Episode 074 – Elyse Koenig
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to Episode 074 with Elyse Koenig – Your Greatest Value is Truly Caring About the Client’s Success.
Elyse Koenig is a beauty and wellness industry veteran who has worked across the board on this industry in both the mass market and prestige verticals. She helps brands grow and succeed in a crowded marketplace. That is her passion and mission – to make her clients stand out above the noise.
Having worked at agencies big and small as well as in-house for a global cosmetics powerhouse, Elyse was ready to strike out on her own and create Elyse Koenig: Beauty & Wellness Consulting.
Elyse’s favorite part about having her own business is choosing to work with smart, forward-thinking brand leaders who are ready to take their beauty businesses to the next level. Her clients and their passion for the industry continue to inspire her.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- P.R. versus Advertising 101. Elyse talks about going across the board in the beauty space for over 13 years.
- Elyse narrates how a microblading session kickstarted her freelancing that eventually led to her successful P.R. agency, Elyse Koenig: Beauty & Wellness Consulting.
- The movie called “The Devil Wears Prada” is very realistic! Despite that, Elyse chose this industry because of how people in this space are so open and becoming more inclusive.
- There are valuable lessons to learn from working for someone else. Elyse was also able to use her time in corporate America to help younger girls in the PR world because the industry can be very cut throat especially in New York.
- Elyse talks about her rescue dog and favorite coworker named Johnny.
- Facebook Groups have been a major source of leads for Elyse that has helped so much in her P.R. agency.
- Editorial lists are Elyse’s bread and butter. She talks about how hiring a virtual assistant and letting them manage the lists have allowed her to grow her business.
- Elyse is growing her business at a controlled rate. Instead, she focuses on doing what’s best for her while enjoying the entrepreneur life.
- Based on her experience, Elyse talks about how, usually, the clients who pay the least and who want all the discounts are the hardest to work with.
- PR is one of the bigger investments to make in a crowded beauty space. Fortunately, the industry is shifting towards a more supportive network of professionals.
- It is very important to be selective of the types of clients you work with. Today, Elyse fights for charitable brands or ones with an inspiring story behind them. She emphasizes the importance of only working with brands that align with her values.
- Entrepreneurs have to realize that more consumers are more “woke”. These consumers are supporting different causes using their dollars.
- There shouldn’t be a competition between entrepreneurs in the same industry because there is always enough business for everybody. Elyse firmly believes that businesses should focus on adding more value to the world and making the pie bigger instead of fighting to have a bigger slice.
- Saying goodbye to something that you have worked hard for is a tough lesson to learn. Elyse relates how scary it can be to let go of something that is no longer working, especially when so much effort was put to work. But once she let go of something that was no longer serving her, the business in the last eight months, really grew!
- All of Elyse’s work has come from referrals. And that’s how rewarding doing great work and maintaining good business relationships can be. Elyse has decided that it’s not even worth her time anymore to pitch because she feels like the businesses that come to her are meant for her.
- Facebook Groups
- The Money Mindset Bootcamp by Denise Duffield-Thomas
- Marie Forleo’s B-School
- Friends in the Industry
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Elyse Koenig challenged her sister, Tess Koenig to be a guest on The HERO Show. Elyse thinks that Tess is a fantastic interview because she used to work in TV at New York called “The Chew” for several years. Then, she was the right-hand woman to a very well-known chef. Now, Tess is a yoga and meditation instructor who also works with celebrity chefs.
Tess made a way of connecting those two worlds despite the fact that she could have fallen apart. She has been through some hard times but she immediately picked up and kept going. She is now making more than what she used to by being a yoga teacher in a very competitive landscape.
How To Stay Connected With Elyse Koenig
Want to stay connected with Elyse? Please check out her social profiles below.
- Website: ElyseKoenig.com
With that… let’s get to listening to the episode…
Richard Matthews 0:02
And welcome back to The HERO Show. My name is Richard Matthews. And I’m live on the line today with Elyse Koenig. Elyse, are you there?
Elyse Koenig 1:12
I’m here. Hi.
Richard Matthews 1:14
Awesome. So glad to have you here Elyse. I’ll do a quick introduction for our listeners who have not heard of you before. You are a beauty and wellness industry veteran who’s worked across functionally on skincare, haircare, color cosmetics, men’s grooming, fitness studios, and more… Both in mass marketing and prestige verticals. You help brands grow and succeed in crowded marketplaces. So, if I’m understanding correctly, what you guys do is you actually help people with physical brands sell more, either online or in retail.
Elyse Koenig 1:44
Exactly. Well, there is the sales component right now. And the big component is public relations. So if you’re reading your favorite blog, if you’re looking at your favorite magazine, that’s where you hopefully will be seeing my clients. So it’s all about those relationships with editors and instead of paying for advertising, you would pay a retainer to a publicist who would then get you in multiple places instead of one. That’s sort of the PR versus advertising 101.
Richard Matthews 2:10
That makes a lot of sense. So tell me what it is that you are known for now? What’s your business like? What kind of clients do you sort of attract? And what’s the thing that stands out as the primary service you offer to the world?
Elyse Koenig 2:25
So I am a PR and sales consultant, but I go across the board in the beauty space. I’ve been doing this for over 13 years now. I started a big agency. I’ve worked in house. So I started my own company a little over three years ago. And I didn’t set out to be this way. But I started working with female founded niche indie brands. That’s just who I gravitated towards, and that’s who I was successful at promoting. Also, I’m based in Los Angeles, and the indie beauty scene is really thriving right now. Especially in skincare. And so, things just were sort of fortuitous. When I moved from New York City out to LA, that’s where the boom started coming. People are looking to California for inspiration for beauty products. But it has been a little over three years. So things are growing. I now work – I just signed last week, a big men’s brand. So obviously not an indie female founded brand. So I’m seeing where it takes me.
Richard Matthews 3:29
That’s really cool. So what sort of started you on this path to become an entrepreneur? We talked on the show all the time about your origin story, right? every hero has their origin stories where you started to realize that, you know, maybe you were different, that maybe you did have superpowers and you can use them to help other people. Whatt started that journey to become an entrepreneur for you?
Elyse Koenig 3:47
So I will say that when I first left my full time job in early 2016, I actually did not have the goal of starting my own PR business. I really decided to take a break from working for the man. You know, PR, even though it sounds like a sexy industry, it’s also incredibly stressful. And I’ve been doing it since two weeks after college graduation, I moved to New York City. My first job was The Devil Wears Prada, literally. I mean, I had umbrellas thrown at me at Fashion Week. So I was kind of raised…
Richard Matthews 4:21
That’s my wife and I’s favorite movie.
