Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanica Davis.
Shanica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always been everyone’s goes to person. That is why I jokingly call myself “everybody’s best friend”. I did not realize I was providing a specific service by guiding other people through their emotions until I found myself needing the kind of support that I was giving. When I started to rebuild myself in 2012, I immediately knew that whatever tools and insight I gathered along the way, needed to be shared with the people who look to me for guidance.
In addition to authoring a book focused on platonic female friendships, I made myself available to discuss parenting, healthy living, emotional wellness, and internal growth via social media and free “Office Hours” consultations scheduled through my website.
There are many people within my community either without access to mental health services or hindered by the stigma attached to seeking assistance. My Office Hours are not meant to serve as an alternative to professional help, but a bridge to direct those emotions and thoughts until they are comfortable, able, or needing more help.
Office Hours produces positivity by offering a safe space to look into the darkest parts of life without judgment. It also gave me the chance to protect my own energy by restricting when I was absorbing and working through the often-difficult situations that people come to me with.
I could not stop being there for people, but I needed to figure out how to do so without sacrificing too much time and energy from myself, family or other obligations.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being an empath and building business off emotion has not been easy. Primarily because life does not always fit neatly within Office Hours. People contact me through social media, text and phone with urgent matters they need to release, and I never turn them away.
Ideally, I would like to build and incorporate staff to accommodate more requests by handling administrative, marketing and operational tasks that take me away from one on one care. However, because I do not wish I charge people for venting or just needing someone to talk to, there currently isn’t a budget to do so. Sometimes people just need a sounding board, I cannot justify putting a price tag on being heard. It is largely a gratifying, but unprofitable, investment.
Please tell us more about your work.
I am S. Latria, Emotions Manager. I am not a fan of the word “ influencer”. Not because I am against the practice, but because I want people to be less interested in exactly how I do things and more focused on feeling able to operate freely as their most authentic selves. With that said my business focuses on:
Parenting advice for millennials, specifically as a Black Stay-At-Home-Mom in Los Angeles
Healthy lifestyle tips, including meal preps and self-care
Friendship and Relationship advice centered on the concept of “detoxing”. Including my book, Toxicology: Transform Your Unhealthy Relationships by Becoming Your Own Best Friend
Annual Galentine’s Day Event, a “girl date” where women come together to laugh with and love each other.
All without the shadow of capitalism. No brand representation or sponsorships. I want what the people who utilize my services to know that their opinion is the one driving my decisions.
I think that is largely what sets me apart from your traditional influencer. I am primarily focused on providing content and services that people need, not just ones they will buy or that I can convince them to purchase. It may not be the best business practice, but being lucrative is secondary to being impactful. When people discuss me or my brand, I want it to start with how they benefitted, not what they purchased.
I am proud of the organic following I have begun to develop. Although my “followers” are smaller than many other people on social media. My private engagement, including Office Hours appointments, is steadily increasing. I would much rather reach 1000 followers and speak to fifty percent of them than have 100,000 and never establish direct connections. I will never number chase, and it has made things slower to grow but more satisfying to achieve.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
First, I would have started before having children. Although it has opened me to a completely different audience and subject matter to assist my community with, there are a lot of technical and operational things that take up my time on top of parenting. If I had already fleshed those things out and completely branded myself prior to my Littles’ arrival, the time it took to reach this point would have been drastically reduced.
I also would have spent less time questioning whether my voice was not just needed, but worthy of being heard amongst the chorus of opinions. My imposter syndrome is real, even when I knew I was providing a service and opportunity that most were ignoring because it wouldn’t make them enough money. I wasted far too much time doubting the importance of the work I was doing, temporarily stunting my personal growth and my businesses development.
- Toxicology – Transform Your Unhealthy Relationships by Becoming Your Own Best Friend – Amazon Paperback 16.99
- Toxicology – Transform Your Unhealthy Relationships by Becoming Your Own Best Friend – Amazon Kindle 9.99
- Website: slatria.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: JustSLatria
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shanica.williams.731
- Other: S. Latria
Deilavonce Frazier with Focused Fathers Photography