I know. My business name doesn’t exactly tell you much about who I am, what I’m about and what I can do to help. Over the past several months, I’ve been really thinking about that question a lot myself. Carlene can… what? Well, truth is, Carlene can do a lot of things. But just because we can, does that mean we should? For me, the answer is yes and no.
How I Got Started
Carlene Can was born out of my experience in the blogosphere. I started a blog about my pregnancy with my daughter, a local hospital picked me up as a writer and my love for content marketing grew. When I moved to Richmond in 2012, I was no longer eligible to write for the local hospital, so I started my own blog, The Drowsy Mama, to keep writing about my experience with motherhood. In the height of the infamous Mommy Wars, I decided to leave the mommy-blog space and instead focus on my next love, cooking. I started the blog Carlene Can Cook to share some of my favorite healthy foods, crock pot dishes and quick budget-friendly meals.
Around this time, I ended my career as a stay-at-home-mom and rejoined the workforce full time. I worked in print marketing, heading up our key accounts department and learned a ton about business and sales. The owner of the company encouraged me to grow Carlene Can Cook as much as I could, even offering to invest. I had never considered outside investment for a blog or just what that would grow into. A year into the job, I got my business license and let Carlene Can Cook grow a mind of its own and develop into a boutique marketing service, Carlene Can.
Early Days of Carlene Can
That was my biggest mistake. Letting Carlene Can have a mind of its own. Following every path that presented itself and not approaching my own business with a plan. I left my job somewhat suddenly and found myself having to push Carlene Can for basic survival. It was no longer a side gig I could just play with until I found what I loved. It was how I put food on the table and kept rent paid while adjusting to life as a single mom. I am beyond blessed to have had a way to provide for my family but it ended up turning into letting the business run me instead of me running the business.
By the end of 2017 I was burnt out and still broke. I made mistakes with client accounts and sunk into a debilitating depression. I knew I had to make a change. The need to survive persisted so I made the only responsible choice a parent can in that situation– I found a different way to support my family.
In January 2018, I returned to work full time as the creative director for an in-house ad agency. I knew it would be a great fit for my digital-facing skills while also teaching me loads about traditional marketing. While here, I’ve been able to learn so much about video production, broadcast, radio and cable advertising and the new world of media consumption. I’m proud to say my day job has also become a Carlene Can client, purchasing much of their print materials from me.
For the first six months, I stayed primarily focused on learning my new role and balancing work with family life. As I acclimated, I returned my focus to the love of my career, Carlene Can. After many hours of introspection, I decided it was time to reintroduce myself and my business, this time with a clear plan and mission.
I will use all available resources to empower small businesses and brands with tools to tell their story, meet their future customers, develop their community and achieve their business goals.
What I Do
At the end of the day, I’m a storyteller. I take experiences, events, products and brands and help to present them to the world. What this means for each brand and company is different. For many of my clients, it includes web design and social media strategy consulting. For others, we work together to take the story they’ve already told and polish and present it in a pretty package for their consumers. Carlene Can help you put your best foot forward with solid branding materials, coaching on public persona, community management and content development. I’m proud to work with companies from a variety of industries and budgets and welcome the sharing of information. I offer free 30 minute consultations to see how I can help and if we are a good fit for one another. If budget is a concern, I’m happy to discuss ways we can defray your costs through my network of service providers who offer my clients discounted rates and free or low-cost bonus products. If you’re ready to start talking about your story, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a Facebook Message.