Elyse Koenig 4:23
Oh, really? Yeah. Well, it’s very real. It was very realistic. I think a lot of people in my industry, a little bit of PTSD while watching that. But I also really – I chose beauty after that job because the beauty industry is so lovely. People are so open. I love how it’s become very inclusive. Sidetracked, but I was working at these big agencies in New York, and moved out to LA. That felt like enough for a while. But then, it started becoming routine again. And so, I just said I’m gonna take a break. I went to New Zealand. In Australia for a month. I came back, sort of toying with what I really wanted and went to get my eyebrows micro bladed which, as a man, you might not know what this is. It’s almost like a tattoo. But it’s not blades. It’s like a few little needles to fill in your eyebrows. It’s semi permanent. And we started talking about my career. And the woman said, I’d love to work with you. And so that was the kickstart of me freelancing. And I’m lucky that I have wonderful relationships in the beauty industry. So people started sending business my way. And here we are.
Richard Matthews 5:41
Here you are three years later with a successful PR agency.
Elyse Koenig 5:45
Richard Matthews 5:45
Cool. so it was actually a catalyst of just meeting someone who you were chatting with, then…
Elyse Koenig 5:53
Yeah. You know, I thought about it because when I first moved to LA, I actually was freelance for about six months. But then I got an incredible opportunity to be the first ever in house PR di rector for Two Faced Cosmetics. I traveled globally for them. I went to Singapore, Malaysia, London, Paris. It was an incredible job. Unfortunately, I had just moved to Hollywood and they were down in Irvine and I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Los Angeles. Everyone knows the traffic. It was about a three-hour commute depending… I prefer traveling to Singapore those days than just driving in the traffic.
Richard Matthews 6:31
In LA it takes longer to go from Santa Monica to the 15 freeway than it would to go from Murrieta to Las Vegas.
Elyse Koenig 6:39
Oh, yeah. It’s insane. Right now I love the fact that I work from home and whenever I have to go out to a 5pm appointment, I think, “How do people do this every day?” Anyway, favorite thing about being an entrepreneur honestly is working in my jammies at my pace. I do really well with emails in the morning but I’m more creative at night. So, if you’re sitting in an office from nine to seven, because that’s pretty much the PR hours, then you have events afterwards. Like, I wasn’t utilizing my brain the best way.
Richard Matthews 7:10
Yeah, that’s one of the things I love too. My wife and I have homeschooled our kids for, you know, going on 10 years now. I’ve been a stay at home dad, like entrepreneur for 10 years. And when we go out places, it’s busy. I’m always like, “What’s going on? Like, why do I have to stand in a line?” You realize, “Oh, it’s a holiday.” We went on a weekend and didn’t know it because, if you work all the time, you know…
Elyse Koenig 7:35
It blends. Absolutely.
Richard Matthews 7:36
It blends together. I even work on Saturdays. It’s the same thing…
Elyse Koenig 7:39
I understand that. Yeah. But so it ended up I – considered it already. But I also feel very strongly and everyone has their own path, but I think I was too young to have created what I’ve created now. When I first started freelancing before that Two Faced job. I think, had I not gone in house and had that experience, and then my last full time job, I was the VP of beauty and wellness, bringing in all of the business for a fashion agency. I was developing that business for them. So it really taught me how to close the deal. I come from a family of salespeople, but it really let me develop that muscle. And the clients were coming for me. And so I thought, why am I taking a commission on this? Why don’t I just do it myself? It took me a while to get there. And I think it just takes one person saying something. Because I hate when I listen to stuff and I think “Oh, well, you just weren’t the right place at the right time.” I’m always about like, things being accessible to everyone. And I do have that person not said let’s work together. Who knows? Maybe I would have gone back for a full time job. But I always love stories where it’s like, “Okay, I could make that happen for myself, too.” It’s not just luck.
Richard Matthews 8:57
Yeah, yeah. I know. For myself I had a similar experience I had started freelancing right after college. I did that for several years and was okay at it. And when I say “Okay, I did. I was getting great results for my clients.” But I wasn’t charging what I was worth… So I was struggling, because I wasn’t making enough money to feed myself and pay for marketing and deliver a good experience, that kind of stuff. And you know, you learn later in life and shut all that down to take a marketing director position. In the marketing director position, I was there for 18 months and got to be in charge of humongous budgets. We 10x their lead flow, you really get a solid handle on what your skill sets are and the confidence to back them up. I was able to take that into our freelance career afterwards. And really…
Elyse Koenig 9:57
I try to tell people that I do miss miss mentoring. I am starting to grow my business to where I will have that opportunity again. But what I loved about agency life and being actually in a company was helping the younger girls in the PR world grow. Because it can be very cutthroat, especially in New York, when you’re getting started. You’re making $4 and you have eight roommates and you’re trying to just figure it out. But a lot of those girls would come to me, even years later. A lot of them are thinking about going freelance. I always advise waiting until you have at least enough experience across the board. But some of them I think are braver than I probably was at their age. The world is changing the way we work now.
Richard Matthews 10:44
It’s faster and moves quickly.
Elyse Koenig 10:45
Richard Matthews 10:47
10 years ago – and it’s interesting too, because I just got to the point in my business where I started to hire staff and bring people on. I’m really enjoying that aspect of my business as well.
Elyse Koenig 11:00
I’ve had a virtual assistant for a while. And that actually took being part of a business coaching program for her to say, “What are you doing? You’re making enough and you will allow yourself to grow if you just have someone come in.” So now, they handle – my bread and butter is my editorial lists. So my connections, my relationships, yes. But my lists are organized into what beat people cover. Are they working on long lead, which is a magazine timeline. Are they’re working on short lead, which is newspaper, TV, if those aren’t organized, I’m doomed. So, having someone else take that over for me was very scary. But it has been significantly more helpful because now I’m not working on the minutiae. I’m actually working on client relations or pitching and getting coverage for my clients. So I do have now subcontractors working on a few brands. But that’s an interesting shift too in how I tell clients. Because my before my pitch is, “You’re working with me. You’re working with a senior level publicists, I’m doing it all.” And now, it’s not that anymore. But I also don’t want to try to compete against the huge agencies I used to work at. So it’s really finding that niche and just continuing to grow. But I don’t want to grow – I’m not like, “Yay! scale everything, hire all the people.” I want to do what’s best for me. And I’ve enjoyed the entrepreneur life. I don’t want to go back into an office. I don’t want to make these girls come into an office every day. So, it’s playing with it.
Richard Matthews 12:30
Yeah. We talk talk regularly on the show about, knowing the monster you’re building.
Elyse Koenig 12:37
Richard Matthews 12:38
Because, you could if you wanted to. You could probably build a seven-figure agency with 100 employees and stuff like that. But you may not want that, right? You have got to know what it is you want to build.
