Shay is an entrepreneur with a background in education, graphic and web design, and life coaching. Shay Martin’s Designs is an enterprise that aims to serve and educate all clients. Recently SMD added Wedding Officiant services to their portfolio and they continue to expand.
1. What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I have had a lot of influences from entrepreneurs in my life since I was young. It has always been a dream of mine to work as hard for myself as I do for others. After accumulating many talents, licenses, certifications, and more I decided I wanted to help others with them and build a future for my family.
2. Tell us about your business.
Shay Martin’s Designs is all about creativity and freedom of expression. We design press on nails, provide parent advocate services, officiate weddings, and offer business coaching and branding products. I always focus on providing a safe space to learn and feel like your authentic self.
3. Where is your business based?
We are based in Atlanta, GA. We provide virtual services and ship to the US.
4. What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
One of the first things I wanted to do was to honor my grandfather with my business. Sandy Martin Adams taught me a lot of life lessons and the one that sticks out to me the most is doing right by others.
5. What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media and random card placements have been excellent support for me. My daughter and I wear my press-on nails daily as a walking advertisement. I also leave my business cards at small businesses and around larger establishments. Many of my first clients came from my posts being shared.
6. What have been your biggest challenges so far?
In October 2022 I was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and a month later I was laid off from my full-time job. I was still in the process of re-launching Shay Martin’s Designs in the midst of all of this. I had to dig deep and decide if this was indeed the route I wanted to take.
7. How did you overcome these challenges?
I decided to give myself grace in knowing that none of those things was my fault. I focused on ways to brand my business and adjusted to my diagnosis and medication. The funny thing is, I know would have never quit a career or job to really give SMD everything. It felt like it was the push I needed to not be afraid.
8. What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I received recently came from my mom, she told me to never be ashamed of asking for help. Wanting to be independent and do it on your own can be exhausting and honestly detrimental to your success. I always ask for help when I need it now.
9. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
You have to be authentic to yourself in whatever you are doing. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense to others. If you are doing what you are passionate about, the money will come.
10. What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m currently learning more about grants and opportunities to volunteer some of my services to the community.
11. What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
For this upcoming quarter, I am focused on growing the number of clients that I serve on subscription bases as well as expanding my digital resources portfolio. I have several new packages and products coming for my press on-nails line and an Etsy store that will be open soon for downloadable intervention resources and support.
12. What is your favorite business tool or resource?
I absolutely love Square! I am able to do so much from one place, invoices, contracts, subscription plans, and more. It has made this process very smooth in terms of expansion and growth.
13. What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
- Facebook: ShayMartinDesigns
- Instagram: @shaymartindesigns
- Twitter: @Shay_M_Designs
- YouTube: @shaymartindesigns
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