We had the good fortune of connecting with Collins Pettaway III and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Collins, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have to be honest. At the beginning of all of this, I didn’t have a thought process! I had just returned to Selma in the Fall of 2018, and the candidate in the governor’s election that I worked in did not win. So, I spent a long time afterwards looking for a job. I preferred to find work in Selma, but it was honestly hard because I was consistently told that was “over-qualified.” I wasn’t sure where to turn, until I got the opportunity to help a close friend. He was raising money for a huge cause and I decided to help him by bringing some media attention his way. Those efforts helped him surpass his goal by $20,000! In that moment, a light bulb went off in my head! I realized that I had the capacity to help others achieve their goals in the same way I helped my friend achieve his. From there, I wrote down a bunch of ideas, organized them into a plan, and later in March of 2019, The Pettapull Firm was born!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business, The Pettapull Firm has been in existence for two years now as of March 2021. It is a communications firm that focuses on four (4) main areas: Strategic Communications (Public Relations, Crisis Management, etc), Political Consultations (Management and Advisement for Public Office and/or Issue Campaigns), Event Marketing, and Digital Media Advancement (Social Media Management, Virtual Platform Facilitations, etc). I’m proud that I’ve been able to build a business that gives me the opportunity to make my own money and set my own precedence. That independence was something that I was missing while working full-time in the public sector. Starting the business was fairly simple, but keeping it afloat was a totally different conversation and still is! There are always challenges, along the way and this pandemic didn’t make things any better. The learning lesson for me, is to never be afraid to take the loss. I started taking those losses and began reinventing my brand. You have to be willing to do that to stay relevant, especially in this field. What I would like the world to know is that I’m nowhere near done! Along with my business, I have my own personal brand that I’m building as well. I’m a local radio personality, community advocate, blogger, and I have two major projects in the works that I’m excited to present in a few months!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Selma is full of so many attractions! We are the beating heart of voting rights and it was because of Selma that we have the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I’m huge on history, so that week would more than likely be filled with checking out the numerous historical sites (Edmund Pettus Bridge, Brown Chapel AME, Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, etc). Also, we’ve got some of the best local places to eat and drink like Lannie’s BBQ, All-in-One, The Sandbar, Mi Tenampa, and the Troup House just to name a few! Obviously the pandemic has put a hold on places to hang out, but once things start to pick back up, you can never go wrong with hanging out at the either the Elks Lodge or Dripz Lounge.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, there is absolutely no way I would be where I am without God. People say that loosely, but that gratitude is real for me! Additionally, my family and friends are my biggest supporters, and I’ll probably get cursed out if I start mentioning names and forget someone. Finally, I have to shoutout two of my professional mentors: William Scott and Terri Reynolds. They are both amazing in their fields, and they believe in me enough to take a chance on me. I’m able to grow my business because they spend time growing me and I appreciate them both for that! This shoutout goes to my tribe!
Marvin Carter, Kerry Varner, and Henry Spaceage