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Meet Shawna Gray of San Juan VIP Marketing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawna Gray.

Hi Shawna, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
San Juan VIP Marketing started on a bit of a whim, but one that just needed to happen already. I worked in the beauty industry for about 5 years & found myself spending the bulk of ‘downtime’ marketing for myself. Then an opportunity arose in the cannabis industry that also required me to market & curate content for others for the next 10 years. I finally needed to step away from working in specific industries & expand my ability to be creative; but had no idea how or when this could be possible.

Fast forward to September 2021… I moved to the most beautiful little mountain town of Pagosa Springs, CO. Swooped up the first enjoyable job I could find, in hopes that they could offer me a marketing position; but alas, the spot was filled, so I took another position with the company. I simply wasn’t happy but kept telling myself I was “doing things exactly the way I was supposed to” as a newcomer to this town.

It only took two months of unhappiness, entry-level pay, and a schedule I didn’t prefer to break me down. I had quite a seizure at work, which was later diagnosed as an ongoing, but ignored problem. Doctors recommended I didn’t drive, work certain hours, or stress out in general for six months while things were sorted. I found this laughable but took a couple of months of downtime.

This offered a lot of time to think, and friends were already contacting me to help them in small areas of marketing their businesses, seeing I had the time. I told my mom about how I was feeling (she rocks, a REAL power woman), and she suggested just expanding my services & doing this all on my own. I loved it, there was no reason not to, and there was suddenly all the time in the world. Thus, San Juan VIP Marketing was born within the few weeks following!

This has been the most rewarding career path I’ve ever taken, at such a great time, too. Getting to know my new community, connecting with talent, making new friends, and helping take some stress off other entrepreneurs’ hands while we both do what we love… amazing. The connections I’ve made here are invaluable, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s only been 7 months since I launched the Agency. It’s always a little rocky while you get your footing, and every new client is a new creative challenge; but for the most part, I’d say it’s gone as smoothly as realistically possible. Everyone has been welcoming with open arms, trusting, and so much fun to work with every time.

I’m beyond thankful that such talented people believe in my ability & vision to represent them, as I’m still growing myself. It has been a dream. Still working on finding that perfect work/life balance, but it certainly isn’t as difficult to grasp anymore. I think that might be everyone’s biggest challenge when they love what they do.

As you know, we’re big fans of San Juan VIP Marketing. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
San Juan VIP Marketing is dedicated to keeping our local businesses seen & engaged with; then, of course, converting those engagements into paying customers & clientele. These days, being a business owner also means being savvy in marketing yourself via social media & the web in general.

When you’re running an entire business, marketing is the last thing you want to take on as a second full-time job. If only you could just outsource someone locally to understand your vision; someone to be present while we make that vision come to life; right? That’s what I’m here for; all of my tastes aside, entirely at my client’s unique service needs; with a fresh perspective to offer!

Anything from web design, branding + packaging design, SEO boosting, photography, content creation, entirely operating social media accounts, and whatever else anyone dreams up… I’m your gal within 100 miles of Pagosa Springs, CO. Towns like Pagosa are extremely reliant on keeping business circulating locally, rather than directing people to big-box & corporate options. Not only does it keep our town clean & beautiful, but it means we’re supporting people we know and love right here at home.

Entrepreneurs, Creatives, and Professionals in & around this town are absolute hidden gems; some being established locals, some of whom once operated in a highly competitive/fast-paced market, and relocated their businesses to our somewhat quiet town. We’re fortunate to have them. We have everything and everyone we need to thrive right here, locally; it’s just a matter of always knowing they exist and being able to engage with them & their brand on a more personal, familiar level.

I’m thankful the talented entrepreneurs & creatives who have chosen to hop on board with San Juan VIP Marketing found me so early on. We’re able to help each other out in a lot of different ways; the exposure and support they’ve offered in turn, I’m so appreciative of & truly PROUD to be working with all of them.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
Risk-taking…. everyone probably considers what a “risk” is differently; it’s all dependent upon what’s happening in life at the time. Nothing worth talking about has ever happened to me, personally, without taking some sort of risk. Whether it be moving to a new place to find new opportunities, learning a new skill, choosing a new avenue in work, life, relationships, or even just my appearance. It could all be a waste of time or the best choice I’ve ever made.

Life is short, but there’s always time to take a risk & ride it out. If you don’t like the risk you’re taking, find another one (in good consciousness); we can always take a positive lesson from it in the end, even if things don’t go as planned.

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Image Credits

Mitchell Garcia, Whitney Jackson, and San Juan VIP Marketing

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