For Women’s History Month I will be sharing the stories that define and provide examples of women empowerment, uplifting stories of personal triumph and businesses that are inspiring and are making a difference for women. Women’s History Month is a declared month each year that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
I want to introduce you to Charissa Lauren, CEO & Publicist.
Charissa Lauren is reputably known for her creativity and ability to connect and position professionals. She has spent the last 10 years as a Brand & Public Relations Consultant, starting her first business at 22. She specializes in Creative Brand Consulting and Public Positioning, exceeding her client expectations with innovative brand awareness techniques. She is passionate for entrepreneurship on every level and is working to become a multi-faceted, serial entrepreneur to asset the business world on every angle. In addition to her PR company, Charissa Lauren Collective, LLC, she is expanding her education in real estate, property investments, and creating lifestyle brand. She and her husband, a Cyber Security Consultant, reside in Pittsburgh with their daughter and baby boy. Together they enjoy traveling, reading, and business. Charissa has been named a finalist for the Stiletto Women in Business Award, honored by the Pittsburgh Magazine Women in Business Spotlight, a recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service, a nominee for Yahoo! Women Who Shine and for the Athena Young Professional Award twice. She is currently on the Executive Leadership Board for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Western PA & WV, a passion project, and the Executive Board of the USC Newcomers Club. Charissa has been a published writer with DisFunkshion Magazine in bookstores nationwide, Mod City Magazine, Inspiring Lives Magazine, Miss A Magazine, Maniac Magazine, Modern Latina, Hello Perfect, Girl Talk HQ, Girl Zone, Front Row Monthly and Women in PR, Working Mother Magazine, Career Contessa, and Bibs and Business Magazine. She has met and interviewed names Lauren Conrad, Mario Lopez, Arden Cho, Zandra Rhodes, Ivana Helsinki, Noon by Noor, Whitney Port, Willow Shields, Tom Cruise, Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Stewart, Alexa Vega, Austin Butler, Betty White, Jes, Seth Rogen, Joe Maganiello, Ashley Rickards, Emma Watson, and The 1975.
Here is HERstory:
I’m a young woman with an old soul who loves life and making the most of it. I feel like I’ve had a million lifetimes in just 31 years. My life has been full of experiences that have lead me to becoming an Entrepreneur at 22. I believe you should love your work fully because when you love what you do, it isn’t work. I live quickly and try to absorb as much life and experience as possible. I enjoy travel, reading, culture, design, and art. I’m a CEO and Publicist. Of all titles, my favorite is Mama.
She is the founder of Charissa Lauren Collective – Public Relations and Brand Consulting.
What does women empowerment mean to you?
Supporting other women and doing your part to weave the path of success for all. It’s being an example that women are capable of anything and instilling the confidence another woman needs to know that, she too, is capable, is worthy, and is beautifully unique.
What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share with someone?
You write your story. You decide your future. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, all that matters is where you’re headed. The moment you realize you have control of your direction in life, your world changes. The only setbacks in life are the excuses you give yourself as to why you can’t do or be something.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I hope I leave the world known as the force of nature I’ve been, in a positive way. I hope I show others that you can have, do, or be anything you want. I hope I can be an example of how much there is to do and see in the world. I want to ignite the spark that’s needed to change perspectives of those around me. Life is a gift, live it well and full. As a mother, I hope I always show my children how precious the world is and encourage them to chase every dream.
What inspires you?
Design. Art. The outdoors. Travel. Books. Most of all, people. I love to listen to people, understand them, and hear their full story. Most people don’t give others the time of day to truly get to know them. When you listen to people and get to know who they are and what they’ve done, you find love in everyone around you. If everyone listened to each other more and gave one another the time of day, there might be more love in this world. Be courteous, be considerate of others, be a friend.
What kind of impact do you want to have on those around you?
When people finish a conversation with me, I hope they leave me a little changed and very inspired. I simply want to encourage others to follow their dreams, be their truth, and break-up with setbacks. I hope when you leave our conversation you say to yourself, “Wow, I should start that business, that job, or travel to that place I’ve always wanted to go to.”
What does self care mean to you?
Self-care means having a strong self-identity and maintaining that relationship through all the curves life throws at you. For me, self-care will always be what brings me joy and peace. That looks different for everyone. To take care of me, I scrapbook, I craft, I design, I get into a home project and organize. Keeping my hands busy quiets my mind. Candles and bubble baths only go so far. You have to really understand your soul and that takes time and commitment, like any relationship. Dedicate yourself to your SOULwork. Do yoga, exercise, listen to music, whatever makes you feel like YOU. Joss Whedon said it best “Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.”
What obstacles have you overcome or hurdles did you personally face and how did you overcome them?
Obstacles. Many! Some that I haven’t spoken too public about but will in time. A major obstacle was deciding to stop pursuing a career in law, leave my apartment in the city, move back home for 2 years and start a business at 22 years old. I overcame them by going through them and continuing to push through until I reached the light. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
When did you realize entrepreneurship was right for you?
I think I always knew I was different. I never fit in with the crowd and always wanted to go my own way. I never understood sitting. Sitting in class. Sitting in a cubicle. Waiting around for someone else to hand me something. I’m a hands-on learner and I’ve always enjoyed being out in the world learning through experience. Even in high school, I would miss school due to internships with agencies, apprenticeships in entertainment, many experiences. I kept myself busy and very involved in activity. I would always rather do my homework on the go. Now I’m a CEO and mother of 2 kiddos, 2 and under and I haven’t sat down since.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship?
I wanted full control of my life because I know the way I live is extraordinary. I’m eager, curious, and passionate for life and I can’t pursue my passions if I’m controlled by a boss. I also dreaded sitting in a desk and doing the same thing every day. I need excitement and change. I chose entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship chose me. I’m really great at what I do, I love my work and representing talented people as their Publicist. It brings me joy to bring out the best light in others. I also wanted to make sure I had flexible working hours because I always knew when it came time to be a mother, I wanted to be the one with my kids every day. Everything I do in my life, I do it big and I give it 100%. My kids get mama all day, even if I’m probably more tired than most.
What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you to do?
Overall, myself. I’m very self-disciplined. I simply won’t allow myself to fail.
What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both)
Watching my business grow to the next level. Exploring new talents and passions in lifestyle, real estate, and investments. Spending each day with my children and filling their lives with as much excitement as I can dream up for the day.
What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business and personally?
To transition fully into a CEO and have all client work conducted by our team and overseen and managed by myself. To write a book, or a few. Grow a real estate investments business and lifestyle brand. To place a client on The Today Show. To travel to Egypt, Rome, Venice, Nashville, Salem, the Grand Canyon, see the Northern Lights. To lead by example and inspire others. To be an involved mother who shows her children anything is possible.
What’s next for you in your business/brand?
What can readers look forward to from you?The launch of my PR in Pajamas program – a DIY PR Kit for small businesses and start-ups who may not be able to afford a Publicist.