Social media is all the craze these days. From Facebook to Twitter and everything in between it seems as if there's a new, hot form of social media literally popping up everyday (see also Pinterest, Google +, and Tumblr). While it might seem like a new fad, in its own way, social media has been around for thousands of years. Philosophers taught in the streets in ancient Greece, Jesus, Muhammad, and other religious figures traveled spreading their word, and who doesn't think Paul Revere wouldn't have loved to have had a Twitter account that night of his historic midnight ride to alert his allies of impending British attacks - it would have made things a lot easier for him I'm sure. Social media has merely gotten a facelift in this day and age of electronics, and more and more companies have found value in using it to connect with their customers and vice versa. This is where personable, outgoing, and media savvy entrepreneurs like Shane Shaps and her company, 520 East Brands, have come into the picture.
I sat down with Shane yesterday at her "office" in the Vint Coffee off of Brownsboro Road to find out more about how this locally born, social media dynamo got her start. After graduating from St. Francis High School in Downtown Louisville, and then the University of Florida, Shane got her professional start doing meeting planning and organization for trade shows & conventions which required her to be very detail and leadership oriented. After spending several years in both Chicago and New York, and getting married to a native of New Jersey, the opportunity for her and her husband to move to Louisville arose, and in 2002 they made the move to our fair city.
After moving back and deciding that they were ready to try and start a family, Shane decided that she wanted to explore starting her own business that she could run from home. From delivering home made gift baskets, to her and a friend starting their own "deal of the day" website, to becoming a sales rep for one of the products they offered deals on through that site (she was recruited because of her excellent knack for touting the product through her online verbiage) Shane kept running into little speed bumps that just made it hard to find one that seemed to stick. She began her early foray into social media when she was asked by a business acquaintance to help grow his businesses Facebook following, and then as Shane described it, she had a fateful introductory meeting in 2010. She was set up by a mutual friend to have coffee with another local business owner who was starting a company....Rooibee Red Tea; after the meeting they wanted Shane to handle their social media presence and the rest sort of became history.
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