Shannon Clark of ‘Shades by Shan’: “Be kind, be compassionate, have fun, but also don’t be afraid to say no”

Be kind, be compassionate, have fun, but also don’t be afraid to say no. Building a team is not easy, but we have been so lucky to find people that really believe in us. So if you have those ride or die people on your team, treat them like gold, because they are not easy […]

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Be kind, be compassionate, have fun, but also don’t be afraid to say no. Building a team is not easy, but we have been so lucky to find people that really believe in us. So if you have those ride or die people on your team, treat them like gold, because they are not easy to find.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, we had the pleasure of interviewing Shannon Clark.

Shanberries was the Executive Producer & Midday host on 99.7 [NOW!] / KMVQ-FM, considered to be San Francisco’s biggest pop station reaching over 1 million listeners a week. She is the female voice of the top-ranked Fernando and Greg Morning Show (6–10am). She continues with her own Midday show from 10–2pm.

Shan was the TV host, Cal Hi Sports on NBC California and Gas Money on CBS. She also conducts interviews and hosts events with various celebrities and athletes.

A Bay Area Native, Shan was raised by her single Ecuadorian Mother aka Mamaberries, who instilled hard work ethic into her core. She enjoys music, fashion, makeup, discovering good eats, dancing, traveling, and of course her Flamin’ Hot Cheetos!

Shan is also a talented musician, having played the violin and drums since the age of three. She has since produced multiple songs with record-breaking ratings, including the Niners’ Anthem “Steal The Bowl,” which topped the 99.7[NOW!] charts at #1.

Shan attended college at Webster University in London, has lived in five countries and has visited close to 40 countries. She is a proud Latina, speaks Spanish fluently, and has some skills in French and Mandarin.

Shan’s love for makeup has led her to create a beautiful line that she is excited to share with the world. Shades by Shan is her brainchild and has worked hard to bring it to life. Each color has been carefully chosen and tested by her to create the perfect look. A portion of proceeds from each purchase goes to support single parents in need, through her nonprofit organization, The Mamaberries Nonprofit Foundation. Together, Shan is confident that we can make it a little easier to help them raise the next generation.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Of course, it was really my fans rallying behind me and asking when I was going to be coming out with Shan merchandise and I thought, would people actually buy my products? I’ve always loved makeup and I could catch myself aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and seeing all these influencers collaborating with makeup companies. I thought, could I cut out the middleman and start my own line directly to consumers? I spoke with my sister, who was a global sales & marketing director to see if she would be interesting in doing this with me. After she said yes & quit her job, the rest was history!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

We really never expected how big this was going to turn out, we started it as a little side hustle & hobby, but now it’s really turned into a full-fledged organization, launching in 18 stores around California, with a full time team. We are super excited to continue to see the growth of SBS and now feel we are prepared for the future with our rock star team.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Mistakes happen, we are human, we are doing many things at once, it’s just bound to happen. It’s just a matter of how quickly you can rectify the situation and also try to keep costs low at the same time. One time I had to drive down to LA to put in the new displays in the Planet Beauty stores, I was driving down with my boyfriend and when we were about to arrive I realized we had forgotten the displays. I immediately called my sister, she found the closest 24 hour FedEx print shop near our LA hotel and she sent the order for us to pick up down there. It costs us extra money, which we hadn’t budgeted for, but we had to roll with it! Lesson learned: Always double check everything!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We knew we wanted to be impact driven, my community has helped me immensely and stands by me every day, that’s why it was so important to ensure we are a company that is out there making a difference in people’s lives. When we were thinking about what our mission should be, it was right under our nose, Single Parents. Our single mother raised my sister & I and we saw the first-hand struggles it takes. We feel that if the parents are ok, the children are going to see the benefits of a parent who is less stressed & really be able to embrace that quality time as a family. We started our research and really couldn’t find an organization at the time that focused solely on single parents, thus we pushed ourselves further in launching our own non-profit, The Mamaberries Nonprofit Foundation — in honor of our mother. Anyone can nominate single parents directly on our — we were shocked with the hundreds of nominations that came in as soon as we launched. Experiencing that wave of nominations coming in, reading the stories, it completely validated we were on the right track with our mission!

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We recently launched in Planet Beauty stores across California and being available for people to go in, try the makeup, test it out and purchase it on the spot was super important for us. It’s been amazing to see the brand growing so quickly, because at the end of the day, that means we can help even more single parents! End of March we launched our latest collection, The Dirty 30 Collection, since I just turned 30 years old! More new products are hitting the shelf and we are continuing to plan future product launches to drop very soon!

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Be kind, be compassionate, have fun, but also don’t be afraid to say no. Building a team is not easy, but we have been so lucky to find people that really believe in us. So if you have those ride or die people on your team, treat them like gold, because they are not easy to find.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Trust your team, delegate and believe they have the best interest of the company in mind. Large or small, mistakes will happen, own up to them, and find a solution. I always tell my team, don’t tell me there is a problem before you’ve thought of a solution. I want my team to have a voice and feel comfortable using it.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. 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?

You are right, there is no “I” in Success, it honestly takes a village! If I had to choose a couple people it would be my team, my sister — our COO, my mother, Juan — our Head of Creative & Gabby — our Head of Logistics & Inventory. They have been with me since day one and taking on this journey with me has meant the world. They rough it out day in and day out, donating their time & energy to building this organization. Honestly they are some of the smartest & hardworking people I have ever met. If it wasn’t for them, we would not have been able to accomplish even a tenth of what’s been achieved so far.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

It’s super important for me to ensure that our community is prospering, I want to use my platform for good and give a voice to those who need it most. Back in December 2018 we did a big fundraiser event for the survivors of the Paradise wild fires, bringing hot food for over 150 people, my buddy Myles Parrish performed, Santa paid a visit to the children, arts & crafts and the SF Bay Area community members donated over 10,000 dollars in new goods for the survivors which we brought up in trucks & trailers. My team & I really wanted to do this to ensure the survivors had a chance to enjoy some holiday cheer. I want to make people happy, it’s part of why I love my job on the radio so much too.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

I interviewed J.Lo a couple months ago, she has always been a huge influence in my life so when I asked her for advice she told me: Be ready to work harder than anyone else, that’s what it takes. Her words have stuck with me ever since.

Be Patient — Building out a collection takes months of planning, secret shoots & you just have to be patient so your customers can have that amazing experience when they see it for the first time.

Take care of your team — You are only as good as your team, take care of them. In any business you will have highs & lows, happy times & stressful times, therefore emotions are very valid. The best team will ride with you through it all when they trust you also have their best interests in mind.

Be positive — It’s a mindset — If you believe it, it will happen.

Always be ready for curve balls — because they will come, you just need to be ready & willing to react to them the best way possible.

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? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

We are actually working on our movement as we speak, which is to bring awareness to how difficult it is to be a single parent. We are able to gift single parents with financial support to ensure they have a little cushion and can keep on going! We award them through the nonprofit’s committee who reviews all the nominations that come in. Let me tell you each story is more heartbreaking than the next, and the committee has the difficult task of narrowing it down. Many of the people on the committee are or have been single parents at some point in their lives, so they know what it takes. About 10% of Shades By Shan sale proceeds goes to The Mamaberries Nonprofit Foundation, so as we grow, so does that pool of money that we can donate to single parents in need.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Where there is a will, there is a way” I live by this, you don’t know how many times I’ve been told “No”, but I try not to see it as the end all, it’s just a roadblock that you have to go around and try a different route. If you work hard, stay humble, are honest & don’t take “No” for an answer, you will be very successful!

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