I was first introduced to Marla White when I was working with her on a social media campaign. As a blogger, I’ve worked with different PR firms for the past 5 years. On the flip side, as a marketing freelancer, I worked for a publicist who had several clients that were high-end interior designers.
I’ve always been interested in public relations. Back in college, I was considering interning for a PR company. I ended up working at E! Entertainment as an intern in their international business development department instead. It’s interesting how things go full circle sometimes!
I know people always wonder what PR work entails. I have a general idea but I thought my readers would like to hear about Marla’s career in her own words.
Please meet the latest Real Mom of the SFV – Marla White!
How/why did you begin your business?
Marla: I have freelanced for many years, I was laid off in 2004 and unemployed for about 6 months and again in 2009 for over a year – so I freelanced in PR, marketing, and social media which is my background. In the beginning of 2015, a former colleague called me and asked if I was interested in pitching a very large national pet brand. I’d never done PR for pets but I was a dog mom and tired of commuting to Santa Monica from Burbank every day for five years so I went for it. A month and a half later, I won the business and launched my own agency – White Handed PR. I consider myself a client’s “right hand” so my last name lent to the perfect company name. My daughter had just moved out of the house so I took over her room and converted it to a home office which I love. A lot of my clients are local so they come to the house and we work in the office or living room – very comfy! Of course they must love dogs because the White Handed PR furry interns always want to be involved!
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Marla: I was a single mom for 17 years so it’s important to establish your village early on. Who will look after the kids while I’m working, what if I have to travel, etc. That was key for me. I was fortunate to have family and very good friends close and willing to help or stay at the house when needed. The other thing I would recommend is involving your children. I think I brought my daughters to work before that was even a thing! It was important to me for them to see what I did for a living. They knew the why, but they needed to see the where – and I needed my colleagues to see why my job and being so driven at what I do, is so important. My youngest was so taken with what I did for a living that she went into marketing for a client I was working with at that time.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Marla: I love the valley so much, I am a proud Valley Girl! I wanted to live in LA my entire life and was thrilled to move to Burbank in 2005. My daughter went to Burroughs High School and had an amazing life in their award-winning show choir. My husband and I started our life together here in 2009 and a large part of my friends, clients, and church are in the valley. It’s comfortable and there’s so much to do – and I’ll admit – I’m a weather wuss – so bring on the heat! I love valley summers!
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Marla: I wish I’d been more brave to go out on my own and not work for someone else, earlier. My wish for any mom with a dream or drive is to do it! When we fail, we just learn more about succeeding. And we can do it! How many great bakeries were started out in a family kitchen, etc. I think places like Etsy have opened up a whole new world for moms who are so talented. Social media can grow your business so easily – just do it!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.