Have a support system — whether it is one person or 10 people, surround yourself with cheerleaders. If you don’t have one, then ping me and I’ll help be your hype woman!
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natasha Dressler.
Natasha Dressler is a Publicist and Writer from Orange County, CA. Natasha has spent over 18 years in high results-driven industries that include: Cosmetics, Tech, and Marketing Agencies. Natasha believes collaboration is key and lives true to her agency’s Mission Statement: “Provide a Creative and Collaborative Experience to Take You to The Next Level.” Natasha attended Pennsylvania State University, with a major in Communications and a focus in Public Relations and Advertising.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I am the daughter of a German immigrant father and Mexican Latina mother. Growing up in a blended family I developed a passion for arts, crafting, writing, and storytelling. I would attribute my crafting and love for networking to my mother, my heads down hard work and willingness to do whatever it takes comes from my father. My parents supported all of my business endeavors, from being a makeup artist, an Executive Assistant, a Marketer, a Publicist, and finally a “Multipreneur.”
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” — Maya Angelou. It takes a lot of courage to be an entrepreneur, especially after 2020. We lived one of the most difficult times in most of our lives and I needed to dig deep to continue on my journey and eventually start my second business in 2020!
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Work Party by Jaclyn Johnson is one of my favorite books of all time. Her story was a literal mirror of my journey to entrepreneurship, it was almost frightening at times! Jaclyn’s book gave me courage when I often felt alone on my journey and made things seem obtainable. I admire the empire she has built and hope I too can have that one day.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
At the beginning of the pandemic it was “all hands on deck” — I had just started my own Public Relations Agency in January 2020 (Natasha Dressler PR) and all of a sudden my world was turned upside down. While some clients were in a panic, I began to strategize and communicate with my clients that we were going to make this work. I remained incredibly busy but unfortunately some of my client’s businesses just couldn’t “make it” due to financial struggles. By August 2020 I was down to my last two clients, I was dipping into savings, and incredibly scared because COVID was getting worse in the US along with a very turbulent election season. I knew I had to make changes and quickly.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
For my PR clients, we pivoted to mostly podcasts and featured them as Thought Leaders. My clients were thriving with the press but many struggled with justifying their retainer while their businesses were taking hits. I worked out what I could with my clients and did a lot more strategizing. I wanted nothing more for my clients to continue to succeed and help get them quality press during a very uncertain media landscape.
We began to craft messages of hope, amplifying their voices, and submitting to articles that wanted to discuss items other than the growing pandemic and election. My clients, some pro bono at this time, trusted me and that helped me make necessary changes to their PR plans and get them the best results possible, which included some of their biggest press wins.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
I realized that I had been “running over 100mph” since March 2020 and I never had taken a break, it was now August. I also realized with clients pausing or having to cancel their retainers that my savings account was turning into my checking account. I knew that I needed a second source of income; at this point, it was more important than ever because the pandemic was getting worse month over month.
I started to see “loungewear” take over “business attire” all over the mainstream media and social media. Tie dye began to come back in a big way and it suddenly hit me, I had the lightbulb moment to start to incorporate some crafting into my life to destress, which in turn turned into my new business venture. I began to create tie dye loungewear called Adorah Collective, that was not only affordable, which was needed given the economic state of our country, but also size inclusive. My clothing ranges from unisex kids size 4 to adult 5x.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Business has been incredibly busy and positive! I get so many messages from parents thanking me for making size inclusive unisex clothing for their kids with no labels, I get individuals who want trendier clothes that are priced reasonable, and I have received some bulk and wholesale orders.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I really would not be where I am in both my PR agency or with Adorah Collective Tie Dye without my boyfriend Aaron. Not only has he stepped in and done tasks like inventory, unboxing, going to the post office, organizing supplies, but he has helped become my “COO” for anything I need help with.
One evening I had hit a wall and was exhausted. I told Aaron I wanted to give up and just go back to an office job because it was so stressful. He then gave me the pep talk of all pep talks, explaining he wishes he could take the leap like I had and don’t I dare quit. That talk gave me motivation to keep pushing forward and continuing to succeed no matter what life throws at me.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Save your money! You are most likely going to be your only investor starting up.
- Take the chance, you only live once.
- Being an entrepreneur is a roller coaster ride, literally. You are going to have some of the highest highs and lowest lows — and it’s okay and totally normal.
- Please invest in yourself. Get into organizations that will help you sharpen your skills, help you network, and be your continued education.
- Have a support system — whether it is one person or 10 people, surround yourself with cheerleaders. If you don’t have one, then ping me and I’ll help be your hype woman!
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
2020 as a whole was traumatic and filled everyone with anxiety, regardless of your political affiliation. As someone who has to be constantly “in the know” with the news, please know if you’re not up to date, it is ok. I would recommend subscribing to a daily newsletter that gives you a chunk of news in one downloadable digestible summary. Newsletters I recommend are NPR, BBC, and Forbes. Lastly, don’t feel guilty for taking the day off and honoring your mental health. We all went through a lot of trauma last year, let your mental health get back on track by doing things you enjoy or learning new hobbies to help you decompress.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
If money were no object, I would spend my days helping less fortunate youth and adults. It breaks my heart to know people are starving and homeless. I would love to be able to feed kids three meals a day and make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed in life. Feeding and clothing the less fortunate full time would make me feel a whole different level of successful. Until I am able to do so, I will continue to donate and help the less fortunate to the best of my ability.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
Michelle Obama, I love her. I admire her intelligence, her care for those less fortunate, and all of the positive initiatives she brought while in the White House.
How can our readers follow you online?
Natasha Dressler PR Web: www.natashadressler.com
Adorah Collective Clothing: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AdorahCollective
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!