District Boss Interview: Amber Williams
Meet Amber Williams, CEO of PunkyFlair Storytelling Agency
Meet Amber Williams, a creative at heart with years of marketing agency experience. Amber works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them grow and succeed by doing what she knows best, storytelling. Her goal at PunkyFlair is to help a business owner convert their dreams and ideas into a story that reflects the work and passion behind each project she supports. We love Amber's strong work ethic and the confidence she radiates. Amber is a talented boss lady and we are so excited to share her story with you!
1. Tell us about your business!
Punkyflair is a brand storytelling shop that helps million dollar brands and entrepreneurs understand their audience, communicate their vision, and sell with story. Now in year 4, I work with mostly beauty, fashion and lifestyle startups who have unique niches that the world should know about!
Building iconic statement-making brands is my jam. I’ve positioned new businesses in the marketplace, molded magnetic personalities, crafted money-making narratives, and named global product collections for leading brands like Camille Rose, Heat Free Hair, BLK+GRN, Shea Radiance, and Marjani.
Put simply, brands come to me for words that work. I give it to them.
2. What led you to where you are today?
Wow. Everything. I’m a natural born writer, formally trained in psychology and integrated marketing, with work experience in brand strategy. I’ve also been a beauty product junkie and fashion fiend since college. I guess you could say that all of my paths crossed sometime 5 years ago when I realized that my approach to business writing and brand strategy in the corporate world was classified as “storytelling.” After spending the early parts of my career crafting brand strategies for mega brands like Armani Exchange, Volkswagen, The United States Olympic Committee, and Feeding America, I decided to go off on my own to create a shop that would distill everything that I knew about brand storytelling into a method that could be applied to startups with limited resources and virtually everything at stake.
3. What brings you the most joy when working with clients and helping to craft their story?
Hearing my clients’ say “that’s exactly what I wanted to say” after I present to them their new brand message. I love watching their brands grow and become featured authorities in their space just by telling their story. I recently helped one of my clients prepare for a Shark Tank pitch, and it was awesome to hear her transform what was a sales-style pitch into a story that we both knew would capture the Sharks’ attention.
I guess I love putting people’s visions into words. It’s something that comes very natural to me, but is a huge challenge to the entrepreneurs I work with who are just too close to their businesses to figure out how to express the magic of it all.
4. What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur? The most difficult part?
The best part of being an entrepreneur is the freedom. I’m a wife, mommy, and then I’m an entrepreneur. Having the flexibility to keep my family a priority and still have a career, but on my own terms, is priceless. When I wake up, knowing that I can take my daughter for a walk on a nice day without “taking off”, grab a chai tea latte without rushing back from a “lunch break,” and then crank out work for my business at 2pm or 2am is the dream. It’s not that I work less as an entrepreneur (I actually work more), it’s that I can work when and however I feel like. That’s the best and most challenging part, actually.
I’m a creative, so I’m not a naturally organized person. I have to overcome the challenge of disciplining myself during my dedicated work hours even when I don’t feel like I have any inspiration to brand anything!
5. How do you stay motivated and continue to grow, personally and professionally?
Next to God, the person that I most believe in is myself. Keeping a strong mindset, trusting my magic, and surrounding myself with people who do the same has been a huge part of my personal journey as an entrepreneur. I also have a tribe of like-minded entrepreneurial women who hype me up on the group text! On the days that I doubt myself, they remind me that I am, in fact, pretty dope.
To sharpen my craft, I read. A LOT. I try to mix up fiction and nonfiction, physical and audio, stepping outside of my world of branding at times so that I can gain a more varied perspective on storytelling. Like right now, I’m re-reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, cracking open We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and listening to Breaking Busy by Ali Worthington.
6. What’s your nighttime routine?
After putting my kids to bed, my husband and I usually like to enjoy some quiet time before I spend the last bit of my brain reading something. I’m a writer, so in order for me to be fresh in the morning, I need to digest some form of language in the evening. If I’ve had a long and draining day, I’ll binge watch something on ABC that requires little to no brainpower to process.
7. What’s one piece of advice you would give to other entrepreneurs in the branding industry?
Entrepreneurship is as sexy as it is scary. It requires a tremendous amount of audacity, grit and patience. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned that I would pass off to others, it’s that there’s no elevator to the top of success. We all have to take the stairs. One of my favorite entrepreneurs, Daymond John, once said: “Every overnight success took 15 years.” I 100% subscribe to this notion. It’s easy to look on social media at everyone’s highlight reel, and feel like it’s taking you too long to get to where you “should” be. I’ve struggled with feeling like I’m not building my business fast enough or that I’m not “known” enough. Then I have to remind myself that my time is my time, and what happens behind the scenes is more important to growth than what actually gets seen.
Thank you Amber, for sharing your drive and passion with us! Follow Amber on her website here!