If you ask Allison Statter whether or not she’s an influencer she will most likely say no. With high profile clients such as Jennifer Hudson and Revlon, and over sixteen years in the talent management and influencer marketing arenas, we have to disagree. Founded with her business partner Sherry Jhawar, Blended Strategy Group combines influencer marketing with out of the box brand strategies to give their clients an edge in crowded and competitive markets. CEOMOM Magazine caught up with Allison to discuss Blended Strategy’s impact and what it’s like balancing a career with being a wife and mom of 3 boys.
What is the inspiration behind Blended Strategy Group? How did you come up with the name?
The inspiration behind Blended Strategy Group stems from both my business partner Sherry and I being very entrepreneurial. In my prior career I worked at a management company. It was an amazing experience and it gave me an incredible platform. After I had my third son I had this moment of evaluating whether what I was doing was worth leaving my 3 kids every single day. I wanted to be inspired and feel great about what I was doing and I wanted to look down the road 12 years from now and know I did something that I loved. Starting my own business was the only thing I could come to that would provide that [inspiration] for me. I got very lucky in that I found a great business partner in Sherry. We have the same goals both personally and professionally. The work we were doing prior to starting Blended Strategy was the catalyst and brought us together.
It took us a minute to come up with the name. We had to do a couple of exercises. We came to Blended Strategy Group because we have 2 completely different skill sets. Sherry comes from branding and I come from talent management. It’s a blend that works perfectly together to give our clients a unique approach to marketing.
We are an entertainment marketing and branding agency that works with both brands and talent. On the brand side, we are talent agnostic. We work with them on strategy, procurement and execution with anything related to celeb and influencer marketing. We come up with strategic ways to help our clients stand out with their marketing strategy in a very crowded landscape. On the talent side, we represent traditional and non-traditional talent. We do endorsements, social media strategy, licensing, and brand building.
How will you leave your mark in the world of influencer marketing?
As you know, it is a very crowded space. Everyone is either an influencer or a brand trying to tap into influencer marketing. We are creative, and we have Sherry who really understands marketing. She is a pop culture junkie. She really immerses herself in culture and marketing, and then there’s me who comes from the talent side and understands how to engage influencers on a level that will get people excited. We stand out, because we really do sit at the table early on and come up with the strategy instead of letting the client come in with a strategy that we then have to fill in the pieces for later. We sit with the ad agencies and other collaborators to determine the goals of the campaign to make sure the strategy has impact.
What was your involvement with the 2018 Create & Cultivate Los Angeles event? What does a conference like this mean to women?
Sherry and I feel so lucky to be a part of Create & Cultivate. The founder Jaclyn Johnson is one of the most amazing women we have ever worked with. She is so inspiring and works so hard and created something that a lot of women can relate to. The whole premise is to be supportive of other women entrepreneurs and lift them up. I have a quote in my office, “Collaboration over Competition.” There is enough business to go around for everyone. It really provides a runway for female entrepreneurs to network, support, and collaborate so women don’t feel alone. You have a community of other women who are doing what you are doing, who are working as hard as you are, and are hustling and doing as much as you are. It’s nice to hear how they run and grow their businesses. We are partners with Jaclyn and Raina. We help them with the brand partnerships and to bring in influencers, as well as other influential female entrepreneurs. We also work with Raina and Jaclyn to talk about the long-term goals of C&C.
You asked Chelsea Handler at the 2016 LA Create and Cultivate, “Why is it so important for women to support women?” I want to ask you, why is it so important for moms to support moms, specifically those who are building their careers?
I think it’s important for women to support women as a whole, but it is important for everyone to be supportive. For women specifically, we relate to each other. It’s easier in life to relate to your same gender. I think women get more out of supporting each other. We know what it is like to to come up in an industry that is often majority male.
The mom one is really important to me. Before I had my first son I could function at a really high level. I felt so ready to have my first child. I thought, I am going to do this and be a working mom. I was so surprised after I had my first son how hard it was for me to keep it together. What people don’t tell you is that your emotions are running high and you are adjusting to balancing a whole new life. You have new anxieties. Your time has to be spent differently. I was really thrown for a loop. It was hard for me to show up at work and see these high functioning moms. It was hard to balance it all and find my groove. You have to kinda reset yourself with each kid and what your new norm will be. I found some moms were very competitive and critical. You have to be supportive and understand everyone has to do what works for them. We are all working hard and trying to be the best moms we can be. Do your best and find comfort in knowing that there are other moms out there who are having challenges. I thought I was the only one. Why couldn’t I answer emails and nurse my kid? You don’t have to be perfect. I remember going to a mommy and me class and walking in the class and everyone looked a total mess. I was like, thank god it’s not just me.
What does your typical day look like as an influencer, entrepreneur and mom of 3 boys?
For me, early on I made the decision to make sure my kids had consistency. Every morning they get mom and dad and every evening they get mom and dad (unless we need a break and go out to dinner or have a commitment). I don’t do pick up at school, so it is very important for me that I get up with my kids in the morning, pack their lunches, get them fed and talk to them about their day ahead and see them off whether it be the bus or carpool. I am then off to the office for a full day of work. I work until about 6:30 in the evening. I am with my kids from that moment on until bed. Some days we come home and it’s fluid, and other days it’s chaotic.
Before I started BSG, my schedule had more flexibility, but now I have more responsibility and more workload. I really take my weekends for my family. They don’t get me 100 percent Monday through Friday, so they get all of me on the weekends. We had an 8 x 8 bed made so all 5 of us can fit in the bed at the same time. We have now become this little unit. If one doesn’t come in our bed in the middle of the night I think something is wrong.
What tips do you have for an entrepreneur looking to expand her influence?
A couple of weeks ago we got an email from a company who needed a mom who is an entrepreneur. Although that fits me, I immediately didn’t want to do it. When it comes to being an influencer, I think some people come into it not knowing how much work it is. It is a lot of work. You have to make sure you’re posting content and keeping up with current trends. There are people who have the appetite for it and the drive. Just do your best and be real and be authentic. There are a lot of opportunities for people with authentic voices; that is what is going to drive their influence. My advice would be to just stick with running your company… that is a huge job in itself! LOL