Elyse Koenig 12:48
And that’s been hard for me because I’ve always been very ambitious. I’m always “Okay, I have this goal. I’m going to get it.” But that goal was also typically the next pay raise, the next title, because I was used to working in corporate America. So now, it’s “How do I keep myself satisfied? How do I feel?” I do have stretch goals I’m going after. But that’s okay to maybe not want those things. And that has been something that I continually have to reevaluate. What feels like success. For me? Is it just a number? Right now I’m working with clients that – I like every single person. When I get an email, or when I get a phone call, I do not feel like [gasp]. And trust me, I have worked with those people. Even on my own, I thought I’d only pick nice people. And that would be the beauty of working for yourself. But no, I’ve worked with some real gems. So, that’s something that I view as success. So, it’s sort of picking different pieces than what I thought I would have in a corporate career.
Richard Matthews 13:52
Yeah, I know how it goes. I remember pretty specifically actually. Like my goals were like, I had revenue goals. And I was going to hit these revenue goals. And you know, I had like, where I wanted to be and where I was going to be. And then, these big stretch goals, and then, I hit a number and I realized I don’t care anymore. I can do what I want to do. The revenue goal is not exciting.
Elyse Koenig 14:12
Richard Matthews 14:13
So, it wasn’t worth pursuing and growing for. I started realizing like, I needed to have other things that were driving me. So for me, it’s been family experiences. That’s why we travel. And you know, “How much is it going to cost to be able to buy an RV and have employees and do the things I needed to do so I can travel with my kids and go to cool restaurants? My kids are at the St. Louis Science Center right now. They’re spending the day having fun.
Elyse Koenig 14:40
Like, I would love to have been your kid sounds like you guys are doing the coolest stuff.
Richard Matthews 14:46
Yeah, it’s super fun. But I realized it was not revenue things that were driving me. It was experiences that I wanted to have. And so that has been helping me grow my business. In knowing, “Okay, what’s it going to take to do this thing or do the other thing?” My wife and I are talking right now. When we’re done traveling the US, we’re talking about how can we do some international travel. Maybe rent an Airbnb in London or in Buenos Aires and stay for a month or two. And travel that way.
Elyse Koenig 15:19
I’ve heard a lot of people doing that – freelancers and entrepreneurs where instead of just going for a week and fully taking time off and going, just having like your week vacation like you would if you had a corporate job. People do go for a longer time because you can still work there.
Yeah, there’s a writer who did remote year, and she really inspired me because it was a different city, every month around the world. She’s a freelance writer. So, she was still having to hit deadlines. I looked into it, but I actually have – it’s so silly, I have a diabetic dog. It’s actually not silly. It’s really hard. But I love him very much. He’s been in my life he’s a little rescue for six years. He’s had diabetes for two years. So I have to give him an insulin shot every morning and every night. And I travel for business. So luckily, I found some wonderful sitters who are willing to stay at my house and help. But I can’t leave for a month, the way I did for New Zealand and Australia, I still have that dream of trying that again. But I’ve also realized that he’s my baby right now. And I’m going to be there and you know, stick that out while he’s still happy and energetic. And in a way I think it’s helped me probably grow my business because I am home. I am focused. He actually came to my last two full time jobs with me because LA is very dog friendly. But part of me thinks if I was working constantly, he may not be here because It took a lot to get him stable and to get him healthy. So I like what you’re talking about being able to earn money for certain goals. That’s where I am grateful that I’ve been able to shape my life. And still be quote unquote successful at least financially.
Richard Matthews 17:04
We just adopted a cat last week you may or may not see him walk behind me here. We have a big fat orange cat that was was left at one of the RV resorts and was freezing outside. So we met the owner, they were trying to find a place for him and we’re like, “Hey, we’ll take him.”
Elyse Koenig 17:23
Oh, thank you for rescuing him. That’s so awesome.
Richard Matthews 17:25
And then we have a poodle, which, I don’t know where he is. He’s usually sitting at my lap or sitting here at the desk.
Do they get along?
They do. The first couple of… my dog can be very intense. Like, he gets so excited. He shakes… just shakes. So we brought the cat and he’s just like, “Oh!” Like, my new favorite. So anyways, it took him about a week to get to the point where they could hang out and my dog wasn’t like intensing all over him.
Elyse Koenig 17:59
Awesome. How cool. You really can pick up and go around the place even with dogs. Funnily enough, a lot of the people with a diabetic dog group has 6000 people in it on Facebook. These Facebook groups are incredible. Beauty has really huge ones too. PR has huge ones. They’ve really helped me with leads because it’s PR shared with journalists. So, the Facebook groups have been a huge resource for me in various areas of my life. But a lot of these people – because they don’t trust leaving their dog with somebody else, because insulin shots are such a big deal. You could absolutely kill him if you give him too much. They travel in RVs that’s another thing that I’ve been seeing a lot more pictures. It sounds really fun.
Richard Matthews 18:38
Yeah, it is super fun. So I want to move on in the interview a little bit and ask you about your superpowers. The way I’ve been framing this lately is, been talking a little bit about what does it you do or build or offer this world that helps solve problems for people? Like, when you think through your skill sets and the things that you might say, “Hey, you know, these are my superpowers.” What’s the one that you sort of think energizes the The rest of your skills, right? The one that you can sort of see the thread going through and be like, “That’s the one thing I have that I’m really good at that really empowers me to do all the things I do for people.”
Elyse Koenig 19:10
I really care. And sometimes that’s my downfall because it gives me anxiety when things aren’t working well. But I truly care about my clients. I care about their success, especially working with small brands. I mean, these people are bootstrapping. So if I screw up, that’s their money. And I’ve just always really cared about maintaining relationships. Loyalty is super important to me. So, I think that has served me well because maintaining editorial relationships, keeping your clients happy. I am able to be – I don’t know how to say this without actually sounding like a jerk, but I’m fairly likable. I’m able to talk about a lot of different things. I think when I go out and I meet someone, I’m able to make them feel comfortable and find something that they feel connected to. I will attribute that to my parents and my grandparents. I have a mom who’s very nurturing and my friends always used to want to come to my house to talk to her. And then my dad who is very logical but also great at sales and just such a sweet guy. I think I was able to pick up on all of that.
Richard Matthews 20:21
I think we call it empathy.
Elyse Koenig 20:24
Right, there you go.
Richard Matthews 20:26
Yeah. The the empathy superpower is not as common as I think it should be. My best friend and business partner on a few things has that same power. It’s interesting to see how it energizes so many other skills. My wife is like that too. If you look at a lot of the things you do, you realize the reason you’re learning them or the reason you get good at them is because it really helps show other people how much you care about them. And it’s a great driver for business because people are going to do business with someone they know and trust. It’s something that you can build automatically where those of us who struggle more with empathy, have to work harder to get to the same point in relationship.
