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Life and Work with Vanessa Luster

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Luster.

Vanessa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up in Saint Louis, MO (the Show-Me-State), I was surrounded by natural hustlers, creatives, leaders and lots of music culture. My parents were business owners always inspired me to dream big so that I can follow in their entrepreneurial spirit. As I transition from high school to a college freshman, I was an eager Pre-law student looking to make my mark on campus. Putting my best foot forward, I secured my first internship, working the 2012 election campaign for Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. Upon my surprise, I connected with the Senator’s, campaign manager who shared her career journey working in politics and public relations. Inspired by her story and was compelled to research more about the world of PR. Much to my surprise, I made a list of my passions (writing, creativity, arts, and public speaking) and took an introductory to PR class. The next semester, I changed my major and was on the road to being the next “Olivia Pope.” I began working to secure my next opportunity to build my experience. Previously working as a volunteer for Fashion powerhouse, Cynique Evoule Runway Series, I was hired as an intern. I worked along with the senior publicist, which helped strengthen my skill set in management, marketing, event planning, and media training. Assisting and set up shows from Saint Louis to New York Fashion Week, Atlanta, Houston, and San Francisco. Though I loved being fashionably fly, I was drawn to the author of emerging talent from models, freelance makeup artist, emerging fashion designers, artist, and musicians, who were looking for someone to take their career to the next level. From my experience, I was able to spread my wings in the music lane working for the Country Music Festival.

After graduating, I experienced every college grad nightmare, graduating with no job offer. During that time, I channeled my energy and frustration into building my brand and business. After much thought, I birthed the name The PR Muse, which means public relations creative. I took on my first client, began using my skills and creating a lane for myself. I worked and hustled landed me an opportunity with Elittle Communications Agency, where I juggled multiple clients including Big Brother, Big Sisters and the City of Ferguson. Trying to stay true to my passion, I become the public relations assistant for the Saint Louis Renaissance Festival.

In 2017, I decided to invest in myself and my brand by returning to the classroom to pursue my masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Webster University. Having aspiration on moving to L.A., I explored every option to make my dream a reality. After my first week of classes, my academic advisor sent me an email with the university’s Los Angeles extension location, which would be my one-way ticket out of the Midwest. Last summer, I stepped out on faith, packed my bags, transferred school location and relocated to Los Angeles. I was starting from the bottom and new I had to hustle back to the top. I began freelancing and soon enough people were recognizing me as, The PR Muse. I secured opportunities with BET, Hispanicize LA, and Allied Integrated Marketing. As I prepare for graduation this summer, my goal is to take my business to the next level.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My journey was definitely not a walk in the park. I’ve had my share of good, bad and ugly experiences. However, I always remember this quote my Dad always says, “Don’t worry about the battles (obstacles and struggles) you’ll face but focus on the winning the war (your goals and dreams). As a woman of color, pursuing a career in Public Relations it’s tough and the entertainment sector is tougher. Always keep God first and have faith that he’s going to carry you through your obstacles. Don’t be afraid to start over and try something new.

I have ten tips, I call the “PR Muse Messages” to encourage young ladies in their journey.
1.) Get Comfortable, with being uncomfortable // Nothing great comes from comfort zones
2.) Be Authentic, not Unique!
3.) Never Stop learning
4.) Your superpower is being a WOMAN
5.) Celebrate your now
6.) Trust the Process
7.) Listen to your gut
8.) Nothing is personal
9.) First Impressions are everything
10.) Be the energy, you want to attract//Check your attitude at the door. No one owes you anything and in this industry, you have to have tough skin.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The PR Muse – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Vanessa Luster, otherwise known as The PR Muse is not your average freelance publicist. A creative visionary, I captive and enhance brands at any stage of success. I have devoted my time and expertise to rising talent across including; fashion connoisseurs, music artists, personalities, models and game-changers by creating a platform for them to shine bright like a diamond. My motto is “Let’s tell your STORY, you set the TONE.”

I have worked under brands including the Country Music Festival, BET, the Saint Louis Renaissance Festivals (Mid-America), ELittle Communications Group, Allied Integrated Marketing, Hispanicize LA and Cynique Evoule Runway Series. I have had the pleasure of working with 2200 Leeko (rising Charlotte rapper), The Brown Closet (Fashion Blogger), Hatz 4 Hearts (non-profit), Frank Anthony (Artist), SAB ( Stl rapper) and Anita K. Solutions (Life-Coach).

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
Growing up, I was raised in a blended family which usually has many negative connotations in today’s society. Having the luxury of two bonus families allowed me to have an abundance of love, support, and different experiences, more importantly, set the foundation to conquer adversity. One experience which plays a critical role in my success is my father conducting family meetings. It was the opportunity to sit down with my immediate family, once a month and have an open conversation. We always had an agenda and discussed each other’s accomplishments, school updates, personal and business goals, failures, problems, family gatherings and much more.

Looking back, I did not understand its significance and impact it would have on me today. Those meeting taught me to; always speak my truth (there are a time and a place to express it), practice active listening, learn how to communicate with others, celebrate your victories (no matter how big or small), understand there’s always room for improvement, learn to accept constructive criticism, mind your manners, respect others opinions even when you disagree, you can achieve anything as long you put in the preparation and work, don’t forget where you come from, learn how to solve problems when they arise, multiple minds are better than one, and most of all don’t be afraid to have tough conversations. These lessons I keep in my personal and professional development toolbox and try to incorporate daily.

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Image Credit:
logo~@Glow Diggers Club by Carla

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