Its no secret that society is obsessed with youth, and pop culture. At the age of 16, Wells discovered how to turn society’s obsession into a multi-million dollar business and 15 years later, she’s still running that business with clients including the likes of SonyBMG, PBS, P+G,Sesame Workshop, and American Eagle Outfitters. In addition she’s collected a long list of honors including being named Essence Magazine’s 40 Under 40 , Billboard’s 30 Under 30 and Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 just to name a few.
Combining her love for fashion, pop culture, and writing 16-year-old Wells responded to an ad to write product reviews for The New Girl Times, a newspaper targeted at teen girls. Her insight proved valuable to the companies and they soon began taking their inquiries directly to Tina, the requests became so overwhelming she had to recruit her friends–her first employees.
As the founder of BUZZ Marketing Group, Tina Wells is the epitome of passion, hard work and staying true to yourself. She’s mastered marketing for other people’s products and is now at the helm of marketing her own products as she adds “author” to her already extensive resume. Read on to take a peek inside this marketing maven’s agenda.
What Is Your Agenda?
Tina Wells: I’m the founder and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, a youth marketing agency specializing in research, events, and promotions. I’m also an author, and I’ve written 4 books in my tween book series Mackenzie Blue, and my first business book, Chasing Youth Culture And Getting It Right, hit stores on April 26th.
What is a typical day like for you?
Tina Wells: Depends on the day! Tuesday is my earliest start. I wake up at 4:45 (yes, I’m in bed by 9pm on Mondays!) and head to the gym. I train until 6, and then head home to get ready. By 7:30 (with Starbucks in hand), I head to my hairstylist’s salon. If I’m lucky and don’t do anything major to my hair (like color), I can be out of there by 9:30/10. While I’m under the dryer, though, I typically read all my morning news (every blog you can think of), check emails, and return calls.
By the time I hit my office I have a staff meeting, order lunch, and settle in for a day of calls and meetings. Occasionally I’ll head into NYC for dinner. I leave the office at 6, head home, cook dinner, and then proceed to watch a few hours of bad TV, write, and check emails until I head to bed.
What is a not so typical day like for you?
TW: No day is typical. For me, it’s when I have to run into NYC at the last minute, which happens a lot these days. Or when my cousin and her husband need me to baby-sit their four children at a moment’s notice!
How do you prioritize things? What is first on the agenda?
TW: Family First. Always. I have five younger siblings and a very large extended family, so it’s what I’ve known my entire life.
Do you have a motto that you live by?
TW: My dad taught me that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
When did you discover what you wanted to be in life & how old were you?
TW: I’ve loved fashion for as long as I can remember. My mom tells everyone I’m the same girl now that I’ve been my entire life. I saw a picture of me the other day at my parents’ house and I was striking the fiercest pose! I couldn’t believe it! So basically, I’ve always loved fashion, pop culture, books…all of it!
How do you overcome doubt?
TW: Block it out. You just have to ignore it, or it’ll eat you alive.
Do you remember a moment where you had to prove yourself, not only to other people but to yourself?
TW: I honestly don’t. I think I was so naïve. I knew I was young, but I’ve always worked hard for what I want. I never made a conscious decision to work harder or prove myself. That was my strategy from day one – to just put everything into my company and see where it goes.
How do you feel your work is perceived as a female in our society?
TW: I hope people feel inspired. I’m just a normal girl who had a good idea, worked hard, and made it. I think for anyone to be successful, they need both the opportunity and the will. You can have one without the other and truly be successful.
What is something that women today still need to overcome?
TW: Our competitiveness with each other. We need to support each other. I’m so lucky to have the most supportive, wonderful group of female friends.
Who has inspired you?
TW: My mom, grandmothers, dad. My real inspiration comes from my family.
photo via chasingyouthculture.com
What is one myth of success?
TW: That you “make it.” That there is some magical end! Really it’s just a path, and you walk and walk and walk and simply enjoy the journey. If you stop, you’re done.
What’s on your agenda for 2011?
TW: Hopefully have a bestselling children’s book, develop a few more projects, work on a book on youth trends, and launch another website! Oh, and meeting Mr. Right along the way wouldn’t be too bad either!
Continue to follow her agenda via twitter- @TinaCWells.