Public Relations Coordinator at Brand Fiend
Growing up in Kansas City, MO Aqweela Green was a girl of many talents. As a kid she was a ballet dancer, she played chess, soccer, volleyball, and even became a cheerleader in her early teens through high school. Little did she know that her gift for multitasking and adapting to change would be extremely beneficial in her future career. Like many of us maneuvering through life, our career paths change as we grow into our true selves. In her early years Aqweela was enamored with animals and wanted to become a Veterinarian. Fast forward a few years through a random conversation Aqweela realized her true calling, public relations.
Growing up were you always a problem solver and great with people?
Growing up, I was not always a people person, I played chess and dressed up cats for fun. I wasn’t a big fan of conversation because of my stuttering problem which resulted in shyness. It wasn’t until high school that I broke out of this shell or barrier from people and began taking acting classes. Learning to speak out and express myself in theater was the key to learning my knack for communication. Theater revealed my true character. Problem solving is another story, being a middle child gave me the skill of resolution. With 3 sisters, there had to be a designated, level-headed mediator.
What made you want to pursue public relations?
My passion for public relations was sparked in college. I went to the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) and began my studies in the Nursing, not because I wanted to help sick people, but because I knew there was a guaranteed job for me after graduation. After my first year, I immediately realized that I was not set out to be a nurse. While home for the summer after freshman year, I had to do some reevaluation on my life and career. Unexpectedly, I met a lady in an elementary school’s concession stand line, during small talk she mentioned she was a publicist (I wish that I could remember her name, to give her the proper credit). She shared with me all of the tasks she carried out recently and what she’d done before in her early years of the profession and immediately it just clicked. I knew that’s what I wanted to do, I did a little more research on the career and realized this was meant to be. Headed back to school I met with my advisor, who gave me the classes to study in my adjustment to a Communications major. Writing, writing and more writing. I did well with research and writing and in one of my classes, relational communications, a classmate of mine decided she wanted to start a business with myself and a few other students from the class. Megan Ahart, founder of Interlude Music, gave me the stepping stone to fulfill my dream career. We were a student-run music business, with a team of Music Managers, Social Media Strategists, Graphic Designers, Business Advisors, Event Coordinators, Music Analysts and Financial Consultants. Our business was all about scouting, shaping and promoting Mizzou’s student musicians, and offering resources on/off campus and hosting events for our musicians to perform at or engage in. First hand, I was the leader of Event Coordinators and Music Analysts. I was in charge of scouting for student talent through social media and word-of-mouth while leading other team members to get tasks completed to help further artists’ fanbase. We also discovered venues, themes and events for musicians to perform at and promote live events through media outlets. This business was a highlight of my life, I loved seeing the excitement of the musicians through the engagement of their new fans. Being a tool and resource for the benefit of their dream was exhilarating, I knew this was to be my future. After only 8 months with Interlude, my time at Mizzou had come to an end but I continued to give my help and advice from afar. Not giving up on the career, I was offered another opportunity after a photoshoot with Smash Glam, the ultimate photography and makeup team in Kansas City, Mo. Within my first 2 months, I was able to get their grand opening broadcasted on the local news and on the front page of the local newspaper. Soonafter, my experiences as PR Intern with Smash Glam led me to an opening for Public Relations Coordinator at the digital forward branding agency of Dallas,Tx, Brand Fiend.
How can you and your colleagues at Brand Fiend help entrepreneurs reach their goals?
At Brand Fiend we are all about giving our clients all of the resources they need to be successful. We listen to their needs and their desires for their brand and we create the proper plan and steps necessary to reach and surpass their expectations. As a branding agency, we offer Logo Design, Branding Materials, Web Development, Public Relations, Email Marketing and Social Media Management. Our goal is to explore each brand’s competence, evaluate essential strategies for the benefit of their vision, then bring that dream to life. The owner of Brand Fiend, Jesse Alex, has created a team of professionals catering to the fulfillment of each brand to reach its capacity and beyond. When entrepreneurs reach out to us, they come with their brand already in motion or they have only an idea for a brand, needing our help to shape it and create it’s foundation. Our mission is to learn all about their ambitions, where and how it derived and what they are looking to achieve in the future for their brand. We guide them with the appropriate team member, seeking out their questions and worries and filling them with answers and solutions. We have only reached our success when our client has reached their own.
What has been the biggest battle in your career thus far?