Elyse Koenig 21:08
And it’s funny because my sister actually took a test. I’ve wanted to take this, I think you have to be a larger corporation or there’s something. It’s not just your Myers Briggs. There’s different versions of this test. And her number one quality that came up was empathy. And she was telling me some of the questions. I was like, “Oh, yeah, we’re the same in that.” But it served me well. Also, they call it being spongy where sometimes if you’re too open, you absorb other people’s stuff. So it’s finding that balance especially if you know that work-life balance and not taking on too much of other people’s stuff.
Richard Matthews 21:45
It’s really hard to say no.
Elyse Koenig 21:47
Richard Matthews 21:47
To people who are toxic. Clients who are toxic. Like, there are definitely some pitfalls to that super power because you can very easily put someone else’s needs in front of your own. And then that starts making it so you can’t meet either your needs or any of your clients needs.
Elyse Koenig 22:05
Hmm, yeah, that sponginess is my kryptonite. But I am proud of that, though. I appreciate the fact that I’m able to connect with other people because I think it has led some really rich relationships with people who maybe I wouldn’t have necessarily met or been drawn to. So it’s been cool.
Richard Matthews 22:24
Yeah. So we talked a little bit about that on the show, too. It is your fatal flaw, right? So, just like Superman has his kryptonite. The fatal flaw is something that you struggle with in your business that you’ve had to work on in order to grow and change. So you just mentioned the sponginess. How have you been working on that so it doesn’t become a detriment to your business? –for other people who might suffer from the same thing.
Elyse Koenig 22:50
Actually, I will credit my now ex boyfriend. I will credit him for helping me to sort of “balls up”, if you will, and just go for it when people are being toxic or pushing back. There was one time he was actually at my house and saw slack conversation. He was like, “Absolutely not. No, stand up for yourself here.” And I think that’s helped me learn when it’s okay. I think there’s a lot of times when you have a feminine energy you can learn a lot from male entrepreneurs and I hate when people say, “Women can do it all.” Yes, but we’re trained, we’re raised to be a certain way. It hasn’t shifted yet. I don’t think. It sounds like you’re raising your daughters be very well rounded an independent women so kudos. But I don’t think everyone’s like that. Now. We’re raised to please people. So I’ve been learning, I learned about that. And I also just signed up for Denise I’m gonna say her last name wrong. Duffield-Thomas. She has a thing called the Money Mindset Bootcamp. And I’ve thought about doing this for years. I signed up for Marie Forleo’s B-School right after I quit my full time job. But it was running while I was in Australia. And I didn’t want to deal with it. But I’m starting to really invest in myself. But this Money Mindset Bootcamp has been very interesting. It’s dealing with your money blocks. And that’s where I got the term spongy from. I realized, how I take other people’s things on and I’m even trying to help some of these younger girls who are freelancing. Like, charge what you’re worth, that’s what you’re saying. I felt connected to that when you’re saying you couldn’t even pay your own bills. But you’re getting great results for your clients. It’s scary for a lot of people, but I have gradually been upping my retainers. I know I over deliver for my clients and so I deserve to be paid for that.
Richard Matthews 24:46
Yeah. And it’s a cool place to be in your business when you start to realize that you are worth more than what you’re charging. And then I’ll remember forever the first time I asked a client for a retainer that was significantly higher than what I was used to charging. They just immediately said Yes. Like, all of my fears were like, “Oh, best clients I ever worked with.” And we’re still friends today, that kind of thing.
Elyse Koenig 25:11
Well, that’s also the interesting piece that I found. I think this is the same across. Because I’ve been in, you know, freelance groups or other business groups where the people who can pay the least and who want all the discounts are also the hardest to handle clients. It’s the people who know that they’re investing in something worthwhile. And okay, here you go. They’re typically the ones that are easiest, and they probably get the best results because I’m happy working with them.
Richard Matthews 25:37
Yeah, and you realize that the people who are capable of paying do really understand what they’re paying for. I’m paying for your expertise. Because I don’t want to be an expert in that space. I don’t want to know what you do or how you do it. I just wanted to be done with our business and do the things that I’m good at. And so, you end up with just better relationships all around. And it’s not necessarily the price points. A lot of times it’s the understanding of the entrepreneur. And that comes along with higher prices. Generally, you’re working with higher level businesses. But it’s really nice. So my next question for you has to do with your common enemy. This is something that you fight against all the time with your clients. Were like, think of it like this, if every client that you hire… if you could just like wave your magic wand and remove something that you struggle with them understanding or getting or something that you know, if they could just change their mindsets or change their habits in this area, you could get them results better, cheaper, faster, you know, for whatever it is that you do. What’s the thing you sort of run up against all the time?
Elyse Koenig 26:46
Well, luckily, because I have been raising my retainers and working with some slightly different businesses, this problem has started to fade. But it is the trust. People where it’s you know, they’re bootstrapping, or it’s really marketing and PR is one of the bigger investments you’re going to make. Especially in the beauty space. It’s so crowded. It’s knowing that things aren’t going to come immediately. Especially right now, I mean, back in the day, they did. I’ve had to adjust to. My expectations are super high. I’ve been very disappointed sometimes in myself, “You should be getting more placements right away.” Luckily, I have an amazing group of people who do what I do, and we’re all very supportive instead of competitive. And I realize that the industry is shifting. So it’s all of us having to learn how to trust the way it’s moving. And that is still going to work for all of us.
Richard Matthews 27:40
Yeah, and I would imagine in the beauty space it is becoming a lot more accessible. Because it’s easier to build products and get products going and stuff like that. I know because we have a supplement line. I mean, it’s not the same as beauty space, but 10 years ago, you had to have huge massive investments and buy lots of inventory and do all this stuff. You had to be a big business to start a business, right? Or had big money for it. And nowadays, you can get started in a space with small, low inventory numbers and just build a brand and start to sort grow with your audience.
Elyse Koenig 28:22
Well, especially now too with just social media, websites, all the different things we can do. If you just have a D-to-C site, you can build it yourself if you have the right strategy behind it. But supplements actually are really having a big moment in the beauty industry too. Years ago, editors wouldn’t talk about it because it wasn’t regulated in the way that certain few things were. But now, there’s a lot of brands that internally can help your skin, etc.
Richard Matthews 28:54
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. So, if trust is the common enemy that you have to fight. You said it’s getting a lot better just because of what you’re changing and your clients sort of understand better. The other side of that is what you fight for. So, your driving force just like Spider Man fights to save New York or Batman fights to save Gotham or Google fights to index and categorize all the world’s information, what is it that you fight for in your business?
