Destiny's Child described an "Independent Woman" as someone who is capable of providing for herself with no help needed. She doesn't wait around for someone else to make her dreams come true, she is perfectly able to do it on her own and Monique Turley is the definition of that independent.
As the proud owner of ShutterBooth a mobile Photo & Video Booth company offering modern and elegant photos booths for various events (like Weddings, School Events, Parties and More), you would think she has her hand full. But in addition to ShutterBooth, Monique launched Spark and Glam an online jewelry boutique where she offers unique yet affordable jewelry, custom phone cases and coming soon, KeyGlam! Monique is also a licensed Florida Realtor and in her spare time (when she has it), she loves to design logos and marketing materials for other business owners. She is also a member of the Junior League of Tampa, NACE – National Association of Catering Executives and EMERGE Tampa Bay.
I chatted with Monique to get the scoop on her businesses, accessories line, her FAB style and any advice she can offer to aspiring entrepreneurs.
How did ShutterBooth come about and what made this particular company impress you enough to start a franchise in Tampa?
I attended my cousins wedding in Detroit. At first I thought the whole thing was just silly, having a photo booth at her wedding, I mean c’mon. How immature right. NOPE, I quickly found out everyone LOVED it, OLD and YOUNG and after I tried it I loved it just as much. I contacted the ShutterBooth office in Detroit and began the stages of licensing to own Shutterbooth. I own the Tampa Bay, Orlando and Sarasota market which are 3 major markets in Florida.
When I got home after the wedding and started researching other photo booths, I found they were tacky and cheaply put together. I also thought about building my own booth, but then I would have to design a website, figure out software, etc. ShutterBooth Photo booth was nice and elegant since appearance is important to me, so I chose ShutterBooth!
As a business woman, what is your typical day like?
I’m constantly on my phone, checking emails, taking phone calls,
updating my calendar.
I wake up go through emails, respond to client inquires for information. I look at numbers and goals to see if I need to design any sales campaigns.
In addition to ShutterBooth, you also own an accessories boutique. How did you get started with this?
Yes, SPARK and GLAM! I LOVE nice jewelry and statement pieces. To me, jewelry can completely transform an outfit. Yet, when I would look at the price tag for let’s say a necklace from a department store, it’s like $40-$100. I thought, there has to be a better way for women to be able to have nice affordable jewelry. So I researched and found several companies where I can purchase and offer unique pieces at affordable prices!
How do you manage being a mother and a woman of many business ventures?
Great question. Honestly I just do it! Women have the capacity to handle so much. What drives me more than anything is knowing I want the ability to provide a better life for my sons (Chase-12 & Rodney-21) than I ever had growing up.
I noticed that you recently got inducted into "The Junior League," CONGRATS! As a business woman, why was this decision so important to you?
I have always had an overwhelming desire to give back to the community. One of my friends is a member and when she talked about all the great things Junior League does in the African American community (like teaching healthy eating to reduce illness), I was SOLD. In addition, networking is insanely important as a business owner. When you are out of sight you are out of mind and as the old adage goes, “It’s not what, but who you know”!!
Can you tell us as a business owner, the importance of learning how to do things on your own?
As far as learning to do things on your own, I think many things are trial and error. I remember when I had to learn illustrator to design a ShutterBooth Logo, I absolutely HATED it but I knew it was a skill that I would need. I found free online classes, I Googled and Youtubed whatever questions I had to get the job done. The words No, Can’t, Won’t just don’t sit well with me.
I’m really hands on when it comes to my business and I think your employees and your customers will respect you more when you know your business inside and out, so learning how to do things on your own is hugely important!
People often think when you work from home you sit around in your pajamas all day, that is totally not the case. As a business owner you have to treat your business just like you have a boss to answer to incorporate America. You should define clear, measurable and reachable goals and check yourself along the way for progress.
There are many people who would love to start their own business, but may not have the right resources, motivation or knowledge to do so, do you have any advice for them?
Save Money, get or keep good credit and absorb everything they can from where they work now!
The very first thing which was a hard lesson for me to learn is to save as much money as I could. I remember the times when I wanted more than anything to splurge on a $1000 pair of shoes, but instead I saved, saved, saved. When the time came for me to open Shutterbooth luckily I had enough savings that I didn’t have to take out a loan.
Having great credit is a no brainer but like many, I abused credit during my (early) college years and it took years for me to get back on track, once I did I kept a healthy credit score which was also important and a main approval criteria in opening Shutterbooth.
Working in corporate America gave me the foundation I needed to run a business. Even though I worked in the Mortgage Industry, the same principals apply: professionalism, timeliness, having goals, networking, etc..
What is something that you would like people to know about you?
I hate cats! Lol. I’m serious but really. I just finished school! When I started ShutterBooth, I found the time necessary to dedicate to finally finishing my degree. I started and stopped several times while working in corporate America because working 9-5 and going to school is not easy. But I did it. I’m finished. “Finally” I finished up at University of South Florida with a degree in Communication – Culture & Media.
You also make logos for businesses and people. What attracted you to graphic designing?
I have always LOVED graphic design. I am a font junky! I was actually awarded a college scholarship in high school for digital media design which I never took advantage of. I thought the idea of being a graphic designer was a joke. All these years later I still find myself obsessed with pretty color pallets, fonts, and nicely done magazines and websites!
What is your fashion style? Go to beauty necessities?
I would consider myself a Preppy, Vintage and a Glamonista if there is such a thing.
I play it safe (for the most part) with fashion but like to add a little flavor to anything I wear. I love mixing vintage jewelry with modern pieces. The clean lines of preppy clothes stand the test of time and seem like they can always be worn, no matter what is trending, for example a crisp denim blouse can be mixed with just about everything! To add a little flair I might do a sparkly brooch or nice noticeable glam stud earrings!
What is next for you?
I’m getting back into Real Estate, slowly but surely, helping people with rental properties and assisting 1st time home buyers.
I am working on prototypes for my KeyGlam line that I plan to introduce to my Spark&Glam Brand. Hopefully they will be released for purchased mid September. I’m really excited about that and I’m hoping a department store will pick up the KeyGlam Line!
Long term I hope to open a Boutique Marketing company helping other business owners grow and expand. Further down the line I plan to Consult with larger businesses helping them to operate more efficient and effective therefore saving or making more of a profit!
To learn more about Monique and her company, visit www.Shutterbooth.com