Success means… Filling myself up every day! Sharing in life with so many amazing individuals who entrust me and look to me daily - that is true success to me. There comes a responsibility to fill myself up each day so I can successfully be more - for me, for my family, my friends and my clients.
Three adjectives that deserve me are... Tenacious, Compassionate, Luminous
You can’t run a business without… A voice, a backbone, some true grit, understanding and mostly compassion for yourself - nothing in life blooms 365 days a year - so we as woman, mothers, wives - we have to allow compassion for ourselves. We also need to celebrate small victories along with the large ones and take a moment to breathe, look back and acknowledge - We Rule!
In the next 10 years I will be… I can’t say truly. I know wherever I will be - I will doing great things in that moment, things that I love - helping others and perhaps reinventing myself and growing even more than I could have ever imagined. I will be surrounded in love by family and my success will only grow as my mindset remains focused on growing. Being widowed young - I have found that I will dream of what I want in the now, and understand that life and time may change that - but my focus, determination and entrepreneurial spirit through all things will remain. My legacy if I am not here in ten years and how I left my imprint on others and this world - that will be my ultimate success.
Tell us about Addelise. What is it all about?
Addelise® creates style, vision and everywhere+ness®.
Addelise is a full service marketing and social media company focused on bringing brand visions to life through creativity and telling the story of the people and companies we work with. Our refreshing approach and charismatic team, deliver much more than brands. Clients walk away with a brand identity that has been developed personally and with the mindset of staying in motion - everywhere+ness.
Addelise believes that no one can do what you do quite like you - so we get to the root of what makes our people and companies unique and bring the story to life.
Tanya Smith is the President of Addelise Inc. She is an experienced business executive with over 10+ years of focused business development, brand development, marketing, sales strategies, corporate event planning and social media development. Tanya is an entrepreneur; mother, re-married widow, founder of A Widows World community and a lover of life and helping others achieve their dreams.
Tanya’s two daughters, Addison and Elise - inspired Addelise.
"Chase your dreams, create new things and above all seek out the brilliant life you were born to live. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable! Share knowledge, help others and see that each day is a gift. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you. Don't get stuck in the we've always done it this way mentality. Make things simpler than your mind can even imagine. Have tenacity and believe in yourself. Create the design of your life, that one day you say...I did that" - Tanya Smith, President of Addelise Inc. & Creator of A Widow's World.
1. Branding: Successful branding opens the door to building a lasting relationship with a committed following. Trust is established in the brand identity and essence - striking the emotion of and filling a need for the audience. The right brand with the perfect service or product will keep them engaged and wanting more.
2. Engaging: Creating your digital footprint is more than simply being visible online — it is the key to unlocking a brand’s everywhere+ness. Addelise creates everywhere+ness by integrating your digital spaces through web and social media platforms. Connecting your following to your world. In a world of everywhere and anytime, digital is what allows brands to unfold in far-reaching and powerful ways — it’s time to embrace this online space that keeps growing and morphing into something new. Are you excited? We are!!
3. Inventing: Are you stuck on something in your business that you feel is holding you back from pushing it forward? Invent+ing just became a whole lot easier and creative. Our team can help you bring new life to a - marketing and sales strategy, proposal, ad campaign, or to your internal team - if they need a bit of shaping up.
4. Eventing: You trusted Addelise to bring to life your brand, now lets talk Event+ing. Addelise has been planning unique and unforgettable events for clients that are nothing short of great+ness. We will complete the perfect story by planning an event that will not be forgotten. These pictured venues, are just some of the spaces we can offer for creating your perfect event. Addelise has a way of finding unique, eclectic, and sophisticated venues. Don’t get us wrong however - we can plan some pretty down home gatherings as well. We pride ourselves on our well rounded experience. Let us handle every detail right down to - personalized gifts and giveaways.
Addelise is not just a design company - we are business minded individuals who have proven business mindset. We think about your industry, we research, we copy write, we create a brand that is meant for you and your market.
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted to have?
I don't think I had ever thought about having my own business, until it just felt like the right thing to do. I thought about it for at least a year. First just playing with the idea and then it became this aching, never fleeting thing I couldn’t get out of my mind. I just knew that if I didn’t try - I would live with regret and that was something I just couldn’t do. I first tried to play it safe and approached the firm that I was working for about having them continue as a client. They were agreeable at first, but then became upset with my leaving. I was not only their VP of Marketing & Sales, I was their top sales person/sales manager overseeing a team, I wrote all of their proposals and had formed many trusting relationships in the industry. I was being groomed to be President and take over one day.
The terms they wanted were not agreeable for me as a new business owner and I just thought - I can’t step into my new endeavor feeling like I have a thumb on me. If I am going to do this, it has to be a good feel. I turned down what was safe to remain true to my life and myself. I learned so much from my former position and the people there. I really was very thankful for the opportunity and how I grew - but that was also what I reminded myself “Girlfriend - you grew their company double the size it was as a multi million dollar corporation 2x over…you have got this”. Most of the time we just need to channel that trust within ourselves and sometimes on the daily, or multiples times a day.
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
My business is inspired by my daughters Addison and Elise - so my perfect business name just had to be Addelise. They giggle every time I tell them how the name came to be…and say we know mom. The absolute best inspiration - raising small, resilient woman up to know that they themselves can be the owner of their lives. In fact, we just bought their domain for Make the Sparkle and have ambitions to start their own clothing line and all things sparkle. There really is no rest for the wicked. Haha.