Elyse Koenig 29:21
I fight for… most of my brands have a charitable or some sort of beautiful story behind it, or something that they care about. That’s something where I’m only taking on brands now who are either willing to open that up and have that as part of their business. And that’s where the female founded niche was really great for a while too. I think I was fighting for these women because if you look at, you know, VC money, it’s what like 3% or something ridiculous, even in beauty. I mean, you would think that beauty women are the people who buy it the most, but it’s all men. It’s all men at the top of the food chain. And that enrages me. It really does. Because I feel like I see these women working so hard and we don’t get paid as much. Our opinions… It’s like, “Oh, have you ever wife try this and get back to me.” versus having like a female executive. So I feel very passionately about that. But now that I’m opening my business and working with some bigger brands, where it’s not like, “Okay, I’m getting this one woman on TV, like, I’m gonna make her famous.” That has been shifting. So, I want to make sure that they are aligned with my values. Very eco friendly brands. I have one right now who has an aluminum bottle and refill pouches. Sustainability is really important and getting a lot of attention. It’s also made my job harder. Now, the mailers we used to send out to editors with crinkle and cute gifts, people are really pushing back on that now. It’s finding a way to still get clients’ attention, while being good to the environment too.
Richard Matthews 30:57
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. I know one of the things that we did with our supplement brand was we started a program called buy a bottle & save a life. Because we sell vitamins and minerals, and one of the leading causes of death in children around the world is vitamin A deficiency. And so, there’s an organization called vitamin angels that offers… they basically it costs about a quarter to give a child enough vitamin A for a year that they don’t die from diseases.
Elyse Koenig 31:32
Oh, wow. That sounds like something so simple that no one should be dying from that.
Richard Matthews 31:37
Yeah, absolutely. And so, what we do is, we donate a quarter of every sale we have. Every bottle we sell, we donate to that. Because it basically saves a child’s life.
Elyse Koenig 31:52
And that’s so important. Yeah, I mean, having that almost like – nowadays, if you’re a brand and you don’t have something like that. It’s, you’re gonna be frowned upon.
Richard Matthews 32:02
It’s interesting because we did it because it fit with our brand story. And like what we were trying to do. So like our brand story is like eliminating that nutritional gap between the food that you eat versus what you should actually be getting in. Our food is not nearly as interesting as it was 100 years ago. So it’s like if we’re trying to eliminate that gap here, how can we also… it fit with our brand story. But the interesting thing that happened is once we started the program, our sales went up. We started selling more.
Elyse Koenig 32:31
Consumers are quote unquote more woke. They say people are supporting with their dollars, the trends and the things that they want to happen in the world. That’s why this is so important for my clients. So one of my brands is a skincare brand and they source a lot of their ingredients from the Caribbean. It’s a lot of Caribbean botanicals and actives. So they give back to hurricane relief every year. A significant portion and the way we think editors for coverage is donating in their name. And people have really responded to that because typically we would send a bouquet of flowers that had a Caribbean theme or like some Caribbean candy. And sometimes that fits. But typically that’s enough of a thank you because they want to be doing good. People want to give back where they can.
Richard Matthews 33:19
And it’s cool too because when you sort of understand that about the way the consumer space is moving, you realize that people want to buy products that they can tell a good story about.
The reason why people like Tesla or the reason why people buy things like I don’t know if you know those little bracelets that are selling everywhere now that when you buy a bracelet they clean up trash from the ocean or something like that.
Elyse Koenig 33:43
It’s like the TOMS model too at the beginning. You know the buy one get a pair of shoes to a kid.
Richard Matthews 33:50
Yeah. It’s part of a story. You get to tell a good story when you buy a product. It helps when people buy for emotional reasons adn they just think about it later, logically. It helps with buying psychology. It helps when you have an emotional connection in the beginning, and it’s avery good logical background later on when they are thinking about, “Why did I buy this?”.
Elyse Koenig 33:57
People are like, “Oh, what’s that shirt?” And if you share something and there is an interesting story, it connects you to that person makes you feel proud about what you’ve done too. There’s some sort of other reward but I always say it’s beauty PR. I’m working on beauty products. Sometimes it can be a little superficial. And so I’ve tried to find the pieces that make me feel proud. I saving the world one lipstick at a time. But you know, I used to work on really large mass brands. And they have a gigantic charitable initiative that has continued to grow and it gives back to women and all these celebrities go and now it’s become a huge thing. People are starting to pay attention to these causes. That’s been really important to me. It’s just finding something where I don’t feel like I’m just trying to hawk a lipstick to someone, like “You need to look prettier.” It’s about feeling good inside too.
Yeah, I think Dove has done a really good job with that branding.
Richard Matthews 34:39
For the last 10 years or so, they’ve been really, really hitting that that messaging hard. It’s making your body something you’re comfortable being in.
Elyse Koenig 35:30
Richard Matthews 35:31
I could see how that’d be tough in the beauty space too. Because it on the surface, it’s definitely… it seems superficial.
Elyse Koenig 35:40
Richard Matthews 35:41
But there’s more to it than that. Right?
Elyse Koenig 35:43
There is more to it. Also, I’ve chosen certain spaces and brands that don’t feel so much like that. You have to know who you are. And I don’t wear a ton of makeup and I have my five minute face, but I love a great mascara. It can totally make you feel better about yourself. I walk around LA with nothing on my hair and a greasy ponytail and sweats. Luckily athleisure is very cool here. But I still you know, when I put on a little something, I do feel better about myself. And so, I tried to think about that. It’s not just external. It’s I think I walk with my head held high, even just washing my hair not having the top knot bun you know, for this podcast since we’re also recording on video. I was like, You know what, I’m going to make sure that I feel my best and then you speak more confidently.
Richard Matthews 36:35
Yeah, and it’s the same thing. It goes true on the male side too. Making sure you… like, there’s one of the brands that I follow. I can’t remember his name on the top of my head but he teaches men how to dress. And like, you know, it seems like it’s a beauty thing. But really, it helps them be more confident. It helps them get jobs and do better things for their community. When you learn to be your best self, you can step up and be your best self in the community and actually make an impact.
Elyse Koenig 37:03
Exactly. And, you know, while I’m still going to go to the grocery store, probably looking like a hot mess and still feel just as confident because I do think that you should always have that inner confidence. There is something about “I’m not gonna go to a meeting looking like that.” you know, this is different.
Richard Matthews 37:20
Yeah, I know how that goes. Occasionally. However, if you’re doing like what we do, and we’re traveling, you end up in a repair shop and there are like, no showers around. So you’re like, “Oh, my hair’s too greasy for the show.” I hope I’ll be forgiven.
Elyse Koenig 37:32
It’s beautiful and shiny. There you go. Very healthy and shiny.
Richard Matthews 37:37
So that’s the way it goes. The so my next question for you is more practical based, right? So we call this the hero’s toolbelt. Maybe you got a big magical hammer like Thor or bulletproof vest, like your neighborhood police officer, what are some of the tools you use on a daily basis, you know, that really help energize your business that you couldn’t do without today?
