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Meet Tamara Edwards Smith of The Collective Shine Agency in Goodyear

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamara Edwards Smith.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My life journey starts in South Florida, just outside of Homestead Air Force Base, which is where my parents met and still live to this day. My dad was in the military for 21 years and was stationed there when he met and married my mom. A year after they were married while stationed at George Air Force Base, I was born in Victorville, California. As a military child, I was raised by the United States Air Force, the many places I lived and experiences I had across the country and the world formed me. However, my roots are deep in Florida and no matter where the Air Force took us we always returned home to Miami, which I call my hometown. After college, I married back into the Air Force and soon afterward traveled to Okinawa, Japan where my husband and I were stationed for three years. It was there that my interest in Event Management & Planning started. I’ve always loved throwing together a brunch, birthday party, private dinner or a charitable event. It’s something about getting a group of people together for some great conversation, healthy debates, and of course, cocktails and food that ignited my passion for creating a social environment where all are welcome to enjoy. Being a part of the military whether you’re an active duty member, spouse or dependent child you get to meet some amazing people along the way. Most of those people become your lifelong friends. It’s how my dear friend Felicia Fencl and I became business partners. After I planned her retirement party from the Air Force in 2016, we combined our 20+ years of experience in public relations, marketing, hospitality & event planning and formed our company, The Collective Shine Agency.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Life is never a smooth road. It comes with speed bumps, detours, U-turns, potholes and roadblocks. The “Chaos Coordinator” in me, kind of likes to maneuver that way. Encountering challenges and overcoming obstacles allows me to grow personally and professionally. You have to learn to navigate the road with a plan in-mind to deal with life’s bumps and trust that along the way there will be a few good stretches of smooth riding. I’ll say the biggest challenge in my journey with event management has been securing venues for events. Our company and clientele host events all across the world in places such as L.A., NYC, Phoenix, Bahamas and Dubai. While we live in a technologically advanced digital age where video and 3D tours of potential meeting spaces are easily accessible from a laptop or smartphone, nothing is more frustrating than not being on the ground in a city to really view all that an event space has to offer in-person. A lot of my time is committed to phone calls, emails, pictures and video conferencing to truly get a sense of a location that will help bring a vision for an event to life. This journey has taught me patience, resilience and gratitude. Personally, it hasn’t been easy being a Mompreneur. In addition to working with clients, I am responsible for the demands of raising three sons and helping them grow & develop into great men. Work-Life Balance is a major struggle, trying to manage everyone’s individual schedules within my family and be a successful entrepreneur has been quite a challenge. My oldest son Ivan is a collegiate Track & Field Jumper, my middle son Keith is entering his senior year in high school and my youngest son KJ is a travel basketball athlete. As our clientele grows and work sometimes takes priority, I’ve finally learned to not have Mom-Guilt when missing a basketball game, awards ceremony or huge track meet. It does help having an extended network of family members and friends that I can depend on to give that extra support when I can’t be there.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Collective Shine Agency – what should we know?
Our company, The Collective Shine Agency is a full-service public relations and event management firm that represents talent in the beauty, entertainment, sports and lifestyle industries. We operate two offices; one in Phoenix and the other in Atlanta. As the Senior Event Manager, I execute special events for our company and with our clients. Those may include Launch Parties, Book Signings, Empowerment Brunches, Grand Openings, Conferences and Charitable Events. I identify your target audience, formulate the event concept, plan the overall logistics of the event and conduct full project management of the event. We also align clients to strategic partnership opportunities such as co-branding events or participation & affiliation in existing events to establish and increase awareness in our client’s brand. Our mission is simple, make our clients SHINE!

How do you define success?
One of my favorite quotes is by Michelle Obama. ” Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

Be the Game Changer. Each night I go to bed with the thought, how did I make a difference? Did I speak a kind word, put forth my full effort, and create an opportunity for others or myself? Am I impacting, inspiring and empowering the lives of my children and those around me? These are all things that help along the way in making me a successful person. To be successful, you have to use each day as an opportunity to improve, to be better and to get closer to each goal. The more you accomplish, the higher you vibrate in life.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cindy Maiyer Photography, Fiesta Ban Photo, Ryan Rickets Photography, Shannon Gilpin Photography, Hair by: Alexia Brown

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