respect, trust and love working with.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Word of mouth. Since we both have backgrounds working in many facets of media and had great working relationships already with many community members, we had great clients as soon as we opened our business! Clients see and hear about the work offered by our agency and they are sold. Believe it or not, we have not advertised at all for our business. Past relationships and referrals have been phenomenal and so appreciated.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge has been growing quickly. Having to work long hours is no new revelation to us, but we have had to make important decisions about our business and the growth of our team. And of course, learning things that we didn’t have a passion for, like accounting!
How did you overcome these challenges?
Jumped in headfirst! Between an amazing team of freelance writers, editors and designers, the P.S. family has grown by two more full-time employees. It was the next step for the business to continue to evolve. Now we have taken on a few more clients and will continue to prosper and succeed! Our philosophy is to always keep learning and growing!
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Being two young female entrepreneurs when we began this journey, we had to build strong relationships first and foremost with each other. We are honest at all times and are each other’s sounding board when “life” happens.
We also TRUST each other completely and each other’s decisions. And we always have one another’s backs.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We want to work with clients we love. The relationship is most important. Really getting to know your business, and your team – we become a part of your business family. To us, you are not a number. You are part of OUR family, and that is something we take seriously. Our boutique approach, friendly manner and award-winning work are what attracts clients to us. We offer better prices, quicker turnaround times, less red tape, and much better service.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
You can do it. If you are currently working 40 hrs a week for a job you don’t love, then just think… if you devoted 40 hrs a week to your passion – it would be successful! And never give up – the road to owning and running a business is filled with ups and downs and surprises… but keep going (and it helps if you have an amazing business partner).
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
- Our accountant. Is that a tool? We learned quickly that we needed help from a trusted and reliable accountant. This is not the place to cheap out!
- Trello – an awesome online project management system – helps keep the details in order!
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle – It’s an oldie but a goodie and gives an important reminder of how important it is in all areas of life to stay in the moment. Business can be scary – with so much on your shoulders… it’s crucial to not get caught up in ‘what could happen’ and stay present!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
We are learning that we are more successful when we trust the talent of our employees and as owners focus more on building the business. We have an incredible team that is creative, capable and very devoted.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
One of our goals is to make our November 12th event, The Well, an annual event. Our first big event, The Well is such a passion – and something we are so proud of – honoring and empowering women. Once it’s done, we will be focusing on next year’s event and growing this side of our business.
We also have goals to grow the Magazine Development side of the business. With so many decades of publishing experience, this is something we love and are excited to do even more of in the future!
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Hashtags #TheWellEvent #yourMEday #honouringwomen #womensupportingwomen #MySizeRox #SizeismSucks