Elyse Koenig 38:01
I could not do without friends in the same industry. These people are – it is so wonderful to not compete and to support. I know I mentioned that earlier. But I think it’s still a thing. Everyone’s like, “Oh, we might be going after the same client.” I’ve gone after the same client with friends. They have won some I’ve won some. And I’ll even say like, “How can I help you with that?” behind the scenes. There are some media databases that publicist pay into to use. And one of my girlfriends, they haven’t paid into it this year. And she said, “Hey, can you give me these names, editorial contacts?” And yeah, it took me a few minutes yesterday. I went in when I had time, but I did it because she’s giving back to me so much too. So it’s utilizing those relationships. And then also the toolkit is those databases. The Facebook groups have been really incredible. Like I mentioned before. Those are the sort of bread and butter but then it’s also just keeping up with people. I mean, PR is all about keeping up with editor’s pitching, being a good writer always trying to refresh paying attention to seasonal trends, creativity.
Richard Matthews 39:10
It’s really, really interesting that you talked about the community aspect for entrepreneurship. And it’s one of the things that I know, people struggle with. They struggle with the idea that competition is bad. And it’s interesting because on one hand, it can be. It can be difficult for your business to deal with, you know, tough competition. But at the same point, the other side of that coin is like “We’re not fighting over a limited pie. We’re making the pie bigger.” You’re adding to the world.
Elyse Koenig 39:44
Exactly. There’s enough for everybody. Especially, I mean, not always. So like if there’s a massive recession and all of these indie beauty brands go under. Asked me then. But I do feel like there’s enough for everybody and we’ve been you know, it’s Sharing business and saying who wants to work on what that’s the other thing is whose skill set, you know, like I’m good at certain things that other people really aren’t. And so it’s finding how you play off that when you’re by yourself and not just having to hire them. You know, just being able to brainstorm with people is really helpful.
Richard Matthews 40:18
Yeah, and I know, one of the things that I’ve talked about a lot with people, you know, my own clients and other people that I’ve worked with is realizing the whole idea that like, if someone doesn’t like you, or doesn’t mesh well or doesn’t, you know, like, they’re not your client, right? Like, not everyone has to be your client for you to have a successful business. Right? And I know that’s something my wife has struggled with when she was doing cake decorating professionally a few years ago. She was like, “Yeah, but not everyone likes my style.” Cuz she does pointillism style designs on the cakes, and they’re really cool. Like some people really want the fondant and I was like, that’s not really a problem. Like those people just aren’t your clients.
Elyse Koenig 40:58
You can find – it is scary when you’re first starting out. And I certainly took on some things. Luckily, I do feel like I’ve been pretty discerning and knowing what’s not right for me. Things have shifted. Some people I thought were really right for me and they are for a time period. That’s been a hard lesson for me to learn too. How to say goodbye. If something is not working for you, especially when you’ve put so much into it, that can be really scary and thinking, am I ever going to get this again? And I found that once I let go of something that was no longer serving me, my business in the last eight months, really grew. And I call it the customer avatar. I mean, everyone calls it that. But I really tried to make a list of who my ideal customer avatar was. And it’s not always perfect. Not everyone I’m signing fits all of those pieces, but it’s definitely getting closer as I try to listen to myself more. I’ve certainly been on calls where I’m like, “Oh, yeah, no. That’s. You know, you’re not for me.”
Richard Matthews 42:00
I’ve had that a couple of times. You get on the call and they’re like, “Can I work with you?” I’m like, “I’m sorry. I’m fresh out of space. I have some recommendations for you.”
Elyse Koenig 42:08
Richard Matthews 42:10
Learning to say no. So I want to talk a little about your own personal heroes, right? Just like Frodo had Gandalf or Luke had Obi Wan or Robert Kiyosaki had his rich dad. Who were some of your heroes? Were they real life mentors? Were they speakers or authors, or peers who were a couple years ahead of you? and how important were they to what you’ve accomplished so far in your career?
Elyse Koenig 42:29
So I have a variety. I would say that my grandfather. I feel bad calling one out because they’ve all been very influential. But my grandfather is now 93. He worked at BellSouth, which I don’t even think exists anymore. Maybe became Southern Blle from North Carolina.
Richard Matthews 42:48
I’m fairly certain BellSouth is AT&T now.
Elyse Koenig 42:56
Yeah. He worked there for ages and he always made it clear that you should be very fair. Stern, but fair, you know. And that really taught me just how to treat everyone with respect. And I think that’s why a lot of the people who I mentored, when I left my big agency job to move to LA, girls teared up at my goodbye party. And they’re like, you’re the only one who’s never made us cry in a bad way. And like, I was like, well, thank you. That’s so nice. And he taught me you know, never to burn bridges, and to always keep those connections. I mean, when I first started freelancing, one of my old interns hired me for a project. So you just never know where things are going to come from. He was a wonderful business influence. So was my dad. He’s in real estate, commercial real estate, and he worked off of straight commission when I was a kid, he went from selling Calvin Klein and that whole business model change you used to go to the apparel Mart and it still kind of happens but things really shifted. He didn’t want to be an on the road salesman. So just taking that risk. My parents have always been very supportive of me, you know, moving to New York two weeks after college graduation from Georgia and then being there and jumping to LA. Once I make up my mind, I’m like, “Okay, I’m ready.” And I think that’s just from having, you know, supportive family. One of my mentors, I would say, the former boss of mine, she runs a very successful agency in New York City. And it’s funny, we’re very different. She looks like a Barbie doll. She didn’t wear pants for probably 15 years only dresses. I’ve since seen, since I left, that she does occasionally wear like shiny leggings. Always, you know, lipstick on. Heels on. And I think probably at first, she had an issue with me. I’m a little bit more hippy dippy. I’m very tall so I’ll wear like the flats with a flowing dress. I probably wasn’t the right style necessarily, but she trusted me in my work. And that made me feel really empowered. The fact that I kept moving up the ladder there when I didn’t necessarily fit the mold.
Richard Matthews 45:11
Yeah, so you really did have the Devil Wears Prada story going on?
Elyse Koenig 45:14
Well, she wasn’t the one. She was not the one to throw a water bottle or an umbrella at me. That she was not the one. She was wonderful. I mean, she’s still just killing it right now. But yeah, it was definitely learning also things I didn’t want. I think that seeing other bosses, show me what I don’t want to be. So it was nice seeing both sides of the coin. You know how I wanted to become a boss or just become a, you know, industry person.
