We had the good fortune of connecting with Katrina Highsmith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katrina, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting my own business came when I knew I had the ability to take action, implement and execute major plans. I am an action taker. My friend and colleague, Kristen Hopkins, and I decided to start our own public relations business while we still worked for other companies. The goal was to learn more about internal business strategies we could implement into our own business structure. I used to think if I can put this much energy, effort and dedication into my work, working for someone else, I know I can put 2x as much into a business that belongs to me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career started when I was 22 years old. I was hired as a PR intern at a cyber security company in Atlanta, GA and worked my way up to become the Public Relations Manager within 7 months. You might be surprised but having the ability to listen and communicate well in this field can take you far. I ask a lot of questions and take constructive criticism well. I am proud of bravely taking a leap of faith and moving to Atlanta immediately following my college graduation. At just 21 years old, I moved to Atlanta and never looked back. I have built a great network that has enabled me to move my company forward in a competitive market like Atlanta. No, it was not easy mainly because Atlanta is overstated with Public Relations/Marketing professionals. At first it was tough determining who was credible and who wasn’t being under seasoned in the field at the time. However, I got acquainted with different groups of people (some communication professionals, some not). I joined credible organizations and attended a lot of social events. This helped me align with the right people. Some of the lessons I have learned in my professional career is to not to take things personal. You will be faced with many challenges that may affect you personally and professionally, however never take things personal. Make decisions with integrity and keep it pushing!! Also, no matter what age you are, be a boss at what you do! I have found that people associate age with experience Even though this sounds cheesy, I think the world should know that you truly can do whatever you put your mind to. I did just that. There was a time I didn’t know what my future looked like. I didn’t know if I was going to attend college, the path I was going down looked very blurry. I encourage all ages of people to seek a mentor in life. A mentor can really help you figure things out. My former business partner and I had the same mindset which is why we are both successful to this day. We worked hard to build our brand and position ourselves as experts in our field. It is important to stay innovative and remain relevant.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am big on vibes. When I entertain friends/family etc, I always consider places that have an ambiance and vibes. Below are a few locations I would take friends to broken down by category. Brunch- BQE, Atlanta Breakfast Club, Murphy’s in the Highlands, Another Broken Egg Dinner- Hal’s, Chops, Busy Bee’s, Sweet Auburn Seafood, and South City Kitchen Nightlife- Pasha, The Garden Room, Republic, Skylounge and MJQ Other- Lake Lanier (Boating),

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?
I would like to shout out my family, friends, boyfriend and NABFEME (National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment) for being a backbone for me and my business.

Website: www.thehighsmithgroup.com
Instagram: @thehighsmithgroup_
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thehighsmithgroup/
Twitter: @HighsmithGroup
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHighsmithGroup/

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