My biggest battle at hand has been not finishing school. I have been self taught and I’ve learned by practice, experience, research, trial and error. With such a busy schedule, a full-time job and 2 part-time jobs, I haven’t had the chance to get back into school to complete my degree. This setback has been both a battle and a blessing. Had I stayed at Mizzou I would not have found Smash Glam, a wonderful team of ambitious women and entrepreneurs, nor would I have had the opportunity at Brand Fiend to explore my passion and ultimately wouldn’t have been able to share my story with Cosign Magazine today. So I am grateful for my setbacks, they’ve pushed me and they’ve initiated a drive to be better and do better, they’ve motivated me to create my own path to greatness.
How do you deal with stress?
I’ve learned within the past year that stress is a factor of unpreparedness. When you face unexpected outcomes you sometimes freak out and don’t know how to cope with this change, resulting in stress. My antidote is exercise and yoga. I’ll exercise at work, running or anything vigorous to get my mind off what has brought me stress. If I don’t have time for the gym, sometimes I’ll go into meditation at my desk or at home, deep breathing exercises to bring me peace and a clear head. Stress is tough on the mind and it can cloud your thoughts, that strain can give you a headache and cause you to be cranky throughout the day. Stress is a collection of negativity and events taken place out of your can’t control. Another way to deal with stress is to find a quiet space and ponder on the positive things that have taken place for you in that time, fill your head will things that bring you peace and joy. Once you have tranquility, you’ll find it easier to create a solution or steps to take care of the unexpected issue at hand with a level head. Keep up this practice and you’ll find yourself handling any matter with grace and control.
What are your strengths and weaknesses and how do you plan to improve your weaker areas?
I’d have to say that my greatest strength is my optimism. Being optimistic has given me sanity at times that I could have broke down and given up. When I left Mizzou, I honestly had no idea what I would do next. All I knew was that I had to find an avenue to fulfill my passion again. I never gave up and I welcomed every step as an opportunity closer to progress. Other strengths of mine are: my creative flair in written work, my flexibility in handling multiple tasks and my attention to detail and legitimacy. My great weakness is my incapability to saying “no”. Since childhood, I’ve been such a giving person. I’m happy to give my time and efforts for the benefit of another person’s happiness. Unfortunately, my inability to say no can cause me to put things ahead of my own needs. I’m learning how to be more responsible for myself first but in this moment of my adulthood, I’ve found pleasure in other’s success. I plan to work on organizing my tasks in a more rational order by urgency in the future. Organizing and filing bills properly is my second greatest weakness. Honestly no one said it’d be this hard, my parents make it look easy. My organizing skills will improve when I purchase a sturdier organizing file cabinet and a space in my apartment to place it.
We try to refrain from cliché questions, but what do you want to accomplish in 2017?
I am an optimist, I believe that if you think positively, positive outcomes are sure to occur. So I’d like to speak positivity into existence and say that this year I will have success in my goals and be daring, taking control of my life and not waiting for opportunities, I’ll be opening the doors. I also believe that planning is essential for any success. I plan on raising my credit score this year for starters, which means paying bills and student loans on time (adulting), then I’d like to get my boyfriend the help he’ll need to start his business this year. This year, my plan is to be less about self and more about aiding the dreams of others. Having my own dream fulfilled, gave me such a thrill that it made me feel the need to help other ambitious individuals spread their wings as well. Another plan of mine is to launch a PR blog, sharing insider tips for small businesses and featuring a special guest once a week. My blog is in the works but getting my organizing skills up to par will benefit my process and my ability to make time and space for this new journey.
In your career, do you feel a #COSIGN is important?
I do feel a #cosign is important in Public Relations. In PR, I #cosign for entrepreneurs and small businesses because it allows me to handle their company as if it were my own. Putting myself in someone else’s shoes, gives me the opportunity to aim for new heights. Each company that I represent is so much different than the next, I’m excited to learn the stories and backgrounds of each brand and their aspirations for greatness, then I get to show the world just how remarkable they are. Supporting my clients through a #cosign is the best chance at creating amazing outcomes for their brand, making sure their excellence is discovered and exposed locally, nationally and ultimately universally.
Who does Aqweela #COSIGN?
Jesse Alex @BrandFiend
Tiffany Cody @SmashGlam
Aisha Bullocks @theblowdryroomkc
Bonniqueca Anderson @the_ladyee_bee
Ryin Armoni @lashedbyryinarmoni
James Rand @Jp_rand
Derwin Hall @Thetrainerderwinhall
Jacoya Rivers @Daintygirl_
Cameron Young @Tbpenergy
Steven Green @steebosteve