Richard Matthews 45:47
Makes a lot of sense. Yeah, I know. I had a similar situation at the company where I was the Director of Marketing. The president of the company sort of took me under his wing and taught me a whole bunch about running a company and how he thinks about that kind of stuff. And you know, things like, for them payroll is like the number one thing in their life, right? Because they got 100 employees and they’re like, you know, everyone tells you the customers come first and like it’s not your employees. Your employees come first and your customers comes second. I was like, I never heard that before until you actually, you know get into someone who’s running a big company. And you realize like, that’s true.
Elyse Koenig 46:28
If your employees aren’t happy. If you have a lot of turnover. I mean, props to this boss I was talking about she pays her people well. Especially compared to you know, New York PR jobs. Especially if you want to work in like beauty or fashion, it really doesn’t pay well. And so there’s a lot of perks, but she would pay well and she would make you feel valued. And I think she has people there for a very long time because of that whereas a lot of these other agencies are very churn and burn. They pull everything out of you and then right onto the next.
Richard Matthews 47:03
Yeah, once you’ve been sucked dry. Do you remember the old mummy movies with Brendan Fraser?
Elyse Koenig 47:08
Richard Matthews 47:12
Like that’s how the industry works.
Elyse Koenig 47:14
Yeah, I feel that. I feel like actually connected to that imagery.
Richard Matthews 47:21
So I want to bring it home for our listeners a little bit and talk about your guiding principles, top one or two principles or actions that you put into practice every day that you think contributes to the success and influence that your company enjoys. Now maybe ones that you wish you’d known when you started out out on your own.
Elyse Koenig 47:39
I would say structure I’m loose within my structure. But also, I wake up. I mean, luckily, I guess the diabetic dog helps, you know. We wake up, I have to do a shot, I have to take care of him. I have started incorporating now, a morning meditation. And that’s just been semi-recently but I do think it’s helped me focus, and center. And so then, I sit down by 8am. And I get going, I answer my emails first, I also have started putting all of my calls on one or two days. So instead of having like, two calls here, two calls there, I just bang them out, I’m exhausted. I actually rescheduled this podcast once because I realized I scheduled it for a day where I had four other calls. “I was like, I’m gonna be dead, like, I’m not going to be able to contribute anything.” So I’m doing it that way. Because I can execute because it was really a struggle for me at the beginning. There’s only certain hours that you can pitch editors, and I’m on the west coast and a lot of editorials are in New York. So I really have to map that around and make sure I’m hitting it at the right time. So, structure has been helpful and then we’ll like OCD anal about certain things anyways. So that’s always been kind of easy for me. But I know a lot of entrepreneurs or even friends in my position. A girlfriend was over here the other day and she’s like, “Oh, wow, you start at 8? I have a hard time starting by 10.” But then she also stays up really late and writes all of her pitches and preps. So she has her way of doing things, and I have mine. So it’s finding what’s good for you. And then going back to just kindness. I know, we’ve talked about that a lot today. But just being kind to people and just trying your best to help others out. Don’t get taken advantage of, as we were talking about. But, seeing what you can do for other people, because there isn’t a comeback for you.
Richard Matthews 49:35
Yeah, I always I always say the the rule of the universe is give first and then you’ll receive. It wasn’t necessarily like a law, this is what you should do. It is more like, “Hey, this is the way the world works.” And, you know, it’s when you sort of understand that about kindness and understand that hey, if I just like my business has grown mostly because I’m like, how can I find ways to give here without expectation of return. You realize that, like, that’s what actually creates return.
Elyse Koenig 50:04
Yeah. No, it’s a good thing. I mean, look, sometimes I wish that the karma would come back faster or stronger. I’m like, I did all of that for that person. But I do believe they are there for you when you need them, and vice versa. So I try to be a strong friend and mentor.
Richard Matthews 50:23
What’s really interesting is sometimes, You can’t always connect the dots for where you would give something and then you get something back. But you realize, I know I helped this person. And they were like, they remembered that. And they tell someone else and they tell someone else and like, you end up with like, I got people that are top in their industry and places that are like, “Yeah, I’ve heard about you.” And that happens because of that exact thing.
Elyse Koenig 50:46
Yeah, I mean, of my business has come from referrals from former clients, from editors, just from people in the industry that I’ve worked with. Maybe they’re doing sales. I’ve done PR and brand. I did a good job. They want me on their other brands. And that’s been amazing for me. I’ve gone after one or two brands, I just thought were really cool. And that never goes anywhere. I’ve decided it’s just not even worth it for me to try to pitch because I do feel like the things that come to me are meant for me.
Richard Matthews 51:20
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, just a quick comment on the structure thing. Funny story, if you ever get into the traveling bit, one of the things that I struggle with structure is like three weeks ago, I was on Pacific Time. And then two weeks ago, I was on Mountain Time and now I’m on central time. And then in a couple of weeks, we’ll be on Eastern Time.
Elyse Koenig 51:41
Oh yeah, that’s gonna be hard.
Richard Matthews 51:43
All of your calendar stuff that you set up shifts. So, a couple of weeks ago, my regular client meetings all started at 9 AM. And now they all start at 11 AM.
Elyse Koenig 51:55
and that’s very different. It’s very different to start 9 AM than started 11 AM. Actually, I’m going to be in New York, I go regularly with clients who are launching things to me with editors. They’re called Desk Sides. You literally go to the side of the desk of the editor and sort of hock your wares, if you will. But I’m going to be there on a Tuesday. Which is when I have all my calls, and I’m realizing, “Yeah, that’s gonna be all around lunchtime.” So I’m trying to shift my brain. That would be hard. How are you doing it?
Richard Matthews 52:24
So we travel slowly, most of the time. It will make the transitions easier. But like, we came all the way across to help someone move. And then we’re visiting some family. Our goal was to end up on the east coast. So it’s like a month of struggle to be firmly into the eastern time zone for a while because we’re going to do the whole east coast from Florida to New York this year. Oh, that’s awesome. That’s really cool. My wife’s bucket list is to go see the Macy’s Day Parade. So we’re going to try and make it to New York.
Elyse Koenig 52:52
Oh, I love that. That’s so funny. Because when you live in New York, you avoid that because it’s just… you can’t get anywhere. But I love that kind of stuff. Now, even though I’m out in LA. The LA marathon always run right past my house. I lived in the same street…
Richard Matthews 53:08
Rose Parade goes by around there too.
Elyse Koenig 53:10
So I actually went there in Pasadena. I went for the first time this year, because typically, that’s not something I would you know, wake up at 6am on New Year’s Day to go and do. But a colleague and mentor of mine lives right off the route. So she invited me and it was so cool. It was a very interesting experience.
Richard Matthews 53:26
Yeah, I have a client in New York who was like, “Hey, my office overlooks the route. When you come, you can come and visit.” I was like, “That’s sweet.”
