Public Relations Pro Meredith LeJeune always knew she wanted to work for herself. And when she was laid off during structural changes at her former employer, she took the chance and launched Thought Bubble Communications. Almost seven years later, her business is thriving and she has taken on several campaigns for major brands.
We talked to this mother of two about how she balances her booming business and her twins, how she overcame her introversion to become an entrepreneur and how she makes time for personal passions amidst it all. Then, we asked about her top advice for women who want to build a life built around what they love.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Meredith LeJeune
Owner, Thought Bubble Communications
Greater New York City Area
Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
In 2005, I graduated with a BA in Public Relations from Hampton University. I had an amazing opportunity intern with Scripps Network over that summer, and landed my first job as an marketing communications coordinator later that year. Over the next five years in that position, I was able to grow and expand in ways I couldn't have imagined. However, I needed more. I knew my story wouldn't keep me in Hampton Roads, Virginia (my home town). I knew I wanted to work for myself, and do PR the way I wanted to do it. But first, I needed the discipline. I moved to Atlanta, and joined the team of a high tech B2B integrated communications agency. It was the most intense experience I ever had! I'm so thankful, because it set me up for the next phase in my life.
Unfortunately, due to some structural changes, I was laid off from that position in June 2012. I knew, and felt equipped, to move into my next phase: entrepreneurship. I stepped out on my own in September 2012, and have been a solopreneur in the public relations space ever since! I've had the opportunity to partner with other agencies and work on campaigns for major brands in the food and beverage and automotive spaces, as well as in multi-housing, professional development and real estate.
What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
I'm most proud of pushing through nerves and actually starting my business. Looking back over the past nearly seven years, I'm able to say that I have done what I truly enjoy doing. There's nothing like seeing the fruits of your own labor.
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
I'm an introvert by nature, so selling myself or my services has never come naturally to me. However, in this business, I've learned that closed mouths don't get fed! I developed a strategy that I use when approaching prospective clients either in person, over the phone or via email that has helped me get past those jitters.
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?
I can't say I have just one. There are several accomplished women I admire, each for an individual reason.
What do you do when you're not working?
When I am not working, I am hanging out with my family. In addition to being an entrepreneur, I'm also a wife and mother to five-year-old twins. In my time away from them, I am exercising and doing yoga! I am a certified yoga instructor and teach at two studios in my area.
If you could have dinner with one famous person—dead or alive—who would it be?
I would have dinner with Will Smith. I believe he has a remarkable mind. I follow him on Instagram, and am inspired by his posts, in addition to his accomplishments.
What is your karaoke song?
"Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston. She plays a mean tambourine!
What is your favorite movie?
Easy:"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." I could probably recite the lines of every lead character.
What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
"Caucasia." It is a very interesting book about identify and how we define ourselves.
What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?
I live for a maxi dress! If I ever won the lottery, I'd buy stock.
What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
Be intentional. Know what your ultimate career goal is and why, then make sure to maximize every move you make so that it brings you one step closer to your goal.
Why do you love where you work?
I love where I work because it is my own. I have set up a lifestyle and career where I have the freedom to work on projects I truly enjoy. For that, I am grateful.
Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.