I honestly didn’t know if I would ever be a mother. When my husband who was the only man I had ever been with, passed away suddenly at 27 - me being 26….I couldn’t see my life or my future for a long time. Everything blurred.
I live each day knowing that there is purpose in everything - maybe not a reason for everything - but purpose. I had to find my purpose again. When I was traveling the world, leaving my second husband and my daughters who were just babies for sometimes ten days out of the month - the thrill had left me. The deals I was closing were not my passion, even though I was good at it. I sat in a hotel room longing for my family and something more…even though where I stood was on the top- or so I had thought. I mean everyone wanted to make it to the top right? Well, not this girl. I just wanted to be at the top of my priority list so my family also felt that way - because they were.
On the ten year, almost to the day anniversary - my former work took me back to Clearwater Beach/Tampa area. This was the place I went with my family after my husband passed away…almost ten years later.
I woke up at 4 a.m. knowing I needed to go to that beach before the trade show started because a hurricane was set to hit so we were leaving a day early and I did not want to regret.
The entire drive - I cried and was overcome looking back at the broken woman I was sitting on that beach ten years earlier - the woman who wasn’t sure what life was going to be. I could see myself and how far I had come, how I used my voice and I found myself through the pain. I excelled in business, I excelled in life, I re-married and I found new love, I shared my former husband with everyone-my story, I had the privilege to become a mother, I had a home and friends and family and a life that was just luminous….and I was proud.
At the end of that trip, I walked in the door and I told my husband I needed to put my notice in. That I had so much more to do, but it was time to step into what was best for our family - me being home and me stepping into the light of something new that I was passionate about - helping others and truly doing what I was meant to do.
My first husband, my second husband, my girls, my family and all of the people out there working so hard - that is what inspires me daily. Making a difference. I give my time to several non for profits to help give back where I am able to as well.
What is your greatest fear. How do you manage it?
Loss and letting others down. I know that is why I work tirelessly to make sure I give my 100% and we all know at times we give more and at times we can only give what we can give. Our best often is amazing to others - so I try to bring myself back down to earth and not be so hard on me. When you are a perfectionist, that is not an easy thing sometimes.
Mostly my fear comes however thinking about how quickly a day can change your life. I worry over my husband, my daughters and my family. They are everything to me and so I love them as much as I possibly can and I don't leave words left unsaid.
If you were a book, what would your title be and why?
It is funny you should ask. I am writing a book, or trying to anyway. It is a goal of mine. I am pretty certain my title will be Beautifully Broken - Finding beauty in the broken spaces of our lives. I am still playing around with it.
My book is about my journey through some very treacherous seasons of life, but my tenacity of overcoming and working hard to not stay in those places - to see them, own them, acknowledge them - but to go beyond them.
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
I like this question. Having been a VP of Marketing & Sales for a large software company within a niche industry that served government/public sector - I found that professionalism is important of course - but people want to get to know you. Personality can really help you shine. Trust is necessary and so when you strip away some of that rigidness that maybe you were taught to hide behind and the tough stance or stature that many of us woman feel we need to show when in a predominately male run industry - people bring down their walls as well. People are just people at the end of the day, after all. They are like you and I, maybe some not so much - but the vast majority will appreciate knowing just a little bit about you and your life. That builds trust.
I never will forget this moment for instance: When I was stepping into creating my own company - Addelise. I initially was thinking of partnering, with a firm I knew, on some endeavors. One of their executives told me, “More professional and less personality”. I disagreed and so I trusted my gut and knew that partnership was not for me. Trusting yourself and allowing others to earn your trust - in a personality and professional way - that is how you will grow.
I know this because as soon as I showed my personality in my previous position as a VP - I became luminous and enigmatic in a way. People gravitated to me, they wanted to learn more about our products. A simple smile and a nice conversation with someone - they remember that and they trust you because you didn’t have dollar signs in your eyes. You more saw the person that you could help, and so instead you got to know them a little and then they came to you - because of the trust there. I opened up five new states, an international market and secured this last companies largest clients. I am not boastful about this, but I think we need to own our truths and this is just one of mine.
What is your proudest accomplishment of this year? What are you looking forward the most in the next 12 months?
I have celebrated my first year of business. Wow-wee and wow. A year goes fast! I have amazing clients who continue to message me with their successes because of the brands I have helped them create. They have been at the focus of it all - without their unique stories, services and hearts - my business would not be where it is today. My business is completely built on referrals thus far - how incredibly humbling.
I was also asked to join Hope For Widows Foundation as a Board Member among three of the owners. I am also their creative director and donated their website which reaches thousands of woman every day who are in need of our community based support.
This year our organization was named the top #1 blog as well out of 100 widows organizations and bloggers. www.hopeforwidows.org.
My personal blog www.awidows.world was named number 29 out of 100 (29 is my lucky number) in the United States and then recently was named a top 30 blog in the world for Widows Blogs. This area has grown tremendously and I can’t tell you how often I cry when a woman messages me saying I have given her hope and because of my blog and sharing on Instagram - they are thankful to have found me.
I also was contacted by a network that asked me to tape a pilot for a TV production. This company produces shows on the Discovery, Travel, Food Network and that was so very interesting to me.
My hope for this year is to really focus on some unique projects, add to my growing client base and my own team - find more time to reach my personal goals for my marketing and writing my book. Oh and I want to be on Ellen.