Today we’d like to introduce you to Vau’ve A. Davis.
Vau’ve, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story is shaped by perseverance, ambition, and tenacity. As a product of a single parent home, I overcame a lot to be “the first” and accomplish things that weren’t in my favor, statistically. My experiences have shaped much of my philanthropic work as well as my persistence in building a legacy. I feel that building a legacy is important for us to help others who may not have a blueprint for what works. A legacy provides inspiration and hope. I’m constantly working to re-shape my story because, what was, doesn’t have to be what is, no matter my economic status, family dynamics and lack of preparedness. I started my business during one of the hardest time of my life and it forced me to pull strength from somewhere to create something that would do more than provide income. Official Anais was created October 10, 2010, and it was about so much more than PR/Marketing (at the time). It was about using my gift of resourcefulness to help others and empowering myself. I taught myself everything I knew about public relations and marketing; as a result, I worked with some of the most respected people in the industry. I would later transition into consulting for non-profits, small businesses and entrepreneurs as those were the demographics I was most passionate about and have experience in helping.
Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road but many of my challenges professionally and personally have shaped me as the woman I am today. My challenges help me to move forward with humility and continue to identify with the people I want to help the most.
The struggles for me have been more personal than professional. However, early on it was a struggle getting clients who understood what they really needed to do in order to garner the results they wanted. There have been struggles with consistent income as an entrepreneur. In recent years, there has been a challenge in keeping momentum with consulting while working a 9 to 5. I’ve considered ‘letting it go’ but whenever I thought to do so great opportunities present themselves so I know Official Anais Consulting is bigger than me and ‘consulting’. With that understanding, there has been some restructuring to accommodate my work life/balance as well as having a team member that works remotely from Florida. We’re both certain that the challenges we’ve both faced up to this point will help us as entrepreneurs and legacy builders.
My partner, Brian Wyatt adds, one of the greatest struggles of running a business is balancing the time, competing priorities in the paradox of “working on” the business while “working in” the business. An entrepreneur is defined as the one who takes on all or most of the risk. Many times that means “wearing the 17 hats” of running a business by juggling the financing, accounting, marketing, and advertising, as well as operations, customer support, and administration. Big businesses hire entire departments of laborers to handle these duties. But, an entrepreneur works in all departments. But, must also “work on” the business to develop and execute strategies that will achieve their vision to grow and prosper… it is a difficult paradox.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
Official Anais Consulting was initially known for public relations/marketing as I was the ‘face of the brand’, but I’ve worked to make the business one that is used as a tool to help people identify their legacies. We’re most recognized for our motto which is, Build your BRAND, start a LEGACY™. This motto goes beyond providing a service, starting a non-profit or marketing. Legacy building is a lifestyle that we help people build through their business and organization development and service.
Official Anais Consulting has a unique social focus on building lasting legacies for social enterprises and startups. We take a multi-disciplined approach that incorporates a unique blend of administrative, creative and technical skills to help our clients identify and achieve clear goals for themselves and the communities they serve.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Given how large and diverse Chicago is it’s a great place to make connections and start businesses. There are so many resources for innovators, entrepreneurs, and community activists. All of the resources can actually be overwhelming but in a good way. I do feel there can be a glass ceiling for certain creatives and professionals after a certain point in their careers. However, I know a few people like Troy Pryor, Mark Hubbard and Terrence Randolph who have created opportunities to help build Chicago’s talent pool/resources so that people don’t HAVE TO to go L.A. or N.Y. to make it.