Elyse Koenig 53:33
That’s perfect. That’s what you need. New York Times Square for New Year’s Eve is crazy. But I remember one year, a friend of mine had a friend who had an apartment right there. So we avoided the craziness, but then it like 12:02. We ran down, you know, to see it. It was worth it. But there’s no way I’m standing on the cold for eight hours though for that.
Richard Matthews 53:58
That’s actually the thing I’m most frightened about. Going to New York in November is like, “We’re gonna go and it’s gonna be New York and it’s gonna be November and I’m a California kid.” I grew up in Temecula. So like to me 65 degrees is cold.
Elyse Koenig 54:10
But I grew up in Georgia. And it was it was okay then I moved to New York. I got used to it. You know, you were basically a sleeping bag all day. You wore a huge puffer coat and your boots. But now I’ve been out in LA for six years. Somehow I always end up back in New York in January and February every year. I’m like, this is a cruel joke. I purposely left to get away from this, but your blood thins or something happens because it’s painful.
Richard Matthews 54:37
California, California ruins you for cold weather. I had to like go and buy a long sleeve shirt. I didn’t own any. We’re out here in the in the Midwest, and I was like, I need long sleeve shirts.
Elyse Koenig 54:45
Oh, yeah. You’re gonna have to start layering.
Richard Matthews 54:48
Yeah, I got what do you call them long johns and long sleeve shirts and little gloves and a hat that goes over. I’m like things I don’t need when you’re on the west coast.
Elyse Koenig 54:56
There are a lot of people… it’s funny. Just the difference between New York and LA… people are trying to come together. It used to be very much like “Oh people in LA. Even I was in New York. You know, they’re like, “How are these publicist doing anything out there?” It’s just a different world. But now people are starting to move to LA from New York they’re trying to be a lot more open minded especially my industry because things have shifted so much and boom out here. But the people who are from LA I don’t know how you go anywhere else. I really don’t. It’s so great here.
Richard Matthews 55:26
It is. It’s really nice. I don’t particularly like LA itself.
Elyse Koenig 55:30
Richard Matthews 55:30
I like San Diego. It’s my jam.
Elyse Koenig 55:32
Oh, San Diego. I was just there right before Christmas and it’s so nice.
Richard Matthews 55:36
Yeah, it’s like LA except clean and pretty.
Elyse Koenig 55:40
I actually thought if I am ready to not be in the scene as much. That’s somewhere where I’d love to go. I have a girlfriend I used to work with in New York who lives there now. And she’s freelancing, too. She does what I do, and she is capable, but she has to drive up to LA a lot for meetings.
Richard Matthews 55:58
You wait till you can afford a helicopter.
Elyse Koenig 56:01
Yeah, well. I don’t know anymore.
Richard Matthews 56:04
I guess not with the recent news stories. But I had in high school… I went to high school in Temecula, which is like halfway between San Diego and LA. We had a subset of our students that were the rich kids. You know, the rich parents kids.
They would drive their Lamborghini into school or whatever their dad’s Lambo. And like, you know, their dad took the helicopter into work in LA kind of thing. And I was like, that’s totally a thing that happens.
Elyse Koenig 56:33
Well, the other commute here is awful. I mean, now they do have planes that do that. There’s planes just from Orange County like these little five senaters that hop up. But again, that’s why it’s good to be an entrepreneur and sit at home and do your work.
Richard Matthews 56:46
You don’t have to go into the office if you don’t want to.
Elyse Koenig 56:48
Richard Matthews 56:49
It’s really cool. So this point, basically wraps up the interview. I have one last thing I do with all of my all my guests. It’s called the hero challenge. And hero challenge is pretty simple. It’s basically this. Do you have someone in your life or in your network that you think has a cool entrepreneurial story? Who are they? First names are fine. And why do you think they should come share their story on our show?
Elyse Koenig 57:13
You know, the first thing that comes to mind is people who already do what I do. So I don’t know. If that’s attractive. I would say my sister. She is in New York. She used to work in TV at The Chew. And that was a show for years. Then she was the right-hand woman to a very well known chef who was unfortunately gone under from some of the recent news media situations, and she completely revamped herself. She is now a yoga and meditation instructor. She also works with celebrity chefs. So she made a way of connecting those two worlds. But I was just talking to her this morning and she really could have totally fallen on her ass. I mean, the whole team fell apart. And it was a really hard time. And she just immediately picked up and kept going and is now making what she was making at that job by being a yoga teacher in a very competitive landscape.
Richard Matthews 58:14
That’s really cool. Yeah. So we’ll, we’ll reach out afterwards and see if we can get her contact details and invite her onto the show. So, at this point, I just want to thank you so much for coming on the show and find out from you, where can people find you if they are interested? If they’ve got a physical product, brand name, they’re looking for someone.
Elyse Koenig 58:33
Richard Matthews 58:34
Um, before you answer that, who are the ideal people to reach out? So if someone’s listening and saying, you know, “Release this for me.” Who are those people?
Elyse Koenig 58:43
The ideal people would be someone who has a physical beauty, grooming, wellness in the health space, so let’s say you were making a skincare line, men’s grooming, even I don’t necessarily do fashion. But say, you have a good Yoga Clothing line or something. I can pull in the right people for that. And it would be I’ll work with some people from the very, very beginning. One thing I love doing is the consulting aspect. So if you’re trying to come up with your packaging, your copy, I’m not just a “Hey, here’s my product, go pitch it.” That’s actually what you do when you’re at an agency. What I’ve loved about having my own is I can really get in the ground with these brands and feel like I’m part of them. And then, you can find me on ElyseKoenig.com. It’s E-L-Y-S-E-K-O-E-N-I-G.com. If I’m not the right person for you, but you’re looking for some advice, I’m happy to find the right publicist if you have a baby brand. I’ve got girls at work just in the mommy sphere. So it really is a well connected kind of machine out here.
Richard Matthews 59:51
That’s really cool. Yeah. So if you are in that space, you listen to this and you have a physical product brand. You need to get into that stage where you’re doing PR. Definitely take the chance to reach out to Elyse and you know, pick her brain a little bit. It sounds like she’s very connected in the industry. Even if you’re not in the beauty space. Again, it’s E-L-Y-S-E-K-O-E-N-I-G.com. And Elyse, thank you so much for coming on the show. Do you have any parting words of wisdom for our guests before we hit the stop record button here?
Elyse Koenig 1:00:21
I would say just go for it. I think that’s what a lot of other people say. If you have that chance, take it. I think I could have talked to that microblader about, “Oh, yeah, I’m not sure what I want anymore. Thanks for doing my eyebrows.” And then gotten another job that wasn’t as satisfying but I took the opportunity and shared what I was doing and then that’s when the rest of the business came in. So if you see it, take it or make it happen for yourself.
Richard Matthews 1:00:48
Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the show, Elyse.
Elyse Koenig 1:00:50
Thank you! This is fun. I enjoyed talking to you.
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