Alechia, Alechia, Alechia. So amazing I had to type her name three times. The Alechia Reese and I met in Miami a few years ago after being connected through a mutual friend, and in true girlboss fashion have consistently supported one another through multiple endeavors. A mother, branding expert, media personality and talent, professional speaker and non-profit foundation runner, there really isn't an area of entertainment and marketing that Alechia hasn't mastered. What I love about Alechia is she is the true example of "work in silence and let success make the noise." She may not have the largest social media following or accumulate thousands of likes in a matter of hours, but her work speaks for itself. The partnerships she's developed, the brands that she's represented and the results she's gotten for her clients, proves that a large following isn't indicative of success. In this PBWL feature, we get a glimpse into the world of this amazing woman. Keep reading!
Describe your personal brand in three words Genuine. Innovative. Creative.
30 second elevator pitch, Go! I'm the chief branding architect of 360 Gateway Brand Management and we assist emerging and developing brands, products and services in the defining of their brand goals to assist in the development and implementation of an action plan to achieve those goals.
Your typical work day My typical workday begins the night before outlining my client to-do list for the following day based on the timeline and scope of work we've agreed to. I usually coordinate with my intern, EA and contractors using Trello to determine what each person's requirements are and focus for that day/week. After each person has their tasks, I focus on ensuring we meet deadlines and project milestones whether it's creating marketing campaigns, website copy, collateral development or partner acquisition.
How have you developed your brand? I was my first client under the 360 Gateway Brand Management business unit. I have a uniquely different brand that I positioned as such in an effort to use that differentiation to my advantage. I hold an MBA and professional speaker certification. I'm also the founder of an award-winning nonprofit organization, The Rethought Project. I took each of my skills and businesses and created a plan to use each one to feed and grow the other. I understood life is a relationship game, so I used my ability to speak well to create the relationships I needed to reach the goals I outlined before I started. I used my marketing and project management background to always add value to those relationships so one opportunity always took me into my next one thus creating quick growth.
Explain the role that your personal brand played in getting you to where you are today. I am a firm believer in being genuine. I was raised country so being kind and honest are my defaults. I work in the entertainment and corporate arenas on a daily basis and in those industries it's not always as easy to find those who are genuine. This single attribute has gotten me in more doors than I ever imagined. I'm the same on the stage and off, behind closed doors and in front. That, coupled with my ability to create innovative projects, campaigns and action plans, makes it clear exactly what you get with me and clarity is refreshing.
How did you garner press coverage and media attention? I used my network to initiate introductions to those I needed to be connected to and for those who I had no direct connections to I used social media. Many times I would "slide in their dm's" to request their emails or highlight what we were doing. And as Lisa Nichols said,
[Tweet ""Focus on what you do really well because success makes noise.""]
Personal brands attract opportunities. What has been the greatest opportunity you have gotten? I was recently afforded the opportunity to curate and moderate Verizon's #PotentialOfUs city sessions in Atlanta, GA. From that opportunity I was invited to host the Big PayOff concert series in Atlanta, GA and Chicago, IL with Verizon and Melanie Fiona. My gift continued to make room for me and I then partnered with Verizon again to host their activation at EssenceFest in New Orleans, LA interviewing many of my idols like Iyanla Vanzant, Elle Varner, Luke James, Lalah Hathaway and many more. I'm a firm believer in equipping all youth to succeed. The day after the EssenceFest experience with Verizon, my VP, Project Coordinator and I drove to Miami, FL to facilitate the partnership with the Miami Marlins. They partnered with my nonprofit organization for a program I developed called #TakeMeToWork which is an intensive, on-the-job life-skills and leadership training program for foster and under-resourced youth.
Who are some of your mentors and why? My mother was my first mentor. She taught me strength and perseverance, and she is the leader of my village. I would not be the mother I am today without her guidance.
Karmetria Burton, I met her at a conference we were both speaking at and after hearing her background I knew I wanted to connect with her so I asked for her number and she gave it to me and I've been receiving nuggets of wisdom from her ever since and as an executive for Delta she's got a lot of wisdom to give.
And last, but certainly not least Sonia Jackson-Myles, founder of The Sister Accord is one of my most impactful mentors. She took me in as one of her babies and I consider her like a second mom. Not only was she named the $20 Billion Dollar Woman by Essence Magazine she embodies the kindness, wisdom and unapologetic excellence I desire to attain.
What were the steps you took in college that impacted your professional success? I created friendships with women who supported my crazy ideas. If I said I wanted to go to the moon they would look at me crazy and tell me I had their full support. I also took the time to discover what I actually liked doing because I saw so many people who were miserable. I knew I wanted to be creative and be included in all aspects of a company so I figured marketing was the best place and majored in it.
What would you say to a young person who wants to work in your industry? Become very clear of what your goals are first. I work between two industries: entertainment and corporate America. In entertainment, if you don't know who you are and what your purpose is, you'll be eaten alive. In corporate America, know what your goal is and be kind to those in positions that are seemingly of no use to you like the cleaning crew, the assistants, the secretaries. These are the people who assist those you want to connect with in making decisions and they have access to their schedules. They can position you to win.
What can we expect from you in the near future? We are working on international expansion for my nonprofit organization with the #TakeMeToWork initiative. We will also be partnering with a number of corporate and entertainment activations under my professional speaker's brand. Lastly, we will be hiring additional contractors as the 360 Gateway Brands company continues to expand and bring on more clients and accounts.
Connect with Alechia