Today we’d like to introduce you to Paula McDade.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My first entrepreneurial venture was in elementary school. I would create freehand drawings of cartoon characters and sell them to my classmates. I got so much joy out of seeing my friends walk away with something they were proud of, and they paid me money. That feeling never went away, but it would be many years before I realized that my creative talent was much more than a hobby or pastime.
I had always worked in the administrative clerical field for various companies, but my heart was yearning for something more. I was making a living, but I wasn’t doing the thing that I loved to do. I envied people who loved their jobs and seemed happy to go to work. Over the years, I designed items for my family and friends without charging them anything. I was the go-to person for flyers, business cards, and anything else they needed to be designed. I briefly worked for a local graphic design company in Oklahoma City and even took a class at the local technology center. That was my only formal training in graphic design. Once I learned more about the craft and really began to hone my skills under the supervision of my boss and mentor, things really started to take shape for me. I developed my own style and signature look to all of my designs. As I would submit my work to clients, they began to build my confidence by the positive responses I received. Soon, I began to take on more challenging projects to stretch and grow my skills.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not having any type of business acumen coming into this venture has been my biggest hurdle. I am a first-generation business owner. No one in my family had ever started a business. To my stepfather’s credit, he was very good with finances and spreadsheets, but I never learned any of that from him. I am a true creative in the sense that I focus mainly on the creative side of running the business. I’ve had to learn the business side along the way. The other challenge was the isolation I faced when I had my office. It was literally just me, so I had to create opportunities to interact face-to-face with my clients. Making sure to reach out by phone also helped to create connections.
The first few months in business, I was blessed to land a large account on a monthly retainer. Since I was doing all the work myself, I got burned out pretty quickly. We severed the formal contract, however; I still do work for them from time to time.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Stellar Creative LLC | Stellar Media – what should we know?
In 2014, Stellar Creative was born. I rented space in a local studio office in Oklahoma City and hung out my sign to begin accepting clients. One of my strengths in working with clients is the ability to strategically see how their brand fits within a larger picture. I can take fluid concepts and develop them into big ideas for my clients. People literally bring me their creative thoughts, and I take them from the head to the heart. Whether it is a book, a product, a business, or branding items for an existing business, developing ideas and even people is my sweet spot. In other words, my business has gone from strictly graphic design to brand and marketing consulting overnight. I’ve been blessed to leverage one of the largest platforms for bible content in the world to market my writing to audiences across the globe. People think that these opportunities are out of their reach, so they never try to gain access.
Several years later, Stellar Creative began offering publishing services, and Brilliant Awakening Magazine was born. It is a publication designed to share the personal stories of women who have gone from tragedy to triumph in their lives. It’s almost like an anthology in magazine form. We are not in retail distribution, and the magazine is not in competition with large print magazines. My goal is to be a personal access point for the stories of everyday women to connect with their audience in a meaningful way through a beautiful print publication.
I relocated to the Dallas area from Oklahoma in October 2018 and have continued to work remotely with my clients. The internet and technology allow my business to be mobile, so I don’t have to lose those connections and relationships.
In addition to all of these wonderful hats I get to wear, I’m a speaker on topics of women’s empowerment, overcoming trauma (as a survivor of sexual abuse), and an author of several books. I love getting on stage with other powerful individuals to speak my truth. The power behind stories is like nothing else I have experienced. I have seen lives transformed simply by them hearing my story and being able to identify with my experiences. Knowing that we are not alone in our human struggles bridges the gap and creates opportunities to heal.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
An iron will and determination to succeed against all odds.
The ability to process rejection without taking it personally.
A firm grasp of what my strengths and weaknesses are.
People skills and great communication.
Big picture thinking.
- Website: www.paulamcdade.com
- Phone: 405.796.6080
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/stellarcreates
Main photo: Honest + Kind (@ Confidence Con)
Photos with white backdrop and crowd (Chelsi Dennis Photography), Photos with me in red jumpsuit (MorningStar Photography)