Rookie: Shamel Robinson
Shamel Robinson took a school project and turned it into her own company. Public Icon, LLC was started in 2012, while Shamel was in college, as part of a group project. She took the idea and ran with it, and every school project from there she used to build her company.
Public Icon, LLC is an agency that provides three tiers of services: public relations, event planning and management, with a primary focus on entertainment. Shamel’s first client was an artist in her college town Columbia, MO, Evi Da Prince, and helped to get her foot in the door at a lot of places. She has worked with many clients and on various projects which include DJs, movie premiers, radio personalities, restaurants and more.
Shamel started doing PR in high school, when one of her mentors allowed her to intern for him. From there she worked with music managers and knew this was what she wanted to do. She then went to college and upon graduating became her own boss. “I’m a one woman band,” she says of her young company. She multitasks daily and for what she in unable to do, for example graphics, she outsources to fellow entrepreneurs. Shamel is all about building relationships and networking, that is how she gets her clients. However, she is quick to note that she doesn’t meet people with the focus being business but with the genuine intention of getting to know them. It’s that mindset and her kindness that have helped her company, Shamel says, “You never know who someone knows until you ask them. A lot of people are connected.”
Shamel and her company are growing. She’s most proud of the fact that people she doesn’t know are aware of her company; Public Icon, LLC is getting buzz around town. As her business grows she sees herself adding more people to her team to continue to provide the services she offers currently. Shamel hopes to relocate her business to a major city, while also leaving her mark in her hometown St. Louis, MO.
With all of her success Shamel still faces challenges. The biggest challenge is that of being a young entrepreneur. “Being a young African-American women a lot of people don’t take me serious. I have to prove myself. I’m in a male dominated industry, so it’s hard,” Shamel says of the challenges she faces. Often she is the only female publicist when she goes to meetings and other events. Although with any challenge she faces she does not give up. “Keep going. Never give up. It’s going to be so easy to give up but you have to keep going…especially being an entrepreneur…you’re going to wonder where your next meal will come from, but you have to keep faith and keep going.”